entertainment district toronto

Toronto's Entertainment District has some intense development plans and here's what to expect

One thing we can safely say about downtown Toronto is that it's constantly evolving.

From entertainment hubs to trendy new restaurants, there's always something new happening around every corner. And now, you can get a sneak peek at further developments coming thanks to the Toronto Downtown West (BIA).

Since being established in 2008, the BIA has played a big role in promoting, preserving and improving the area west of the Financial District.

Home to Toronto's Entertainment District, Toronto Downtown West BIA is at the heart of Canada's biggest city. It also includes some of the country’s most famous landmarks and attractions. We’re talking about everything from the CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada to the Rogers Centre and Princess of Wales Theatre.

BIA Rendering 2

The BIA just released a new Growth and Development Framework document that proposes plans to enhance the area and, let's just say, there are lots of changes ahead.

For example, the revitalization of John Street (currently underway) is designed to transform this cultural corridor into a pedestrian priority promenade for all to explore.

The space will be optimized with special lighting and Wifi, and is envisioned as a prime location for major events and entertainment. 

entertainment district torontoSome of the key areas the BIA outlines in the framework are on pedestrian spaces, "streetscapes" and the retail sector.

To begin with, public spaces have been completely reimagined. Festival Plaza, at the southeast corner of King and John Street, is seen as an ideal public space for activations, community engagement, art and events.

Urban Ballroom Concept BIA

There are a couple of creative plans for that location – including an "urban ballroom" concept! 

Toronto park lovers have plenty to look forward to as the framework includes viable plans for new green spaces within the neighbourhood too.

entertainment district torontoSome future city spots where you can expect to find a park include 229 Richmond Street West, 101 Spadina Avenue and 456 Wellington Street West. The latter could even come with an absolutely paw-some cat-themed promenade for your furry friends!

A streetscape that promotes "a culture of walking"
BIA Rendering

One of the best things about living in the 6ix is how accessible everything is. Not only are the streets in this neighbourhood super walkable, there's everything from large attractions to unique public art to turn heads.  

The framework plans to ramp certain design features up, with increased focus on more public open space, tree-planting initiatives, and an improved street-level experience.

Finally, The Toronto Downtown West BIA knows the importance of restaurants, cafes, nightlife spots, dining and retail.

entertainment district toronto

Which is why it's working with the city, property owners, tenants and developers to introduce more winter-friendly spaces, and patios with art and entertainment.

You might notice much of these changes along King Street West, John Street, Spadina Avenue and Front Street West, with many outdoor spaces transitioning to make more room for fun events and activities! You might even see more initiatives like CafeTO, CurbTO and ActiveTO.

Curious about other changes that might be coming to your neighbourhood soon? The Growth and Development Framework document by the BIA has everything you need to know.

Or you can simply follow them on Instagram or Twitter to keep up with the exciting changes in our gorgeous city!

Lead photo by

Dream Office REIT, Humbold Properties, and SHoP Architects


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