A common question I’m asked by clients and prospective clients is ‘where would be a good place for us?’ The reality of many of my clients is that they don’t come in already knowing what area they want to be in. They’re coming in during a major life shift. They realize that it’s time for a change in course. One of the most humbling and fulfilling parts of my job is helping them decide on what direction to point their boat. My answer is always different because people’s circumstances are all different, but here’s my list of the best place to live in the GTA by your household type, based on my past client experiences.
With that, we’re coming into a busy time for the real estate industry. I wanted to take this opportunity to share this list of places which have been most popular with my clients by their family type. Not everybody wants the downtown nightlife 50 storeys above the city. Not everyone wants the driveway and backyard life of the suburbs. Everybody is different, and I put this quick list of the best place to live in the GTA by family type together to offer some ideas for anyone interested in making a change.
Young Couple, No Kids
My young couple clients LOVE Mississauga. Thanks to the massive improvements to regional transit over the last 10 years, commuting into Toronto is no longer an exercise in sitting in 401/Gardiner traffic for hours a day. The huge boom in building around Square One (which is a major GO Transit terminal point as well as a MiWay terminal point. has made Mississauga a popular commuter destination. If you can get to Square One in a reasonable amount of time, you can make it to Union Station in Downtown Toronto in about an hour. The cost difference between transit commuting versus driving will actually surprise you when you factor in the time you save as well. But, if you still want to drive, you have direct 401 access.
The emphasis on Toronto-style urban living has definitely influenced the condo developments over the last 10 years. The bright, open-concept multi-storey lifestyle is alive and well in Mississauga – but at a more reasonable price point. The views I’ve seen from the various developments I’ve toured and shown have always impressed, too! Want to hear more about pre-construction projects in Mississauga? Let’s talk! Want to know more about pre-construction condo buying? Check out my blog about it, or drop me a message.
Young Couple, Young Kids
Aurora has been VERY popular with my young family clients for so many reasons. Like Mississauga, there’s been a huge amount of transit expansion in York Region. Aurora has had some of the most benefit thanks to proximity to both Toronto transit, as well as beautiful greesnpace and natural settings. If you want the smaller-scale suburban lifestyle (compared to Toronto, you actually get great value for your money in terms of house and lot size in Aurora), while still having access to the bright lights and big city for your young family, let’s talk Aurora!
Middle Age Couple, Many Kids
Do you have kids who are upper-year elementary to high school age? Do you want a connected suburban lifestyle in a very established municipality? Vaughan has everything you’re looking for. While not cheap, you get an excellent value for your money in the form of quality of life and access to the city. Like Square One in Mississauga, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is a well-established movement hub. You can catch TTC subways/buses, GO Transit buses, and Viva (York Region Transit) there.
Houses don’t come cheap here. But, one thing I will say is that the prices aren’t going to come down anytime soon. Yesterday was the best price you’re going to get to buy into Vaughan. But, the benefit of that is that – with the emphasis on transit expansion and transit-oriented development – being able to get to VMC means you can get wherever you want in Toronto with relative ease, while still enjoying a big house with a big yard.
Double Income, No Kids
A lot of my clients fit into the DINK (Double Income/No Kids) demographic, and they LOVE Etobicoke and Mimico. With so much new development in the areas, they have really found the perfect balance of the professional couple lifestyle. Are you too old for the hustle and bustle of downtown, but need more stimulation and action than the ‘burbs? Either Etobicoke or Mimico are perfect for you.
Already well-established and integrated as parts of Toronto, you have access to the entirety of the city. But with the benefit of being able to leave downtown behind at the end of your day.
Love travelling? You can get yourself to either Pearson or Toronto Island Airports quickly and inexpensively, as well as to Union Station’s rail terminal. Love dogs? So do Etobicoke and Mimico. In fact, many of the new developments I’ve shown are not only dog-friendly, dog-focused amenities are part of the build plan.
Give your fur babies the yard they deserve, while giving yourself the urban lifestyle on your terms that you deserve!
Kids moved out for school and/or to start the next chapter in their lives? Ready to downsize, but don’t want to be in the suburbs anymore? Niagara Region has so many amazing opportunities for you. What my clients love about Niagara is the proximity to gorgeous (and protected) Greenbelt lands. The world renown wine scene, farm-fresh foods, and small town life that’s not only close to Toronto, but to a number of border crossings as well!
In Niagara Region, you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful and environmentally-important greenspace in Canada. And the prices are VERY reasonable. Reasonable enough that if you’re interested in adding investment properties to your life, you can find some excellent buys around Niagara Region.
Want the opposite after the kids move out? Want to experience a bit more of an urban feel? Hillcrest in Toronto has LOTS of new development happening which is aimed at established buyers over first-time/young family buyers. Not only is this a well-established and transit-integrated part of Toronto, it’s actually very reasonably priced by Toronto standards. It also offers a great value with a high walkability factor if you prefer to leave the car at home whenever possible.
Younger/first-time single buyer? Do you crave the best urban experience that Canada has to offer? You’re really not restricted by anything but budget and how much space you want. If you’re ok with exchanging square footage for Canada’s best urbanist experience, there’s so many options for you. I’ve found my single clients go nuts for Liberty Village, as well as the Entertainment District on King West. With tons of new and scheduled condo developments, you can have the brick-and-beams lifestyle. You can have the open concept shiny glass tower experience. You can have whatever you’re looking for in Liberty Village or the Entertainment District.
So, Where is the Best Place to Live in the GTA?
The answer – as you can see – is different depending on your family type! I offer these as suggestions based on my experience working with past clients, but if you’re interested in knowing more about any of these areas, reach out! Do you know anyone who fits into any of these categories and is considering a move soon? Are you? Reach out with any questions you might have – I’d love to chat about it more with you to help you find the best place to live in the GTA for you and your family.