September 6th 2022
Top 12 family-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a #HomeSweetHome: size, price, location — the list goes on.
And, if you have little ones, that list will only grow longer. Considerations like schools, access to recreational activities, and daycare options now top the list, too, adding a little more complexity to your home search.
We get it! It’s important to make sure your new home will work for everyone in your family, and that means choosing a home with all the family-friendly fixings, and in a neighbourhood that is right up your kids’ alley.
Luckily, Toronto has a lot to offer on this front. Known as “the city of neighbourhoods,” Toronto has 158 family-filled areas to choose from, so you can be sure you’ll likely find the right fit for you and your family with so much to choose from. Below, we’ll recap:
- The Beaches
- Bedford Park
- Bloor-West Village
- Davisville Village
- Dovercourt Park
- Lawrence Park
- Wychwood Park
With their access to solid schools, recreational facilities, cultural activities, and the great Ontario outdoors, these are the top Toronto neighbourhoods to think about raising a family in.
Is Toronto a good place to raise a family?
If you’re looking for ways to enrich your children’s lives, why not look in your own backyard? Toronto’s vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods each represent the city’s rich mosaic of residents and cultures.
With plenty to offer for people of all ages, here are a few of the key factors we recommend you focus on when looking for a neighbourhood that’s a hit with the whole family.
- Schools: Toronto’s schools are some of the top-ranked in North America — this includes public education districts, private schools (like Upper Canada College, Willowdale and Toronto Prep), and post-secondary spots like the University of Toronto. There are plenty of options for all income and education levels, and you can be sure your children are learning from the best.
- Recreation: Bordered to the south by Lake Ontario and surrounded by a robust network of hiking and walking trails both within city limits and just a short drive away, Toronto has so many outdoor areas to offer. The city is also filled with recreation centres, libraries, and community centres that offer diverse programming all year long.
- Diversity: Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and each area of the city and its suburbs highlight its vibrant ethnic and cultural diversity. You can immerse the whole family in new foods, customs, and traditions just a few steps from your front door.
- Culture: Museums, performance arts, festivals, major-league sports and so much more fill the streets of Toronto with life all year round. There’s always plenty to do to keep the whole family happy, excited, and experiencing new things.
- Commute time: Even with the rise in WFH, a long commute time is still a drag. Living in the city means you can easily hop on transit or even walk to work or school. And, Toronto is an incredibly walkable city so, as your kids get older, they’ll have the option to get themselves around on foot or with efficient public transportation.
Best Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods in Toronto
Convinced Toronto is the right place for you, but feel overwhelmed by all the options it has to offer? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
To help you find the perfect area for your family, we’ve compiled a list of the best family-friendly neighbourhoods in the city – and broken down a few of their top selling points – to help you narrow down your search and find your dream neighbourhood faster.
Popular for families with young children, Allenby residents are well-served by the shops and restaurants along Eglinton Avenue West.
Allenby Public School has an excellent reputation, and the North Toronto Memorial Community Recreation Centre boasts plenty of indoor and outdoor activities for people of all ages.
Transportation isn’t tricky here: the TTC quickly connects you to the downtown core, while the Allen Expressway is just a 5-minute drive away, easily connecting commuters to the 400 series highways.
It isn’t hard to guess why the charming one-of-a-kind homes in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood are hard to come by!
The proximity to the lake, along with quiet tree-lined streets and a bustling strip of shops and restaurants that meet all your family’s needs means you’ll rarely need to leave this lakeside neighbourhood.
Recreation offered by The Beaches includes the Martin Goodman Trail, Ashbridges Bay Park, Donald Summerville Pool and Kew Gardens – all vibrant and bustling places for the family to reconnect with nature.
Geared towards young families, Bedford Park boasts an excellent selection of public, private and catholic schools, and the many parkettes, playgrounds and library mean there are accessible activities in any weather.
The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre, centrally located within the neighbourhood, is a vibrant and bustling community hub that is often the first-place new families to the neighbourhood visit. With seasonal programming for people of all ages, there’s no shortage of fun and community in Bedford Park.
The Lawrence Subway station is within walking distance of most homes in Bedford Park, and there’s also a regular bus service on Yonge Street, making it an easy jaunt downtown for those working in the city centre.
Bloor West Village
Located west of the downtown core, families who are drawn to the classic look of Toronto’s historic homes will fall in love with Blook West Village.
Close to the Humber River and bordering High Park, Bloor West Village is nestled in one of the city’s greenest areas. With direct access to the TTC’s Bloor-Danforth subway line, your new home is just minutes away downtown.
Bloor West Village is also known as one of the city’s safest neighbourhoods, with plenty of space for kids to run and play outdoors.
Conveniently located in Toronto’s midtown area, Davisville’s mix of quintessential Edwardian-style homes and high-rise options means there’s something for every lifestyle and budget.
The neighbourhood boasts highly ranked public schools, including Maurice Cody Junior Public School, and its close proximity to both Davisville and Eglinton Subway stations make it the perfect locale for those who need to commute downtown.
