Updated July 2018
There’s a reason Toronto is called a “city of neighbourhoods” – with over 140 vibrant and diverse ones to choose from, Torontonians have access to a wealth of cultures, food, retail and entertainment in every corner of the municipality. However, that can make navigating Toronto real estate a challenge: it’s important to find your ideal community, especially when raising a family.
Family-friendly amenities, safety, green space, and top rated schools are top-of-mind for parent home buyers.
Here are our picks for the top family-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto.
Top 6 Family Friendly Neighbourhoods in Toronto
A pocket for first-time buyers, Danforth Village is a hot spot for shopping, dining and culture. Over the last five years, the neighbourhood has transformed and attracted buyers from all segments of the market. Still considered to be an “affordable” area of the city, Danforth Village is a very attractive option for young couples who are looking to purchase a home but still be within reach of downtown, as the neighbourhood has direct access to both the subway and the GO Train station. With its close community and peaceful streets, it feels like a small village in the heart of the big city, with access to all the amenities right at your doorstep.
Bloor West Village
Bordering High Park just west of downtown, Bloor West Village is a unique neighbourhood with direct access to the TTC Line 2 subway, yet maintains its close-knit neighbourhood appeal. This neighbourhood is just steps away from Bloor Street, featuring a variety of shopping and dining options. This community is friendly and has the charm of a small town in a big city as downtown can be reached in just minutes via the subway. High Park is also only a short walk away and provides 161 hectares of nature, playgrounds, and the gorgeous Grenadier Pond. Visiting the park in early spring to witness the blossoming of cherry blossoms is not to be missed!
Situated along the shores of Lake Ontario on the east side of Toronto, The Beaches is a unique and highly-coveted neighbourhood, known for its pristine waterfront that extends over 3 km, from Victoria Park to Coxwell. The lake and downtown views are breathtaking, and there’s always lots to do, such as strolling along the boardwalk, shopping on Queen St., or taking in the famous annual Beaches Jazz Festival. The Beaches is also home to excellent schools with exceptional Fraser Institute Rankings, and is a trendy, clean, and tight-knit community.
Nestled in Toronto’s midtown, Davisville Village offers a variety of housing options and highly-ranked schools. Its central location means it’s ideal for transit and drivers from downtown, making it popular among young families. Davisville’s main shopping district is Mount Pleasant Road, which hosts a variety of antique and collectable shops. Moreover, it is home to excellent recreational facilities and parks, making it an ideal family-friendly destination. It also features some truly lovely architecture, as many of the homes there were built between the 1920s and the 1930 in the Edwardian-style.
Once hailed by the New York Times as the Williamsburg of Toronto, Leslieville is a family friendly neighbourhood situated on the east side of downtown Toronto. The area has undergone a major revitalization in recent years, becoming a hip enclave that’s chock-full of artisanal coffee shops, trendy cafes, and retail stores. It’s also a magnet for young millennial families, drawn to its urban, yet small-town, vibe. Typical homes in Leslieville include mid-rise condos and apartments, townhouses and older detached homes. The area has easy access to downtown via the Line 2 subway. A fun fact: this neighbourhood was historically known as Toronto’s Film District and continues to draw in the likes of film makers, artists, and designers.
Rockcliffe-Smythe is probably the best bet when searching for an affordable detached home close to downtown; the neighbourhood is almost deceptively well-connected, with close access to the St. Clair streetcar line, which runs across town. It was ranked number six on Airbnb’s “Hottest Neighbourhoods of the World” list in 2017 and is renowned for its peaceful residential streets, and large swaths of green space along the Black Creek Valley. Many buyers who are considering this area are young couples who value the pride of home ownership.