Moving to Toronto (GTA): Where Should You Live?

Moving to Toronto (GTA): Where Should You Live? – 2024

Canada Toronto Toronto

As the most populated city in Canada, Toronto is widely known across the nation for its multiculturalism, tech prospects, and the famous singer Drake. Tourists and Canadians alike are drawn to the urban sprawl whether it’s for a Raptors game or the CN Tower. Thriving with arts and culture, the Six makes for an ideal location for those interested in moving to the big city. Despite its status as one of Canada’s pricier cities, a good option is living in the suburbs of Toronto that are part of the GTA.

Before moving, it is suggested to research the cost of living in Toronto so you have a better understanding of your potential new home and condos for sale in Toronto. It is best to ask yourself certain questions regarding the area and to explore to make the right decision. Here is the list of the Top 7 Best Neighborhoods in Toronto with the Best Quality of Life in 2024.

Methodology

Based on “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in Toronto, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and quality of life. 

Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of the total number of crimes, which is derived from Toronto Police data recorded between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. The crime rate is calculated per 1,000 people. The crime categories are assault, break and enter, auto theft, robbery, and theft over.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. Statistics come from Redfin Real Estate Housing Market Reports for the average cost of buying a property and Zumper for the average cost of rent for a 1-bed apartment.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. High Park - Swansea

High Park - Swansea
  • Crime Rate: 3.38 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2350
  • Average property buying cost: $745 000

High Park – Swansea is a charming and vibrant neighborhood in the west end of Toronto. To the south, Swansea meets Lake Ontario, offering residents access to Sunnyside Beach and Gus Ryder Pool in the summer. It is conveniently located near grocery stores, restaurants, as well as schools like Swansea Junior and Senior Public School. Most homes are single-family houses, and there are also apartments and condos, with a notable presence of individuals aged 35 to 64.

Swansea has an impressively low crime rate of 3.38 crimes per 1000 making it ideal for families, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a balanced urban-suburban lifestyle in the heart of Toronto.

As of November 2023, the average property buying cost is $745,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,350.

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (Dec 2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), High Park-Swansea (Dec 2016), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

High Park - Swansea, Toronto

2. Steeles

Apartments in Steeles
  • Crime Rate: 5.27 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2734
  • Average property buying cost: $1 320 000

With a population of 24,623, Steeles has a remarkably low crime rate of 5.27 crimes per 1000 people. As of November 2023, the average property buying cost is $1,320,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,734.

Steeles is one of the best neighborhoods in Toronto as it offers a serene environment ideal for families. It features big parks like L’Amoreaux North, Terry Fox, and Fundy Bay, providing soccer and tennis fields along with playgrounds.Additionally, Steeles is conveniently close to public schools such as Sir Ernest MacMillan Senior Public School and Terry Fox Public School.

Most of the housing in Steeles consists of single-family homes and townhouses on tree-lined streets, making the neighborhood walkable with nearby grocery stores and restaurants.

Toronto Police – MCI (Dec 2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Steeles (Dec 2016), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Steeles, Toronto

3. Whitby

  • Crime Rate: 5.95 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1848
  • Average property buying cost: $957 000

Whitby is an affordable choice with lower home prices and rental costs compared to the city of Toronto or nearby GTA townships. Locals take pleasure in participating in outdoor activities by exploring numerous parks and trails while also exploring the waters along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Considering the distance to Downtown Toronto, GO Transit provides both bus and train services from Whitby. The 52-minute bus journey to Union Station costs $9 to $13. Safety is ensured with a low crime rate of 5.95 crimes per 1,000 people.

It is worth noting that Whitby has a low crime rate of 5.95 crimes per 1000 people. It remains a welcoming and inviting place to call home, particularly for those who appreciate its rich heritage and vibrant community.

As of November 2023, the average property buying cost is $957,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,848

 

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Town of Whitby (Dec 2020), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Whitby, Toronto

4. Humber Heights- Westmount

Apartments in Humber Heights - Westmount
  • Crime Rate: 7.40 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,350
  • Average property buying cost: $845,000

In northeastern Etobicoke, Humber Heights or Humbervale, is a serene neighborhood surrounded by parks like Cruickshank, Weston Lions, and Raymore, along the Humber River and near Emmett Waterfall. This neighborhood has a diverse range of housing options, from grand mansions to more modest, low-density single homes with the property buying cost averaging $845,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,350.

