Fort York neighborhood, or also called Garrison, is located at the west of Downtown Toronto. This area has a rich history and culture presented especially by the Fort York National Historic Site. Fort York is a Heritage Conservation District housing the wartime buildings of Canada from 1812.
History of Fort York
The history of Fort York dates back to 227 years ago. During the Battle of York in 1812, Fort York was destroyed by the Americans and rebuilt in 1814. Since then this area has undergone many changes and has been transformed by construction plans with high-rise buildings, new rail-ways and industrial developments.
Fort York residents enjoy the view of Toronto Waterfront, Canoe Landing Park, Hanlan’s Point Beach and the CN Tower.
Fort York National Historic Site is a registered archaeological site located in a 43-acre historic area. After a two-year restoration, this historic site was converted into a museum in 1932.
Now this historic site contains eight historical buildings including war-time exhibits and military cemeteries. It is the largest collection of original War and battle sites in Canada. The Fort York National Historic site’s construction was completed in 2015 and opened for public visit.
Demography of Fort York
Fort York neighborhood has approximately 8,805 residents with 40.1% population Growth (2011–2016) and median age of 32.5 years. Most of the population in Fort York speaks English only and 51% are married couples. 35% of the region’s population are immigrants and 59% are non-immigrants.
Architecture of Fort York
Obviously, the Fort York neighborhood is still in the middle of a development plan. As a Toronto real estate agent, I can tell you that in recent years, many condo developments have transformed this area into a prosperous residential community. Now, this neighborhood has become one of the most popular destinations for high-rise real estate in Toronto.
There is a very eye-catching rectangular building at the Fort York Historic Site with an area of 2,500 square metres (27,000 sq ft). The Visitor Centre at the fort was designed by Patkau Architects Inc., and Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. Its marvelous design received the Canadian Architect magazine Award of Excellence in 2011.
Recreation in Fort York
This newly built neighborhood has an excellent walkability and bikeability potential with also easy access to bus and streetcars (509 Harbourfront streetcar line).
Where to get fit in Fort York
Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre has a double gymnasium, running track salon, washrooms and change rooms. It also has a large multi-purpose room, fitness/dance studio, meeting rooms, pre-school room, a basketball court, walking tracks, raised garden and green roof. Canoe Landing is located at 45 Fort York Boulevard.
There is the Big Hit Kickboxing studio at 165 Fort York Boulevard in which you can experience innovative fitness programs. You can also choose DDUKA Health & Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness – Fort York or Hone Fitness (Spadina Ave).
Cultural activities in Fort York
The residents can simply walk to the theatres and Entertainment District. The area has many parks and trails along the waterfront.
The Fort York’s Public Library is a central hub for the local community of the neighborhood. It is located on the northeast corner of Bathurst Street and Fort York Boulevard. The library has modern spaces with great views. You can easily choose to study or use your laptop on their huge old wooden tables.
There are also many exhibits and tours at Canteen Museum Store located at the entrance of the West Gate of Fort York Historic Site. It is the first building visitors see at the entrance.
In the Canteen Museum Store, you can find an extensive range of merchandise for all ages. There are miniature wooden soldiers for children or compasses, quoits and handmade decorative accessories for older visitors.
There are historic kitchens preparing preserves and marmalades using the 18th and 19th-century recipes on site. Their public programs have frequent cooking classes and tastings.
Canteen Museum holds various cultural events, like big picnics and musical celebrations to demonstrate the traditional folk music of Fort York.
The Garrison Common is a park located at the west-side of the main gates of Fort York Historic Site. There are military cemeteries surrounded by tall trees in Garrison Common. They have various recreational activities including fitness programs, Golf, skating and swimming. It also has a proper space for outdoor cultural events like arts and crafts festivals.
Fort York with its rich history and unique places can be a fun place to live. One example of fun activities during the pandemic of COVID-19 was “Ten Years of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show”.
They started an outdoor cinema program in August with safely distanced audiences each evening at Fort York. They also invited those who live in the nearby buildings to join the program and watch the movies from their windows and balconies.
Where to shop in Fort York
Stackt Market is a new outdoor market made of shipping containers. You can buy what you need and enjoy the retail, food, beverage, different services and community spaces within 120 shipping containers. It is located at 28 Bathurst St, which is the nearest shopping center in the Fort York neighborhood.
The comfortable and friendly environment of Stackt Market has made it a suitable place for social gatherings. It has enough space for events. You can find a branch of Belgian Moon Brewery in Stackt Market. You can enjoy the art works and green-space using the free Wi-Fi or buy from many different national and international brands.
Where to eat in Fort York
Food lovers can also find different hobbies in Fort York. For friendly gatherings and a good coffee you can go to Parisco Cafe. Certainly, BeaverTails is the best and most famous Canadian pastries and snacks. Also, Hunters Landing Bar Grill Hub Restaurant can be a good spot with patio and mezzanine seating serving great food and beverage.
The best Italian food in the neighborhood is Fort York Pizzeria. It is not cheap but they provide a great service serving fabulous Italian pizza, salad, pasta and stromboli.
The nearest Starbucks branch in the Fort York neighborhood is located at 2E Spadina Avenue. The good quality of coffee essence and taste in Starbucks completes the neighborhood’s desirability.
So, if you like living in an area with a vast amount of park land nearby or you love running or cycling in green spaces, the growing neighborhood of Fork York would be a good choice. This area is improving and the condo pricing is still more affordable than Liberty Village or King West. New amenities, parks and buildings are still under construction, so it is the ideal time to buy before it’s all built up.
If you are looking to move into this vibrant neighbourhood, you can contact us to find one of the best Toronto real estate agents that covers this area.