Earlier this summer, Zoocasa worked with Moneysense Magazine to uncover the best places for prospective home buyers to purchase a home in Canada. As the official data provider for Where to Buy Real Estate in Canada 2021, Zoocasa ranked neighbourhoods and municipalities across 17 regions from coast to coast using proprietary methodology that takes into account average home prices, price growth over time, as well as neighbourhood characteristics and economics.
Taking a methodical, statistics-based approach to the study allowed the Zoocasa team to take a quantitative look at which communities in Canada balanced affordability with quality of life. But, this approach makes it hard to understand more subjective factors – like which cities do Canadians hold in high regard, or which areas of the country do they feel more hopeful about?
For help understanding these, we turned to our readers to ask which place they would rate as the best place to buy real estate in Canada. In a five-round tournament on Zoocasa’s Instagram Stories, readers selected the winner they thought deserved the #1 spot. Today, we’re comparing your choices to the official results.
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Toronto is the Community’s Pick for Best Place to Buy Real Estate
After five rounds of voting, Toronto took the spot as our reader’s choice of best place to buy real estate in Canada with Montreal in second, and Okanagan in third. Toronto beat out Montreal in the finals, earning 81% of the total votes.
The win demonstrates the strong affinity Zoocasa readers have for larger cities, despite the fact that affordability has been shrinking in the country’s urban centres. In the official ranking, Toronto ranked third last of all Canadian communities reviewed by the study, largely due to the high cost of living in the city compared to other areas with similar neighbourhood characteristics.
Related read: The GTA Market is Moderating from Record-Breaking to Robust
“While other areas in the country, like London, offer up and coming opportunities, it’s undeniable that the value in Toronto has been tried and true” explains Zoocasa Sales Representative, Emma Pace. “This is our country’s economic powerhouse. Lifestyle, employment, and new innovation are all here. Given these factors, it’s no surprise that buyers feel confident investing in Toronto – all of the fundamentals of the market are here.”
When analyzing these poll results, it’s important to know that Torontonians make up the largest group of Zoocasa followers on the platforms where this tournament was promoted – so it’s no surprise that a little hometown pride may have influenced voters when choosing where they think is the best place to buy in Canada.
The Official Top Three Ranked In the Bottom Two-Thirds
In the official MoneySense feature, Bancroft, Woodstock, and London made up the top three places to buy real estate in Canada. When ranked by our readers, none of these cities placed in the top third.
Bancroft, the Official MoneySense Where To Buy Real Estate 2021 winner, placed 12th in our poll. This rural town in Ontario cottage country was eliminated in the second round to Toronto. Interestingly, Bancroft put up one of the strongest fights against Toronto, gaining 30% of total votes in their match. This was the second-highest result of any contender against Toronto, besides Vancouver Island, which scored 40% of the votes in the Semi-Finals. The rest of the contenders in Toronto’s matches earned 20% of the votes or less. Bancroft’s middle-of-the-pack ranking speaks to the increasing desire urban Canadians have in relocating to a quieter pace of life now that work from home has become more prevalent.
Woodstock and Ingersol, the official second-place winner, placed 21st in our poll after being eliminated in the first round to Guelph. The official third-place winner, London and St. Thomas, landed in last place in our reader poll after being eliminated in the first round to Toronto.
The lower rankings of Woodstock and London in our reader poll reflects why we’ve got our eye on these two cities: they’re areas that are traditionally overlooked for real estate investment but show massive potential. While both cities have historically relied on the manufacturing industry, which faced significant challenges in the last decade as a result of the 2010 recession, the local economies are diversifying leaving plenty of opportunity for new residents.
If you’d like to get involved with our next community poll, make sure to follow us on Instagram to make your voice heard.