The Esplanade now begins as a two-lane street at Yonge Street, south of Front Street, north of the railway viaduct. To the north is the Sony Centre for the Arts with the "L Tower" condominium tower wedged in behind. Going east, both sides of the street are lined with late 20th-Century or early 21st Century mid-rise and high-rise condominium projects. On the ground floors are numerous restaurants and retail stores. The north side of the street has a wide enough sidewalk that the restaurants have patios. Further to the east, along the north side, are older industrial buildings, such as the Greey's Toronto Mill Furnishing Works Factory at #70, which have been repurposed into commercial space. The street continues as a two-lane with wide north-side sidewalk east of Church Street as far west as Market Lane. Between here and Jarvis Street is the south building of St. Lawrence Market on the north side and the temporary location of the Market's farmer's market building.
From the east of Jarvis, The Esplanade is primarily residential, and primarily low-rise. The street is a two-lane road, with a large open space along the south side, used for park and recreation space. On the south side of the open space is the St. Lawrence housing development. Along the north side are various late 20th Century low-rise apartment projects. The St. Lawrence Recreation Centre is located along the north side of the street, east of Sherbourne, next to Market Lane Public School. This street form continues east to Berkeley Street, one block west of Parliament Street. On the north-west corner is the Berkeley Castle, the former 1871 Toronto Knitting & Yarn Factory, repurposed as commercial space.