Home now to parking lots and old bistros, very few tourists venture to the area and most Torontonians too avoid it if they can. For many, the area is home only to overcrowded dance clubs and gangs.
The area is bordered by King, John, Queen and Simcoe. Though there remains the cultural centres like the National Film Board of Canada, Tiff and both the Thompson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre, little of the buzz of the city can be felt here in the historic district.
This is exactly what Mr. Mirvish and the architect Frank Gehry are hoping to change. They are seeking to build a new area starting with an 80 plus storey condo development. Much like has occurred in some of Vancouver’s real estate developments in older neighbourhoods and condos for sale Vancouver, the men hope to revitalize the area through new building.
The condo will include both bachelors and two and three bedroom suites as well as all of the usual amenities a building of this size contains. On top of all these however, the men behind the plan are also planning to include a six-story arts and cultural centre in the building.
A 60,000 square-foot gallery, a campus for OCAD University as well as a restaurant and even potentially a grocery store are all on the agenda. Though not yet approved by city council, the large project is creating some tensions nevertheless.
Some community activists are angered by the fact that the development will require the demolition of the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Though built by Mr. Mirvish’s late father in the 1990s, the planners say that unfortunately the building will not be able to be saved. The plans are certainly ambitious; and revamping the entire area will take time and commitment no doubt.
The hope is that the development will be a step towards helping the area to thrive again. Only time will tell.