When starting your search for a new home, especially in large cities like Toronto, it can be challenging to narrow down your options. Toronto itself has 158 neighbourhoods to choose from, with 140 of them being historical. These areas are separated into 25 wards and four community council areas, which can be daunting for those who are unfamiliar with the city. When starting your search for Toronto neighbourhoods, be sure to follow these expert tips to narrow it down. But first, here’s what to know as a buyer entering the local real estate market.
Toronto’s housing market is currently cooling down, with an overall decrease in total residential transactions and the average sold price. In the past year, the number of home sales has decreased by 49.4%, while average home prices have also dropped by 7.2%. This trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year. However, buyers who are searching for Toronto real estate should be aware that cooling trends are fueled by higher interest rates, which may make a home purchase more challenging. With this in mind, use these tips to guide your neighbourhood search.
Factors to consider
Buyers searching for Toronto homes for sale should first reflect on their lifestyle choices and consider how a neighbourhood might align with personal habits or preferences. For families with children, living in a neighbourhood with other families that your children can play with or that has homes with spacious backyards for playing may be necessary. Those looking for short commutes may be interested in living closer to the heart of the city, while retirees looking for somewhere quiet to live may prefer the outskirts or more tranquil properties.
Also, consider factors impacting personal choices like a neighbourhood’s transportation access & proximity to work. Along with additional fees, you may be expected to upkeep yard maintenance, have restrictions on your home’s exterior appearance, and more. Different neighbourhoods will also have different energies, whether you’re interested in becoming friends with residents or prefer a private life. Lastly, scope out the level of care current residents have for their community by observing house fronts and streets and talking with potential neighbors.
2. Surrounding services
Another thing to be mindful of is the services surrounding the neighbourhood. Research the distance from areas you’ll have to visit often, like grocery stores and convenience stores. Also, consider your distance from essential services like doctors, hospitals, veterinarians, and auto repair shops. Knowing where these services are can help prepare you for unexpected situations or the everyday rhythms of life.
For buyers with children searching for Toronto real estate, also research the nearby school districts. Having access to highly rated schooling options can be a serious make-or-break factor in a neighbourhood search. Research aspects of the school like its test scores, faculty, awards, supporting or gifted programs, extracurriculars, and sports programs.
Lastly, consider the amenities in and around the neighbourhood. This might include outdoor recreation areas like walking trails to enjoy the nature views or to take pets on walks. If you cherish an active life, look for nearby parks with hiking spots or a playground and sidewalks that are biker- and walker-friendly.
Amenities may also include nearby shopping centers to enjoy a day out of retail therapy. Look for entertainment centers to catch a movie, live theater show, or concert. Research the nearby restaurant options for a date night or family dinner out. Consider how close you want to be to local attractions and community events or if you want to be a part of an active community. Partnering with a local real estate agent is the best way to understand what an area and a neighbourhood provide for its residents.
4. Neighborhoods in Toronto
Humber Bay Shores
Located in Southern Etobicoke, Humber Bay Shores is a fantastic neighborhood bordered by Humber River, Mimico Creek, and Lake Ontario. Those interested in this area can enjoy its distance from the city center and its great outdoor recreation spots. Buyers searching for properties with waterfront views, breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline, and plenty of surrounding nature should start their search here.
Islington-City Centre West
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*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash