The PATH is a network of climate-controlled pedestrian walkways connecting a wide range of buildings and destinations to subway and rail stations in Toronto’s downtown. A direct connection to The PATH system is a great selling feature when buying a condo. Both buyers and investors see the cachet of giving residents the ability to move to and from work without ever having to face the elements of the often harsh Canadian winters. In my book: Investing in Condominiums, I talk about the importance of the PATH to the appreciation of units at Maple Leaf Square. To ensure your building is hotly demanded, finding which buildings have potential to be connected to The PATH is vital to investors. This why Toronto condo realtor, Amit Bhandari, recently tweeted the following tweet: [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/amit_bhandari_/status/149121099723051008″] According The PATH’s Masterplan, priority connections are identified if they do the following:
- Located on a subway block.
- Provides a through connection to adjacent (‘downstream’) sites for defined network expansion as identified on PATH Network Map One.
- Expands the PATH network to reach one or more key destinations identified on PATH Network Map One.
- Facilitates connection to a future PATH Portal, as identified on PATH Network Map One.
Furthermore, criteria for establishing a ‘priority’ status on new links shall include one or more of the following:
- Provides a connection to the emerging southern financial core and to the Central Waterfront.
- Provides significant benefits to support the overall network, adjacent properties and connections to the public realm and will be completed in the short or medium term.
- Provides a PATH connection to Union Station or a subway station.
- Is demonstrated to address pedestrian demand in high activity areas.
The PATH’s Masterplan is highly dependent on property owner investment; as a result, development approvals could be given to developers if they offer renovations and connections to The PATH. Now being a priority area doesn’t mean that the building will 100% have a connection, it just means that there will be potential there (potential could exist similar to what we see at Maple Leaf Square). Though there is no direct connection to The PATH for residents at Maple Leaf Square, its still close enough that the walk is palatable by pedestrians). I’ve taken a look at The PATH’s Masterplan and have made the following observations: High Priority Areas for PATH Connections (Orange dotted lines). The Southern-most tip of priority areas run parallel to Harbour St from York to Yonge and up to Maple Leaf Square. This will be an above-grade connection. There is another parallel line north between York and Yonge. This line would connect Tridel’s 10 York St to The PATH, but I have confirmation that there will be no PATH connection there. At the North end there is the connection that will connect Maple Leaf Square to ICE, ICE2 and the Infinity buildings: Buildings impacted:
- 1 York St
- ICE: 12 York Street
- ICE 2: 16 York Street
- Infinity: 30 Grand Trunk Cresent
- Infinity 2: 51 Lower Simcoe Street
- Infinity 3: 50 Grand Trunk Cresent
- Infinity 4: 31 Lower Simcoe Street
Now we see more orange dotted lines closer to Union Station (the pink block): This means there will be a connection going to the Air Canada Centre to the Eastern edge of Yonge St. Just North of that, there will be parallel link connection Union Station to the Sony Centre (and a medium priority going all the way to St Lawrence and the Esplanade as indicated by the orange arrow). There is confirmation that the Sony Centre will not be directly connected to the PATH. Buildings impacted:
- Backstage: 5 The Esplanade
There are a set of medium priority links near the Entertainment District (as indicated by the Orange Arrow): This line would run parallel to John St connecting Front and Wellington. and another running along Simcoe from Front to the Ritz. These links will provide access to the following buildings:
- 300 Front St W
- The Ritz: 175 Wellington Street West
- Element: 20 Blue Jays Way
- Trump Tower: 325 Bay Street
- Shangri-La: 180 University Avenue
- The Residences of the RCMI: 426 University Avenue
- College Park/Aura: 388 Yonge Street
- One City Hall: 111 Elizabeth Street