The Best Places to Live in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a global centre of finance, culture and commerce.
Its skyline features modern high-rise buildings, including the CN Tower and First Canadian Place.
There are many different cultural communities in the city, with Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown and others keeping their traditions alive. World-renowned Second City comedy/improv theatre also has a location here.
The city’s downtown core includes the Financial District by day, where suits and power brokers ply their trade from glass and steel towers. Come nightfall, the offices empty and people head to the Entertainment District to see a show or catch a game at the stadiums.
The area is also home to one of North America’s largest Chinatowns where crowds crush the sidewalks for authentic Chinese cuisine and not-so-authentic knockoffs. The Fashion District on Queen Street West and the club scene in clubs around Richmond and Adelaide are other popular hot spots.
For a break from all the concrete, head to one of the many bars that have made it onto Canada’s Top 100 list, such as Rush Lane & Co, which tests every batch of citrus juice in its laboratory and serves cocktails in vintage glasses.
2. North York
Formerly a separate city before amalgamation with Toronto in 1998, North York is an eclectic and multicultural area encompassing a university, parks, ravines, historical sites and unique neighbourhoods. Highlights include the hands-on Ontario Science Centre, the Aga Khan Museum showcasing Islamic culture in a modern building and Black Creek Pioneer Village, an 1800s living museum.
The main streets of North York are laid out in a grid pattern, making it easy to get around by car. Parking can be expensive in the downtown core but is much cheaper and easier to find in suburban areas.
Sports fans can catch a soccer game with the Toronto FC II (Toronto’s reserve team), in USL League One at Downsview Park, or check out York9 FC which debuted in 2019 as a founding member of the new Canadian Premier League.
3. East York
As one of the most diverse cities in Canada, Toronto is home to many ethnic and cultural festivals throughout the year. The city also has a number of radio stations that broadcast in various languages and public transit helplines offer assistance in over 70 different languages.
The city’s streets are lined with middle and working-class neighborhoods. The Kensington Market is a popular attraction with narrow streets bustling with immigrants, punks and yuppies shopping for groceries, surplus clothing and records.
Those looking for a quieter alternative to the West End should check out the quaint residential neighbourhoods of East York. The area has a number of parks, including 14-hectare Grenadier Pond, where visitors can unfurl a picnic blanket and enjoy the sunshine. The neighbourhood is also well served by public schools, with CSCM and TCDSB operating English first language secular schools.
From sweeping bluffs to vibrant communities, Scarborough is home to an array of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences. Hike along rugged cliffs or shop till you drop at massive malls, sample global cuisines or soak up local history at museums.
During autumn (September to October), watch salmon run up Highland Creek or enjoy Canada Day fireworks at Milliken Park. After dark, head to a bar or club in the area for live performances, comedy shows, and karaoke nights. Alternatively, check out the many restaurants and lounges that cater to a younger crowd including Civil Liberties, Paradise Grapevine, Three Speed, Hurricane’s, and Burdock Brewing. The Scarborough Town Centre is also a shopper’s paradise with more than 250 stores and services.
Etobicoke is one of the great cities of Toronto and a beautiful place to enjoy stunning views of Downtown Toronto Skyline, great art galleries and unique cultural experiences. It is also home to a lot of splendid outdoor recreational opportunities.
In South Etobicoke you can find many new condominium buildings overlooking Lake Ontario as well as a nice collection of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. There is a large concentration of new residents in this area and the area has become popular for young idealistic professionals looking for an urban lifestyle with easy access to GO Train stations.
Shopping is abundant on Bloor Street West and the Queensway as well as at Sherway Gardens, the city’s upscale mall. There are several TTC subway stations in Etobicoke, including Royal York Station and Islington Station as well as four suburban GO Train Stations.