Choosing the best neighbourhoods in Toronto should be easy!
As Toronto is a diverse city, what one neighbourhood has to offer you may be completely inaccessible in another. It is these disparities in style, atmosphere, social life, crime rates, rent and tastes that make each neighbourhood breathe its own personality. It is also the reason why some homes are more attractive than others. Here is an overview of the different neighbourhoods in Toronto to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Toronto is a city divided into five specific areas: West End, Midtown, East End, the Toronto Suburbs and Downtown (the Centre). Each of these regions has neighbourhoods that are completely different from each other. Wheter you’re looking for an apartment, a condo, house or some friends to co-habitate, we’ll show you all the options you have in Toronto and in the suburban neighbourhoods.
West End Neighbourhoods
The West End includes Toronto’s trendiest neighbourhoods. The wealthiest families live in luxurious residences. For those struggling to break even, the West End would not be their first choice. Below are some of the neighbourhoods in the West End : Liberty Village, West Queen West, Bloordale Village, King West, Little Italy, Roncesvalles, The Annex, Kensington, Dovercourt, High Park North, Bloor West Village, The Junction, Parkdale, Chinatown.
Located at the end of West King, Liberty Village is home to more skyscrapers than most communities in the world. Its expensive condominiums are not accessible to everyone. The majority of its residents are young, socially mobile, enterprising and very ambitious individuals. They are mainly models, actors, screen idols, top executives, entrepreneurs and sports stars. Some of these neighborhoods are not lacking in high-profile franchises, from Versace to Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Nearby is BMO Field where Toronto FC and the Toronto Argonauts play, making roads virtually impassable on game days. Nevertheless, it is very easy to get around downtown with the 514 Cherry streetcar that operates from Dufferin Gate Loop right in the middle of Liberty Village.
Are you looking for a trendy and charming place? West Queen West has some of the best stores and art galleries in the city. Plus, you’ll find lots of great deals and all this in a safe environment with a very minimal crime rate. This neighborhood has a “Central Park” style with its many parks such as the Trinity Bellwoods and its many green spaces. What you pay for rent is returned to you in comfort and luxury.
A church next to a box, a shopping mall right next to a subway station? It’s Bloordale Village that has everything you could imagine, whatever your personality, on your doorstep.
Condominiums are not given in King West, with rents of up to $5,000 CDN per month. However, it’s the heart of real, bustling urban life. There are gyms, parking lots and a great location. There are also recreation centers and many places to live a lavish life!
Populated mainly by Italians, it is a mini Rome in the northern hemisphere. You will be forgiven for having contempt for Italy in this neighborhood. There is no shortage of restaurants: the nightlife is very active and there are plenty of places where you can spend your evenings watching a European soccer match in good company. Getting around the neighborhood is greatly facilitated by the 506 College/Carlton streetcar that operates from the East to the West of Little Italy.
The Entertainment District is a vibrant recreation district that includes lively nightclubs and sports facilities, including the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre. Families enjoy the underwater tunnels at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, as well as the CN Tower for a panoramic view of the city from the top floor. The neighbourhood also features musicals at the Princess of Wales Theatre, concerts at Roy Thomson Hall, and the Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
“Roncy” is beautiful and a few years ago it could have been called “Little Poland”. Originally inhabited by Poles, it is now the home of the world’s committed citizens. Although the rent cannot be described as cheap, it remains the most affordable neighbourhood in the West End. Crime is very rare, but accessibility to the subway is less than in other areas of the West End.
The Annex is primarily the home of University of Toronto students and also the home of University staff. The university’s main campus is located on the southeast side of The Annex. With the construction of new buildings, The Annex is accessible to all, including students, faculty and the general public. There are 3 subway stations on line 2, including Spadina, Bathurst and St George, making it easy to travel to other parts of the city.
If you are a free thinker, a maverick, and if you don’t identify with other West End neighbourhoods, Kensington is the place to be. This group of people, however, contributes to making Kensington a rather difficult and sometimes even turbulent neighbourhood, but there is no denying that it is an illustrious neighbourhood in Toronto. It embodies the free spirit and is home to a multitude of churches, clubs, bars and restaurants that are quite affordable.
Record stores, indie bars, Dufferin mall, two subway stations and a relaxed population: these are the characteristics of Dovercourt that contribute to its charm. In a word, Dovercourt is a great place to live, and there seems to be no limit to the parties and activities in this neighbourhood.
High Park North
Torontonians are accustomed to calling their city “the city in the heart of a park,” but of the 1,600 parks in Toronto, High Park is the most impressive. After all, it is the largest park in all of North America! The neighbourhood boasts the serenity of a European village. Entirely made up of residential buildings and other housing, High Park North is one of the most peaceful places to live – ideal for those who wish to avoid the turbulence of city life and immerse themselves in the bewitching wildlife and sprawling vegetation with splendid houses nestled side by side. Just the size of the park itself is enough for you to get lost during a simple stroll. It is advisable to be very careful if you wish to live in High Park North.
Bloor West Village
As its name suggests, Bloor West Village has all the feel of a village in terms of community life, the quietness so sought after by some and the nature of the very close ties that bind the neighbourhood together. What’s more, it has all the assets typical of any Toronto neighbourhood, including the huge buildings and beautiful, first-class residences that are the pride of any city. Bloor West Village is a self-contained neighbourhood with bars, restaurants, shopping malls, schools, religious institutions and various recreational facilities.
Trendy, chic and just like some of the West End’s upscale neighborhoods such as Roncesvalles and West Queen West, The Junction is perfect for those who cherish a refined lifestyle with a hint of authenticity.
