yonge dundas

Toronto's Yonge-Dundas intersection is gearing up for most changes it's seen in years

Yonge and Dundas may be Toronto's most famous, liveliest intersection, but some argue that the destination has lost its lustre in recent years and is in need of some saving — which is now coming in the form of a number of milestone openings and other changes this year.

The most anticipated is, of course, Shake Shack's first Canadian outpost that will bring the U.S. chain's prized burgers, crinkle-cut fries and milkshakes (with a special Canuck flavour) to a ground floor unit of The Tenor building at 10 Dundas East this summer.

yonge dundas

Shake Shack is building excitement for its new location opening in the coming weeks in the unit formerly occupied by Adidas. Photo by Fareen Karim.

Also coming to the juncture is not something new, but a presence once loved and then lost: the Hard Rock Cafe, which graced the southeast corner of YDS for almost 40 years before it was shuttered in 2017

Signs announcing the return of the themed restaurant took passersby by surprise when they popped up on the northeast side in January, with an opening slated for the second half of 2024.

Joining these two big American names is a local success story, the Ballroom Bowl, which just expanded its John Street bowling alley bar to Yorkville, and is continuing its ambitious growth with a 15,000-square-foot space at Yonge and Dundas.

The third Ballroom, like the other two, will reflect its milieu, with an urban and industrial feel fitting of the neighbourhood.

Then there are some other developments that will bring new life to the corner, such as Toronto Metropolitan University's forthcoming conversion of the long-abandoned building at 38-40 Dundas St. E.

It also seems that Yonge and Dundas has been revived with some new events and activations programming in April and May after what felt like a palpable lull, with some public art on loan from the Toronto Zoo, a digital exhibition, CONTACT Photography Festival installations and more.

These positive, welcome happenings all come alongside a contentious new moniker for the square and a departure of some members of the board that manages the attraction as a result.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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