Walkability in Uptown Keswick
Late in 2015 I wrote this article about why neighbourhood walkability is going to play a large role in the development of Georgina. Neighbourhood walkability is a major demand amongst the three most prominent real estate buyer groups in Georgina’s market in 2016:
First time homebuyers in Keswick
First time home buyers demand walkability for its urban authenticity and the friendliness and simplicity it adds to their neighbourhood. These buyers also benefit from the cost savings of decreasing their automobile dependency.
>> Information for first time homebuyers
Multi-Family Residential Real Estate Investors in Keswick
Multi-Family Residential Real Estate Investors demanhd walkability because tenants demand it. Residential tenants value proximity to bus and transit routes, major amenities, and employment centres.
>> Services for real estate investors
Senior Home Buyers and Empty Nesters in Keswick
Seniors downsizing in living arrangements value walkability because proximity simplifies their life. As these buyers age, they become less inclined to use the automobile, and like to be close to health care, doctors’ offices, shopping, restaurants, and other amenities.
I wrote the article in order to lay the foundation for a series of follow-up posts, which will analyze the best neighbourhoods in Georgina in terms of walkability, new urbanism, and pedestrian functionality.
Uptown Keswick is indisputably one of the best areas in Georgina for walkability. With the establishment of a new Business Improvement Area (BIA) for the businesses in the area, we are seeing a large increase in municipal and private investment in commercial real estate in this area, and an increase in the quantity and quality of businesses. The result of this transition has facilitated the establishment of an exciting mixed-use node just steps from Lake Simcoe.
So, what makes Uptown Keswick such a good neighbourhood for walkability? Let’s examine the area’s proximity to a number of attractive features in the area. We used a hypothetical address at the intersection of The Queensway and Church Street as a starting point to measure this walkability of the core when looking at the retail and commercial real estate environment:
Uptown Keswick Education:
Uptown Keswick features Lakeside Public School, with a catchment area that covers the majority of the "North Keswick" real estate zone on the Toronto Real Estate Board. Educational facilities are a must for any walkable neighbourhood. The large volumes of students migrating to and from class during peak commute hours create an unforgettable energy and sense of youth for the area. Students of the educational facilities are often patrons to many of the surrounding restaurant and retail businesses during their commute or lunch hour.
Uptown Keswick Grocer:
A grocery store is a fundamental piece of any high quality walkable neighbourhood. The accessibility of food in a neighbourhood adds value to surrounding residents, while serving as an anchor to the surrounding retail node.
Food Basics Keswick - 199 Simcoe Ave, Keswick, ON L4P 2H6
Uptown Keswick Bank
In many cases, national-level financial institutions catalyze the development and influx of professional services around a node. These higher quality tenancies tend to attract further tenants and residents to the area.
CIBC Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce - 24 The Queensway S Keswick, ON L4P1Y9
Uptown Keswick Pharmacy & Health Services:
Health services are incredibly necessary when considering walkability and transit orientation, especially in a neighbourhood that expects to capitalize on the aging population. In Uptown Keswick, seniors play a large role by composing the majority of the market within immediate walking distance, due to several seniors-oriented residential developments surrounding this neighbourhood in Keswick.
Doctor Larry Alter
132 The Queensway S, Keswick, ONL4P 1Z7
Keswick Medical Clinic & Pharmacy
Uptown Keswick Service Commercial Real Estate & Professional Services:
Service commercial end users finalize the creation of a functional and convenient commercial real estate environment in any walkable neighbourhood. These commercial end users provide many of the regular and luxury goods and services that the surrounding population will demand on a regular basis. This type of commercial infill is necessary to create a convenient and walkable ‘one-stop-shop’ type of neighbourhood in Uptown Keswick.
- Altwerger Law
- Ralph’s Classic Barber Shop
- Primal Instincts Tattoo Studio
- Property Possibilities
- A Super Driving School
- Keswick Pet Hospital
- The Kocky Dog Inc.
- Home N Work Mortgages
- Concept Office Furniture and Design
- Surgo Surgical Supply
- The Rabbit Barber Shop
- Uptown General Store
- Local & Import Co
Restaurants in Uptown Keswick
Restaurants and cafes create the energy of nighttime and daytime traffic within a walkable node. Walkability plays a major role in nightlife establishments by facilitating consumer responsibility in licensed facilities. Uptown Keswick has a variety of restaurants that serves a full spectrum of customers and tastes.
- God Bless Canada Café
- George’s BBQ & Rib
- Offsides Sports Bar & Grill
- Simcoe Burger
- The Cornerhouse Bistro
Retail in Uptown Keswick
- Stretch Thrift Outlet
- Jan’s Gingerbread Cake & Candy
- Northern Appliance Parts & Service
- Petal Pushers Flower & Gift Shop
- The Fashion Boutique
- Fellini Fine Wines
- The Water Shop
As you can see, there is a high concentration of businesses within this area, which creates an intimate, connected, and efficient neighbourhood area for residents.
Residential Real Estate in the Uptown Keswick Area
The next area of analysis is the residential side of the equation, looking at what type of real estate, condominium versus rental tenure, ownership structure, and density types are available within this area, because these play a major factor in the composition of the residents of the area, and the individuals who may be using the services in the Uptown Keswick neighbourhood area.
Low-density Residential Real Estate:
Low-density residential real estate includes single family detached homes. There are a number of streets within walking distance of the core that fall into this category of real estate:
- Mackenzie Court (the most expensive street in Keswick in 2015)
- Church Street
- The Queensway
- Metropolitan (one of the top 10 most expensive streets in Keswick)
- Cook’s Bay (one of the top 10 most expensive streets in Keswick)
- Lake Drive North (one of the top 10 most expensive streets in Keswick)
- Metro Road
- Frederick Street
- Medina Square
- Medina Drive
- Circle Ridge Drive
- Marritt Drive
- Parkview Road
- Fontaine Drive
- Chartwell Crescent
- Tuch Drive
- Tudor Place
- Natanya Boulevard
- Ailsa Drive
- Verona Crescent
- Burnaby Drive
- Joliette Place
- Dunnville Road
- Glenora Place
- Shoreline Place (one of the top 10 most expensive streets in Keswick)
- Skybird Lane
- Sunbird Lane
- Gwendolyn Boulevard
- Silas Boulevard
- Spring Road
- Ways Bay Drive
- Garden Ave
- Henry Street
- Millenium Way
Medium-density Residential Real Estate:
Medium-density residential real estate, in this relative context, will be seen to include single-family residential townhome structures as well as small multi-family residential structures. Although this represents the smallest supply source of residential real estate in Uptown Keswick, these properties still play a major role in the built form environment, because their residents are more inclined to utilize the walkability of the area than those living in single family residential real estate. The areas with this type of housing in Uptown Keswick include:
- Fleming Court
- Keswick Gardens Seniors Apartments
- 24-44 The Queensway South
- 72-74 The Queensway South Condominiums
- 190 Church Street
High-density Residential Real Estate:
High-density residential real estate contributes the largest amount of population to the pedestrian traffic within the built form environment in Uptown Keswick. The reason for this correlation is often because individuals gravitate towards higher-density structures in order to relieve themselves from automobile dependency. There are a few properties that fall into the category of higher-density multi-family residential real estate in the Uptown Keswick Area.
Lakeview Residences – 17 Queensway South Apartments