Yonge Street originates on the northern shore of Toronto Bay at Queen's Quay, a four-lane arterial road (speed limit 50 km/h) proceeding north by north-west. Toronto's Harbourfront is built on landfill extended into the bay, with the former industrial area now converted from port, rail and industrial uses to a dense residential high-rise community.
The street passes under the elevated Gardiner Expressway and the congested rail lines of the Toronto viaduct on their approach to Union Station. The road rises slightly near Front Street, marking the pre-landfill shoreline. Here, at the southern edge of the central business district, is the Dominion Public Building, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and the Hockey Hall of Fame, the latter housed in an imposing former Bank of Montreal office, once the largest bank branch in Canada. Beyond Front Street the road passes through the east side of the Financial District, within sight of many of Canada's tallest buildings, fronting an entrance to the Allen Lambert Galleria.
Between Front Street and Queen Street, Yonge Street is bounded by historic and commercial buildings, many serving the large weekday workforce concentrated here. Yonge Street's entire west side, from Queen Street to Dundas Street, is occupied by the Eaton Centre. Opposite the Eaton Centre lies Yonge-Dundas Square. The area now comprising the square was cleared of several small commercial buildings and redeveloped in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with large video screens, retail shopping arcades, fountains and seating in a bid to become "Toronto's Times Square". It is used for numerous public events.
From College Street north to Bloor Street, Yonge Street serves smaller street-level retail, mostly in two- to three-storey buildings of a hundred years' vintage. The businesses here, unlike the large chains which dominate south of Gerrard Street, are mostly small independent shops and serve a dense residential community on either side of Yonge Street with amenities such as convenience stores.
Yonge Street offers many options for living and investment opportunities.