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Toronto has a large immigrant population, and each of the unique areas and suburbs in Canada’s biggest city is a testament to its ethnic and cultural diversity.
Toronto’s many neighbourhoods are located within one of 10 distinct areas: Etobicoke, York, North York, West End, Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, East York, East End and Scarborough.
The city’s vibrant downtown core is a robust mix of commercial and residential properties, making it an ideal place to live, play and work. That said, one can expect to pay a premium for condos and houses in the area. Areas further out from the city centre generally have more affordable housing options.
Home to several excellent elementary schools, Bedford Park is the neighbourhood of choice for families with small children. Located just outside the city centre, this area has many useful amenities such as efficient transit, a local library and plenty of playgrounds.
One of the city's fastest-growing areas, North Toronto provides families with a fantastic selection of schools and access to green spaces. Meanwhile, the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton is home to towering condos and lively shopping and entertainment options, creating a vibrant urban atmosphere.
With its proximity to the University of Toronto, the Annex is a favourite among students and creative professionals who appreciate its casual, artsy atmosphere. Its bars, bakeries, cafes and pubs make it a great place for socialising.
This is one of the city’s most exclusive and attractive neighbourhoods, adorned with dignified mansions, tree-lined streets and prestigious private schools. Favoured by the wealthy, Forest Hill has a distinctly small-town feel but remains well connected to the rest of Toronto.
Yorkville is a glamorous yet charming neighbourhood, popular with visiting celebrities and locals. It is famous for its high-end designer stores, four-star hotels and gourmet eateries, all within walking distance of stunning Victorian-era homes on quiet streets. Residential properties in Yorkville are eye-wateringly expensive and seldom put on the market.
King West Village
King West Village is an area experiencing rapid growth. This trendy neighbourhood is a favourite with young people, thanks to its proximity to downtown office buildings and an array of pubs and nightclubs. Much of the housing here is in the form of upmarket condos.
Harbourfront is known for its condos, most of which have stunning views of Lake Ontario. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a breezy stroll by the lake, take a ferry to the Toronto Islands, or visit the area’s many antique stores, restaurants and galleries. Harbourfront is one of Toronto’s main cultural centres. The area's architectural flair and unbeatable location make it a highly coveted neighbourhood.
This hidden gem was once an industrial and commercial centre with railroad tracks. Today it is an increasingly popular residential area, booming with the construction of townhouses and lofts. It is enviably close to High Park, good shopping centres and the subway (although many residents are also avid cyclists).
The Kingsway is one of the city’s most affluent areas. Large-lot, single-family detached Tudor homes on the side streets give the neighbourhood the look and feel of a quiet English village. Additionally, older apartment buildings stand alongside newer condominiums near the Old Mill subway station.
The plentiful parkland, old-world charm and picturesque beauty of Old Mill have made it a sought-after area. It stands along the banks of the Humber River and is close to the shopping district in Bloor West Village.
This is one of the most aspirational addresses in Toronto, with old charming one-of-a-kind homes beside Lake Ontario rarely available. It has been said that the community looks more like a lakeside resort town than a big city neighbourhood.
Leaside is always in demand and its housing prices reflect this. In addition to a good selection of schools, it is known for its family-friendly parks, good public transit and handy shopping.
Established as an artists’ colony in the 1920s, Guildwood is now an up-and-coming yet quiet family neighbourhood. Residents can walk to the lake in minutes, and get to Union Station by train in under half an hour.
This was once a heavily industrial area but is now one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, with luxury condos and gracious homes. The area's train station plus its proximity to major roadways make it a favourite for commuters.
Culturally-rich Glen Park is home to large numbers of Italian and Orthodox Jewish families as well as immigrants from all over the world. There are several good schools in the area, making it a great pick for families with children.
►Learn more about the city's property market with Accommodation in Toronto
"I would recommend anything downtown. I like being close to city parks as we have a dog. Anything close to the lake is also nice. Areas such as the The Beaches, Trinity Bellwoods, Little Italy or close to Queen Street are neighbourhoods I would recommend. There is also no need for a vehicle in any of these areas."
Learn more about life in Toronto in South African expat, Figo's interview.
Images: Uptown by Eja2k (Wikimedia Commons), Midtown by Jeff Hitchcock (Wikimedia Commons), Downtown by John Vetterli (Wikimedia Commons), West End by John Vetterli (Wikimedia Commons), East End by Elza Kurbanova (Unsplash), North York by GTD Aquitaine (Wikimedia Commons).
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