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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

It looks very much like my work is going to see me in Toronto for the long haul from next January ish and I'm in need of some neighborhood advice please.

Currently, we live in Westmount in Montreal and love most things about the area. I can walk downtown in twenty minutes and am surrounded by green space to the point where it feels like living in the outer burbs whilst still being very close to downtown. The shopping here ranges from "eclectic Sunday stroll worthy" to supermarkets and convenience stores. There is a local arena and many parks in Westmount and the surrounding suburbs are also cool exploring.

I love the feeling of being totally safe here but I'm realistic and don't expect to find something walking distance to downtown Toronto without spending seven figures.

We'll be able to comfortably spend up to 450k (if anyone can really spend that much money comfortably:))but I'd prefer to spend between 200k and 250k and then sink the other 200k into renovating to our taste. At the upper end of the price range we'll need three or more bedrooms but, at the lower end, a two bedroom would be a good base to add to.

So, for anyone who knows both cities (or at least Westmount and Toronto), can you give me some advice on which neighborhoods I should be looking at in Toronto? Pros and cons of living closer or further out from downtown?

Thanks, in advance, for any advice or suggestions.

B.
 

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I hate the Leafs, if that helps any.

:heybaby:

;)
 

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Housing in Montreal is far cheaper than in Toronto. You can hardly buy a 2 bedroom condo for $250,000--300,000 is more realistic. Houses will be more.

Take a look at mls.ca to get an idea of what housing costs are like.

I don't know Montreal that well, but there are lots of neighbourhoods in Toronto that fit that description--well, maybe 20 minute subway to downtown, though what is considered downtown here is an enormous area.

Honestly, I would suggest renting for a year to get used to the city and explore on your own a bit, and then find a neighbourhood you like and can afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Sonal,

I've been scouring MLS for a couple of months now and can find small detached bungalows and 2 bedroom houses in Toronto west for those prices. They are not prolific and they are all in need of renovation but that is what I'm looking for. Is the outer western area of York a decent area? In particular it has to be safe and have a good infrastructure of schools and shopping etc.

Thanks,

B.

Housing in Montreal is far cheaper than in Toronto. You can hardly buy a 2 bedroom condo for $250,000--300,000 is more realistic. Houses will be more.

Take a look at mls.ca to get an idea of what housing costs are like.

I don't know Montreal that well, but there are lots of neighbourhoods in Toronto that fit that description--well, maybe 20 minute subway to downtown, though what is considered downtown here is an enormous area.

Honestly, I would suggest renting for a year to get used to the city and explore on your own a bit, and then find a neighbourhood you like and can afford.
 

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You should be able to find a decent semi-detached house off the Danforth, close to Coxwell for between $300 and $350K. There's lots of parks around, nice local shopping and you're on the subway so you can be downtown in 20 minutes. If you look around you might find something further west (closer to downtown) but the prices go up. Withrow Park is a gem but anything close to it is expensive.
 

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South of Withrow park (Leslieville) might be a good place to find a bargain to do up. It is an up and coming area full of young professionals but with a seedy strip joint there too it's not quite ready for families. You're on the street car line (Queen Street) to downtown and you're a short bike ride away from the Beaches. Apparently it's a good area for a deal these days.....especially if you don't mind doing some reno's. It's the new 'Parkdale' but cheaper. Parkdale is an area in the west end (again on Queen) that got trendy and saw a huge increase in house prices over the last 5-6 years (more so than the rest of TO)

Leslieville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There was a rumour that the strip joint was bought out by the same people who bought the Gladstone in Parkdale, if this were true and they renovated it to the same grandeur it would be a real hot market for houses down there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladstone_Hotel,_Toronto
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone, keep it coming.

Loafer, I live in Montreal. I've had enough of seedy strip joints to last me a lifetime :). I do like the idea of an up and coming area though and the streetcar and biking distance to the beaches really interests me. I'll definately be looking into Leslieville, thanks again.

B.
 

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Hi, there's lots of good info on Toronto at the following websites:

realestateplus.ca --> click on the "demographics" tab, select a neighbourhood, and start reading. Unfortunately, the MLS part of their site is not up yet, but the maps and demographics are up to date. Also has some info on recent sale prices for each neighbourhood.

