The area of King West has had its share of transitions. It began as a simple part of the Military Reserves in the 1800’s to the town of York. The auctioning off of the area allowed for King West to begin building a new town close to York. This town shifted yet again once Toronto gained access to the railway in the 1850’s. It then transitioned from a rural residential area to a booming industrial and manufacturing area. The remnants of some of the buildings of this time can still be seen throughout the neighbourhood, adjusted to suit the needs of the community while still maintaining its architectural heritage.
King West Village has been largely compared to Manhattans’ Soho neighbourhood, offering a blend of gentrification, innovation, architectural cornerstones as well as its immersion into the city’s culture. This neighbourhood is most popular with young professionals. This neighbourhood, due to its appeal, received a revitalization to support more residential opportunities, and now have one of the vastest selection of condominium buildings within Toronto. As well, many of the industrial and manufacturing buildings have been revitalized into a variety of residential and commercial uses. Of these conversions, many offer work/living quarters that support the shift from the 9-5 profession.
Considered one of the fasted growing neighbourhoods, King West Village offers a unique appeal. It is one of the most active nightlife areas within the city as well as within walking distance to Toronto’s Entertainment District. The variety of nightlife available in this neighbourhood is exceptional, including supper clubs, lounges, clubs and bars.
The neighbourhood hosts the Toronto International Film Festival annually. This is hosted at the famous TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre. This event not only attracts thousands of tourists and a variety of media outlets, it is common to see the entertainment industry’s A-list celebrities enjoying the village.
Restaurants and boutiques line the streets of King West Village, most of which are local businesses, with a few chain stores scattered throughout. Galleries and studios can be seen throughout the neighbourhood, as well as independent furniture boutiques. Grocery stores are within walking distance to most residents, supporting the pedestrian friendly atmosphere.
For those who enjoy a more active lifestyle, access to Toronto’s waterfront trail is available through this neighbourhood. Urban parks can be found throughout the community including the Victoria Memorial Square and Clarence Square. St Andrew’s market offers a playground area for children as well as an off leash dog park.
Transportation throughout King West Village, though largely by means of walking due to sheer convenience, can be done through streetcar, which will bring you to either Bloor/ Danforth subway line, or Yonge/ University subway, giving easy access to most of the city. King West Village also offers easy access to one of Toronto’s major arteries, the Gardiner Expressway.
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