Welcome to Yonge and Eglinton / At a Glance
Playfully dubbed Yonge and Eligible for the large crowds of 20 to 30 somethings who call this midtown neighbourhood home, Yonge and Eglinton is chock-full of restaurants, shops, bars, cinemas and is certainly no stranger to towering new condos. Perhaps too many to count.
Wedged midway between Toronto’s downtown core and suburban-esque North York, much of Yonge and Eglinton’s appeal comes down to its super transit-friendly locale. The subway is easily accessible on foot and can transport you downtown in 25 minutes easy – meaning you can ditch the car and pricey parking spots.
Not that you’ll need to head to the core for escape, as Yonge and Eglinton rivals downtown pound-for-pound on everything shopping and restaurant related. From gourmet burger joints to delectable bakeries, intimate cafes and a mix and match of mainstream retailers and boutiques – Yonge and Eglinton caters to shopaholics and foodies of all kinds.
A stone’s throw from the neighbourhood’s densified namesake intersection is a far more family-friendly setting. Dotted with million dollar single-family houses nestled on perfectly manicured lawns, the surrounding side streets represent a different side to Yonge and Eglinton that diverges from the young hip vibe now synonymous with the area.
One thing is for certain however, Yonge and Eg is on a trend toward further densification. With condo construction on the rise (+8000 new units are proposed for the area) and the long anticipated arrival of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which will see over $4.9 billion in transit infrastructure and over two dozen new stops, Yonge and Eglinton is set to emerge as Toronto’s seminal transit and condo hub.
As the area ticks almost all the boxes from walkability, transit and retail – it’s easy to see why many are setting their sights away from the core further north toward Toronto’s midtown. A caveat that may turn some people off from the area is the perception that it’s “cold” and lacking a cultural artsy side. But look a little closer and you’ll find plenty of personality. After all, Yonge and Eglinton took the top spot in Toronto Life magazine’s rankings of the city’s best neighbourhoods to live in.
Yonge and Eglinton Population
While downtown Toronto is made up of a smorgasbord of university students, suit clad business people and tattooed hipsters, Yonge and Eglinton’s residents are more alike than different. But that’s not to say the neighbourhood is one note.
The population, which has grown by a whopping 32 per cent from 2001 to ‘11, is largely split down the middle between young professional “yuppies” and affluent families who reside further west and east of Yonge Street in single-family homes. Top-notch schools (namely North Toronto CI and St. Clement’s School), spacious homes and parks draw in the latter while urban amenities and modern condos attract the former.
So while out and about, expect to run into trendy but more by-the-books 30 year olds – both single and paired up – as well as picturesque upper-middle class families. Majority of millennials in the neighbourhood rent while homeowners tend to have enough in the bank to own a million dollar property in the city. Don’t expect too many seniors, the super wealthy who flaunt their wealth (we’re talking 1 percenters) or artsy subcultures.
The Lifestyle: Yonge and Eglinton Restaurants, Shops and Parks
Once a family-friendly enclave dotted with a handful of dated office towers, the influx of new condos and 20 somethings has led the area to take on a more lively turn.
Now home to a bustling retail core, eclectic dining destinations and a thriving pub scene, Yonge and Eglinton perfectly caters to its fledgling young-professional residents. Don’t expect many graffiti ridden pubs here; rather everything is geared toward mainstream and slightly upscale crowds.
At the heart of the midtown neighbourhood is the Yonge and Eglinton Centre. Anchored by large office towers and boasting a direct link to the subway, the mall features a large food court, numerous shops as well as larger convenience and retail outlets (Metro, LCBO and Winners).
For movie junkies however, the best part of the retail complex is the twelve screen Yonge-Eglinton Cineplex Cinemas. The theatre houses an UltraAVX screen and multiple VIP cinemas, so you can wine and dine while watching the big screen.
Often bustling with people hopping in and off the subway, Yonge and Eglinton’s core (and its surrounding mall and restaurants) can get notably busy.
For those who want to escape the crowds and prefer local boutiques and foodie spots over run-of-the-mill malls and pubs; one only needs to take a stroll outside of the neighbourhood’s namesake intersection. Further north and south along Yonge Street is a retail strip lined with trendy fashion and home furnishing stores, hair salons, brunch spots, hip bars and restaurants.
When it comes to nightlife at Yonge and Eg, it’s more about bars, patios and trendy restaurants than clubs blasting dance music. Popular weekend spots include Alleycatz Live Jazz Bar, Rose and Crown and Spacco (which does have a DJ).
In the spring and summer when there’s no shortage of sunshine, people tend to flock to Eglinton Park. The nine acre park and community centre is the perfect place to relax among the trees, shake out a picnic blanket or enjoy an active day in the great outdoors with the kids. With a total of two baseball diamonds, multiple tennis courts and a full-fledged bikepath, those looking to keep fit outside will find plenty of ways to do so. Just slightly north is Sherwood Park, another large wooded area that’s perfect for biking, walking the dog or just getting one with nature.
