Get to know Entertainment District
The Toronto Entertainment District is concentrated around King Street West between University Avenue and Spadina Avenue. It is home to theatres and performing arts centres, the Toronto Blue Jays, and an array of cultural and family attractions. The area is also home to most of the nightclubs in downtown Toronto.
In the first half of the 20th century, the original name of the neighbourhood was the Garment District and it was almost wholly industrial. The railways controlled a huge amount of land along the Lake Ontario waterfront, and to the north many firms took advantage of the easy access to rail and the harbour. The most important industry was textiles and fashion, and the area had few residents. Much of the area was built after the 1904 fire, which forced many businesses to move west of the Bay Street and Front area.
Manufacturing industry began to vacate the area in the 1970s, leaving behind an array of heritage warehouses and factories that began to be converted to other uses. Meanwhile from 1976, the newly-opened CN Tower brought many tourists to the neighbourhood. The SkyDome sports arena opened in 1989, bringing thousands of fans of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Argonauts as well as fans of big musical acts to the area. Still, the most notable arrival was nightclubs that began opening sporadically in the early 1980s before becoming the area's staple and most recognizable feature from early 1990s onward.
All throughout the early 2000s, the Toronto condo boom began to transform the area. The abandoned warehouses began to be transformed into lofts, or demolished to make way for condominium towers. The core of the Entertainment District had only 750 residents in 1996, but this had gone up to 7,500 by 2005. Festival Tower is a cultural centre, condominium, and headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival, and the building is one of several condos built in the area during Toronto's 2000s condo boom.