Shops at Don Mills Surrounding Redevelopment

Development | December 4, 2012

Drive by these dilapidated, empty, crumbling apartment buildings on Greenbelt, just south of Shops at Don Mills and it’s pretty obvious what the future holds.

But look right across the street, and you’re shown exactly what’s going to be built!

Don Mills is absolutely BOOMING with activity right now, and it can all be traced back to the redevelopment of “The Shops At Don Mills.”

I’ll admit that when I first heard the Don Mills Centre was going to be torn down, and re-built as what we now know as Shops at Don Mills, I thought it was the most illogical idea I’d ever heard.  Why tear down an entire mall, only to rebuild it?  Why not renovate it, refurbish it, or add on?

Well the proof is in the pudding, and I think the outdoor mall with its cobblestone paths and street-level shops is absolutely fantastic, and it only seems to reason that more and more people want to live in the area.

The result, of course, is the construction boom!

Houses, condos, lofts, and towns, and dare I say that the area doesn’t seem congested like our evil friend CityPlace?

Take a good idea, then run it over with your car a dozen times – that’s what usually happens in the world of real estate development.  But for the moment, the inventory in the Don Mills area has been absorbed and the demand remains high.

I think these dilapidated apartment buildings will be replaced with glorious new townhouses, and I would be willing to bet that the timeline is short…

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  1. Joe Q.

    at 8:56 am

    What has always bothered me about that area is the poor public transit access (or so it seems to me). To go downtown, you either have the meandering Lawrence East bus to Eglinton Station or a likely equally slow Don Mills bus south. A Don Mills LRT was part of the Transit City plan but I can’t see that getting built anytime in the near future.

    1. Kyle

      at 9:23 am

      While I agree that Don Mills’ public transportation options are severely lacking, I don’t think that will hold it back from becoming another really hot hood. There are just too many other things going for it. Safe, quiet streets, Large lots, the aforementioned Shops of Don Mills, proximity to parks, trails, highways, and schools. And its secret weapon, really great mid-century housing stock.

      1. Joe Q.

        at 9:49 am

        I agree that it has a lot of potential. Kind of like an upscale version of a Scarborough neighbourhood, somewhat closer to downtown, but still with a suburban feel (and, unfortunately, suburban levels of transit access)

        1. moonbeam!

          at 8:00 pm

          Scarborough is a well-kept secret… with many great residential areas!!

  2. Geoff

    at 10:00 am

    Holy crap! A posting about my hood! I live at Lawrence / Underhill). A vastly underrated area of Toronto in my opinion. Good (if not spectacular schools) lots of parks, convenient to both city and suburban working – getting on the dvp south of the 401 usually means a good commute in. It’s balanced out negatively by the drive home though ;( I agree public transit needs significant improvement though – at eglinton station there’s usually 3 eglinton buses that come before one of the 54 Lawrence buses, despite significant demand.

    I wouldn’t say that it’s just starting to boom though David. We bought our house in 2007, against 6 other bidders. And these weren’t phantom bids, we literally saw 6 other families in their cars parked near us on offer night. We paid $40K over asking for our detached house ($450K final price). Back then I was literally sick over the amount of money, now I look around and feel like we stole it.

  3. Frances

    at 11:34 pm

    Aesthetically, I don’t think the new town houses are any prettier than the old apartments. What is different is that the apartments are dilapidated so they are not nice to look at. Physically, they may not be great either but are those new places going to age well? Think of that social housing building that had the flood so everyone has to move out while they re-plumb it – it’s new and attractive to look at so what’s with the plumbing problems?

  4. jon

    at 4:32 pm

    Shops at Don Mills sucks. This is not a shopping destination. No one, outside of people that live in the area, venture there. It’s like a bad outdoor american outlet mall.

  5. Henry

    at 12:50 pm

    I too live in the neighbourhood, but on the other side – close to Leslie and York Mills.

    I recognized the place in the video right away as I passed by when looking at a condo for my in laws. We ending up passing on this particular place because among other things it was not as well connected with transit as other places and also in part because it seemed a little less well established than other parts of Don Mills – the in laws ended up buying at Carrington on the Park at Leslie and Eglinton.

    Agreed Don Mills is a great place to be – the parks, schools, peace and quiet, generous lot size, access to downtown and rest of Toronto, I can go on.

    The Shops at Don Mills has struggled a bit it seems. I remember the bookstore that opened there (McNally Robinson) which closed in short order due to disappointing sales. We go to the ice skating rink with the kids, to LCBO, Fabbrica a few times, but the shops tend to be too expensive – or maybe I am just too cheap.

    1. Geoff

      at 12:57 pm

      That bookstore though was overpriced and I found the selection questionable.

      It’s interesting that Cineplex is building a 5 screen all-vip only theatre in that location. I told me wife it’s too bad don mills doesn’t have a movie theatre, and now it will at the shops.

      Agree the shops needs some more ‘everyday people’ stores, though I must admit I like visiting anthropologie (straight guy, non metro) just think it’s kinda cool.

  6. rj

    at 10:31 pm

    well this was a pointless video/blog entry – where’s the info? Any idiot could have said there was a new development going in here…

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