There was a time when the mere mention of the name Parkdale left an unworthy odor that lingered. At that time, the neighbourhood was populated by Toronto’s most turbulent and delinquent immigrants. The neighbourhood was known for all the wrong reasons: crime, drugs, and it even managed to push back the one per cent. Today, however, Parkdale is as popular as any other area in the West End and boasts the best of the best in terms of immigrant population.
Downtown Core, Yorkville, Yonge & Dundas, Queens Quay & Spadina/Cityplace are some of the downtown neighbourhoods.
A relatively sparsely populated neighborhood compared to others, Downtown Core consists mainly of banks, office space, and shopping malls.
Skyscrapers, five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, Gucci, Lamborghini and Champagne You get it: Also called the fashion district, Yorkville maintains a certain standard of living! It’s a neighborhood for wealthy families.
Yonge and Dundas
Noisy and very busy day and night, many people come to enjoy themselves in this neighborhood after a hard day’s work (9 to 5 pm).
Queens Quay & Spadina/ Cityplace
Characterized by its dense population and overlooking Lake Ontario, this neighbourhood attracts instagrammers because of its picturesque surroundings. Don’t forget to stock up on photos while you’re there! You’ll find condominiums and subway stations that make getting around Toronto easy.
Toronto’s “Little China” happens to be affordable, close to many offices and companies, with products and services that are less expensive than most places in Toronto. It is the perfect place for new immigrants and those just breaking even.
Neighbourhoods in the Central Toronto area include Eglinton West, Davisville Village/St Clair & Yonge/Mount Pleasant, Yonge & Eglinton, Rosedale/Summerhill. Very much appreciated by the nature lover because of the green space with nearby forested ravines.
Eglinton West is a residential neighborhood with a growing number of Caribbean companies’ which is not surprising since it is also known as Little Jamaica. The construction of the Crosstown LFT along the road is a source of frustration for the residents of this place, but it promises to bring them immense well-being once completed.
Davisville Village/St Clair & Yonge/Mount Pleasant
If you choose Davisville, expect to see residents walking their dogs, squirrels mingling with their belongings, birds singing in the wind, cyclists and runners competing for space in the morning and Mount Pleasant Cemetery which spans a large part of the neighbourhood. So you can call it Davisville or choose from its many other names (mainly street names in the neighbourhood). This very affordable but less active neighbourhood than most of the city is home to many professionals and young families.
Yonge & Eglinton
Yonge rhymes with youth and prosperity. This self-contained neighborhood has a variety of stores, shopping malls and other facilities.
Rosedale is a posh neighborhood ‘ no matter what you are looking for, it offers you all the best.
Toronto suburban neighbourhoods
Neighbourhoods here are not necessarily limited to Toronto’s official periphery. As the city grows, it absorbs some of these neighbourhoods as part of its metropolis. The neighbourhoods that are part of Toronto’s suburbs are Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and Vaughan.
Middle-class population, fairly affluent and close to Toronto Pearson International Airport, Etobicoke, with the ‘ke’ being silent, is located at the western end of Toronto.
Primarily residential as a neighbourhood, North York is affordable and is also home to several other neighbourhoods.
It may well be the cheapest neighbourhood in all of Toronto. Scarborough is very popular with new immigrants to Toronto. Some Torontonians feel that it is Toronto’s ghetto. Nevertheless, it remains the best option for a newcomer to Toronto. What’s more, you’ll enjoy several subway stations that make it easy to get to other parts of Toronto.
Vaughan is growing rapidly and is already home to many high-end franchises. This suburb is poised to become one of Toronto’s most popular areas in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions about the neighbourhoods in Toronto
What is the best neighbourhood in Toronto to live with a baby?
Allenby. Allenby is a residential neighbourhood in the heart of Toronto that is known as one of the most family-friendly neighbourhoods, especially for families with young children and for its remarkable architectural heritage, but it also has excellent public schools.
What are the best toronto suburbs for families?
- Bloor West Village. The quintessential suburban neighbourhood nestled within the confines of the Toronto’s city limits is Bloor West Village.
- The Beaches. Just the name of this neighbourhood exudes desirability.
- Danforth Village
- Davisville Village
What are the pros and cons of living in Scarborough Toronto vs downtown?
Benefits of living in Scarborough
- Rental prices: Rental prices in Scarborough are lower than in Toronto. You can find larger apartments/houses that pay much less.
- Near Centennial College: If you plan to study at Centennial College, it is advisable to live close to campus.
Disadvantages of living in Scarborough
- Transportation: It is difficult to get from Scarborough to Toronto every day. The TTC (the company responsible for public transportation in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area) is unreliable, delays are very frequent.
- You must have a car: You will certainly need a car, which will increase your monthly living expenses.
- There are not too many things to do on the weekend : You will find that there is not much to do in Scarborough, to go to events, restaurants, you will have to go to downtown Toronto.
Which neighbourhoods offer cheaper flats to rent in the Greater Toronto Area?
Guildwood Village (Scarborough) : on average, 950$ per month.
Weston : on average, 957$ per month.
Black Creek : on average, 1011 per month.
Rexdale : on average, 887$ per month.
East York : on average, 1082$ per month.
Mimico-New Toronto : on average, 821$ per month.
Keelesdale–Eglinton West : on average, 897$ per month.
Is there LGBTQ neighbourhood in Toronto?
Yes, Toronto is home to the largest community The Gay Village, or “the village” as residents call it, is a predominantly gay neighbourhood nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto.