The Canary District is a housing development in Toronto's West Don Lands mixed-use development. Six initial buildings initially served as the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes' Village for the 2015 Pan American Games. Those buildings were then finished and converted to private residences. Dozens of further buildings will be constructed for private residences, with Front Street lined with boutiques and restaurants.
For decades an iconic restaurant, the Canary, was located in the Cherry Street Hotel, a heritage building on the southeast corner of Cherry and Front streets, the gateway to the new district. The restaurant mounted a large neon Canary, and developers chose to name the new development after the iconic restaurant, even though it was the area's redevelopment that drove the restaurant out of business.
There are two building developments. The "Canary Park" condominiums are located on Bayview Avenue and face the Corktown Common park. These comprise two mid-rise towers at Bayview and Front Street. The "Canary District" condominiums are two towers joined by a common courtyard and townhomes. These are located at Front and Cherry Streets. The CN Police building is serving as the presentation centre for the project.
The project is developed by a joint venture, Dundee Kilmer Developments, formed by Toronto-based real estate company Dream and Kilmer Van Norstrand Co. Construction companies Ledcor Group of Companies and EllisDon have completed the construction on the project. All buildings in the district are built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.
The first residential buildings ready for occupancy at the western end of the district served as the Athlete's Village. The apartments that housed the athletes were not be fully finished. The apartments' wood flooring was installed after the games were over, so the athletes gear wouldn't damage the floors' finish. Since the athletes dined in central cafeterias the apartments' kitchens was used as an additional bedroom, with the kitchen fittings installed when the games were over. A total of 787 units were completed in time for the Games. Conversion from athlete's housing was completed in April 2016 and the first permanent residents will move into the buildings in May 2016.
In conjunction with the residential development, a new George Brown College student residence, a new YMCA, new roadways, new Toronto Community Housing, new parks and a streetcar line were also built. The original Canary Restaurant building, a former 1850s school, and the CN Police building, another heritage building were preserved.
- Ledcor Group of Companies. "Canary District". Ledcor.com. Ledcor Group of Companies. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
Christopher Hume (October 2, 2014). "Canary District planning lets derelict area soar: Hume". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
The main east/west axis of the Canary District, which extends from the Don River to Cherry St. south of Eastern Ave., is Front St. It now runs east to the newly configured Bayview.
Amy Dempsey (May 30, 2012). "Is Toronto's newest neighbourhood named after a yellow bird?". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
Some might think so. But others will recognize the name as a throwback to the legendary diner that for decades occupied the corner of Front and Cherry Sts. The Canary Restaurant — which served up cheap and greasy grub to truckers and warehousemen, cops and junkies — set up shop in the old brick building in 1965, when the area was an industrial hub.
- Ledcor, Group of Companies. "Canary District". Ledcor.com. Ledcor Group of Companies. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
"Canary District promotion makes it easier for new buyers to land a nest". National Post. April 15, 2013. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
The waterfront site will host the athletes of the Pan Parapan American Games in 2015, before becoming a master-planned residential community, designed with sustainability and innovation in mind.
Dakshana Bascaramurty (February 6, 2015). "The Canary District: Here comes Toronto's instant neighbourhood". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
From the outside it appeared a polished complex of two mid-rise towers – but the interiors looked more slapdash, a dormitory of kitchenless suites and tiny bedrooms that will soon house bunkbeds.
- "The next phase of the West Don Lands is coming to life!". Waterfront Toronto. April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.