Sometimes we need a little help from the experts. Which is why when we began to debate what really are the best places to live in Toronto, we reached out to Wyatt Negrini.
Wyatt is a professional armchair philosopher, recluse, and handsome anti-socialite who occasionally sells sick pads. All jokes aside, Wyatt is an awesome real estate agent that works at Core Assets Real Estate, and is the perfect person to call for anyone searching for a place to live.
The following article is written by Mr. Negrini about what he thinks are the best neighbourhoods of Toronto:
1. King West
Where: King street bounded loosely by Spadina in the east and Bathurst on the west, extending down to Front and up to Queen on the North side.
It's easy to see why this is a THE spot to live for so many "young urban professionals" (yuppies). This chunk of King Street is full of Toronto's coolest restaurants, bars and clubs. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the financial district, it's only natural that this neighbourhood would be dominated by people who definitely have their shit together. That being said it, it bleeds west and north enough to absorb some of the west side cool.
Architecturally, you have a lot of Old Toronto legacy buildings and converted factory lofts, as well as designed low to medium rise condos along this strip. Essentially, the perfect neighbourhood. But it can be pricey if you're just moving to the city, therefore many young profeshes moving to Toronto opt for our next neighbourhood instead...
2. City Place/ Waterfront
Where: South of Front St, mostly between Spadina and Bathurst.
Who: Young, party-minded crowd just moving to the city
City Place is the new shining jewel of Toronto's condo boom. Like Miami in the 80's, Toronto's skyline has gone from “Hamilton” to “Tokyo” in the last 10 years, with much of the highest towers going up in this new, glitzy and young neighbourhood.
Remember the guy in university who had a million Insta followers, organized all the parties and just dripped cool? Ya, the 21st century Van Wilder lives here. City Place is the playground for those who eventually graduate to King West. They get to be close to all the action but at a slightly discounted price. It really is a great place to be in your 20s. It essentially houses every cool, social young person you can imagine. Especially the club crowd.
But if your of a more "chill" mindset, perhaps the next neighbourhood is more for you...
3. Queen West/Ossington Strip:
Where: Queen street centered around the Ossington area, extends in both directions.
Who: Young artsy types (the people who used to be known, though never admitted to being, hipsters) and some down-to-earth Yuppies.
Voted by Vogue as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, edged out only by a wacky Tokyo area, it's easy to see why Queen West is a great place to live. For those tired of the generic glitz and glam of other areas, Queen West is the perfect antidote.
This area of Queen West has blossomed into the cooler Brooklyn of the '6. Old hotels, such as the Drake and Gladstone, have been beautifully restored into some of the best art hotels and venues in the world. This was followed with many trendy brew-pubs, late night bites, bars, and edgy restaurants setting up shop. There is just as much to do as on King West, but at half the price. This is where you can find the guy who dropped out of finance to find himself at Burning Man, now owns a pop-up art gallery. It drips hipster-cool and is definitely one of the hottest neighbourhoods in the city. The mix of old victorian town homes and laws preventing huge high rises, leads to a mix of old school pads, as well as sleek and affordable condos and converted churches.
However, if you're looking for something further west...
4. Parkdale and Roncevalles.
Where: Queen West naturally extends and continues into Parkdale and eventually Roncevalles.
Who: Those who feel Queen West is becoming King West and want an even chiller vibe.
These are two different neighborhoods so I'll try not be too broad. Parkdale was once a glorious suburb which became a little rundown, only to be revitalized by hipsters recently. It's still only half way there. It is a gritty mix of run down buildings and new boutique restaurants, cafes and hipsters who fled further west. Also some retired hipster have moved here to nest and start families. Essentially, both these neighbourhoods are similar to Queen West but less developed, which means there's plenty of potential! This is where some of the coolest church lofts and hard lofts can be found. Not to mention, glorious old Victorian mansions. It's really an interesting mix.
But what if you just wanna chill out and possibly have a family while still keeping some of that cool? Well then you go even further west...
5. The Junction:
Where: Dundas curves up and eventually intersects with Keele near High Park. This neighborhood stretches in both directions along Dundas West.
Who: Those former scene kids and hipsters who are basically 30+ and now want to start a family but still like a good vibe. Also a lot of the formerly mentioned crowd which populates the West end.
The Junction was Toronto's last “dry” neighbourhood, holdover from Prohibition.Until recently, it was illegal to have a bar or sell booze there. So instead, the neighborhood is full of antique shops. Like other areas of the West end, this former derelict neighbourhood has experience a huge boom in restaurants since it officially became legal to sell alcohol there. An ex-industrial neighbourhood, it's full of interesting architecture. This is essentially where hipsters retire and have kids, but still want cool bars and music venues to go to. That's not to say it's devoid of other types. It also has it's share of original residents and is similar to Parkdale and Roncesvalles in it's mix.
The true advantage of living here is that it's far away enough from the core that you don't really get too many 905ers or party people flooding the neighbourhood on weekends. This makes for a more relaxed and self-contained than neighbourhoods like King and Queen West.
It's full of hidden gems that are totally unknown outside the area...not unlike it's strangely similar cousin on the East Side...
Where: Queen and Leslie and surrounding area.
Who: A mix of local residents, nesting hipsters as well as a few indie yuppies. Usually in their 30s.
A shout out to all my East-End people! Toronto's east end is in itself a hidden gem and gets no love. Hello! The distillery! But even further west you find Leslieville. Full of boutique restaurants, bakeries and cafes, Leslieville is the natural neighbourhood of choice for those exiting the party lifestyle and entering the family scene. An ex-industrial neighbourhood, it's full of hard lofts and attractive new lofts, which sell at a discount to their west-end counterparts. The perfect balance between grungy, hispter chic and new families. Leslieville is brimming with young 30-something couples. A great neighborhood all around and relatively self-contained not unlike the Junction on the West side.
So there you have it, 6 of my favourite neighbourhoods in the 6 and the people who live there! If you're ever ready to make the move, feel free to let me guide you to that perfect pad. I can finance you and set you up faster than it took you to read this list.?
Be sure to check out our website here , or contact me at 416-899-0300 and Wyatt@coreassets.ca !