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Where to Buy Now: Mimico, because it’s one lakefront revitalization that’s on schedule

Where to Buy Now | Mimico

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.

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From Islington Ave. to the Humber River; from the Gardiner Expressway to the lake
2009: $355,618
2010: $390,677
2011*: $441,642

*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.

Where to Buy Now | Mimico

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.

Where to Buy NowRealosophy
1 | Mimico2 | East End Danforth3 | Christie Pitts4 | St. Lawrence5 | L'Amoreaux6 | Blake-Jones7 | Davisville Village8 | Corktown9 | Wallace-Emerson10 | Brockton VillageWhere to Buy Now | MapToronto Life Real Estate Guide 2012
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
  • John R

    Mimico does not extend to Islington Avenue.

    Mimico is one of the original towns along the Lakeshore which also includes New Toronto and Long Branch.

    Mimico runs from the Humber to Dwight Avenue (a block west of Royal York Rd).

    New Toronto runs from Dwight past Islington to Kipling.

    Long Branch runs from Kipling to Brown’s Line.

  • scar007

    mimico is definitely an up an coming neighborhood, however it suffers from lack of retail space at the moment (specifically along lake shore from royal york to park lawn). awesome place in the summer though, with the martin goodman bike trail and beautiful views of the lake and cityscape. very nice condos too, with some huge balconies…you get a lot more value here than something in the core.

    although it’s only a 10 minute drive to the core, a light rail would be a great addition to lake shore blvd/queensway. get on it mr. mayor!

  • Embarrassed Torontontian

    totally agree with you scar007. I live in that area, and light rail to Toronto would be fantastic. Public transit at the moment takes twice as long as driving. Twice as long. It’s brutal.

  • John R

    I don’t want to be cynical but I’ve lived in Mimico for over thirty years and it’s always been “up and coming”. When I first moved there, the real estate folks were trying to flog the area as “The Western Beaches”. Now, THAT was funny.

    But we’re making headway and it’s always a good sign when you see lots of strollers on the streets.

  • oppoh

    “But we’re making headway and it’s always a good sign when you see lots of strollers on the streets.”

    As sad as that it is, it’s totally true.

  • tdotromansoldier

    I have been here for over 4 years now and love the area. There is some great retail but some more pubs and places to eat would be great. Living here in the summer is simply unbeatable with the lakeside parks.
    Light rail would be great but we know thats not in the horizon with you know who in office. For now the 501 Streetcar is viable during non rush hour times. Also don’t forget Mimico Go is walkable for a good percentage of the community.

  • Jose G

    We moved to the area last year and so far, we love it. Better transit along the Queensway would definitely help, although as other posters noted, the GO train is pretty central to the neighbourhood. Like it or not, car access IS great, and probably motivates some of the decisions to move here.

    I’m still intrigued by the lack of Starbucks in the entire Mimico area. For better or worse, that will be a sure sign of change!

  • Barb

    I have been in Mimico for about 20 years.

    It is probably 15 minutes drive to Down Town Toronto, however if you take a bus, it is an hour. Street car may take you anywhere between an hour and who knows….
    I don’t think the area around and up on Mimico AVE is pretty for Toronto life readers. Not to mention all the Co-ops and low income housing.

    There is a reason why Starbucks isn’t there. Low income people cannot afford it.

  • Steph

    We don’t need a Starbucks – we have Birds & Beans :). I’ve been here for 3 years and I love it. I totally agree with the feeling of a small town in the big city which is why I love it. We definitely need more pubs though – we do have some great restaurants already: Cafe du lac, Everest etc. I’m always trying to get our friends to come here – it’s a great area.

  • RealDebacle

    Try the 145 Downtown TTC bus service.

    Cheer up folks … lakeshore trail extension will be complete at the end of next summer. Just another added bonus … sure beats living at the corner of Bathurst and Eglinton in the land of concrete & asphalt.

    Sure the neighbourhood has it’s ugly side but then what neighbourhood in Toronto doesn’t.

  • Derek Houghton

    As the owner and manager of The Gallery Studio Cafe it has been an intersting journey understanding the Mimico area. I am delighted with the area however. It is filled with wonderful artists, musicians and a warm unpretentious vibe that I love. We will have our liqour licence in a few days and we will be featuring great wines, organic beers,tapas,live jazz,professional art gallery and a warm inviting ambience.I hope you will join us.

  • Matt Latimer

    Hi Derek, as an incoming resident of 11Superior, I look forward to warm summer nights at your spot. Keep a few cold for me.

