Finding The Perfect Toronto Neighbourhood

 

Finding the Perfect Toronto Neighborhood

Your choice of neighborhood has a big impact on your lifestyle. Do you see yourself in Danforth Village, the Beaches, Riverdale, Leaside or maybe Don Mills. Follow these steps to find the perfect community to call home.

• Is it close to your favorite spots? Make a list of the activities — movies, health club, church, etc. — you engage in regularly and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to engage in your most common everyday activities.

• Check out the school district. This is especially important if you have children, but it also can affect resale value. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) or Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) here in Toronto can probably provide information on test scores, class size, percentage of students who attend college, and special enrichment programs. If you have school-age children, visit schools in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Check out:

http://www.tdsb.on.ca

http://www.tcdsb.org
• Find out if the neighborhood is safe. Ask the police department for neighborhood crime statistics. Consider not only the number of crimes but also the type — such as burglaries or armed robberies — and the trend of increasing or decreasing crime. Also, is crime centered in only one part of the neighborhood, such as near a retail area? Here is a great Toronto website which can help you discover this information:

http://www.torontopolice.on.ca

• Determine if the neighborhood is economically stable. Check with your local city economic development office to see if income and property values in the neighborhood are stable or rising. What is the percentage of homes to apartments? Apartments don’t necessarily diminish value, but do mean a more transient population. Do you see vacant businesses or homes that have been for sale for months?

• See if you’ll make money. Call a Realtor to get information about price appreciation in the neighbourhood. They should be able to tell you if the neighbourhood is increasing in value in comparison to other city communities or decreasing. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, this information may give you a sense of how good of an investment your home will be. Your real estate agent or the municipal planning department also may be able to tell you about planned developments or other changes in the neighborhood — like a opening or closing of a school, upgraded transit that might affect property values.

• Make personal observations. Once you’ve narrowed your focus to two or three neighborhoods, go there and walk around. Are homes tidy and well maintained? Are streets quiet? How does it feel? Pick a warm day if you can and chat with people working or playing outside.

Here are a couple of great websites which will help you discover my Toronto.

http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net

http://www.toronto.ca/demographics/profiles_map_and_index.htm