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Downtown Toronto Condos, East United Condos Have Drawn the Line

Downtown Toronto Condos, East United Condos Have Drawn the Line

May 18, 2015
Posted in
Okay, I admit it. I'm such a die-hard east-ender that to me, Toronto East means east of the DVP. Yes, I know that technically Yonge street is the great divide but with the pace of construction of new Toronto condos in the core over the last decade along with Toronto's bustling commercial centre, to me, anything from the DVP west to Spadina, Bloor south to the lake is "downtown".

You can disagree with me-many of my friends as well as colleagues here at do-but I just can't view communities like Regent Park and St. Lawrence Market as "east-end" or even "downtown east". To me, condominiums here are downtown Toronto condos with each neighbourhood having its own distinct personality and features.

I'm sure most urbanites would agree that specific neighbourhood profiles and boundaries hold more meaning. In fact, in most cities, I'd say who cares about east versus west because it's the individual neighbourhoods, regardless of which side of centre they fall on, that matter most to quality of life and place brand (heck, even personal brand for the residents who live there).

Except that this is Toronto and the great east | west divide is not a debate that will go quietly into the night anytime soon. Because even through all of the change that Toronto's experienced over the last decade, one thing will always remain constant-Torontonians are passionate about where they live.

Downtown Toronto Condos not Definitive Enough in the Competitive World of Pre-Con Marketing. East United Condos Take On Eastern Pride (And a Jab at West-Enders).



With slogans such as "I support independent stores because I support things", "I eat organic because it's good not because it's the in thing" and "I drink craft beer because it's better, not trendy", Signature Communities, the developer behind East United Condos at King and Berkley, is taking a direct swing at west-enders and their real estate reputation for having edgier, hipper and (as some believe) just plain more desirable homes and communities than the east end.

In truth, that old claim of "west is best" went out the window years ago when Riverdale homes for sale started approaching the annual value appreciations of areas like High Park and west-siders began to make the regular hike over to Leslieville and Riverside for a Friday night out. But Downtown East has yet to match Downtown West in its reputation for trendy, stylish condo communities. Yet . Just look at how far Regent Park has come in a few short years.

The East United Condos campaign is cheeky to be sure but it's all done in good fun and the t-shirts, free for a limited time with registration on the East United Condos website , do seem to bring a smile to peoples' faces; even amongst west-side residents who can take as good as they give.

Is Downtown East vs Downtown West a Valid (Sub)Divide?

While these cute but rather clichéd campaign slogans are clearly about finding any new way to cut through the noise of a cluttered marketplace with countless condos for sale in Toronto, it brings up an interesting question about how we define downtown Toronto real estate.

Beyond individual neighbourhood distinctions, do you think about downtown in an homogenous way or is there really a clear divide between Downtown Toronto East and Downtown Toronto West? Splitting the core into east and west (and then further breaking out CityPlace condos as their own little island) is one way that Realtors like to group listings. Heck, we do it too. And for awhile, it made sense. But as the downtown area continues to mature and each individual neighbourhood becomes more distinct, should we bother with these larger territory designations?

It's not solely a question of whether or not there are distinctions between the areas east of Yonge and west of Yonge. Clearly there are. It's also a question of whether or not the neighbourhoods within each region of Downtown East and Downtown West share enough in common to be grouped together.

Is there a difference between Grange Park and Moss Park? Yes of course. But do Toronto condos for sale in Grange Park really share that much more in common with those in the Bay Street Corridor than, say, the Church Street Corridor? Maybe. But I think it's a stretch.

It's Our Neighbourhood Pride, Not the Yonge Street Divide, That Makes Us East-Enders or West-Enders



At this point in Toronto's urban development, it really is about individual neighbourhood profiles versus the old Yonge Street divide. The east versus west, downtown versus uptown debates don't hold the same value that they once did. Yet, we still find it hard to let go.

I started off by saying that I'm a die-hard east-ender. That's not quite true. I'm in love with a specific neighbourhood-Riverdale. Sadly, I'm priced out for the foreseeable future and so had to look for an alternative 'hood to call home. But that love affair with one neighbourhood did make it hard for me to consider properties further afield.

As someone who works in the industry, I see so much value in west-end real estate. Yet when I was searching for a new property this past winter, I only considered east-end neighbourhoods even though there are lots of west-side neighbourhoods that I adore. I just couldn't picture myself living there. So perhaps there is still something to be said for that age old east versus west debate. Maybe I'll get the t-shirt.

What do you think? Is the East vs West Debate still relevant in today's real estate market?

Photo of Yonge Street © Igor Mazic used via Creative Commons from flickr. All other images © Signature Communities .