Where to Buy Now: Mimico, because it’s one lakefront revitalization that’s on schedule
Many west-end neighbourhoods close to the core have their waterfront views blocked by the Gardiner. Mimico, on the other hand, is south of the highway and right on the lake. Mansions make up much of the lakeside real estate, but the area has abundant bungalows and two-storey homes with generous yards. For first-time buyers and empty nesters, condos (such as Eleven Superior and Beyond the Sea) are moving into the eastern edge of the pocket.
From Islington Ave. to the Humber River; from the Gardiner Expressway to the lake
*2011 averages reflect most recent data from January to August
Mimico’s overall feel is small town in the big city. “We’re entrenched in the lake,” says Kathleen Burke of Lakeshore Arts, a not-for-profit that boosts local culture with community programming, outdoor film festivals, art shows and photography workshops for teens. “Mimico’s almost like a little island.”
Riffing off the view that art is a lever for business growth, Lakeshore Arts teamed up with the neighbourhood BIA, developers and the city to create Mimico Square, a new waterfront park and performance space that opened in 2010. The area is part of an $18-million expansion that adds green space and cantilevered boardwalks.
Meanwhile, Mimico is starting to show signs of new life on Lake Shore Boulevard, with cafés worthy of its nascent arty cred: Birds and Beans coffee shop and the Gallery Studio are becoming go-to spots on a commercial strip where businesses have historically had a difficult time staying afloat.
Real Estate Guide 2012: The must-have guide to Toronto real estate, including the inside scoop on the city’s next neighbourhoods plus expert tips for buyers at every stage of life