Yonge and Eglinton Condos and Houses
With home prices across Toronto climbing double digits year-over-year, properties around Yonge and Eglinton in particular have seen their values jump leaps and bounds, thanks in large part to the neighbourhood’s proximity to the subway, wealth of retail options and the influx of new condos and transit infrastructure.
Fully renovated single-family homes easily hover over the million dollar mark, if not double that. Often spacious and of the two-storey variety (bungalows are far and few between), homes in the area represent a mix of 19th and 20th century styles as well as some ultra-modern new builds.
The condominium market in Yonge and Eg is made up of both older buildings (that often feature more square footage) and new amenity-packed towers that tend to squeeze residents into smaller units. In 2016, the average price of a condominium apartment in the borders of Yonge and Eglinton was $512,259.
Yonge and Eglinton Subway and LRT
The slew of new glitzy condos propping up in the neighbourhood (and the working millennials who live in the them) are huddled around one focal point – the Yonge and Eglinton subway station.
Five stations north of Toronto’s busiest stop, Bloor-Yonge, Eglinton station is the local commuter’s life line.
For those who work and play in the city’s core, Eglinton station takes you downtown in 25 minutes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, those who head further uptown can also hop onto the red rocket for a brisk train ride north in even less time.
Unlike much of downtown Toronto, there aren’t any slow trotting streetcars in the neighbourhood. In their place are plenty of buses. So while the underground subway takes you north and south, a network of bus routes criss-cross east to west.
You’ll also find a stark lack of Metrolinx GO stations around Yonge and Eg, so heading beyond Toronto’s borders means first hopping on the TTC to the nearest GO.
Transit around Yonge and Eglinton is set to transform in the coming years with the arrival of the Eglinton LRT, currently North America’s largest public transit project. A total of 25 new stations will be added – a handful of which will cross paths with Yonge and Eglinton – connecting huge swatches of the city’s midtown to major transit lines.
In terms of how people move about Yonge and Eglinton itself, most use their own two feet – and with good reason. With a near perfect 99% Walk Score, everything from shopping, daily errands and bar hopping can be achieved on foot. So you can definitely leave the car behind (or ditch owning one all together). Foot traffic isn’t exactly at downtown levels, so you won’t have to worry about constantly bumping in or maneuvering between people while traversing the sidewalk.
While the neighbourhood does boast a strong 89% Bike Score, there are few separated bike lanes on the roads and as a result, far fewer cyclists whizzing by compared to downtown. Most bikers choose the two-wheel option for quick and speedy trips around midtown or for recreation along the area’s numerous parks and nature trails.
Residents who prefer getting behind the wheel of their own car can head to the DVP or Allen Road for speedier commute times. In terms of driving around the neighbourhood, expect some bumper-to-bumper traffic but rest assured, it’s nothing close to downtown levels. The fact that cars don’t share the road with streetcars or dedicated bike lanes also makes for an easier drive. The numerous public buses whizzing by does contribute to some of the stop-and-go traffic that is sure to irk drivers however.
With the impending arrival of new transit and the frenzy of condo construction, driving in Yonge and Eglinton is likely to take a turn for the worse in the coming years.
Yonge and Eg residents primarily stick to the TTC and walking when getting around.
Yonge and Eglinton Schools and Daycares
Just off Yonge and Eglinton’s namesake intersection and the area’s bustling retail core is a close knit network of some of Toronto’s top performing schools; one of the key reasons why family home hunters are drawn to living in the midtown neighbourhood.
While a few of the schools technically spill over to neighbouring Mount Pleasant, the majority, colloquially speaking, fall in the bounds of the general Yonge and Eglinton area.
North Toronto Collegiate Institute is among the most reputable public high schools in the area and ranks in the top three per cent of schools in the Greater Toronto Area. Founded in 1910, the school’s holistic curriculum features robust math and science departments along with a proud sports culture that includes teams in everything from archery, tennis, alpine skiing, synchronized swimming and field hockey. Proud hockey parents will also be glad to hear North Toronto CI boasts one of the top-performing Varsity Hockey teams in Toronto. Not to mention, the school recently underwent massive renovations that involved the addition of new buildings and an outdoor turf field.
Eglinton Junior Public School, which caters to elementary students, has also stood as a community landmark for over 100 years.
John Fisher Junior Public School is another elementary school in the area that gets high marks from parents who emphasize French immersion and language classes.
An array of Catholic schools are dotted across Yonge and Eglinton as well, including the renowned St. Clement’s School for girls. The school boasts the title of having the most Advanced Placement National Scholars of any independent school in Ontario and a 100 per cent acceptance rate to the world’s top universities. Not to mention, graduates have amassed a total of $1.8 million in scholarships in 2015 alone. The school features placements for students in junior, middle and senior schools.
Parents with younger toddlers won’t have to struggle finding a daycare. Spots like Little Tots’ Manor offer premium kindergarten services that focus on community events, nutrition, phys-ed, dance and learning programs for a more whole-rounded daycare service.
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