West meets East, North meets South
West Don Lands – home of Pan-Am Athletes’ Village
Before the Distillery District opened its gates in the former Gooderham and Worts distillery, the bottom end of Bayview Avenue and Cherry Street was little more than a post-industrial wasteland. When you rounded the corner onto Front Street, you would find the exception – the Canary Restaurant, a heritage building at southeast corner of Cherry.
Today this area is the West Don Lands. And thanks to the Toronto Pan-Parapan Am Games in July 2015, new development is rising fast. When Toronto won the bid for the Games in 2009, the plan included creating the Athletes’ Village here, where it could immediately be repurposed. The Athletes’ Village will be the core of a spectacular new community named after the Canary Restaurant.
Canary District:Host of Athletes' Village
As in any Games-hosting city, there’s a hive of construction activity going on behind hoardings between Cherry Street and Don River, south of Eastern Avenue. This Athletes Village for the 2015 Games will become Canary District, our city’s newest neighbourhood.
First to be built are two Canary District condos which will house 10,000 athletes and their supporting teams. Athletes will be bussed to and from here to all sports venues across Greater Toronto and Hamilton for competitions. Those condos then will be the homes to Torontonians who chose to live in the heart of the revitalizing city. Some have already made the move to get their hands on their future home.
A grand design for the new Front Street will include trees and a wide boulevard. Cafes and public art are already planned, and street life will follow as soon as people move in. Canary District, to the west, and Canary Park, facing the new Corktown Common Park, bookend the new street.
Lucky George Brown College students will be among the first of residents of this community. A YMCA health centre will be another Games legacy. The community will also include affordable units and social agencies run by Anishnawbe Health and Fred Victor Housing.
It will truly blend diverse communities, as we expect, in one of the world’s most diverse cities.