Toronto's eastern neighbourhoods continue to evolve at a steady pace, and all signs are pointing to things not slowing down in 2016. In fact, the next year will bring some sweeping changes to the east side landscape — physically, socially and economically — as major community projects and developments are set to launch. Here are six anticipated things we're most looking forward to welcoming in 2016.
REVITALIZATION OF THE NEW BROADVIEW HOTEL
Gone is the sleaze and scuzz of Jilly's, and nearly here is the revitalization of the historic Broadview Hotel by Streetcar Developments. Marked for a 2016 opening, the 125-year-old building's future is set to be reinvigorated as the cornerstone of the neighbourhood, much like the Drake and Gladstone in Toronto's west end. The makeover and addition will include a ground-floor restaurant, cafe and upscale hotel rooms above. The revitalization of this corner of Riverside is already generating buzz around the city, and there's little doubt the hotel will recapture its former glory.
CREATION OF THE CARLAW & DUNDAS TRIANGLE
As part of the City of Toronto's plan to strenghten the Carlaw-Dundas area as a hub for small businesses and cultural activities, an overhaul of the dismal parking lot at Dundas, Carlaw and Dickens into a triangular park is set for summer 2016. High-quality construction materials will include installation of green space and public art that will transform the highly visible intersection into a new urban "town square" that will act as a community focal point. Check out the City's plans for more info.
FACELIFT OF THE LESLIEVILLE MURAL
The Alexander Muir mural at Queen and Jones in Leslieville is a neighbourhood fixture, but it's due for a makeover and that's not without controversy. After an ill-conceived mural proposal drew an uproar from the neighbourhood last summer, a local committee has selected the proposals of three Toronto artists as possibilities to replace the current mural and will present them at Project Gallery on Queen Street E. on Jan. 18. For more information on providing input into the new mural head over to Councillor Paula Fletcher's website.
GRAND OPENING OF THE MAPLE LEAF TAVERN
The historic dive along Gerrard will finally see its grand opening some time in the early new year as work is nearing completion on a major renovation effort of the century-old building. Long neglected, the new Maple Leaf Tavern will be restored to the state of its prime with a classic and timeless feel for an upscale eatery and bar that will have seating for about 120. Read more about the revitalization effort in our Q&A with the owner.
LAUNCH OF CROW'S THEATRE
Since 1983 it's been recognized for its daring productions, and now Toronto's Crow’s Theatre is constructing the first professional performing arts facility of its kind east of the DVP. The $11-million, 200-seat venue will bring the theatre company's award-winning original works to life in Leslieville, while also playing host to social events, performances, art classes and community programming. The facility, which will include a 100-seat restaurant and bar, is slated to open for the 2016-17 season.
OPENING OF COXWELL MICROBREWERY
Celebrated brewmaster Luc "Bim" Lafontaine has plans to open a 6,000 square-foot brew pub on Coxwell Ave. in the Upper Beaches neighbourhood. Lafontaine was the head brewer at Dieu du Ciel!, a Montreal brewery which has crafted some of the best-ranked beers in the world in recent years, so it's no wonder why the news caused buzz among beer connoisseurs, who are excited for Lafontaine to bring his inventive brews to Toronto. The still unnamed microbrewery has no confirmed opening date although indications point to sometime near the end of 2016.
Have we missed any anticipated openings, special events or other news worth highlighting for 2016? Please let us know in the comments section below.