It’s also home to excellent recreational facilities and parks, like June Rowlands Park, and the Appletree farmer’s market. Fun for the whole family!
Toronto’s Dovercourt Park neighbourhood is perhaps one of the city’s most diverse areas. Families from all income levels and cultural backgrounds fill the area with life and showcase Toronto’s world-renowned multi-culturalism.
Located close to the centre of the city, Dovercourt Park is within walking distance of both Ossington and Dufferin Subway stations, as well as multiple bus routes and streetcar lines.
The best part? The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club is open year-round, offering plenty of social and recreational programs for neighbourhood kids of all ages. Christie Pits Park and Dufferin Grove Park are also great green spaces to take the whole family for some much-needed time outside.
Lawrence Park is one of Toronto’s wealthiest and most exclusive neighbourhoods, which also means it has some of the best properties, attractions, and parks.
Located just north of the midtown area, the neighbourhood has good transportation, including access via Toronto’s new Eglinton Crosstown LRT as well as prime green space like Lytton Park and Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens.
Lawrence Park South also boasts several excellent school options – both public and private.
One of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods, Leaside is in high demand amongst upper middle-income families who are looking for the ideal place to raise their children.
Its abundant greenspace, excellent selection of schools, and easy access to public transit make it a strong contender for a future family. The majority of homes in this neighbourhood are detached, single-family homes with generous lot sizes, private driveways and garages — perfect for a family looking for a lot of extra space.
Residents shop and dine along Bayview Avenue and play in the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens. Nearby Serena Gundy Park and Sunnybrook Park are perfect picnic spots for a sunny Saturday afternoon with the kids.
Nestled east of the Don River, Riverdale is one of Toronto’s biggest neighbourhoods. With loads of green space and quiet streets, it’s no surprise this area appeals to families.
Conveniently located close to great schools including Withrow Avenue Junior Public School and Montcrest School, you can rest assured your children will be receiving a top-notch education.
Another bonus is Riverdale’s proximity to some of the city’s best dining adventures. Introduce your kids to the tastes and sounds of the Danforth to the north, or Chinatown to the east, for fresh produce and authentic eats.
Perhaps one of Toronto’s more affordable neighbourhoods for families, Rockcliffe-Smythe is often overlooked but has a lot to offer.
Mostly made up of single-family, detached homes, this well-connected neighbourhood runs from St. Clair Avenue West north to Eglinton Avenue West, and from Weston Road to the Humber River.
Known for its peaceful, tree-lined streets and easy access to Black Creek Valley, Rockcliffe-Smythe feels like a quiet suburb nestled right in the middle of a bustling city.
The area also offers great recreational facilities for the whole family, including the Smythe Park Recreation and Community Centre, the York Community Centre, and the Smythe Outdoor Pool, as well as an amazing ravine system.
Known for its European flair, Roncesvalles is the perfect place to grab a hearty bite to eat — like a Polish pierogi at the annual Roncesvalles Polish Festival.
Perfect for young families who enjoy convenient access to the rest of the city, Roncesvalles’s central location is a major drawing point, and the High Park Library offers plenty of programs and activities for children and adults.
The beautiful homes in Roncesvalles Village are surrounded by a lush and mature canopy of trees, sheltering the neighbourhood from the harsh Toronto cityscape, while the myriad of transportation options make the heart of downtown easily accessible.
This is arguably the most exclusive neighbourhood on our list. As a private community of 60 homes sitting along the Davenport Ridge, Wychwood Park is truly unique.
All Wychwood Park’s homes are listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties, the majority being built well before the 1930s.
The neighbourhood is located close to shops and restaurants along St. Clair Avenue West, with easy access to the Wychwood Public Library and the Hillcrest Community Centre. Both of the latter are located just a short walk away on Bathurst Street — and offer plenty of options for after-school activities.
These neighbourhoods are constantly evolving, and boundaries are anything but firm. Set down roots for yourself in any one of these areas and you’ll reap the benefits of the entire city just a few hops, skips, and jumps away. With so many stellar neighbourhoods to choose from, we’re confident that your family will be happy to call Toronto home.
Feeling inspired but still not sure which neighbourhood is right for you? At Properly, we know that finding the right house in the right neighbourhood can be challenging. We’re here to help! Schedule a call with one of our real estate agents today to find the perfect agent for your move.
*DISCLAIMER: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not an exhaustive review of this topic. The content is not financial or investment advice. No professional relationship of any kind is formed between you and Properly Homes Inc. While we have obtained or compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. We recommend that you consult a trusted professional before taking any action related to this information. Properly is a tech-enabled real estate brokerage that is transforming the home buying and selling experience with AI-powered home valuations, Sale Assurance, and a modern streamlined service. We recommend that you compare and contrast your options, read the fine print, and conduct detailed research into any real estate, loan, or investment provider before using their services.*
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