Residents benefit from easy transit, with Weston Train Station providing a short commute to Toronto’s Financial District. A 50-minute drive via Gardiner Expressway W takes you to Old Toronto, and there’s convenient access to Highway 401 Express for GTA commuters.

With a population of 10,938, Humber Heights-Westmount has a crime rate of 7.4 crimes per 1000 people. Despite its small population, this neighborhood offers a secure and inviting place to call home, making it an excellent choice for those seeking tranquility.

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (Dec 2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Humber Heights (Dec 2016), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Humber Heights- Westmount, Toronto

5. Yonge & St. Clair

Apartments in Yonge & St. Clair
  • Crime Rate: 7.56 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $3325.28 
  • Average property buying cost: $907 000

Known as the beating heart of midtown Toronto, Yonge-St. Clair is a neighborhood where culture and commerce meet. This neighborhood offers a perfect mix of big city life with a suburban feel because of its proximity to the city’s center with only a 17 minute drive. The main streets form a lively commercial hub with various office buildings, restaurants, shops, and cafés, offering a range of choices for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Yonge-St. Clair is all about community and gathering people together, you can find a list of their upcoming festivals and celebrations on the neighborhood website

The neighborhood ranks as one of the best neighborhoods in Toronto, with a total crime rate of 7.56 per 1,000 people. As of November 2023, the average property buying cost is $907,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,325.28. This makes it an inviting choice for those seeking both urban vibrancy and a secure environment.

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (Dec 2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Yonge & St. Clair, Toronto

6. Kingsway South

Kingsway South - Toronto 2024
  • Crime Rate: 12.29 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $2,500
  • Average property buying cost: $2,358,387.43 

If you are looking for a laid back, quiet neighborhood to raise a family, Kingsway South is the place for you. In this neighborhood, you can find family homes of 3 bedrooms plus as well as a few apartment buildings like the Kingsway On-The-Park. Being more residential than other neighbourhoods, these are some of the coziest among houses for sale in Toronto.

Among the homes, the Bloor St. strip is where you can find the most walkable area of the neighborhood filled with coffee shops, hair salons, restaurants, grocery stores and an LCBO. 

Kingsway South is the perfect neighborhood to raise a family given its proximity to schools and low crime rate of 12.29 crimes per 1000 people. However given its high house pricing, it is known to be difficult to find a house of your choosing. 

As of November 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,500 and the average property buying cost is $2,358,387.

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (Dec 2022),Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Kingsway South (Dec 2016), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Kingsway South, Toronto

7. Oshawa

Oshawa
  • Crime Rate: 43.36 crimes per 1000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,850
  • Average property buying cost: $740,000

Oshawa provides a combination of convenience and tranquility. Locals appreciate its proximity to downtown Toronto, with easy access near subway stations, or a 52-minute drive away as well as its easy access to the 401 highway. 

Noted by many locals, it is best to avoid the downtown Oshawa area due to an increase in people experiencing homelessness. Nonetheless, locals love the peaceful Lakeview Park and Lakefront West Park, which promote outdoor recreation and family-friendly activities. For safety, it has a reported crime rate of 43.36 crimes per 1000 people. 

As of November 2023, the average property buying cost is $740,000, while the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,850, making it one of the best neighborhoods to live in Toronto. 

Toronto Police – Major Crime Indicators (Dec 2022), City Population (July 2022), Statistics Canada (Dec 2021), Zumper (Nov 2023) & Redfin (Nov 2023)

Oshawa, Toronto

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Conclusion

All things considered, Toronto is a vibrant city that offers enjoyable living experience, family-friendly neighborhoods, amazing food and work opportunities. Toronto is a perfect choice for an urban lifestyle with its culture and contemporary way of life. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

Moving to Toronto and deciding where to settle can be a tough decision. It is just as important to take into account the safety as well as costs when choosing a neighborhood. MovingWaldo’s list of the top 7 best neighborhoods in Toronto with the best quality of life in 2024 can help you choose your ultimate neighborhood!

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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