Toronto neighbourhoods to live in if you don’t want a car

family walking interesting street

Living in a big city like Toronto comes with plenty of perks, one of which is the ability to walk or use Toronto transit instead of putting wear and tear on your vehicle. When you live in certain neighbourhoods, you may be able to get away with not having your own car at all. Most everything your family could need is within walking distance, and what isn’t available locally is just a short TTC ride away. 

If this sounds like the lifestyle for you, let Properly be your neighbourhood guide. Check out the best Toronto neighbourhoods for walkability and access to public transportation:

1. Queen West 

One of Toronto’s most stylish and dynamic neighbourhoods, Queen West is renowned for its array of boutiques, arts, and culture. This is the place if you crave entertainment on just about any night of the week. One day, you might find a drum circle in the park. On another day, you might stumble upon an artistic event or Christmas market. This is the type of neighbourhood where people walking their dogs to a coffee shop or riding bicycles to yoga are common sights. The area is also home to a number of local restaurants, bars, and the famous Graffiti Alley that highlights the artistic side of the neighbourhood.

2. Danforth Village

Nestled on Toronto’s east side, Danforth Village has earned a reputation for being family friendly. It straddles the border between Toronto’s Greektown and The Beaches, giving residents the best of both worlds. In the summer, you can head to the many nearby parks and all the local bakeries and ice cream shops the area is known for. 

For the most part, you can find everything you need while living locally: restaurants, shops, and parks abound, making it ideal for growing families. Monarch Park is a summertime favourite with its swimming pool and waterslides, while East Lynn Park’s organic market is a hit for health-conscious individuals. When you do need to head a little further out, Danforth Village is situated close to the Danforth GO train and the Bloor-Danforth subway station. 

3. Bay Street Corridor

According to Walk Score, Bay Street Corridor is a “walker’s paradise,” earning a 99 walk score out of a possible 100. Here, your daily commute is almost nonexistent. By bicycle, it takes about two minutes to get to downtown Toronto, or about eight minutes on foot. Most of your daily comings and goings won’t require a car at all. 

The neighbourhood is also in the midst of excellent public transportation, which isn’t surprising given its close proximity to downtown. Four rail lines, multiple bus lines, and car sharing service Zipcar have all found their homes here, along with wide sidewalks that can accommodate high foot traffic. Many young professionals choose to make their home here, thanks to its close location to Toronto’s financial district and countless shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

4. Rosedale

The laidback Rosedale neighbourhood is a unique blend of urban convenience and suburban vibes. It’s just minutes away from some of the city’s best shopping and dining and boasts an excellent transit score, yet feels tucked away from the main thoroughfares and general buzz of downtown. Many of your daily needs are within a 10 to 15 minute walk. And speaking of walking, those who love the outdoors will appreciate one of Rosedale’s crowning jewels: a densely wooded walking trail in Rosedale Ravine Lands Park that is just as pleasant and secluded as a walk in the woods. 

5. Yorkville/The Annex

The adjoining (and officially combined) neighbourhoods of Yorkville and The Annex are highly regarded for their walkability.

One of Yorkville’s greatest distinctions is its “Mink Mile,” which is one of Canada’s most expensive, exclusive shopping districts. In fact, retail space rents for upward of $300 per square foot here. As for living in Yorkville and The Annex, the old-world charm is supported by many historic and well cared for buildings.

The Annex itself feels more akin to a university campus, offering an easy-to-navigate layout complemented with tree-lined sidewalks, plenty of wayfinding signage, and beautiful homes and buildings. Part of this stems from its close proximity to the University of Toronto, which is also responsible for the unique mix of students and families that live here. And since it’s so close to a college campus, you can expect no shortage of nearby restaurants, boutique stores, gyms, and other special interests.

If you’re considering a move – to ditch your car, or perhaps to enjoy some more space – Properly can help you find and buy a home in a neighbourhood that meets your needs. Visit properly.ca whenever you’re ready to get started.