Toronto Neighbourhoods --> This guy published a book of the same name a while back, and the website has the same info, but the housing prices are out of date.

City of Toronto Demographics Site --> More info, highly detailed, and broken down into 140 distinct neighbourhoods.

Toronto Neighbourhoods wiki --> What's a reference posting without a link to wikipedia?

For the money that you want to spend, you may be better off looking for a condo. Some of the buildings in south Etobicoke have a shuttle bus that takes the residents downtown included in their maintenance fees.

Also in south Etobicoke is New Toronto, which is another "up and coming" neighbourhood. Older homes are being bought by young families, and the area is slowly being gentrified a la Parkdale and Leslieville. There is a beautiful park there, lots of lake views, and on the negative side, the Mimico Jail.

Regarding safety, most of the city is safe and the crime rate is relatively low. Obviously there are some seedy areas, such as Jane/Finch, Regent Park, etc. but you probably won't be looking in these areas anyway.

My advice: find a place close to your work to keep your commuting time low. Traffic in this city sucks rocks! Public transit isn't much better unless you're close to the subway (metro in Montreal-speak;) )

Good luck,

Miguel
 

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I live East of Yonge... consequently, anything West of Yonge is a hazy mystery to me. :) (Toronto is funny like that.)

But this might be a helpful site for you.
Search for a Toronto neighbourhood

I can say that I don't think you are going to get that style of walking/strolling neighbourhood in the west end of York. For that, you are better off looking at some downtown neighbourhoods.

Parkdale still has issues though--it's very trendy in spots, still sketchy in others. I do like Leslieville a lot though, and it's fairly affordable right now.
 

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I think commute to work should be a major consideration when it comes to location.

Westmount, especially upper Westmount is pretty trendy and sophisticated. To get anything like that in Toronto, you need to lay out a lot more cash.

Renting for a year or two is not a bad idea; I just saw a 4 bedroom house near Queen a bit east of the Don Valley for just under $1500 per month.
House for Rent in Trendy area

Shouldn't be more than a 20 minute walk to downtown, say Queen and Yonge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again everyone, some really good info and websites for me to explore.
 

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when I was married I lived in a house near Royal York and Lakeshore in one of those 2 bedroom bungalows

that area does have larger homes and being near the lake does give you access to lots of green space

public transport along lakeshore / queensway via street car isn't great BUT driving a car along that route makes for a relatively quick jaunt to downtown

i believe this area used to be called Mimico

i did enjoy living there and it was an up an coming area

also, a daughter (and recent newlywed) of a friend of mine just bought a house in that area and are quite happy

I would suggest starting at Park Lawn and moving westward to about Kipling along and north of Lakeshore and see what you get

also, lots of 3 storey walk up apt. bldg. for rent in that same area too
 

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I live East of Yonge... consequently, anything West of Yonge is a hazy mystery to me. :) (Toronto is funny like that.)
That is so true.....everyone is either a west person or an east person in Toronto.

We know people who would only live in the west end and have never even been to the east end, never mind looking for a house there.....my wife and I are very much east end people :)
 

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Glad someone mentioned Leslieville, my 'hood. Good place to start if you don't mind being east of yonge & queen. Couldn't agree more about the east-west axis of downtown TO - for years I was a wester and rarely crossed the Don Valley. Now I've been in the east end for roughly a decade and it's wonderful.... I love the access to the Portlands and the lake via the Leslie St. Spit. The East end is also, for now anyway, more affordable than the West (if you can say any place in Toronto is even remotely affordable in this insane era)...

Mimico is nice too... like Leslieville it's a long-dormant area springing to new life.

The other axis I've discovered in recent years is the North-South one. I know lots of people who live in Markham, Unionville, Richmond Hill, etc. and can't fathom why anyone would live south of the 401. It's a big city and people get these kinds of ideas in their heads. There's lots to discover; it only remains that you get here and start scoping things out. I agree with Sonal that renting for a spell might be a smart move - if you're coming here cold it'll help you sort out where you'd like to eventually move.

One thing's for sure - Toronto is a whole other kettle of fish from Montreal. But I expect you already know that. Best of luck, wherever you go!
 
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