North York Centre

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This article is about the city district. For the TTC subway stop, see North York Centre (TTC).
North York Centre
Photograph of downtown North York taken in September 2015 from the west side of Yonge Street, facing north, outside the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the Toronto District School Board Education Centre.
Photograph of downtown North York taken in September 2015 from the west side of Yonge Street, facing north, outside the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the Toronto District School Board Education Centre.
North York Centre map.PNG

North York Centre is a central business district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the district of North York. It is located along Yonge Street and surrounds the Toronto subway station of the same name.


The Yonge corridor between Finch and Sheppard Avenues grew extensively after the opening of the subway station. To relieve pressure on downtown Toronto, the Official Plan for Metropolitan Toronto encouraged high-density redevelopment at North York Centre (and other suburban centres) permitting high rise condominium towers and office buildings. In the past decade[when?] over 20,000 units of new housing have been approved, and over 16,000 have been built or are under construction. [1][citation needed] Condominiums pack this strip now growing northward past Finch and extending south from Sheppard toward Highway 401. The area has become an increasingly vibrant part of Toronto due to the dense residential population and numerous commercial and entertainment destinations. In particular, there are many bars and restaurants, of which the majority of them serve the Korean population. Growth has become so rapid that on new condominium projects, the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board have posted notices stating that they are unable to accommodate new students in local schools.


Condo construction along Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue (2009 photo.)

While much of North York retains a suburban nature, efforts led by former Mayor of North York Mel Lastman intensified development in North York Centre along Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues, coinciding with the path of the Toronto Transit Commission's Yonge subway line.

There are many stores and high-rise office and condominium apartment buildings along this central North York corridor, particularly centred on the old North York City Hall. Directly beside the old City Hall is the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Along the subway line along Sheppard Avenue, more high-rise condominiums are being built along the Sheppard East corridor.

The central area is gradually ceasing to be suburban, resembling a smaller version of the city's downtown. Major corporations have built their own office towers along Yonge Street in central North York, including Canadian-owned Shoppers Drug Mart[1] and the Canadian head offices of Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Cadbury Adams, Lindt & Sprüngli, Equifax, and Xerox, while the Government of Canada maintains offices north of Sheppard Avenue.[2]

In the 1980s, the administration of Mel Lastman transformed North York. The former North York City Hall looks out on a reflecting pool. Directly south of the city hall in the same complex is the former North York Board of Education building (now home to the Toronto District School Board). To the north and east of the complex are two large malls connected by an underground passage with subway access. The northern mall is connected to the North York Central Library, the largest full-service Toronto Public Library building in Toronto (second to Toronto Reference Library in square footage). The library is a part of a much larger facility including a school board work station, swimming pool, snack bar, veterans centre and large hotel, the rooms of which look onto the inside of the mall. The more recently built eastern mall, Empress Walk, is built around a large multi-storey cathedral-like hall and contains a Cineplex movie theatre and a Loblaws supermarket.


The North York Centre subway station is accessed through the basement levels of the two shopping malls at the intersection of Yonge Street and Empress Avenue; Empress Walk and North York Centre.

The North York Civic Centre (formerly North York City Hall) contains City of Toronto offices, and faces onto Mel Lastman Square on the west side of Yonge Street.

The Mel Lastman Square as viewed from a building across Yonge Street, with the North York Civic Centre in the background, part of the Toronto District School Board Education Centre on the left, and part of the North York Central Library on the right.

The station serves Earl Haig Secondary School (two blocks east), the adjacent North York Central Library, as well as the Empress Walk shopping centre with a movie theatre (above) and a stage theatre (the Toronto Centre for the Arts, three blocks south).

Gibson House, a museum converted from a mid-19th-century house built by the Canadian politician David Gibson, a Scottish immigrant, land surveyor and participant of the Rebellion of 1837, is also located in this neighbourhood.

A 2001 Census showed that the average household income is approximately $78 000, with a disposable income of $48 000. It is projected that by the year 2011, the average household income will reach $97 000, with a disposable income of $62 000.


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Shoppers Drug Mart. Retrieved on December 7, 2012. "Head Office Location: 243 Consumers Rd Toronto, ON M2J 4W8"
  2. ^

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Coordinates: 43°46′08″N 79°24′47″W / 43.769°N 79.413°W / 43.769; -79.413