Like every big city, Toronto is a collection of neighbourhoods — about 140, in Metro Toronto, alone — each with its own personality: Rosedale-Moore Park has prestigious schools. Humber Heights-Westmount is one of the safest neighbourhoods in the city, while North St. James Town, has 37.5 streetcar and bus stops per square kilometre, the Waterfront communities can offer an average of two jobs for every resident and the east-end Rouge community offers the fastest-rising property values.
Although the competition for the best neighbourhood in Toronto is subjective, here’s a look at the some of the best neighbourhoods based on affordability and concentration of notable attractions, including restaurants, nightlife, parks and trails.
The Junction Triangle
Located in the city’s west end, Junction Triangle is already one of best neighbourhoods in Toronto — and it’s about to get better. In spring 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada will move into a 55,000-square-foot former industrial space at the heart of this neighbourhood (where the former Auto Building was located). This new space, which is being developed by Castlepoint Numa, will offer more than 1 million square feet of new office and residential space and will help revitalize this area of The Junction (around Perth Avenue and Sterling Road). At least four microbreweries call the Junction Triangle home, and the schools are good, too. With an average sale price of $803,000, now is the time to buy in the Junction Triangle.
Home of some of the best schools in the city, Riverdale is a favourite for families. The heart of the neighbourhood is Riverdale Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city complete with tennis courts, soccer fields, a track, a swimming pool and a sprawling view of the downtown core. Although North Riverdale is pricy, South Riverdale has a large supply of smaller row houses that sell for a lot less, and two-bedroom properties have been selling for between $650,000 and $850,000. The neighbourhood isn’t lacking for trendy hangout spots either. Recent additions include Gare de L’Est, a French bistro on Dundas, and the Broadview Hotel, which occupies the former Jilly’s strip club.
Located in the southwest area of Toronto on Lake Ontario, Mimico offers a picturesque waterfront lifestyle for a fraction of the price of Toronto’s other lakeside neighbourhoods. Bucolic cottages and bungalows go for about the same as a condo in downtown Toronto. A neighbourhood with a small-town feel, Mimico also offers cool spots for the younger crowd, including Blue Goose Tavern, Tich, FBI Pizza and the Bread Essentials bakery, as well as fun annual events everyone can enjoy such as the Mimico Tulip Festival. The highlight of Mimico, however, is the Mimico Waterfront Park, a beautiful new shoreline park where joggers, cyclists and dog walkers enjoy spectacular views of the city. With the average sale price around $592,000, it’s still affordable, too.
Want to get close to the Beaches without breaking the bank? Try Greenwood-Coxwell, with an average sale price of $917,000. An emerging neighbourhood with easy access to Leslieville’s boutiques and brunch spots and Little India’s cool new restaurants and cafés, Greenwood-Coxwell attracts families with young children eager to take advantage of Monarch Park, with its outdoor pool and off-leash area.
Considered Toronto’s second Italian neighbourhood after Little Italy on College Street, Corsa Italia-Davenport is home to some of the fastest-rising property values in the city and represents an opportunity to buy or rent in a great location at a reasonable price. In early 2018, the average sale price was $863,000. A fun, lively and active neighbourhood with landmarks, businesses and attractions, Corsa Italia-Davenport also offers facilities for swimming, fitness, tennis and an outdoor rink at the Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre. Neighborhood hotspots include Rio 40, Tre Mari Bakery, Frank’s Pizza House and Novecento. And with the best Spanish tapas this side of Barcelona a few blocks away in Little Italy, you’ll never go hungry in Corsa Italia-Davenport.
The search for a good-sized house in a safe neighbourhood with decent schools and leafy green space and sports facilities, bars and restaurants can take you many places throughout Toronto. But with a little patience and some digging, you can find a great place in one of the best neighbourhoods in Toronto.