cheapest place to live in Ontario
Do you plan on relocating? Chances are you have a tailored list of where you would be pitching your when you relocate. If Toronto happens to be on your list of potential locations to relocate to, you probably have begun researching to discover reasons why you should move there. If your research has led you to seek out some of the best areas to live in Toronto, then you just stumbled on the right resource.
Toronto is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a population of over 2 million people, according to population records from 2016, Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in all of North America.
Dubbed as the financial capital of Canada, Toronto is a city of immigrants, with many of the persons migrating to Canada in search of greener pastures settling there. As a result, the city is multicultural and multiethnic.
Generally speaking, Toronto is a nice place with pretty good weather, amazing scenery, and warm inhabitants. The weather in Toronto, for instance, makes the city very fascinating. It changes frequently and seasonally as the city is uniquely situated in a zone that provides it with very special weather conditions.
Toronto experiences winters that go below freezing with a small amount of snow compared to other cities in Ontario.
Springs in Toronto are often temperate with rainfall and occasional heavy winds around March. During the first week of April, it often snows heavily, and you may be confined to your winter gears until the 3rd week of May.
Summers are warm, with temperatures between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. The weather gets hot and humid in August, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. Interestingly, short, intense thunderstorms follow when the sun goes down.
If Toronto is your preferred destination, I have profiled some of the best areas to live in Toronto. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink as you follow through.
13 cheapest place to live in Ontario
- The Beaches
Home to some of Toronto’s wildlife, The Beaches is located at the East of downtown Toronto, spanning Coxwell eat and Victoria Park.
The neighborhood got its name from the four beaches situated on Lake Ontario. It has got Woodbine Beach to the west, Balmy Beach to the east, and Scarboro Beach and Kew Beach at the neighborhood’s center.
According to the 2006 Canadian census, the Beaches had a little above 20,000 residents, most of which are Britons and other Europeans with minorities from China and South East Asia. With numerous schools and parks, The Beaches offers opportunities to build a family, and it is a good choice for persons in need of a slow-paced community.
The average cost of a house in The Beaches is around C$1.7 million while getting a Condo will cost around C$805,194.
- Baldwin Village
Located in the west of downtown Toronto, Baldwin Village is a commercial hub in Toronto. If a business is anything to go by, I felt it would be a perfect addition to the list of the best areas to live in Toronto. The neighborhood spreads between Beverly and McCaul Streets and is one block north of Dundas Street West.
Named after William Warren Baldwin, who owned a large percentage of the area in the early 19th century, Baldwin Village was home to a Jewish community, much of which led to the creation of Kensington Jewish Market Community.
As the Jewish community moved away from downtown, Baldwin Village became closer to Chinatown, and this led to the Chinese-Canadian population that now fills the neighborhood.
The average cost of housing in Baldwin Village is around C$1.5 million, and condos go for C$782,966.
Also known as Downtown Chinatown or West Chinatown, Chinatown is a populated Chinese neighborhood in the core of downtown Toronto and it is definitely one of the cheapest places to live in ontario. It is located between Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street and is most likely a worthy addition to this list of the best areas to live in Toronto.
Toronto was Developed in the 20th century after the government’s takeover caused residents and businesses in the first Chinatown to move west towards Spadina Avenue. Together with the original inhabitants and Chinese immigrants into Canada during the 1960s, Chinatown, Toronto, has become one of the many Chinatowns in Canada.
Today, the neighborhood showcases various aspects of South East Asian cultures through restaurants, shops, homes, schools, etc. Popular among the cultural heritage of people in Chinatown are Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai.
If you are looking for an area with a rich Chinese or southeast Asian heritage, Chinatown, Toronto, is one of the best to live.
- Kensington Market
A distinctive multicultural area in downtown Toronto, Kensington Market was named a national historic site of Canada in 2006. Kensington Market is bordered north by College Street, to the south by Dundas Street West, to the east by Spadina Avenue, and Bathurst Street to the west.
The population in the Market is a little above 4000 residents as stipulated by the census of 2006. This population comprises people who speak English, unspecified Chinese, Serbian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Urdu, and Polish. See why it is a multicultural society?
Much of the Kensington population are Chinese partly because of the area’s proximity to Chinatown. According to the 2006 Canadian census findings, 24% of the population of Kensington Market are non-Canadian citizens. This further emphasizes how that Kensington is truly a multicultural enclave in Toronto, Canada.
Much of the housing in Kensington Market are Victorian homes that are tucked behind stores built upfront. The average cost of housing in Kensington Market is C$1,532,250. For extremely low and high prices, you could get a house between the ranges of C$800,000 to C$2,200,000. Condos are sold for around C$370,000 and C$2,005,000.
Kensington showcases the diversity, beauty, art, food, music, multiculturalism, shopping, and creativity Canada is known for. It would help if you considered this neighborhood while looking for the best areas to live in in Toronto.
- Upper Beaches
Upper Beaches is an area directly north of The Beaches, stretching from Victoria Park in the east to Coxwell Avenue in the west. Bordered to the north by tracks of the Canadian National Railway between Gerrard Street and Danforth Avenue and to the south by Kingston Road, Upper Beaches was named so by real estate agents looking to convince people to buy properties in that area in the early 2000s.
