Day 264. Evolving Neighbourhood

Boy, I’ll tell ‘ya, you sure do have to pay attention.  Keep your eyes open.  Stay on top of things.  Or you miss something pretty significant.  Like I did.  Right in my Yorkvilleown backyard, too.  Helluva thing.

A friend recently sold her house.  Like me, she had a very short closing date; and, also like me, she rented a furnished apartment until what she wants becomes available.  Unlike mine turned out to be, her short-term rental is fabulous.  New, bright, clean.  The epitome of urban living.

It’s in Yorkville, but the eastern most part, bordering on Yonge Street.  Run down, ‘tired’ and in need of a face lift, in comparison to the tonier part of the neighbourhood, between Avenue Road and Bay Street.

At least it used to be.

But not any more.

Because, much to my amazement, it’s now home to interesting boutiques, charming restaurants and independently-owned cafes.  And the fabulous, new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences.   It’s been cleaned up.  Spiffied up.  Spruced up.  And this is just the beginning.  You can see it.  And you can feel it.

What I really love is, it’s not trying to fashion itself after it’s glitzy cousin to the west.  It’s got a vibe all its own.  Younger.  Cooler.  Fresher.  More modern.  Totally uncontrived.  Much simpler.  No brand names.  No high-end designers.  Affordable.  Local.  Charming.  Still grown up.  And sophisticated.  But in a way that’s all it’s own.  No imitations here.  No pretence.  No bullshit.  It’s authentic.  Very authentic.

Exciting, really.  And very encouraging.  Because it screams of entrepreneurship.  Energy.  Renewal.  Rebirth.  The future.

And now the more monied part of Yorkville looks dated and in need of a refresh.  Unappealing, frankly.

I was asleep at the switch.  I used to pass there all the time, on my way to one of those little hole-in-the-wall places where you get cheap manicures and pedicures.  After I found a different day spa, I stopped walking on that part of the street.  My route stopped at Bay.  Didn’t make it the rest of the way to Yonge.  Don’t be confused.  Yorkville is a district.  But there is also a street, Yorkville, in the district.

So I completely missed the transformation.  Or at least the start of it.

Yesterday was the day Marilyn’s movers packed up her old house.  It was a long, tiring day.  I suggested we eat out, somewhere in her new ‘hood.  There’s a little Mexican restaurant that’s been there for years and years and years.  She’s eaten there more often than I have.  They were there when the area was at its seediest.  And, happily for them and their fans, they survived.

Things sure have changed, though.  It’s now a hot spot.  There was not an empty table there, last night.  The second one became available it was taken.  Apparently it’s like that most lunch hours and evenings.  Good food, incredibly low prices.  And clearly, the ever-growing local population loves it.

Nice to see local small business being supported.

Poor Marilyn, though.  Now I’ve re-discovered the Yorkville/Yonge corridor, I can’t wait to see what comes next.  So I think I’ll be hanging out at her place a lot.  Hope she doesn’t get sick of me.

15 thoughts on “Day 264. Evolving Neighbourhood

    • Thanks. It’s fun to ‘visit’ your home city like a tourist would. And when you stop to really ‘look’ at it, it’s amazing what you see.

  1. I love your writing style! You know that when you are coming in the back door, and that what you are saying would be even more understandable if I had begun on the first day of your posts… but I keep reading anymore and nod in my head at the things you say…. you are good!

  2. Great post, Fransi:) Such a happy and interesting way to start my day. I want to go for Mexican right now. Do they do breakfast? 🙂

  3. I love places like that – I lived in Notting Hill in London before the film – it was very different! Even saw them filming it. Have to say that when I left in 2000 it was already a very different place.

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