Growth across Toronto’s southwest corner blurs old neighbourhood boundaries.
“The whole area is on a roll and that effect will spread across neighbourhoods” – CHRIS LOGAN
Where does Mimico begin and end? What are the boundaries of New Toronto? Is Etobicoke a distinct neighbourhood, even though it was amalgamated into the City of Toronto in 1997? Those are the kinds of questions locals love to squabble over, says Chris Logan, who lives—and sells real estate—in the area.
While everyone may have an opinion on local geography, lines on a map aren’t really relevant when the entire zone is growing at such a rapid pace, suggests Logan.
“The whole area is on a roll and that effect will spread across neighbourhoods,” he says.
Growth is fuelled by a revitalization project that began in the early 2000s, including the revamping of the Humber College Lakeshore campus, which dovetailed with a rising housing market. That’s because Mimico offers great real estate value, says Logan, who bought a house there in 2007. At the same time, he notes, friends who purchased a similar house in Bloor West Village paid more than double. Since then, Logan’s property has almost doubled in value.
Newcomers to the area looking for affordable, well-made, highdesign furniture will want to visit Casalife at 350 Evans Avenue.
The Canadian-owned company began when designer Robert Whitfield started a small furniture design and manufacturing company in his hometown of Vancouver.
Buffeted by economic headwinds that hit the West Coast hard in the early 2000s, Whitfield moved to Toronto and opened Casalife in the then little-known Liberty Village neighbourhood.
Surrounded by a burgeoning condo market, Whitfield began designing furniture that fit small spaces, including, he says, the first bed in Toronto with drawers underneath.
These days, Casalife’s offering is much more than just small-space, flexible pieces, especially since Whitfield opened the 70,000-square-foot location in Etobicoke in 2015.
“In the Liberty Village location, we’d often just have the small version of a sofa on display. Now we have the space to show the larger version,” he says, adding that homes—some very large—now account for about half his sales.
The new location also has room for a clearance area, where customers can find great buys. But even without the bargains— and the famous bi-annual sales— foot traffic is growing quickly. Customers are impressed, he says, with personalized design services, and the live ability of the designs.
“If you took transitional and contemporary looks, and drew a line of practicality down the middle—I’d say that defines our brand. It’s a timeless look, and people respond to it.”
When it’s time to get outside, Logan suggests a trip to the Figure-Eight outdoor skating trail at Colonel Samuel Smith Park and in summer, a visit to the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat at Humber Bay East and Lakeshore Blvd is a lovely afternoon out.
If the fresh air makes you hungry, Logan recommends the family-owned SanRemo Bakery at 374 Royal York Road, which serves hearty hand-made pizza and croissant sandwiches, deli products and creamy Italian pastries. He has only one piece of advice. “Don’t go too often. Everything is so good—it can be dangerous!