It should come as no surprise that right now, some of Toronto’s most sought-after neighbourhoods are a safe distance from the chaos and compactness of the downtown core. 

At the same time, most people don’t want to stray too far from the city lights or the personal and professional offerings housed within the city’s glass and concrete grid. 

Convenient then, that over the past two decades, North York has undergone a sophisticated transformation that times perfectly with this increase in demand for uptown real estate. In particular, the heart of the region – the bustling intersection of Yonge and Sheppard – has grown rapidly in recent years, becoming an increasingly desired place to call home. 

READ: Coming Soon: North York’s Only Boutique Address

Location is certainly one of its major selling features. With the Sheppard TTC station mere steps away and Highway 401 just around the corner, the downtown core is always within easy reach. In fact, in less than 25 minutes, the subway will take you right to the heart of Yonge-Dundas Square. 

Of course, North York has already become a worthy destination in its own right.

The Yonge-Sheppard neighbourhood has evolved to become a vibrant and colourful one, offering all of the essentials, plus more – from boutiques and hot restaurants to local farmers’ markets and a Whole Foods – within walking distance. 

An obvious example of the neighbourhood’s rebirth is the Yonge Sheppard Centre, which was offered a new lease on life thanks to a massive renovation completed last year that has rendered the once tired-looking building almost unrecognizable. Nine years in the making, the modernizing transformation came with a $300 million price tag that has added features including more retail shops, a new daycare space, a new food court area, and an easy-on-the-eyes extension of the façade on both Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue. 

North York

Local foodies have no shortage of cuisine options within walking distance, with the Yonge Street stretch between Sheppard and Finch housing everything from Korean and Japanese, to Taiwanese and Persian offerings. You’ll also find inviting pubs, neighbourhood eateries, and grab-and-go options. 

At a time when the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of green space and the outdoors, access to such seemingly simple pleasures is abundant in North York. Willowdale Park features two playgrounds, a splash pad, four tennis courts, and green spaces. Meanwhile, the peaceful Albert Standing Park features a decorative water fountain, arbour, and sitting area. In the winter months, the skating rink at the nearby Mel Lastman Square can provide hours of quality time for your family.

Once daily life resumes, the arts and culture lovers don’t have to venture into the city to get a fix of live music or theatre, thanks to the neighbourhood’s close proximity to the storied Toronto Centre for the Arts. 

The redevelopment of the neighbourhood has inevitably come with a handful of shiny new condominium buildings. And the appeal of local projects like the anticipated181 East, the latest project fromStafford Homes, is undeniable.

North York 181 East

Located steps away from Yonge and Sheppard, the upcoming boutique condominium – the only boutique address in North York – offers an upscale and distinctively downtown vibe, but caters to the very real need for more real estate and the ability for its residents to reconnect with nature. It’s one of the few midrise buildings surrounded by low-rise residential and parks, with abundant greenery offering an ideal mix between city and suburban life. Here, residents are reminded of their proximity to the city thanks to sweeping, south-facing views. 

Designed by award-winning interior designer Johnson Chou, the sleek, nine-storey midrise building features 185 units, ranging from bachelors to three-bedroom suites. With no shortage of glass throughout, it features a bright, airy design and is complete with top-of-the-line amenities. Options like co-working spaces, entertaining capabilities, and an outdoor fitness space cater to the young professional set.

Not only do the neighbourhood’s upcoming, design-forward buildings like 181 East make wise lifestyle choices, they also make wise investments. The secret is out about this gem of a neighbourhood just north of the city; its allure more appealing than ever with the dissolution of the traditional downtown office. 

But if you want in, the time to act is now – while this world is still within reach.

Want to learn more? Visit 181 East to register or email

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