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Why Are There No Condos on The Danforth?

The Danforth represents a lot of things to a lot of people. It is the centre of the city's Greek community and home to one of the city's largest festivals, it's a major transit route for moving people in and out of downtown, and it is generally regarded as one of the city's most desirable neighbourhoods to live in. However, one thing it definitely is NOT, is a hot spot for high-rise condo development. But why not?

All the ingredients for building 'up' seem to be there. Transit? Check. Vibrant shops and restaurants? Check. Ample supply of hipster hangouts? Check. The strip was even singled out in the City's official plan as one of Toronto's prime avenues-ripe for development and intensification. But still, if you take a walk along the Danforth between Broadview and Coxwell, you'd be hard pressed to find a building taller than 4 stories.

The Star had an interesting article this week that highlights some of the unique challenges facing any potential developer with an eye on building on the Danforth. Local resistance to change combined with severely fragmented ownership of land and a general unavailability of land being key factors in why we have yet to see a major condo project east of the Bloor Viaduct.

I have to believe that eventually we will see medium and even high-rise condos along the Danforth, but it may take many years yet. In the mean time, home prices in the area continue to rise, shutting out most first time buyers who once found relief there from the inflated prices in nearby neighbourhoods like Cabbagetown, Rosedale, and Leaside.

Photo by ~EvidencE~ from the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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