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The best neighbourhoods in Toronto for families

by Helana Mulder on 10 Dec 2021

Deciding where to plant your family is a big decision. With so many factors to consider and look for, it can be quite overwhelming when you start to look for a house.

Toronto is easily one of the most well-known cities in all of Canada and it’s famous for its wide variety of cultures, entertainment hot spots, and business ventures. While it may be the perfect city for young professionals, Toronto real estate can be intimidating and difficult to navigate for young families, even with real estate professionals on hand. Moving to the big city involves a lot of planning and research in order to find the best Toronto neighbourhood for you and your family.

Some factors to consider

As you begin your search for the perfect home in the City of Toronto, there are some key factors and characteristics that you should look out for. Whether you've moved ten times and have already lived in Toronto before or this is your first time buying a house, there will be things that you prioritize over others, especially as you look for family-friendly communities.

Some of these factors might include:

  • proximity to schools, universities, churches, daycare centres, and libraries
  • the average price of a home or rental unity
  • parks and other entertainment in the area
  • walking, biking, and public transit scores,
  • housing options available
  • type of streets (busy vs. quiet streets)

Depending on the stage of life you and your family are in, there will be characteristics that you prioritize over others. For example, a young couple with kids under the age of five will likely favour the proximity to good schools, daycares, and parks over the types of entertainment and universities in the area. Meanwhile, a young family with just a few kids could be interested in a condo or semi, while a larger family could be more interested in a bigger detached house.

Or, while York Mills is likely the least affordable neighbourhood in Toronto, it is also known for its proximity to prestigious private schools and high-end condos. These are things that you need to weigh when choosing a neighbourhood in the City of Toronto.

Every buyer and every family is different, so be sure to go through some of the factors that you need to have with your real estate agents before settling on a neighbourhood.

5 family-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto

1. Bloor West Village

Bloor West Village is one of the most well-known communities in the GTA. It's like a taste of Europe just steps away from the major attractions that Toronto's downtown core has to offer. Easily one of the biggest things that the neighbourhood has to offer is its proximity to High Park.

High Park

The 339 acre park is Toronto's largest public park and home to a variety of different entertainment attractions. Not only is it perfect for walking, biking, rollerblading, and other forms of basic transportation, but it has everything else you need throughout the winter, spring, summer, and fall. From ice skating rinks and breathtaking hiking trails to gorgeous cherry blossoms and dog-friendly parks, this is the ideal attraction for families of all ages.

Other major features

The quiet and safe streets in the neighbourhood make it an ideal place to raise kids. Not only is it just a few minutes from all the entertainment and sporting events in downtown Toronto, but it also has easy access to the TTC, Gardiner Expressway, and the Humber River. Need to take a flight? The Toronto Pearson International Airport is also a quick 30-minute drive away. Bloor Street is also home to restaurants and boutiques that will make you feel like you're a world away from the busyness of the city. You'll find several great schools and shopping centres within walking distance of the residential neighbourhood.

Key stats

(From Sept 2020)

  • Average Detached House Price: $1.9 million
  • Average Semi-Detached House Price: $1.5 million
  • Average Condo Apartment Price: $640,000

2. Riverdale

One of the biggest Toronto neighbourhoods you can find is Riverdale, located just east of the Don River and full of green spaces that will take your breath away. With both older detached properties and newer condo apartments available among the quiet streets, there's something for everyone. This very family-friendly neighbourhood situated near Monarch Park and Riverdale Collegiate Institute makes a great environment to raise kids.

Riverdale Park

Riverdale Park is one of the biggest attractions for this neighbourhood. With sledding hills in the winter, walking trails in the fall and spring, and sports fields for the summer, you'll always have something to do here.

Along with being surrounded by abundant green space, the Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner Expressway, and Lakeshore Boulevard are all easily accessible - even if you decide you never want to leave the quiet, tree-lined streets of Riverdale.

Key stats

  • Average Detached House Price: $1.2 million
  • Average Semi-Detached House Price: $1.1 million
  • Average Condo Apartment Price: $500,000

3. Rockcliffe-Smythe

Another one of Toronto's great family-friendly neighbourhoods is the Rockcliffe-Smythe area. This accessible and affordable neighbourhood based near St. Clair Avenue and surrounded by a variety of parks and schools is perfect for families first entering the Toronto area.

Peaceful streets, accessible parking, and countless available facilities mean you'll be right at home in this small town. Whether you're looking for libraries, swimming pools, tennis courts, nearby golf courses, or a community garden, this area has it all.

Transportation

While you likely won't be walking everywhere, Rockcliffe-Smythe has a great transit score with bus routes available throughout the neighbourhood. If public transit isn't your thing, you'll be happy to know that the neighbourhood is also very bikeable.

Key stats

  • Average Detached House Price: $900,000
  • Average Semi-Detached House Price: $900,000
  • Average Condo Apartment Price: $500,000

4. Davisville Village

Situated into midtown Toronto, this village offers a wide variety of housing options for all types of families. While it provides families with great recreational facilities, public and private schools and parks, it also boasts an entertaining nightlife with various restaurants, bars, and theatres. Not only are there beautifully constructed detached homes, but there are newly built high rises for those who prefer condo living.

Central location

The town borders Bayview Avenue, Eglinton Street, and Yonge Street, making it a central location in north Toronto that provides easy access to other neighbourhoods in both downtown and uptown Toronto. Whether you're catching a sports game downtown or up to the North York area, you're right in the middle, making it a prime location to settle.

Even though the neighbourhood has been performing well in the real estate markets recently, it is still often more affordable than other Toronto neighbourhoods. For smaller families and young professionals, you can find more affordable condo options than those in downtown Toronto.

Key Stats

  • Average Detached House Price: $1.9 million
  • Average Semi-Detached House Price: $1.4 million
  • Average Condo Apartment Price: $700,000

5. Leslieville

Finally, this family-friendly neighbourhood has Queen Street East running right through it. Home to locally-owned coffee shops, recreational facilities, and Toronto's Greenwood Park, Leslieville is the perfect area to raise a family in Toronto. In the summer, head out to the many beaches off Lake Ontario. Visitors flock to Leslieville to check out the boutiques, vintage clothing stores, restaurants, and other entertainment activities that the neighbourhood is home to. The cozy homes and tree-lined streets can make you feel miles away from the bumping downtown Toronto scene. Feed your creative spirit with all of the various

High transit score

The neighbourhood boasts high transit scores, making it highly accessible whether you're walking, biking, or taking public transportation. Access all that downtown has to offer with the Bloor-Danforth subway line.

Key stats

  • Average Detached House Price: $1.4 million
  • Average Semi-Detached House Price: $1.2 million
  • Average Condo Apartment Price: $800,000

Honourable mentions

Some other family-friendly towns in the City of Toronto include:

  • East Chinatown
  • Lawrence Park South
  • Danforth Village
  • Humber Valley Village
  • Bedford Park
  • York Mills



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