Toronto neighborhoods
September 28, 2004 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Suppose, hypothetically, that I were considering a move to Toronto, Ontario. I've never been there. Can someone give a quick rundown of the city and its neighborhoods? Where should a 30-something single professional from the Boston suburbs look for a nice two-bedroom condo?
posted by jpoulos to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine in Toronto recommends this website which seems to have precisely the sort of neighborhood rundown you're after. He also says:

"It depends on if he wants to live in the city or commute. The annex is popular, nice and more quiet while still close to things, but it is very expensive - not sure there are many condos there, though.

"I would suggest he tries to find a condo on the bloor line, a bit further way from downtown. This is assuming he's working downtown. If not, being on the subway line isn't big deal."

Assuming you are intending to work - do you have any idea where, as yet? Apparently this is a key factor. However, the linked site may contain the answers you need.
posted by nthdegx at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2004

It would depend on a lot of variables: what you like to do (shop, movies, concerts, dining) and when you like to do it (night owl or day person) as well as where you plan to work and $ available. Also, do you use public transit or drive? The Toronto real estate market is unbelievably high at the moment (earlier this year I heard about a two car garage going for $130k. No, I'm not joking).

This web site has a breakdown on the neighbourhoods in a very general sense (and it's not complete). If you meant you wanted to rent a condo, this web site may be of use for getting a look at some places and prices (it also has a pretty good clickable map to see regions).

Note: I'm rather bad at what follows; someone will no doubt give a more thorough and accurate portrayal:

Some of the popular areas of town are Queen West (for hipsters), the Annex (hipsters crossed with hippies and yuppies--also, the University of Toronto crowd), Yorkville + "Av and Dav" (avenue road and davenport, also Bay + Bloor) for the more chi-chi, the Beaches (very community oriented and mostly older crowd or people who enjoy hanging out on patios rather than rock concerts and clubs), Yonge and Eglinton (yuppie), the Danforth (aka upper Beaches or Beaches North--comminity oriented), Bloor West Village / High Park (community-oriented, vast mix of lower middle class to upper middle class).

I also have a theory that your preferred mode of transportation would be an indicator of where you should live. People in the Annex are generally cyclists. People at Yonge and Eg generally drive or take transit. People in Queen West generally walk or cycle.

Myself, I live near Casa Loma. Very nice area (quiet; dog park; everyone keeps to themselves), but absolutely nothing to do there. You have to leave the area to do anything at all.

The best video shops in the city (a factor for me, sadly) are in the Annex, Yorkville, Yonge and Eglinton, and Roncessville/Queen.

The best restaurants will depend on your preffered food-type. We have a Chinatown, and a Little: Italy, India, Portugal, etc.

The most central areas of the ones I mentioned are the Annex and Yorkville.
posted by dobbs at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2004

Fantastic stuff. Thanks guys. It is strictly hypothetical. I'm just considering options.
posted by jpoulos at 9:36 AM on September 28, 2004

Yeah, I'm waiting to see how November goes too.
posted by Eamon at 10:22 AM on September 28, 2004

The wikipedia entry on Toronto is pretty good.

I love my confused, ridiclous city.
posted by Capn at 10:33 AM on September 28, 2004

I live in High Park, near Roncesvalles. It's my favourite area in the city. Close enough to everything without actually being too close. Great public transit access and some lovely apartments and rooms for rent.

I prefer the west side to the east side, FWIW.
posted by Succa at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2004

I used to live at Yonge & Davisville (between Yonge & Eglinton and Yonge & St. Clair). Great area (although pricey for condos) - right on the subway and about a 30-40 minute walk to Yonge & Bloor (or a 20 minute bike ride almost entirely on bike lanes all the way down to Queen St. West), old homes, big trees, parks, great shopping, restaurants and movies, a variety of different neighbourhoods within walking distance, and very safe (most of Toronto is, but I was never nervous coming home late by myself when I lived there, which I can't say about some other neighbourhoods I've lived in). It's my favourite neighbourhood in Toronto, well worth taking a smaller place for a higher price.
posted by biscotti at 11:19 AM on September 28, 2004

Hey biscotti, I'm in the apartments on Lascelles blvd!
posted by Capn at 11:31 AM on September 28, 2004

AUGH, Capn! That's where I lived (in three different apartments, no less - what can I say, I love those buildings)! Very small world, I've had at least half a dozen friends and acquaintances who've lived in those buildings.
posted by biscotti at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2004

Probably basic but... if I were moving to a new city/country, I wouldn't buy property right away. Rent for awhile, and take stock of your new hometown.
posted by orange swan at 5:53 PM on September 28, 2004

Oops, just realized you said you'd never been here. Come for at least one weekend and scope the place out! Set up a MeFi meetup and pick our brains.
posted by orange swan at 5:57 PM on September 28, 2004

Hey, there's quite a few of us Torontonians here!
Feel free to send me an e-mail if you have any questions. I've lived in the Greater Toronto Area my whole life, and have some experience with the suburbs, which can be nice (but would never EVER move back there).
I'm in for a meetup, if anyone is interested.
posted by nprigoda at 6:07 PM on September 28, 2004

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