The land on which the St. Lawrence neighbourhood is built was originally underwater, with Front Street marking the original shoreline of the Town of York. The land was created from landfill in the early 1800s, with the purpose of creating a pedestrian promenade, but instead the land went to the railways which brought industry to the St. Lawrence area. The industry remained until the 1940s, when it moved to the less expensive suburbs, causing a decline in the neighbourhood that lasted into the 1970s. New development in the 1970s added residential uses to the neighbourhood, to complement the many historical buildings.
The Gardiner Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard and Don Valley Expressway are all conveniently accessed within minutes of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.
Union Station is within walking distance of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood. TTC, Go Transit and Via Rail services operate out of Union station.
The area is served by 1 elementary schools, 1 Catholic elementary school, and 2 high schools. George Brown College, The Ontario College of Art & Design, University of Toronto and Ryerson University are nearby in downtown Toronto.
The Esplanade, just south of Front Street, has a mix of retail stores, restaurants and bars that attract Torontonians from other neighbourhoods, as well as visitors. Housing is in walking distance from the St. Lawrence Market, where they can purchase everything from fresh seafood to farm fresh eggs and organic chicken. The South Market is open all week long while the north building, also known as the ´farmers market', is open only on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The community has a number of small parks offering greenspace, and has a community center with squash courts, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a piano room, a weight room, and a games room. For the culturally inclined the community is close the St Lawrence Centre to the west, the Harbourfront venues to the southwest, and the Distillery District's several performing arts & nightlife venues o the southeast.
Lawrence market has some upscale, well-designed apartment buildings and townhouses, all incorporating the historically characteristic red brick. The community ha a mix of private and co-op housing, rentals, and luxury condos. Homes here are in the low to medium price range.
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