Reasons to Love Toronto Now: Because the Pan Am Games sparked an insta-hood

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: Because the Pan Am Games sparked an insta-hood

(Image: Erin Leydon) (Image: Erin Leydon)
 

The Canary District, named after the greasy-spoon diner that sat on the corner of Front and Cherry, is a shiny reimagining of the grotty industrial land at the mouth of the Don River. The 14.2-hectare parcel is sandwiched between the Distillery to the southwest and the lush Corktown Common park to the east, but its gentrifying momentum has crept onto the barren Corktown streets just beyond the neighbourhood. New on King East is the Healthy Road, stocked with every manner of gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, organic, fresh and local groceries, plus holistic grooming and beauty products. Down the street is Roselle Desserts, run by two George Brown grads who turn out pavlova cookies, raspberry caramels made with Stirling butter, and earl grey shortbread and cream sandwiches. And at the corner of King and St. Lawrence, the slickly designed Odin café (pictured above) peddles Pilot coffee, Beau’s and Left Field beer on tap, and Niagara and Prince Edward County wines by the glass. After the Games are gone, the former athletes’ village back in Canary proper will become chic but affordable rentals mixed with market-priced condos. Residents will have access to a LEED Gold–certified YMCA (with a green roof), and new locations of Dark Horse Espresso Bar, the juice bar Fuel+, the Running Room and Think Fitness Studio, plus Pizza e Pazzi and Tabülé restaurants, all lined up along the main boulevard. The speed at which the community has sprung up is as cool and dizzying as a Sims game.