How does your Toronto Neighbourhood Rate?

Photo credit: Toronto Life Magazine

Toronto Life Magazine has compiled a list of "The Best Places to Live in the City", specifically,  Toronto - based off a team of researchers at U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute think tank. I love to read Toronto Life but I find their lack of focus west of Jane Street annoying.  I wasn't surprised that the list ranked the burbs lower. Go figure.

As a proud west-ender I don't consider that Toronto stops at Jane Street (although many in North Toronto would disagree).  When I first started having networking events for Women in Biz Network people in the downtown core would complain of going to Etobicoke (even though it was on the subway line). So I had to move them downtown.

The top Toronto neighbourhoods according to Toronto Life were: 

  1. Rosedale - Moore Park (lovely but who can afford to live there)
  2. Brandury-Don Mills (Cool picture of the splashpad - I would go there)
  3. High Park - Swansea (one of my besties live there and I love the outdoor opportunities and shopping in Bloorwest) 
  4. Mount Pleasant West
  5. High Park North - Love love love the Junction for its cool shops and close by hipster proximity to where I live)

I was happy to see that Mimico (#9) and Queensway/Stonegate ( #18) were on the list, their rating wasn't as high as many other urban Toronto neighbourhoods. I am surprised Mimico ranked where it did... but the lake, biking paths and the Go Train must be a big factor for its good score.

I believe walkability (or cycle-ability) is huge. You can't build Cities for cars - you gotta build them for people. Cities built for people have thriving businesses that survive. Shop local people!

I happen to live in a neighbourhood that is walkable for sure but I imagine the big box shops (which I like too) close by make driving more desirable then walking. People love convenience. I swore I would never use a drive through bank machine but sadly now I do.

However, I happen to spend a great deal of time in the trails close to our house - a hidden gem that we don't have to share with the masses. I also walk and bike through the Bloor and the Queensway zones on the quest for exercise and local flair. I wish there was more but happy with the mix that surrounds me. I get excited as more urbanish stores open near us. I want to support local shops so they make it and don't disappear (that's why I own a business that supports small business!)

photo credit:

So people..... How walkable is your city and neighbourhood? 

I decided to see what the web site  "Walk Score" thought of our neighbourhood. 

We scored a whopping 63 points -" somewhat walkable - close to some shopping, parks and biking - the biking was described as flat as a pancake" (is that good?). 

I hear how scared some parents are with the idea of their kids playing on their own (without parents... and just with other kids). My oldest kid rides his bikes and walk to school in "kid packs" and I don't worry about him at 8 years of age to do that. There are no crazy busy streets (except the cross walk near our school but I will save that rant for another blog).

Will I one day move downtown? Perhaps one day. Probably not anytime soon as I feel there is tremendous benefit to the freedom my kids experience where they are now and I like the best of both worlds scenario I have a present. 

Where do you live? Does it feel like a "community"? Do you feel isolated? Do you know your neighbours (I really didn't until we had kids).  If you are deep in the City does it change the freedom you give your kids? I would love to hear what you think about where you live.



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