Gardiner Expressway Condos

Condos | August 13, 2007

I was in the car last night driving along the Gardiner, and my buddy says to me “Where the heck did all these condos come from??”

He hadn’t been to Toronto in ten years, and last time he was outside Skydome, there was a clear city skyline.

You know the ones you see that line the Gardiner outside Skydome??

Here’s the rundown…


Picture yourself driving west along the Gardiner Expressway. You pass the Redpath Sugar building on your left near the water, and then the Distillery District on the right. Once you get to Skydome….er….”Rogers Centre,” the condo mayhem begins.

I remember back when you’d drive along and look to your left (south) and see nothing but water.

Now, that’s a story we’ll be telling our kids one day…

The first strip of condos starts at the base of Yonge Street near Queen’s Quay, where you’ll see about four buildings all directly south of Front Street:

18-yonge.jpg 18 Yonge Street. This is just north of the Gardiner.

16yonge.jpg 16 Yonge Street, which is in the same complex of 12 Yonge Street and shares facilities. You didn’t hear it from me, but this is a great place to snag a parking space when you’re in a jam! Shhhh!

12yonge.jpg 12 Yonge Street.

10yonge.jpg 10 Yonge Street. In the background of this old picture, you can see 12 & 16 Yonge Street still under construction.

The next batch of condos is slightly east on York Street. Look to your left again while you continue to drive east along the Gardiner. There are three buildings in the same complex, 8 York Street, 208 Queen’s Quay and 218 Queen’s Quay. These buildings look blue and grey from the distance, and each window seems to stare directly at the next building. Trust me, the views are less than stellar. Even if you aren’t looking at the next building, you are looking at the Gardiner….or train tracks…

8york.jpg 8 York Street & 208 Queen’s Quay. You can see 218 Queen’s Quay at the far left.

208queen.jpg 208 Queen’s Quay. Isn’t it beautiful? Forgive me for my cynicism…

218queen.jpg 218 Queen’s Quay. Another modern masterpiece…

After the trifecta of blue & grey buildings, you’ll see two more that are joined at the hip, these ones are slightly green in color and seem to have more character. But more than zero is still not all that much…

228230.jpg 228 & 230 Queen’s Quay

Now as you continue east along the Gardiner, passing the whole slew of buildings under construction on your right where the old CityCore Golf Course was (like we didn’t all know this course was just to make a few bucks while the applications went through so that condos could be built), there are two more buildings on your left just east of Bathurst that are dark blue and look kind of sleek:

219.jpg 219 & 231 Fort York Blvd.

231.jpg 231 Fort York Blvd.

Well, I guess everybody has to live somewhere. It was only a matter of time before our city skyline and waterfront were crammed with condos. These buildings all just went up so fast, I mean blink twice and there’s two more buildings than before! I don’t hate these buildings, but I don’t love them either. People seem to like them because they are “affordable,” but what does that actually mean in Toronto anyways? If you are leasing, then I recommend these buildings. If you are looking for a good investment, then buyer beware.

Supply versus demand, and quality versus quantity. There are thousands and thousands of units in these buildings, and there are ALWAYS places for sale or for lease. The same cannot be said for King George Square, Candy Factory Lofts, Element, The Icon, etc.

Next time you drive along the Gardiner, in those short glimpses in between buildings—see if you can spot the water. Maybe close your eyes and try to remember back before those condos were built and you could see the entire Lake Ontario shoreline…….oh wait, no….no bad idea….closing eyes during driving….I’m pretty sure the judge told me not to do that ever again…

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