5 tips for choosing the right Toronto neighbourhood

By Estelle on October 2nd, 2018

Choosing the right Toronto neighbourhood for you and your family isn’t always the most straightforward decision.

Paying attention to a few important variables can go a long way towards improving your commute, or, improving your family’s access to amenities and schools. If you can afford it, having access to everything you need isn’t too complicated, though it may be competitive.

Affordable Housing market

Finding affordable housing in Toronto is a challenging task for many hopefuls in the city. You will find that homes decrease in price as you remove yourself from the city core and its convenient underground subway stations.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t have access to other transit routes, great amenities and schools as you tread away from the underground grid, but it does mean that you’re applying a certain discount on your housing costs by leaving these high-demand areas.

You also may have to rely on other forms of transportation that could increase your annual costs in exchange for cheaper housing.

Office districts

Toronto has a few distinct office districts.

First, the Downtown Core is that traditional portion of Old Toronto that includes Bay Street, City Hall and King West. These bustling and connected areas have high value rentals, homes and condominiums that will cost buyers a premium.

Yonge-Eglinton is another important business centre in the city, where you’ll see condo cranes building up the sky for the next decade or so. This neighbourhood has mixed-income brackets, offering relatively affordable apartment buildings and high rise condos, to expansive, big-budget single-family homes.

Liberty Village is another emerging business zone of Toronto, west of downtown, housing newer or “younger” companies. Full of condominiums, Liberty Village could be your one-stop-shop for work and living if you manage to snag a job in the area.

Best amenities

This will depend on your definition of amenities. You may wish to have a couple grocery shops nearby, a mall, great greenspaces or gym options, a liquor store or gas station, doctors and dentists, plus amazing cafes and restaurants.

Luckily for you, most Toronto neighbourhoods offer all of these things, if not more! And, every neighbourhood will have their own main strip(s) that cater to locals with both independent and classic Canadian retailers, helping residents get all of their errands done on the fly.

Downtown areas tend to have less greenspace; however, it is never far away.

Best transit

Neighbourhoods with quick access to transit are always in high demand, and you may notice a trend of higher home prices around any underground subway station, surely

Transit lines above ground, namely the bus and streetcar networks, can get overloaded during morning or evening rush hours, so if transit access is one of your priorities, looking for housing near convenient underground subway stations would be your smartest decision, though it may increase your budget a bit.

Family and school zones

Toronto is one of the best places to raise kids.

Walking to school is a breeze from many corners of town, and there are actually dozens of great family areas and school zones to choose from.

If you’re making your decisions based around raising your young ones, you can rest assured that kids of mostly any age can find friends and live relatively close to school.

Parents would want to stay away from newer neighbourhoods that are still being developed. Aside from the CityPlace condo neighbourhood, which is in the process of opening up a school and recreational centre, not many condo neighbourhoods have been designed for children yet.

If you’re interested in a condo for your family, think about the neighbourhoods that are already established such as Yonge-Eglinton, St. Clair West, Davisville, the Beach, Don Mills, The Esplanade, Little Italy, Bloor West Village and even High Park-Swansea.

These neighbourhoods have been the some of the historical and fixed stomping grounds for kids from kindergarten to high school, and have a wealth of scholastic and recreational opportunities to keep kids out of trouble and in those books!