The neighborhoods of Yorkville and the Financial District in downtown areas are some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Toronto, and even North America, to buy anything at all. You'll see luxury homes everywhere but the ones in this district take most of the top price tags. Upscale shops and boutiques abound in which you can buy trendy clothes at trendily high prices, and the real estate costs, whether it be for office space, retail properties, or condominiums, are through the roof. Only the country's richest people can afford to buy property in these neighborhoods. So unless you're a high-powered business executive at a Fortune 500 company, a movie star, or have just pulled off a multi-million dollar jewel heist, look elsewhere for your condo.
Yorkville was established as an independent township by Joseph Bloor in 1830 as a residential suburb. It was absorbed by Toronto's rapid growth in the 1900s and became the Canadian hub of the hippie movement briefly during the 1960s and '70s before the construction of the subway lines replaced the quiet Victorian mansions and tree-lined suburban streets with high-end boutiques and restaurants in the 1980s and '90s. Today almost nothing remains of the original suburb, which somewhat resembled what you'd find with detached homes, but the plaque commemorating its founding.
Modern Yorkville's Bloor Street is one of the most expensive retail streets in all of North America, rivaling Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. With rents of $500 per square foot it is the third most expensive retail district in North America and the 7th most expensive in the world according to Forbes magazine. Traditionally exclusive boutiques such as Prada, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Hermes, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vitton, and Ferrari make their home there alongside some of today's newcomers like Roots. So, if you're looking for a necklace or bathroom furniture vanities expect to pay top dollar for top quality in this neighbourhood.
Yorkville is also home to a multitude of five-star hotels like the Four Seasons and the Park Hyatt, several foreign consulates, famous restaurants such as Sassafraz, MTV Canada's headquarters, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto International Film Festival and Toronto's most expensive condominium developments like Renaissance Plaza and 1166 Bay Street, which regularly sell for millions of dollars. As such it is the hottest spot in Toronto from which to celebrity-spot. So, if you were looking for luxury condominiums in Toronto this would be where to start.
The Financial District, as its name implies, is primarily the home of bank headquarters, high-powered legal firms and accident, stockbrokers and insurance companies rather than a residential location. As such, what few condominium or apartment developments that do exist in the area are nearly as expensive as those in Yorkville. This is the most built up area in the city and anyone looking to take up residence here should be aware of the crush and the cost of living.
Real estate in the financial district mostly takes the form of high rises, which are rented out as office space to the many companies and firms that form the financial heart of Canada. There are bank headquarters and branches of companies that have Riverside bankruptcy lawyers. Some of the most famous towers are First Canadian Place, the Toronto Dominion Center, Exchange Tower, Commerce Court, and Scotia Plaza. More skyscrapers are in the construction and planning stages, including the Ritz Carleton Toronto and the Trump International Hotel and Tower. All of these buildings are connected via a series of underground pedways lined with high-end shopping boutiques known as PATH. These areas are extremely busy on weekdays and completely dead on weekends.