West Don Lands is a master planned neighbourhood that has been developed under the watchful eye of Waterfront Toronto ensuring adherence to strict guidelines for design and sustainability. The result is a truly 21st Century neighbourhood. West Don Lands has adopted many ideas from leading urban revitalization projects around the world. For example; Woonerfs – an innovative streetscape – commonly seen in European cities, are designed to harmoniously weave pedestrians, cyclists and motorists together through neighbourhood streets. West Don Lands will also be awash in culture with public art installations being a focal point of this neighbourhood.
West Don Lands has been carefully planned to include people of all ages who want to live, work and play in a vibrant community located just minutes from Toronto’s downtown core. All east/west streets in the neighbourhood connect with the award winning Don River Park, which is destined to become a signature landmark for this neighbourhood. The north/south streets in West Don Lands will connect with established roads that feed into adjacent neighbourhoods ensuring West Don Lands connectivity to Toronto’s urban core. Speaking of connectivity West Don Lands will also feature a state-of-the-art high-speed braodband network in keeping with Waterfront Toronto’s intelligent community initiative.
The Canary District comprises 36 acres within the West Don Lands. This master planned community sprang to life in 2015 as the Athletes Village for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. These residences have since been converted to condominiums as well as community housing and residences for nearby George Brown College. Canary District is essentially a self-contained 21st century urban village. The Canary District is one of the most connected communities in Toronto with a walk-score of 93, transit-score of 97, and bike-score of 100.
West Don Lands was once a thriving commercial and industrial hub. This period of prosperity was followed by many decades of neglect. West Don Lands fortunes would change for the better in 2005 when Waterfront Toronto’s’ bold revitalization plans for this neighbourhood were approved by Toronto city council. That same year West Don Lands received the Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence in the Vision and Master Plan category. That vision was fulfilled in 2015 when West Don Lands made history as the host site of the Athletes Village for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The athletes village has since been repurposed into condominiums and student housing for George Brown College. A commemorative collage of trees with accompanying plaques lines the Canary District sidewalk. This installation known as 41 Trees pays homage to the 41 countries that participated in the Pan Am games, providing a lasting legacy and reminder of the games that helped to shape this 21st century neighbourhood.
Editors Note: The Canary District is named after the former Canary restaurant. The landmark building for the Canary restaurant sits at the corner of Front and Cherry Streets and now marks the entrance into this new neighbourhood.
Canary District condos are now being occupied and sales have already begun on the next phase of buildings. The buildings are mid-rise with a contemporary facade consisting of glass, steel and grey limestone designed to fit in with the surrounding architecture and landscape. The housing mix includes condominium units as well as townhomes. Canary Park condos will feature sleek contemporary finishes, high ceilings and an ultra high-speed, ultra-broadband fibre optic network. Balconies are included with the condominium apartment units affording residents spectacular City and park views.
You can walk or bike in just a few minutes to the St. Lawrence Market, Distillery District and Harbourfront. While not yet completed the master Plan for Canary District includes a dramatic revitalization of Front Street that will feature a lively pedestrain promenade lined with shops and restaurants, so Canary District residents will ahve their own self contained village.
West Don Lands is part of Waterfront Toronto’s massive Blue Edge revitalization project where the City meets the water. This neighbourhood features parks and trails that connect residents to the water. The largest of these parks in Corktown Common located within the Canary District. This 18 acre park is set in a natural landscape and includes a spacious playground with water features, picnic areas, a dog run, trails, and a multi-functional pavillion with a stage that will be the focal point for community events. The award winning Sugar Beach Park and Underpass Park are located on the doorstep of this neighbourhood.
In keeping with the connectivity theme of this neighbourhood, West Don Lands is part of an 1800-km trail network that includes The Martin Goodman a multi-use path that traverses the entire length of the Toronto waterfront winding its way through many popular neighbourhoods including the Toronto Beaches and Scarboorugh Bluffs in the east, downtown Harbourfront and Humber Bay in the western beaches. West Don Lands also connects to the Lower Don Recreational Trail which runs along the Don River and provides access north to the popular Evergreen Brickworks.
The Cooper Koo YMCA is a state-of-the-art recreational facility that serves as a community hub with meeting rooms and community spaces. This 82,000 square foot facility features a large gymnasium, swimming pool and fitness studios. The state-of-the-art space will offer an array of programs to the community including Health & Fitness, Day Camps, Community Programs, and a 30,000 square foot green roof.