Once upon a time in Toronto, if you were searching for a place to live, you just looked at the neighbourhood that suited your lifestyle. And if the area you liked had become popular—and therefore a little too pricey—you just wandered a few blocks away and found a similar pocket of the city the big wallets hadn’t discovered yet.
But the combination of Toronto’s constant population growth and a sustained real-estate boom over the past decade and a half means you’ll wear out a lot of shoe leather now trying to find a deal. The map of neighbourhoods semi-officially recognized as gentrified or up-and-coming now stretches the length of all the subway lines, and covers virtually every square metre south of St. Clair from the Beach to Jane Street. It’s enough to make some people who want a decent, affordable house take a long look at Hamilton, Milton or Peterborough.
Just how pricey have some of Toronto’s most sought-after neighbourhoods become over the last 16 years? This pricey.
However, there are still places where you can find a relative bargain—neighbourhoods that go unmentioned in the trend stories but currently offer a quality of life and amenities similar to what you’d find in more celebrated (and punishingly expensive) quarters of the city. We ventured away from the subway lines to find the qualities we’ve come to love about the places we can’t afford. These five ’hoods don’t have everything their more famous doppelgängers do—there’s a reason those places are so pricey—but if you don’t care about snob appeal and you’re willing to watch patiently as a community evolves, you can find some of the more beloved elements of your dream neighbourhood under the radar and within your budget.
Click on the links below to take a tour of each underrated neighourhood
1. If you’re priced out of The Beach, take a look at… NEW TORONTO
2. If you’re priced out of Leaside, take a look at…TODMORDEN VILLAGE
3. If you’re priced out of The Kingsway, take a look at…WEST HILL
4. If you’re priced out of Moore Park, take a look at…CLIFFSIDE
5. If you’re priced out of The Junction, take a look at…WESTON VILLAGE