Unlike Toronto’s downtown area, which is now considered an elite residential area with prices skyrocketing through the roof, Toronto’s midtown area is developing into a living hub for Millenials with and without families. 



This new development of the residential areas in St. Clair West, along with the influx of new residents, allows St. Clair’s retail to bloom as well. Millennials as a generation are quite demanding of their retail environment, and the types of retail establishments Millenials require are slight different than other generations. 

Retail landscape of St Clair West neighborhood

There has been an influx of four types of retail establishments in the midtown Toronto neighborhood of St Clair West: bars and restaurants, gyms, grocerants, and hybrids.

Approximately six new trendy bars and restaurants have opened their doors offering local and international cuisine. These new hot-spots along with the existing food retail businesses are reaping from all the new development. 

Three gyms including the affordable Hone Fitness, a globally fitness group F45 that offers high-intensity workouts, and 9Round kickboxing fitness group are now part of St Clair West.

Millennials not only want to workout and go to pubs, when they do go grocery shopping they demand high-quality, organic, premium foods. As such, popular, high-end grocery stores like Moberly Natural Food, Roast Fine Foods and De La Mer Fish Market, which have prices higher than Loblaws, have all moved in the area as well.

It’s easy to notice that there are no clothing retailers mentioned, and this is by design. Most Millennials don’t mind going to various shopping centers to do this type of shopping. As an example, the type of hybrid stores that have joined the neighborhood is an indication that Millennials spending habits focus on food, wellness and boutique shopping experiences, like Dismount Bike shop that offers full-service bike and coffee shop experience, then on traditional retail.

Retail opportunities available in Midtown Toronto

To draw the interest of the new residents of St. Clair West, experiential shopping within walking distance of their homes is an important demand to meet. 

The neighborhood is still transforming and continues to develop residential units as well. Take for example Oakwood Village. Oakwood is one of midtown’s micro-neighborhoods and it received the “Walkers Paradise” award by scoring a rating of 95 so it’s no wonder more residential along with retail is coming to the area.

Another factor that impacts the commercial retail development around St Clair West is the introduction of the streetcar. It was a controversial subject before it was introduced, but it contributed to the stability and success of local retailers and businesses. 

With all this positive momentum and growth, there are still many retail opportunities. As St Clair West continues to evolve so will the retail opportunities. As more condos are developed and families move in, the demand for retail geared towards this demographic will rise. 


All in all, the demand for retail investment in midtown is expected to grow. Consumers want more healthy options and environmentally conscious businesses, and Toronto’s midtown is showing great potential for the development of more commercial retail real estate.

To learn more about commercial retail real estate investing, contact ReDev today!

Skip to content