Nowadays, Avenue Road is experiencing increased activity in re-development projects and is considered to be one of Toronto’s hottest in-fill development corridors.
What makes Avenue Road so attractive for investors? There are several factors that make this street desirable, namely:
· Highly developed main street with a variety of stores and services
· Wide sidewalks created by setbacks which contributes to a pedestrian-friendly streetscape
· It is not a distressed area in dire need of reurbanization
· Parking lay-bys provide street parking, etc.
According to the Avenue Study made by Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design/Pace Architects, the diversity of Avenue Road creates a unique retail street, which shares many desirable characteristics with other retail oriented streets in Toronto. Avenue road is comprised of mostly one and two-storey commercial buildings that are built to the front property line with retail on the ground floor and residential or small offices above. But these are not the only types of buildings in this area. The building diversity along Avenue Road is reflected in the numbers below:
· 32% of this frontage is occupied by one (1) storey buildings
· 50% of this frontage is occupied by two (2) storey buildings
· 1% of this frontage is occupied by three (3) storey buildings
· 12% of this frontage is occupied by four (4) storey buildings
· 6% of this frontage is occupied by five (5+) storey buildings and above
We can see that there are a number of taller residential buildings, some up to 20 storeys at the north end, closer to Highway 401.
Now let’s talk about community services and facilities. This area is quite rich with schools, libraries, licensed daycare facilities as well as recreation centers including indoor and outdoor pools, skating rinks, gyms and program rooms. Moreover, Avenue Road is a major arterial road. It provides a direct connection to Highway 401 at the north (where Avenue Road terminates) and extends as a primary route south towards downtown. Being a major arterial street, Avenue road is well served by transit by means of two important bus routes. Route 61 operates from Bombay Avenue just north of Highway 401 to the Eglinton Avenue Subway Station.
As far as parking facilities go, Avenue road is better served for long and short term parking than many other arterial roads in the City of Toronto. Larger retailers along the street provide ample space via surface parking lots, while others provide a few parking spaces on a shared rear laneway.
Most of Avenue Road in the subject area is designated as Mixed-Use Area. Residential areas to the east and west carry the Neighborhoods designation, as does the west side of Avenue Road from Joicey Boulevard to Ridley Boulevard. North of Ridley Boulevard to Wilson Avenue, the west side of Avenue Road is designated as Apartment Neighbourhoods. The entire length of Avenue Road in the subject area is designated an Avenue.
Among the biggest projects from this area is Stafford’s Boutique Condos on Avenue Road.
Contributing 36 units to the upmarket stretch, the 7-storey project will add more modest density to a renewing stretch of Avenue Road, where a gradual influx of mid-rise projects is re-shaping the urban fabric. This property is located at the southwest corner of Avenue Road and Bedford Park Avenue and like the 6-storey 1717 Avenue—now complete—and the under-construction Brookdale on Avenue 7-storey buildings to the north, this project offers a mid-rise scale with a retail frontage.
Above mentioned Brookdale on Avenue Condos, is another big project in the same area which is worth mentioning. This is an elegant new 7-storey condominium, with 80 suites, including four refined townhomes. The property is located in this upscale yet traditional neighborhood where suites will range from 600 to over 2,576 sq. ft, including one bedroom, one bedroom + den, two bedroom, two bedroom + den, three bedroom and city townhomes.
Over the last year, several small-scale retail redevelopments were approved in this area and the pace of growth is very likely to continue being incremental.
The growing popularity of the surrounding residential areas, increased demand for city living and residential housing, as well as proximity to retail and public transportation makes this area a front-runner for redevelopment and densification.