  • JR Pearce

    I am also happy to be here! Discovering the area a few years ago, I decided this would be a great place for my dream art gift and framing shop. Being close to the GO station on Royal York, it is great way to get downtown in 13 minutes! Morning walks to the lake and friendly people will keep me here many years to come.

  • Angela

    This area does have a lot of potential and some beautiful streets with nice older homes that are full of character (Lakeshore Crescent, Dartmouth Crescent, Eastbourne Crescent, Central Street, George Street, Symons Street, Queens Avenue, Wheatfield Road and Primrose Avenue) are prime streets interested new comers should definitely check out.

    I lived in the area for 2 years now, and drive downtown every morning to get to work. Even with traffic it takes me just under 20 minutes. If I take the GO I’ll be downtown in 12 minutes flat. You can’t get the same value anywhere else in the city with this short of a commute, parking, yard etc. Not to mention the wonderful outdoor tennis courts and lakeside trails-that are perfect for rollerbladers, bikers and dog walkers.

    I agree with the posts here that the area is in desperate need of is more restaurants, pubs, and specialty shops, but these will only come when business people feel confident they can invest their money in the area. It feels like this is starting to happen, especially with younger people moving in and the 20/20 Mimico revitalization plan is obviously a very good thing.

  • Lakeshore(pros/cons)

    It’s a great and growing neighbourhood. However the one down fall is that there is too much low income housing that also include halfway houses owned by slumlords where the excons live and continue to break the law. I support a diverse community but fail to see the value added by the halfway houses that are not properly maintained and are an eyesore for the community among other issues they have. We still have the neighbourhood drug dealing issues that don’t seem to cease. Kids with guns shooting them off on the street near residences and stores (Valumart).

  • Di

    For the past decade I have lived in Lakeshore Village…south of the Lakeshore and west of Royal York.We have a skating rink/tennis in the summer, lawn bowling,swimming pool and parks.The expanding Humber College is right next to us.It is amazing here as you really don’t need a cottage!
    I do all my shopping locally to support my neighbourhoods of Mimco, New Toronto and Long Branch…all part of the Lakeshore BIA and all enjoy the wonderful lake access.
    As a former East Beacher, I love living here…not as busy and the housing prices are so much more reasonable!

  • RM

    I absolutely love the area.. we moved in about 2.5 years ago and have seen change since then… love the charactered homes which are/can be brand new from inside.. it isn’t cookie-cutter.. Derek, love your Gallery Studio Cafe :)

  • Julie

    Mimico/New Toronto offers the best bang for your buck in Toronto. There are so many young families flocking here because it offers an urban feel with walkable shops and restaurants (we need more please!!!) with plenty of parks and greenspace. The future looks bright with mimico 20/20….and I heard that they are renovating Rotary Park. I look forward to 5 years down the road. You feel like you are at the cottage- we live south of Lakeshore on numbered streets and can hear nothing but birds chirping every morning as we walk to the lake with our dog. There is a pool, tennis courts, play equipment for the kids, trails and nature at your doorstep. City life doesn’t get any better than this… oh yes, it actually does, more cool stores/pubs/coffee shops and restaurants… I also wish that there was a way to encourage lakeshore businesses to adopt signage standards such as in places such as Collingwood etc. The various signs make the street look more junky than funky…. we prefer the funk and we like Starbucks too! Bring it!

  • KS

    My entire life, all 53 years has been spent in the area, so naturally I’ve seen many changes. It has always been a great place to live and have a family and years back it had many employers.
    If people are moving here because they enjoy the ‘old world charm’ then why would you want to change it to look like other areas with funky signs and Starbucks?
    Sanremo’s, prior to a ‘funky’ update was a lovely neighbourhood gem where you could go in any day (but never on Monday)and enjoy the feel of ‘little, little, Italy’ and buy the best bread and pastries. There is very little you can’t get…except good service.
    Change isn’t always a good thing, let’s be careful what we wish for.

