Purchasing a home is arguably one of the hardest decisions one makes during their lifetime. It takes a lot of work, too – from finding the ideal place, to making sure the area matches the buyer’s lifestyle.
With 140 officially recognized neighbourhoods in Toronto, buyers may have a tough time narrowing down the best options. However, according to web portal Living in Canada, there are five neighbourhoods known for particularly good quality of life, offering good access to downtown, an enjoyable lifestyle, and institutional centers, including schools. Some may cost more than the average home in other parts of the city, but what is important is that they are deemed livable.
These findings are also supported by criteria from the Mercer Livability Survey, which focuses on economic environment, schools and education, and recreation.
For reference, Mercer is known for producing worldwide Quality of Living rankings annually from its Worldwide Quality of Living Surveys.
The Top 5 Most Livable Toronto Neighbourhoods
Here are the top five best neighbourhoods for purchasing homes and settling down in Toronto (in alphabetical order).
Location: On the shore of Lake Ontario, near the city’s financial and commercial district.
Selling Points: A developing, family friendly area that is known for its cafe culture, with numerous restaurants and bars, not to mention it’s steps from Toronto’s best beachfront and boardwalk.
Estimated Price: Around $1.5 million for a detached home; $950,000+ for a townhouse; and $700,000+ for a typical two-bedroom condo.
Bloor Village West, Roncesvalles and High Park
Location: Bloor Village West is located along Bloor Street in Toronto; Roncesvalles is a north-south street leading from the intersection of King and Queen Streets; High Park is on Bloor Street West.
Selling Points: Bloor Village West boasts of numerous restaurants and bars. It lies about 30 minutes from Toronto’s commercial district by subway.
On the other hand, Roncesvalles is known for its green space and large, traditional homes on quiet streets. Homes here are also cheaper compared to High Park, though the average detached home costs over $1,200,000.
Finally, High Park is attractive to those who would like to live close the commercial heart of the city, but still gravitate to green spaces; with plenty of trees and parkland, this neighbourhood satisfies both.
All these neighborhoods have good public transit access and are about 20-30 minutes from Toronto’s business district in rush hour.
Estimated Price: More than $900,000+ for an average townhouse
Location: Northeast of downtown Toronto, along Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue.
Selling Points: Known as one of Toronto’s top areas; nearby good schools and convenient access to Toronto’s commercial heart via the Bayview extension.
Estimated Price: Over $1.6 million for an average, detached home; $800,000+ for an average two-bedrooom townhouse.
The Town of Markham
Location: Markham lies about 17 km from Toronto’s commercial centre, and about a half-hour ride for those commuting by Go Transit.
Selling Points: The area has grown quickly in the past 30 years, from its roots as a small, semi-rural town. It regards itself as Canada’s high technology capital, home to the headquarters of Apple, IBM, Lucent, Motorola, Toshiba and Sun Microsystems.
Estimated Price: Over $750,000 for an average, three-bedroom townhouse or nearly $500,000 for a two-bedroom condo apartment.
The Town of Richmond Hill
Location: Richmond Hill lies about 25 km or half-an-hour by GO train, north of Toronto’s commercial centre.
Selling Points: There’s plenty of green space here, with over 166 parks offering facilities such as nature trails, playgrounds, sports and athletic fields, picnic areas, tennis courts. The town also boasts 1,360 acres of natural, environmental areas for recreation.
Estimated Price: About $1.1 million – $1.9 million for a typical, detached house in Richmond Hill; typical townhouses are valued at $700,000 – $1 million; two-bedroom apartment ranges from $400,000.