579 yonge st

Rundown corner on Yonge St. in Toronto now on sale for $27 million

If the exorbitant prices of housing in Toronto aren't quite enough to really bemuse and dispirit you, the city's commercial real estate market will likely do it.

Take, for example, a corner lot on Yonge Street that is now going for a staggering $27 million — more than 15 times the cost of an average detached house in the city (a figure that is shocking on its own).

Evidently priced with condo developers in mind, the 39 by 100 foot lot at 579 Yonge just north of Wellesley has most recently been the home of Nick's Sport Shop, a store that a few years ago started selling handguns to counter a firearm ban being pushed by Mayor John Tory.

579 yonge st

Nick's Sport Shop appeared boarded up during the pandemic, but was still open until announcing a "temporary" closure on June 13, 2021. Image via Google Street View.

It appears that the two-storey retailer was open until mid-June of this year, when it posted on social media that it was temporarily closing with no reopening date in mind.

"At this time we do not know when we will reopen. Emails will continue to be responded to but calls will go unanswered. Orders that have not been fulfilled will be canceled," Nick's wrote in an Instagram post on June 13.

The listing for the property refers to it as an "excellent corner redevelopment opportunity to own a commercial building in the heart of downtown Toronto," also touting it as one of the last intersections on such a major street to be razed and turned into condos or office buildings.

It also notes that Nick's will be fully out of the building — which has frontage on both Yonge, the city's key thoroughfare, and Dundonald St. — by the time the sale closes, if buyers don't balk at the price (with $135,008 in annual property taxes, to boot).

579 yonge st

The Bay Street Corridor property is being advertised as a prime real estate opportunity for developers with deep pockets. Image from the Realtor.ca listing.

But, what the listing fails to mention is that the 10,000 square foot low-rise structure itself is registered as a heritage property as part of the Historic Yonge Street Heritage Conservation District — something that surely won't please prospective developers.

Built in 1951, the corner building does visibly have a unique Art Moderne style with a curved corner, window lintels and other architectural features of the time.

But with the way Toronto seems to treat its few historical gems, keeping only an exterior facade, potentially to some Frankenstein-like effect, will likely be all that the property's new owner will have to do.

Lead photo by

Google Street View

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