Toronto neighbourhoods to live in if you don’t want a car
Living in a city as big as Toronto comes with plenty of perks, one of which is the ability to walk or use public transit instead of putting more and more miles on your vehicle. And when you live in certain neighbourhoods, you may be able to get away with not having your own car at all. In these places, most everything you could need is within walking distance, and what isn’t available down the street 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. West Queen West
One of Toronto’s most stylish and dynamic neighbourhoods, West Queen West is renowned for its array of boutiques, art, and culture. This is the place for you if you crave entertainment on every and any night of the week. Wander around and you might find a drum circle in the park, guerilla art, or a Christmas market. People walking their dogs to a coffee shop or riding bikes to yoga are common sights here. The area is also home to a number of great restaurants, cafés, and bars.
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 one of the many nearby parks and stop at a local bakery or ice cream shop on your way.
You can find almost everything you need while living locally here: 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 — it’s a brisk, two minute bike ride 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 surrounded by excellent public transportation, which isn’t surprising given its close proximity to the downtown core. Four rail lines, multiple bus lines, and car-sharing service Zipcar have all found homes here, alongside wide sidewalks that can accommodate heavy foot traffic. Many young professionals choose to live in the area, thanks to its closeness to the financial district and countless shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
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, boasts an excellent transit score, and at the same time 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 campus, you can expect no shortage of nearby restaurants, boutique stores, gyms, and more.
If you’re considering a move – and want to ditch your car, or perhaps 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.