Financial District, Toronto
View of the Financial District from the north east at the Pantages Tower
The Financial District is the central business district of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was originally planned as New Town in 1796 as an extension of the Town of York (later the St. Lawrence Ward). It is the main financial district in Toronto and is considered the heart of Canada's finance industry. 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 have been and are being constructed outside this area, which will extend the general boundaries. Examples of this trend are the Telus Harbour, RBC Centre, and CIBC Square.
It is the most densely built-up area of Toronto, home to 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 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 Toronto's most important shopping districts. 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 100,000 commuters enter and leave the financial district each working day. Transport links are centered 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.
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.
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (1961) — both Imperial Bank of Canada (1875) and Canadian Bank of Commerce (1867) had head offices in Toronto
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (1976) — relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
- Bank of Montreal (BMO) (1975) — relocated corporate head offices from Montreal; maintains legal head office in Montreal
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) (1955) — previous Bank of Toronto (1855) and The Dominion Bank (1869) had head offices in Toronto
- Scotiabank (1931) — relocated corporate head office from Halifax; maintains legal head office in Halifax
The Toronto Financial District Business Improvement Area was later resta in order to represent all commercial businesses in the within the district. The organization engages in streetscape improvements, addressing key issues that impact the area, and promoting the area's businesses online.
With lots of business activity and demand there are new residential and condominium/towers built inside and around the edges, many of them are connected to PATH system. At the south east of financial district, a new tunnel is under construction from Union Station to connect to Backstage Condo on Yonge and The-Esplanade.
Lost historic buildings
Developments during the mid-20th century led to several to the demolition of several 19th and 20th Century buildings including:
- Old Toronto Star Building - First Canadian Place
- retained various facades of 19th-century buildings along Yonge Street - Brookfield Place
- Bank of Toronto head office - Toronto-Dominion Centre
- The Dominion Bank head office - Commerce Court West tower
The following is a list of buildings in the Financial District over 200 metres (660 ft) in height.
m / ft
|First Canadian Place||298 / 978||72||1976||Commercial|
|The Adelaide Toronto||277 / 908||57||2012||Hotel & Residential||
|Scotia Plaza||275 / 902||68||1988||Commercial|
|TD Canada Trust Tower||261 / 856||53||1990||Commercial||
|Commerce Court West||239 / 784||57||1972||Commercial||
|TD Bank Tower||223 / 731||56||1967||Commercial|
|Bay Adelaide Centre West Tower||218 / 715||51||2009||Commercial||
|Bay Wellington Tower||208 / 682||49||1991||Commercial||
|88 Scott||204 / 669||58||2017||Residential||
|1 The Esplanade||112/370.7||36||2017||Residential||
Other major skyscrapers and complexes in the financial district include:
Diplomatic and economic missions
- Historical Atlas of Toronto, Derek Hayes, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55365-290-8, Pg 26
- "First Bank Tower". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "First Canadian Place". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Scotia Plaza". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Scotia Plaza". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
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