The Downtown West area was actually part of the military garrison lands, established to protect the Town of York against attacks from the United States. After the war of 1812, peaceful relations were established and the garrison lands were sold to the railway, which made industry boom along Toronto's harbourfront. By the 1960s, Toronto's port-based industry moved to the north part of the city and the railway lands - where the Rogers Centre, Bathurst Street, Front Street, and Lakeshore Boulevard are currently located - dwindled for over 30 years as the City of Toronto was debating how to best make use of this area. In 1998, the city council approved the sale of the railway lands; major condominium development projects have been taking place ever since. In the next 21 years, this area will consist of approximately 7,000 condominium units which will bring 12,000 new residents to the neighbourhood. The King/Spadina/Bathurst district, home to the heart of Canada's garment industry until the 1990s, underwent a facelift recently to transform shop worn buildings into trendy lofts and funky office spaces.
Downtown is Toronto's hot spot - the city's entertainment, fashion, and financial districts are all located here. The condominium and town home construction is booming, offering Torontians plenty of residential options. There is a plethora of shopping opportunities: between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue from Front Street to Queen Street, the trendy Queen West shopping district, Kensington Market, and Chinatown. Residents and visitors to the nieghbourhood can utilize Toronto's 10 kilometre underground PATH to navigate the downtown core and take advantage of the PATHs restaurants, retail shops, and services. Aside from shopping, there is entertainment for every taste: The Royal Alexandra and Princess of Wales theatres, Roy Thompson Hall, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as the Air Canada and Rogers centres for sports fans.
New glamorous condominium buildings like the Shangri-La Toronto and the residences at the Ritz-Carlton have sprung up here. The huge influx of people moving from the suburbs into the city have resulted in high demand for real estate in the area. Condos are more affordable - buyers can expect to pay between $350,000-$500,000 for a one bedroom condo and between $525,000 to over $1.5 million for a two bedroom condo. Prices continue to steadily rise, so if you are thinking about buying, now is the right time!