One of Toronto's fastest growing neighbourhoods is King West Village. Comparisons can be drawn between this area and the neighbourhood of Soho in New York City. King West Village is especially popular with a wide range of young people including urban professionals, singles and couples. King West Village offers a trendy urban lifestyle within walking distance of Toronto's entertainment district and close to downtown offices. Located at 550 Wellington Street West is the Thompson Hotel, which has become a popular neighbourhood landmark. During September this community also plays host to the illustrious Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). TIFF creates a buzz in the neighbourhood and attracts mega-stars for film premier screenings. The TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre on King West is the headquarters for the festival. New condominium buildings that reflect the urban lifestyle enjoyed by all inhabitants of this neighbourhood surround this building.
King West village is bounded with Queen Street to the north, Bathurst Street to the west, Front Street to the south, and Spadina Avenue to the east. Its Story Before Toronto was referred to as the City of Toronto it was the Town of York. King West Village was part of the Military Reserves of the Town of York. Now a neighbourhood park, Victoria Memorial Square was Toronto’s first military cemetery. A “New Town” development was created for this area after military reserves were auctioned off in the 1830’s. The concept for “New Town” was grandiose. The community was defined by Clarence Square and Victoria Square linked by a grand tree lined boulevard called Wellington Place. With the arrival of the railway to Toronto in the 1850’s, the character of this neighbourhood changed dramatically. King West evolved into a bustling industrial and manufacturing and industrial centre. Recently, many of the old industrial buildings from the 1800’s and early 1900’s have been converted into modern buildings for both commercial and residential purposes. The majority of manufacturing and industry had moved out of the King West area by the 1990’s. After this time the area became run down and the buildings were left neglected and unattended. The City of Toronto stepped in and in 1996 enacted the King-Spadina Plan. This plan was designed to attract new investment with the goal of revitalizing this area. The King-Spadina Plan worked wonderfully. Developers began to build new condominiums catering to hip and young urban professionals. Also added to the mix were nightclubs and restaurants, which brought vitality, excitement and life back into the King West Village community.
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