Prospective condo owners in Toronto could do worse than Harbourfront or the Entertainment District. In fact, they could do much worse in the case of the Entertainment District, for while Harbourfront is still on its way up as a neighborhood, the Entertainment District has been established for years as the premiere tourist and after-hours destination in Toronto. Both are located within the area known as the "downtown core" so prices won't be cheap, not even in the recently reclaimed lands along the waterfront. However, there are lots of real estate opportunities in condos and apartments in both neighborhoods, so they're definitely worth checking out.
Harbourfront/Waterfront is a neighborhood right on the shore of Lake Ontario that is separated from the rest of the city by the Gardiner Expressway, which may or may not be relocated or demolished as the area develops. Harbourfront has been used primarily as a shipping and industrial hub for the city since the founding of Toronto. Easy access to the water is one of the major things manufacturing companies looked for when they were searching for a location for their factories. Building their factories on the waterfront near the piers and dockyards saved them a lot of money on shipping costs. The city even expanded the waterfront area available (the old waterline used to be at Front Street) by filling in parts of the lakeshore to make more docks and quays.
Today though, urban renewal is bringing this former industrial wasteland forward into the new era of environmentalism and modern condominiums. The process began in 1972 with Prime Minister Trudeau's "Harbourfront Project", which converted the area of Queen's Quay from York St. to Bathurst St. into a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood and still continues to this day as private developers continue to buy up old industrial lands and erect modern condo towers on them. New additions to the neighborhood include the Harbourfront Center, which provides gallery space to emerging artists and live performances, and Queen's Quay, a shopping area popular with tourists. Beware though, the Toronto Island Airport is also located nearby, and often receives noise complaints from Harbourfront residents.
The Entertainment District is known less for its available residential properties than it is for being the home of the CN Tower and the Skydome. This neighborhood is one of the most popular with tourists, which makes it extremely busy, especially during the spring and summer months. Traffic is also a problem for residents in this neighborhood, more so after hours than during the workday, because as its name suggests the Entertainment District is the home of many bars, restaurants, galleries, theaters and sports arenas that are major draws for the after-work and evening crowd.
Everything in the Entertainment District is upscale, from shopping to offices to nightclubs so expect to shell out some major cash if you're looking to live in this area. The Entertainment District's offerings range from high-end condotels to artist's lofts in converted factories, so look around and see what there is available. Listings are always changing in this area.