Family Friendly Neighbourhoods in Toronto

When it comes to making house-hunting families happy, parents and realtors alike put access to good schools, community centres and well-rounded amenities at the top of their wish lists. Some parents cite more intangible attributes—small-town feel and community spirit—while others value urban diversity and commuter convenience. Checklist in hand, we searched for neighbourhoods that offered as many family benefits as possible. Here, the 10 that came out on top.

  1. The Beach is as close to living in a resort town as you’ll get in Toronto, complete with lakeside boardwalk and a stroll-worthy shopping district. “The Beach has a small town feel to it,” says Valerie Schmitchen, 50, who has lived here for 15 years with her husband and two children. “It feels like we’re connected to the people in our neighbourhood rather than just the businesses.” Schmitchen says she loves being close to the city’s core while still having enough amenities at her doorstep that downtown trips aren’t neccesary. With its annual jazz and arts and crafts festivals, the Beach also bustles with activities the whole family can enjoy.
  2. South Riverdale’s population is a mix of professionals and creative types. Of particular family appeal: the many parks, the shopping strip along the Danforth and easy subway access. Tanya Gallus, who lives here with her husband and two young children, was drawn to the area by both its amenities (daycare, toy store, grocery store, subway access) and its diversity. “It is perfectly normal to my daughter that some kids have two mommies,” she says. “And I love that.
  3. Think of Leslieville as tomorrow’s Riverdale. (Indeed, the City of Toronto seems to have done just that, as they’ve rolled the neighbourhood of Leslieville into the larger district of South Riverdale.) With housing prices high, it can be difficult for young families to buy into more established neighbourhoods. As a result, many have ventured into emerging neighbourhoods like Leslieville, says Chestnut Park Real Estate’s Kara Reed. Tim Millan and his wife Leslie were drawn to the area eight years ago by its affordability. Two kids later, they’re still there, opting to stay even as their fortunes have improved. “I grew up in Cabbagetown and saw that neighbourhood transform,” says Millan. “I see that same potential here. It’s a great place to be and is only getting better.”
  4. Zannat Reza, 34, and her husband have lived in Bloor West Village since their daughter, Raisa, was born three years ago. On the Bloor subway line, the neighbourhood has become a favourite for families. “One of the things we sacrificed by living close to the city is the size of our backyard,” says Reza. But that trade-off was made easier by the family’s proximity to High Park, 399 acres of green space complete with a small zoo, an adventure playground and a large pond. Not only does Raisa thrive on being outdoors, but Reza identifies having access to High Park as a community-building opportunity. “You get to talking to other parents and the kids get to know each other. It’s invaluable,” she says.
  5.  Etobicoke’s The Kingsway has established itself as a family community that feels as close-knit as some downtown neighbourhoods while still offering the benefits of suburban life—like bigger lots and more green space. That’s what drew Colette Pearson and her husband, Todd, to the area. “It’s like a suburb within the city,” she says. “I can walk everywhere and things are in close proximity, but it has a more suburban feel.”

    Content Courtesy of : Toronto Life

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