  • Jason

    I’m sure that Sanremo owners disagree that any funky cool renos and improvements that they made were not a good thing. Patrons as well as it is a popular spot. It might not be the same bakery as 50 years ago but Sanremo’s it is bustling every day of the week (and likely a goldmine). People in this area are in need of more interesting retail spaces such as that- many neighbourhood BBQ’s discussed the need of a Starbucks and dining options for the many city families that enjoy to live, and play in the neighbourhood rather than taking our business elsewhere. We don’t want to leave our neghbourhood to get in our car and trek to the Queensway Chapters to get a Starbucks. An ideal location would be somewhere between 13th and 1st streets since there is a great organic roastery in Longbranch to the West and also the much loved Birds and Beans in Mimico near Valumart to the East… nothing in central new Toronto with space to sit and enjoy especially if you have a kid or a stroller in tow. We buy Starbucks beans at Costco but it isn’t the same. The neighbourhood is eager to support new entrepreneurs. Regarding the signage, it can be improved with correct spelling and better window displays the BIA should provide store owners with tips on merchandising….sun faded phone card signs and ancient stock in windows aren’t doing it for anyone. I have however just driven by the Lock Store that is currently being renovated I believe at Lakeshore at 8th or 9th on the corner. Wow, a little improvement goes a long way on that store. That store used to blend in with all of the other stores and now it clearly stands out (and the reno isn’t even finished).I had no idea that it was there before hand but will definitely be buying our next lockset from them when we install a new front door in the spring.

  • Jason

    Is there any way to get this article as a pdf file???

    Thank You

  • Cynthia

    Hi all, just wanted to let people know that there is a cafe that serves Starbucks coffee in Mimico. It’s a bit tucked away but they also serve pastries and soups/sandwiches. It’s called Boulangerie Cocoa located at 58 Marine Parade Drive. I highly recommend it!!!!

  • Iamthedifference

    Looking for a home, we looked at this area but really felt that Mimico is not a nice neighbourhood. It looked very seedy to us. It has the feel of a working class neighbourhood and looks like a factory/industrial area. We settled on Leaside which is much nicer.

  • Dennis Downey

    It will be interesting to see how these neighbourhood rankings change this year.

  • oldschoolsouthsidemimico

    mimico never gets revitalized, theyve been saying they will for years and years and never do it. ive lived in mimico my entire life and can honestly tell you i love this neighborhood, and im sick of people trying to make it seem like something its not. by no means is this some wealthy trending neighborhood and it doesnt have to be. the people here get along fine and by no means is it a dangerous neighborhood but it is veryyy down and out… daily you will encounter people drunk and on drugs with serious mental issues, but 95% of the time they are friendly and i always wind up having lovely conversations with most people i meet on the street. there are a lot of teenager thugs on the lakeshore but that is only really a concern if you have a teenage son because he will inevitably get fucked with by the stupid gangster white kids who are trying to prove how tough they are, aswell as a pretty strong african/carribean gang presence (especially in mimico’s southside apartments, and the 10th street co-op). mimico is a super multi-cultural and friendly place. but dont get it twisted liquor RUNS the lakeshore, all of it. i have met and befriended some of the people who have initially tried stealing from me and fucking with me and have heard some great heartbreaking and inspiring (aswell as funny) stories from a wide variety of “characters”. i am regularly approached by sex workers looking to ply there trade, i have been followed by groups of kids who want to rob me. i have been robbed, seen guns, i am offered drugs by street dealers, approached by crackheads looking to score, i have lived and spent great ammounts of time in every little section of lakeshore (mimico, new toronto, longbranch) and this kinda shit happens all the time. but its worth it cause its home, and i have met the best most beautiful selfless and interesting friends and associates that i could ever dream of. in other words lakeshore is my life and i’ll probably never leave. there are amazing independant buisnesses here (birds and beans, big guys, pearl sushi, maurya roti, yummys pizza just to name a few) but dont walk around at night unless you live the lakeshore life cuz u will be sketched the fuck out. i hope they never tear down the southside apartments cuz i dont know what would happen to a lot of my friends :(


  • mimicrack

    mimico is a low income arrea? why does the internet magazines try to glorify it into being something it isnt. all these prospective home buyers have to do is walk around the lakeshore or royal york road at night to see that although it is a nice neighborhood generally. it is no west beaches. crack cocaine and alcohol and low income housing has made it sketchy. generally a walk along lakeshore you can expect to see crackheads yelling. shirtless fat bastards on ebikes cruising the shore, hungarian romas sitting in the plaza parking lots drinking and smoking cigaretes, homeless people, local characters hanging by mimico bagel and coffee time, and maybe a crack deal or two. generally though it is very safe. especially on the northern side streets in and around memorial park and over to the townhouses and condos of legion road. that whole area is super safe and mimico is generally a very friendly place even on lakeshore, other than the crackheads everyone is friendly and down to earth mostly. just know what you r getting yourself into