As many of you are aware Toronto Life has released it’s September 2013 issue “The Best Places to Live in the City”. It has been a major conversation over dinners, drinks, amongst friends in parks all over our Toronto. Toronto Life ranked all 140 neighbourhoods, some rankings more surprising than others.
If I had been given the chance to vet their list I would have moved these 10 Toronto neighbourhoods into the top 20 without a doubt…so here goes, I will start with the two biggest shockers:
1) Roncesvalles (TO Life’s Ranking: 80) – in my opinion one of the most well rounded, relatively affordable areas in our city. Great schools, access to the Gardiner Expressway, nice shops, great restaurants and a stone’s throw to our greatest park, High Park.
2) Dufferin Grove (TO Life’s Ranking: 110) – a central neighbourhood that has some incredible 150 year old homes (yes this is true). Some lots are 40 feet by 250 feet with old coach houses in the back alley). Dufferin Grove Park is the bench mark for parks urban parks in the city. It also has one of the largest farmers market year round (is one of the original farmer markets in the city). Young families and easy access make this a great destination.) This is what the Annex was 20 years ago.
3) The Annex (TO Life’s Ranking: 36) – Central, great schools, great architecture. Lots of history as this was one of the first areas “Annexed” by the city of Toronto.
4) Trinity Bellwoods (TO Life’s Ranking: 41) – Try telling this to one of the thousands of lounging people in Trinity Bellwoods Park on any given weekend in the summer! Some of our best restaurants and cafes are found in this artsy hub!
5) Palmerston-Little Italy (TO Life’s Ranking: 22) – OK, so this gem just missed the top 20… two of the best downtown streets of Toronto are found here, Palmerston Boulevard and Markham Street. Enough said. Wait, the iconic Honest Ed’s too 😉
6) Hillcrest Village (TO Life’s Ranking: 51) – Give this another few more years and people will see just how wonderful and relatively affordable these houses are. Some beautiful 120 year detached houses are tucked away in this pocket.
7) Wychwood (TO Life’s Ranking: 65) – We all know the Wychwood Barns. Well this is surrounded by a wonderful neighbourhood of families and young professionals. Also, perhaps the best kept secret in the city: Wychwood Park…a private enclave of homes…a must visit for anyone looking to explore the city in search of a quiet oasis of living.
8) Playter Estates Danforth (TO Life’s Ranking: 66) – The Carrot Common for one, is like no other holistic health experience in the city. Great houses, the wonderful Jackman Public School (with green roof). Easy access to the core without the hustle and bustle found just west of the Don Valley Parkway.
9) Cabbagetown-South St James Town (TO Life’s Ranking: 45) – Greatest density of Victorian homes in our city. Cabbagetown in particular is considered the most well rounded neighbourhood by scholar Richard Florida. St James itself is still a work in progress.
10) Runneymede-Bloor West Vilalge (TO Life’s Ranking: 26) – Another one that just missed the top 20 ranking. A great area to raise your children.
Bonus Insight: The are a number of funny stats in this issue (ie. the average value in Rosedale and Moore Park is $951,300, if this were the case I would suggest that you run, not walk to buy a house immediately – call me!. The reality is that you would need, on average $2 million to buy a house in Rosedale, but if you would like a selection to choose from then $3.5 million in your pocket would help!)