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.