The Toronto housing market was on an upward trajectory at the start of 2020, picking up right where the fall market left off in 2019. Sales were on track to surpass 2018 and 2019 levels. While the impact of COVID-19 put a pause on the busy spring market, industry experts anticipate a return to an active state once social distancing measures are lifted.
Housing affordability and low inventory continue to be an area of concern for Toronto homebuyers, who range widely from households with and without kids, to luxury seekers and Baby Boomers / retirees.
So, what are the best neighbourhoods in Toronto to buy a house? RE/MAX explores more than 300 of Canada’s most liveable hot spots in the new 2020 Liveability Report. Here are our top picks in Toronto.
10 Most Liveable Neighbourhoods in Toronto
West Don Lands
Bay Street Corridor
Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in Toronto
The most affordable neighbourhoods in Toronto are Trinity Bellwoods, East York and The Junction. These neighbourhoods are also among of the most up-and-coming in the region. East York has been a sought-after neighbourhood for a number of years, thanks to its very family-friendly atmosphere and proximity to downtown, while Trinity-Bellwoods and The Junction have experienced recent gentrification and an improvement in proximity to bike lanes and walking paths, independently owned retail/gyms/bars and restaurants.
Toronto’s Future Liveability
Toronto liveability is expected to continue improving in the next three to five years, based on ongoing improvements in homes and local businesses. “It’s become increasingly common for homes purchased in Toronto neighbourhoods to undergo immediate renovations, which has a positive impact on its entire respective area. Toronto has so many incredible amenities as is, so these aesthetic improvements make a big difference on the look of its neighbourhoods.”
Toronto at a Glance
Toronto is both the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto features and urban downtown core and is surrounded by the region best known as the “Greater Toronto Area,” which features a breadth of suburban and urban city centres. Known as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is a centre for business, finance, culture and arts.
Liveability is about quality of life at a local level. A neighbourhood’s dynamism, or lack thereof, involves a delicate convergence between independent small businesses, public institutions, arts and culture, green spaces and housing, to name a few. The COVID-19 tragedy will impact neighbourhood ecosystems differently across the country, just as the virus itself has. Yet, civic/local pride has been proliferating throughout this crisis in inspiring ways, giving Canadians hope that micro-economies, including real estate, have the resilience to be restored in the near and mid-term.
We know that Canadian’s truly celebrate the liveabililty factors of their neighbourhood – the qualities that give homeowners the true satisfaction of their home within the context of a neighbourhood. In fact a Leger survey conducted by RE/MAX revealed that 89% of Canadians recommend their neighbourhoods to others. Unlike your home, neighbourhoods cannot be changed, so it is important to assess what qualities are important to you before you purchase. Luckily, when it comes to Toronto, there is a lot of celebrate in terms of liveability.
A survey of RE/MAX Brokers revealed that the best places to live in Toronto are the downtown core (south of Bloor Street) which reigns supreme for proximity to public transit and walkability. When it comes to access to green spaces, Midtown has a variety of options to choose from, specifically North Riverdale and Leaside. For walkability, Davisville, Yonge and Eglinton and Leslieville top the list.
In the same Leger survey, six-in-10 Canadians put easy access to shopping, dining and green spaces at the top of their liveability criteria. Proximity to public transit (36 per cent), work (30 per cent) and to preferred schools (18 per cent), as well as cultural and community centres (18 per cent) fall out of the top five neighbourhood wants and expectations. So how does Toronto stack up?
If you are searching for the best place to live in Toronto, you should know that the Western Region of Scarborough is the hidden gem in the city offering great liveability and affordable housing.
Lydia McNutt is an award-winning editor, with more than two decades of experience specializing in Canadian real estate. At RE/MAX, Lydia is responsible for developing consumer-facing content while promoting the RE/MAX brand through housing market reports and market news, as featured on the RE/MAX Canada blog and social media channels. Lydia has been published nationally on topics ranging from real estate, architecture, decor and design, to finance, business, technology, entertainment and lifestyle. When she’s not head-down at her writing desk, Lydia is busy “momming” in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, two kids and their chocolate lab, Betty. Email Lydia at firstname.lastname@example.org