Buying a Home in
Downtown Toronto is a patchwork of neighbourhoods, knitted together by the dynamic central background of a scenic skyline on the lake.
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America, edging out Chicago in 2017. What makes downtown Toronto different than other major world cities is the livability of the downtown core. Mixed into the high-rise office buildings and condos downtown are streets of detached houses, semi-detached houses, townhouses, and duplexes and triplexes. You can find quiet tree-lined streets a few blocks from a major busy downtown corner. Imbued with a live/work/play vibe, these buildings and blocks are virtually filled with shops, restaurants and retailers to meet your daily needs.
In recent years, Toronto has been experiencing a reverse migration, with young couples, mid-life couples and empty nesters selling their large residences in the suburbs to choose a home in downtown Toronto. Citing an ability to be immersed in the arts, culture and vibrant downtown life, many returning residents are giving up their cars and using Uber or ridesharing Zipcar-type services. And with more bicycle lanes being added, bike sharing programs are on the rise.
DOWNTOWN TORONTO NEIGHBOURHOODS
Downtown Toronto neighbourhoods are numerous and some of the more popular ones include the Church-Yonge Corridor just east of Bay Street financial district, St. Lawrence Market area, City Place on the waterfront, Liberty Village in the western downtown end, and the Trinity Bellwoods and Little Italy neighbourhoods. Recently, new towers have been popping up all over, increasing the desirability of downtown Toronto neighbourhoods like the historic Distillery District, the theatre district of King West Village and the Bay Street Corridor.
If you own a home in downtown Toronto, it’s easy to get around with a combination of the subway line, bus and streetcar with the TTC or Toronto Transit Commission. There are four main subway lines bisecting the city north and south in a U-shape (the Yonge-University line), east and west (the Bloor-Danforth line), the north and east (Scarborough Line), and along the ever-growing Sheppard Ave East in the northern end of the city running east and west (Shepphard Line). By 2022, Toronto will open its newest subway Line 5, which will be the Crosstown LRT or Light Rail Line, running east to west along Eglinton Avenue, which is north of the current east-west Bloor line, opening up mass transit for thousands of additional commuters. Buses run all over Toronto and street cars run on eleven routes in downtown Toronto, making it the largest and busiest light-rail system in North America.
DOWNTOWN REAL ESTATE MARKET
The downtown core real estate market is fast-paced. The rental market is currently 1% or less, so many investors purchase condos to then rent out to a hungry rental crowd. Tenants include students but a lot of professionals with rents running upwards of $3,000 or more, for a 700-square-foot, two-bedroom condo. While many condos are for sale, the ones with unobstructed views, higher floors, updated or new interiors, and great amenities are in high demand and sell quickly. Any of the non-condo properties such as townhouses, rowhouses, semis or detached houses also sell very quickly with some getting snatched up in as little as a few days if it’s a desirable block. Others may take a little bit longer. Prices have continued to rise, a trend that we expect to continue.
IS A HOME IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO RIGHT FOR YOU?
In short, it has something for everyone, of every age. Owning a home in the downtown Toronto core, whether in a condo, a Victorian rowhouse, or house, the vibrancy of the city can be felt throughout each individual downtown Toronto neighbourhood.
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