Toronto is one of those global villages that you can call home no matter what stage of life you’re In: attending university, raising a family, or planning to retire. The vast array of beautiful and unique neighbourhoods are in a variety of settings, from the waterfront to the downtown business core, and choosing where to live in Toronto is a simple matter of viewing homes and apartments in an area that tallies with your lifestyle and budget.

Here is a list (in no particular order) of the best neighbourhoods in Toronto and what makes each one special.

1. Yorkville

Old York Lane at Yorkville

Yorkville is renowned as one of the wealthiest parts of the city. On any given day you can see Toronto’s rich and famous shopping at Gucci or Prada or enjoying lunch at the many high-end restaurants or hotel bars. Every September, when the Toronto International Film Festival takes place, it attracts celebrity-watchers in droves.

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Despite its overall priciness, you can find some condo buildings that are affordable to successful professionals and middle-class families. If you come across one, you’ve struck

The Beaches

real estate gold.

2. The Beaches

One of the safest Toronto neighbourhoods, The Beaches is a picturesque neighbourhood that many middle-

class families call home. It includes three kilometres of the scenic boardwalk, quaint parks, and excellent shopping and dining opportunities on Queen Street. Most of the residents are successful and easygoing professionals and their families. If you take public transit often, the 501 Queen streetcar can get you downtown or to other transit hubs.

3. Annex Neighbourhood

annex neighbourhood
Larger homes typically found in the Annex north of Bloor Street

If you are looking for a place to rent while you study at the University of Toronto, look no further than the Annex. The university’s main campus is on the neighbourhood’s southeast end, which is why so many students and faculty call it home. You don’t have to be associated with U of T to call the Annex home: the leafy streets with their elegant vintage homes, combined with stunning cafes, restaurants and shops, make it an attractive location for all age groups and lifestyles. It is also close to the Bathurst, Spadina, and St George subway stations, all of which take you quickly to downtown Toronto.

4. Danforth-Greektown

Alexander the Great park at Christmas in Greektown

Greektown encompasses most of the Danforth from the east side of the Don Valley Parkway all the way to Victoria Park. The neighbourhood is nationally celebrated for its annual Taste of Danforth festival, which runs for three days every August and takes over the entire area between Broadview and Pape. The 2017 festival featured 150 vendors offering unique foods from local businesses.

The close proximity of the TTC subway system makes Greektown popular with young professionals who work downtown. It is also adjacent to the Don Valley River Park, making it highly attractive to nature lovers needing a break from the noise and bustle of the city. For one of the best views of the Toronto skyline, take a short walk to Riverdale Park.

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5. Rosedale

Chesnut Park Rosedale Toronto
A postcard from the 1920s shows Chestnut Park in Rosedale

Another affluent Toronto neighbourhood, Rosedale, is full of large and beautiful homes lining the streets intersecting Yonge Street. There are plenty of elegant but low-key bars and restaurants interspersed with boutique storefronts, all of which contributed to Rosedale being named the city’s best neighbourhood by Toronto Life. Among them is the Black Camel, home of the ‘all-day lineup’ thanks to its fabulous sandwiches.

While the average household income is over $300,000 a year, enough students and hipsters are finding affordable rental housing to make Rosedale a mix of old money and new blood.

6. Liberty Village

A view of Liberty Village, looking west from Hanna Avenue, down Snooker Street towards Atlantic Avenue.

Liberty Village is a thriving residential area at the end of King West. It is filled with apartments and condos occupied mostly by young professionals due to its proximity to downtown. There is a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants like Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Oats & Ivy. If you’re a sports fan, Liberty Village is close to BMO Field, so you don’t need to worry about a missing game day due to traffic. For music fans, summer will be a lot more lively and fun due to Molson Amphitheatre being a short distance away.

7. Bloor West Village

Looking east on Bloor Street

A self-titled “small village in a big city,” Bloor West Village is full of locals who proclaim it the best place to stay in Toronto. The area is primarily residential, with large brick homes and tranquil, tree-lined streets, but there are also several shops, restaurants, cafés and quaint markets that meet the needs of residents. Bloor West is close to High Park, a beautiful green space that is one of Toronto’s most popular parks. On weekends you will see plenty of young families enjoying the picnic areas, gardens, playgrounds, and the zoo, so Bloor West might be the place for you if you have young children.

8. Kensington Market

Shops in Kensington Market

Kensington Market has such a quirky personality that it attracts freethinkers of all backgrounds. Its landmark, a brightly painted car that doubles as a garden, reflects the local atmosphere perfectly. The homes are unique and attractive, and if you’re a fan of vintage clothing shops, tiny fruit and vegetable markets, fair trade coffee shops, and authentic Asian cuisine (Chinatown is close by), you will enjoy calling Kensington Market home.

9. Scarborough Village

Eglinton Avenue at the Eglinton GO Station, east of Bellamy Road

If you want to live in Toronto but prefer a quieter location with more affordable living options, Scarborough Village could be an excellent choice. Located east of Toronto, this stylish neighbourhood overlooks Lake Ontario and features beautiful waterfront parks. In terms of amenities, you can find everything from quaint cafés and authentic ethnic restaurants to shops of all kinds.

The neighbourhood is nearly an hour away from downtown Toronto by car (75 minutes by bus), but its affordability attracts families in particular. Homeownership in Scarborough is high, with 61% of residents being homeowners and 39% renting.

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So, where is the best place to live in Toronto? It all depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. But if you’re looking for good areas to live in Toronto, this will provide you with an excellent start.

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