While choosing where to live is a personal decision, there are universal factors we can all agree on. Toronto Life recently conducted a study to determine the best neighbourhoods in the city, based on important universal factors like housing affordability, community, safety rates, shopping proximity, diversity, education, health, employment, entertainment and transit. With this in mind, they teamed up with an analytics firm and rated each neighbourhood on a scale from 0 to 100. Here’s what they found:
Toronto’s Top 10 Neighbourhoods
- Danforth – 90.6
- West Queen West – 90.5
- Runnymede-Bloor West Village – 90.2
- Avondale – 89.7
- Wellington Place- 89.3
- Yonge-Doris – 88.9
- Cabbagetown-South St.James Town – 88.7
- Bay-Cloverhill – 88.6
- Palmerston-little Italy – 88.1
- Trinity Bellwoods – 87.8
Danforth is Rated Toronto’s Best Neighbourhood
According to the study, Danforth has been awarded as 2023’s top-ranking neighbourhood. “Danforth has been an inroad to the action, not the site of it,” the study details. “These days, the bustling area—and this year’s top-ranking neighbourhood—spoils residents with quality restaurants, bars, shopping and schools, all packed within its boundaries, which stretch from Pape to Woodbine.”
The study also notes: “Beyond the vibrant main drag, families are drawn to the abundance of green space (like nearby Withrow Park, to the south), the peaceful quiet of its leafy inner streets and, in a city of skyrocketing real estate prices, the relative affordability of its housing.”
Additionally, the article explains that Danforth has ranked exceptionally high in education, employment and entertainment. Plus, living in the Danforth comes with the bonus of living in close proximity to grocery stores, pharmacies and Michael Garron Hospital.
Wondering where your neighbourhood ranks on the list? Find out here.
Finding Toronto’s Best Neighbourhoods
Even if relocating to Toronto isn’t on your radar, it’s good to know what markers mattered most in the Toronto Life study if you’re planning a move in the near future.
Housing was the most important consideration and was evaluated based on affordability, average primary real estate value and the rate of home ownership. Of course, “affordability” might not be one of the best words to describe Toronto’s current real estate market (here’s what $2,500 in rent will get you in Toronto right now).
The community factor of a neighbourhood was also a major marker in the study. It was assessed using voter turnout, access to community spaces like libraries and parks, outward migration and the sense of community belonging. Safety was another major pillar of the study and was evaluated based on the prevalence of various types of criminal activity in each neighbourhood.
Essentials of a Great Neighbourhood
Meanwhile, shopping was measured based on the proximity to everyday essentials like groceries, markets and pharmacies. Since Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, diversity accounted for factors such as those with mother tongues other than English or French and the first second-generation household population. For Torontonians raising kids, education was evaluated based on the number of schools per 1,000 children and proximity to childcare. Education also considered how many people in the neighbourhood had post-secondary degrees.
The study also factored in health, which was assessed based on the proximity to healthcare services (including medical, mental health and senior care), as well as the physical activity levels among residents. Employment was determined by factors such as unemployment rates, the share of residents below the poverty line and the share of high-income residents. Entertainment accounted for the number of bars and restaurants per capita and the number of residents attending cultural, sports and entertainment events.
Finally, transit was measured by the proximity to subways, streetcars and bus stops, including the average commuting distance and the number of commuters utilizing different modes of transportation.