Financial District, Toronto

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Financial District
Neighbourhood
View of skyscrapers in the financial district from the CN Tower
View of skyscrapers in the financial district from the CN Tower
Location of Financial District
Financial District, Toronto is located in Toronto
Financial District, Toronto
Location within Toronto
Coordinates: 43°38′56″N 79°22′55″W / 43.649°N 79.382°W / 43.649; -79.382Coordinates: 43°38′56″N 79°22′55″W / 43.649°N 79.382°W / 43.649; -79.382
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Flag.svg Toronto
Government
 • MP Adam Vaughan (Trinity—Spadina)
 • MPP Han Dong (Trinity—Spadina)
 • Councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh (Ward 20 Trinity—Spadina)
Toronto's financial district at night
Financial District street sign at Yonge and King Street East

The Financial District is a business district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, within the downtown core. It was originally planned as New Town in 1796 as an extension of the Town of York (later the St. Lawrence Ward).[1] It is the main financial district in Toronto, and is the financial heart of Canada. It is bounded roughly by Queen Street West to the north, Yonge Street to the east, Front Street to the south, and University Avenue to the west, though many office towers in the downtown core are being constructed outside this area, which will extend the general boundaries. Examples of this trend are the Telus Tower and RBC Centre.

It is the most densely built-up area of Toronto, home to numerous banking companies, corporate headquarters, high-powered legal and accounting firms, insurance companies and stockbrokers. In turn, the presence of so many decision-makers has brought in advertising agencies and marketing companies. The banks have built large office towers, much of whose space is leased to these companies. The bank towers, and much else in Toronto's core, are connected by a system of underground walkways, known as PATH, which is lined with retail establishments making the area one of the most important shopping districts in Toronto. The vast majority of these stores are only open during weekdays during the business day when the financial district is populated. During the evenings and weekends, the walkways remain open but the area is almost deserted and most of the stores are closed.

It is estimated that 100,000 commuters enter and leave the financial district each working day. Transport links are centred on Union Station at the south end of the financial district, which is the hub of the GO Transit system that provides commuter rail and bus links to Toronto's suburbs.

Major skyscrapers and complexes in the financial district include:

Origins of Financial District[edit]

The district's origins date back to the mid to late 19th Century when a number of early banks had head offices located in Toronto. Most of these banks were regional and came and went. It was not until the second half of the 20th Century that the Big Five banks located their headquarters there.

Of the big banks, only CIBC and Toronto-Dominion Bank (including the banks existing before mergers) had full head offices in Toronto:

  • CIBC 1961 - both Imperial Bank of Canada (1875) and Canadian Bank of Commerce (1867) had head offices in Toronto
  • RBC 1976 - relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
  • BMO 1975 - relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
  • TD Bank 1955 - previous Bank of Toronto (1855) and The Dominion Bank (1869) had head offices in Toronto
  • BNS 1931 - relocated corporate head office from Halifax; maintains legal head office in Halifax

Business Improvement Area[edit]

The area is represented by the Toronto Financial District Business Improvement Area (BIA) that all commercial businesses in the area belong to. The organization engages in streetscape improvements, addressing key issues that impact the area, and promoting the area's businesses online.

Lost Historic Buildings[edit]

The construction of buildings in the district lead to the demolition of 19th and 20th Century buildings:

Diplomatic Missions and Trade Offices[edit]

  • Consulate of Mexico
  • Consulate General Of The Republic Of Korea-Commercial Section (KOTRA)
  • Consulate General Of Japan
  • Consulate Of Malaysia
  • Consulate-General Of The Dominican Republic
  • Taipei Economic & Cultural Office
  • French Economic Commission

References[edit]

  1. ^ Historical Atlas of Toronto, Derek Hayes, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55365-290-8, Pg 26

External links[edit]