Do you have visions of yourself in Toronto? From the inspiring natural scenes of Scarborough to the cosmopolitan streets of Queen West, we go through five fabulous locations in Toronto to buy a home in. We end on a brief look at the property market in Toronto.
Toronto is not only the capital of Ontario – it is the most populous city in Canada. Toronto has always been a cosmopolitan, full of people with roots across the globe. You can hear around 200 languages in Toronto, though English is the most widely spoken. Moreover, just last year, Canada’s population grew by over a million for the first time ever, according to Statistics Canada. Given our shared language and the overlaps between our cultures, many British people have travelled over the sea to a soft landing. Here we uncover wonderful spots in Toronto to purchase a property in.
Toronto is chock full of things to see and do, so any city dweller will feel at home. Whether it is marvelling at the CN Tower, which at 533 metres tall, announces itself on the Toronto skyline. Or weekends teaching the kids about natural history at the Royal Ontario Museum. Even better, and perhaps less well known, is that you can go for a bathe and a dip at the beach!
Toronto’s cultural diversity has made for an enviable culinary scene. You can find fresh pasta in Little Italy, delicious feta in Greektown, and perfected dumplings in Chinatown. Currently, Toronto has seventy-two restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide.
If you love to laugh, drink and just generally have a wonderful time – there are more drag shows, comedy nights, cocktail clubs, and old-fashioned pubs then you will have ever have time to go to. Toronto is regularly cited as one of the most welcoming cities for the LGBTQIA+ community, and Queen Street is particularly commended.
Industries in Toronto
If you are looking to move to Toronto for work, then here is a little insight into the biggest industries over there. Toronto has the second largest financial industry in North America and is home to the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Although we tend to associate the tech industry purely with Silicon Valley, it is thriving in Toronto too, with Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon all having offices there. Other buoyant industries include real estate, media and entertainment, tourism, and life sciences.
But where am I going to live?
As you can see, there is a long list to fall in love with Toronto. And given the ample job opportunities, you can likely find a place to slot yourself into life there. But where is the Ealing or the Clapham of Toronto? Here are the perfect places to buy a home in Toronto.
Located in east Toronto, just 17km from downtown Toronto and super accessible via public transport, there is much to attract you to Scarborough. The Scarborough Bluffs are an impressive set of white cliffs that make for astonishing lookout and hiking spots. At the foothills is the Bluffer’s Beach, awarded a Blue Flag for excellence and cleanliness. Additionally, there’s the Guildwood, a wonderful green space full of sculptures. Rouge National Park is Canada’s first National Urban Park – these are ideal for those that live for the buzz of a city but also love a lung full of fresh air. Rouge National Park contains the only official campsite in Toronto. And there are over 500 exotic animals in the zoo! Along the southern edge, Lake Ontario is exactly the place for cycling.
The cheapest way to get from Scarborough to central Toronto is to take the subway, it lasts about 30 minutes. The bus takes a tad longer. While a drive there is 20 minutes.
With its outstanding combination of nature and city, Scarborough is a popular choice for raising a family, with families making up 59% of the population here. Additionally, many new immigrations choose to live here, so you’ll find lots of people to share their wisdom on transitioning to life in Canada.
High Park North
High Park North has a charming village-like feel, just a short way away from the noise of downtown. In this neighbourhood, you will be next to High Park. A dream 399 acres of public parkland for picnics, swims, and games of tennis – there’s even Shakespeare in High Park, Canada’s longest running outdoor theatre event, and a children’s zoo. If you need to live in the city for work but don’t want your children to miss out an outdoor life, then High Park North could be the ideal neighbourhood for you.
It is also walking distance to Bloor West Village, one of the Toronto’s most beloved shopping districts.
High Park North has three stations on the subway, so you’ll be able to get to where you need to be with ease. It will take you no more than twenty minutes to reach downtown Toronto.
Once a city of its own, Etobicoke became part of the City of Toronto in 1998 and became the western boundary of the city. In the 1930s, property developer Robert Home Smith set about making a “little bit of England, from England” – homes that would resemble those made in England. Today, you can find charming Tudor and Georgian style houses to be your English home outside of England.
Etobicoke is a fantastic place to learn about the history of the First Nations of Canada at the historical site of the Old Mill. There is a lake to visit at Humber Bay Park, pretty flowers to gaze at the Centennial Park Greenhouse, and a butterfly garden. Another highlight is Montgomery’s Inn, a 19th century Canadian inn turned lively museum that offers an interactive insight into Canada’s past.
Via public transport, Etobicoke takes approximately 30 minutes and costs as little as €2. While more expensive, a taxi journey cuts that journey time in half.
Vogue once named Queen West one of the coolest neighbourhoods to live in the world. And if it’s cool enough for Vogue, it’s cool enough for us.
Queen West is known for its hip bars, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. It is the home of rich coffee beans, nut milks and craft beers. It attracts a young, chic crowd – a reason to look for a home there, or a reason to cross it off your list. Trinity Bellwoods Park is a favoured hangout spot for the middle of summer.
Queen West is a very walkable location – but there is also Queen or Osgoode subway station.
The price of property in Toronto
A home in Toronto is not going to be cheap. The average home sold price in the Greater Toronto Area was $1,095,617 for February 2023, according to Canadian housing experts Wowa. This was a decrease of 18% year-over-year. To different degrees but across the board, from detached homes to condo apartments, the average price of property for all types decreased.
Meanwhile, the average property price for a home in the city of Toronto was $1,071,043, a decrease of 12% year-over-year. This is partly due to the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes, as higher mortgage rates reduce the affordability of a home.