What to consider when selecting your New Home
Southern Ontario is a huge, sprawling geographical area which offers many communities with various characteristics and different lifestyles. Since the GTA boundaries have expanded over the years as far east as Oshawa, as far north as Keswick/Georgina, as far west as Burlington/Hamilton, and Caledon to the northwest, living options have increased over the last 10 years opening up opportunities that didn’t exist before. Whether you’re looking for your first new home, downsizing or leaving the big city for a more relaxed lifestyle up north - the choices are endless.
How do you choose?
Often this is homework that is not easily done alone. A real-estate professional is experienced in providing the advice you might be looking for. The real estate industry is always ahead of the game and has the knowledge and experience to determine which neighbourhoods are best suited for the lifestyle you seek. Some neighbourhoods are planned to accommodate different income levels or may have taken into account cultural needs. Some are best suited for families or young professionals or both. Some require more commuting than others. Regardless of which market segment you are in, what is most important to everyone is to be in a neighbourhood that is safe, provides great schools, a variety of amenities and has the transit infrastructure to travel in and out of the community.
What to consider?
Selecting a place to live can be a daunting task but for the most part is usually dictated by things like employment location, availability of transportation, affordability, schooling, amenities, and lifestyle. These are some of the decisions you need to make while considering where you want to live. Ask yourself, do you want to live in an older established community or do you want to live in a more modern newer community? Is commuting important to you? Is the neighbourhood safe? What’s the Walk Score? Can you walk to places like retailers, schools, or community centres? Will you need a car? Here are some of the places you may consider based on price and what they offer.
Top Neighbourhoods in the GTA (no specific order)
Today, your options vary. The following areas have individual neighbourhoods in which to choose from. As up and coming areas, these get check marks for safety, schools, shopping, entertainment and much more. These are on the higher affordability scale but have a lot to offer.
- Burlington - located on the shores of Lake Ontario, it is home to countless amenities, green spaces, park land and golf courses. It is 45-50 km to the heart of downtown Toronto. Burlington offers both detached, townhomes and condos.
- Markham - lies approximately 17km north of Toronto and two thirds of the population are of Asian decent. It is known for being home to several technological corporations like Apple, Motorola, Toshima and IBM. Markham is a self-sufficient town offering a variety of homes, a charming downtown core and all the amenities you desire.
- Oakville - home to some of the most beautiful older houses along the shores of Lake Ontario with new homes in north Oakville. A prosperous British town with countless shops, boutiques and cafes. Oakville is one of the more expensive locations in the GTA but provides a prestigious lifestyle with small city charm surrounded by greenspaces and great walking trails along Lake Ontario.
- Richmond Hill - the Town of Richmond Hill lies about 25 km (15 miles) or half-an-hour by GO train, north of Toronto’s commercial centre. Richmond Hill has experienced rapid growth and has a prosperous population of diverse backgrounds. Richmond Hill offers many parks, nature trails, playgrounds and sports fields.
- Vaughan - the City of Vaughan is located about 21 km north of Toronto. Vaughan’s population was just 30,000 in 1981 and has now exceeded 300,000. It is home to Canada’s Wonderland and many unique shops and restaurants. A new hospital is under construction along with a new extension of the TTC Spadina Subway located at Highway 7 and Jane Street.
Up & Coming Locations in Toronto and the GTA
Somewhat more affordable, these areas still offer great amenities but are not as costly as some of the places listed above. Depending on affordability and the lifestyle you desire and need, these options have proven viable for many people.
- Newmarket - located between downtown Toronto and cottage country this town offers both city amenities and small-town charm. It’s one of the safest communities according to the community’s website.
- Uptown Burlington - An up and coming go to neighbourhood for today’s modern family, just 45 minutes from downtown Toronto. You can find a number of housing options here while still having access to the surrounding area via Hwy 403, the QEW and the 407.
- Flemingdon Park - A multicultural community located in the Eglinton Avenue East and the Don Mills Road area of North York. It focuses on young families offering a variety of afterschool programs. This area has served many new Canadian families.
- Danforth Village - An authentic vibrant suburb which is also attractive to new Canadian families with close proximity to subway lines, has less congestion than other parts of the GTA and is surrounded by natural environments.
- Milliken Park - Located in the Markham Road and Steeles Avenue area, this is home to high scoring academic schools and a vibrant Asian community. Milliken Park is a beautiful green space boasting trails and a recreational centre.
Depending on what you’re looking for, the above gives you an idea of what is available. Although price is usually synonymous with location, you’ll have to keep that in mind. While there is a lot to consider, one of these areas may be right for you. All offer some of the basic fundamental amenities needed for daily living such as schools, shopping and transportation. Many offer countless amenities, green spaces and entertainment which are within walking distance or a short drive away. They are all self-sufficient communities, so it comes down to which is best suited for your family, your lifestyle and your budget.
A real-estate professional is well informed and can assist you in making one of the most important decisions of your life much easier. For more information about these and other realty services, visit our website and stay updated about new homes for sale in the GTA.