There’s a fairly real divide between east and west here in Toronto. When people talk about real estate or describe the kind of person they are, they often say things like: “I’m an east end kind of person” or “I only want to buy on the west side.” There’s such a split that somebody recently said in a meeting I was in that the east vs. west real estate divide is like Christianity vs. Judaism.
Historically, the west has generally been considered more desirable than the east–regardless of what scale you’re looking at. Downtown west vs. downtown east, Etobicoke vs. Scarborough, and so on. And for whatever reason, this seems to be the case in a lot cities I’ve been to. Consider Montreal, Vancouver, New York, and London, to name a few.
But lately, I’ve been noticing a growing acceptance of the east side. Friends are telling me that, even though they don’t know the east all that well, they’re almost agnostic to which side they buy a home on.
At the same time, we’re seeing Toronto’s development boom spread to the east along streets like Church and Jarvis; paralleling the kind of intensification we’ve already seen on the west along Bay Street, University Avenue and further. I’m also noticing a lot of west end restauranteurs open up on the east side. See Carbon Bar and Gusto 501 as two recent examples.
But with the neighborhoods like the Distillery District and Leslieville attracting lots of yuppies and with neighborhoods like Regent Park and the West Don Lands coming online, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to you that developers and other entrepreneurs are looking east. Maybe you should too.