The Upper Beaches used to be an industrial area, but today almost all of the industrial institutions in the neighborhood have been replaced by large houses. This may not be good for the area’s economic state, and it is perfect for families and those looking to start their family life.
Furthermore, the area operates three public schools: the Conseil scolaire Catholique MonAvenir (CSCM), a Roman Catholic French public-separate school. As a French family looking to reside in Toronto and offer your kids the best of French education, this school could be a good reason to stay in Toronto.
Housing in the Upper Beaches comes relatively cheap compared to other areas we have reviewed so far. The average cost of housing in Upper Beaches is around C$460,000 to C$2,100,000. Condos are sold for as low as C$350,000 to as high as C$1,144,900.
Wild roses grew in abundance in this area, and that was how it got its name – Rosedale. This list of the best areas to live in Toronto would be incomplete without Rosedale in it. Located in central Toronto, Rosedale was the estate of William Botsford Jarvis. William’s wife and granddaughter of William Dummer Powell named the area Rosedale.
Being one of the oldest suburbs, Rosedale is among the most priced neighborhoods in Canada and one of the wealthiest. Toronto Life, a monthly publication that focuses on entertainment, politics, and lifestyle in Toronto, ranked Rosedale as the best neighborhood to live in Toronto.
This is no surprise as Rosedale is home to some of Canada’s most popular and richest citizens. Some of them are Ken Thomson of the Thomson Corporation (he was the richest man in Canada until he died in 2006) and Gerry Schwartz, founder of Onex Corporation. Rosedale is divided into north and south regions by the Park Drive Ravine.
Despite being in the heart of Toronto, vehicular movements are hardly noticed.
This is due to the convoluted routes, cul de sacs, bridges, and ravines that make for low levels of vehicular traffic. Additionally, the abundance of trees and foliage surrounding the neighborhood greatly reduces the noise heard from vehicular traffic.
The population at Rosedale, which is more than 7000, comprises people of English, Irish, and Scottish ethnic origin. Homes in Rosedale are quite expensive. You will need a large budget to afford a house in the suburban neighborhood.
The cost of housing in Rosedale is around C$1,258,000 to C$10,400,000. The average cost of a house in Rosedale is C$3,355,690, while a Condo can be bought from C$325,000 to $6,500,000.
- Little Italy
Sometimes referred to as College Street West, Little Italy is a district in Toronto known to be an enclave for Italian Canadian restaurants and businesses. There is also a Latin-Canadian and Portuguese-Canadian presence in the area. Little Italy is a European neighborhood in the city of Toronto.
The area is home to many landmarks, including the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Italian Walk of Fame, Portuguese Seventh-Day Adventist Church, El Convento Rico Night Club, and Weldon Park, amongst others. Little Italy has several public primary and high schools where your kids can get the best education in Toronto.
Interestingly, Little Italy has been the location of many blockbuster movies such as Police Academy, Chloe, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, to mention a few. It continues to be a great destination for movie producers.
I would recommend Little Italy for persons who want to enjoy the best of Italian and Portuguese culture, cuisines, housing, and education. The neighborhood also features a Latin and Vietnamese community. Like you would expect, a neighborhood rich with Italians will typically feature top-notch foods and drinks. If your taste buds crave more, then destination Little Italy should be on your radar while looking for the best areas to live in Toronto.
Housing in Little Italy is not expensive, starting from as low as C$735,000 to C$3,650,000. The price of Condos starts from C$503,000 to C$3,820,000.
- Little Tibet
It is safe to say that aside from native Canadians, most of the population in Toronto are Asians. This is seen in other areas we have reviewed and in this one – Little Tibet. Located within the Parkdale neighborhood, Little Tibet is an Asian ethnic area with Tibetan émigrés, businesses, and restaurants. The area is bordered north by Queen Street W. to the west and south by Gardiner Expressway and the east by Atlantic Avenue.
To further strengthen the Tibetan community in the area, there is a growing Tibetan presence in South Etobicoke, not too far from Little Tibet.
Between 1998 and 2008, over 3000 Tibetans moved to Parkdale and settled in the city to create the largest Tibetan Canadian community in North America. Over time, the population has grown to about 8000 Tibetans living in the Tibetan Canadian community in Toronto metropolitan area.
Want to be around Tibetans? Consider settling in Little Tibet. They are known for their hospitality and warmness. In the wake of COVID-19, the Tibetan Associations in Canada donated C$7800 to the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness to help fight the pandemic.
Housing in Little Tibet begins from C$830,000 to C$2,580,000. You can get a Condo in the area for C$458,000 to C$1,330,000.
Bermondsey is one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario and it is a fully functional commercial hub in Toronto. If your choice of an area to live in, Toronto has a commercial and economical filter, Bermondsey will make it one of your preferred destinations.
During the 1950s and 1960s, trucks began to replace ships and trains for the movement of goods from manufacturing points to places where they are needed. As a result, industrial areas developed in the Toronto suburbs, and Bermondsey was one such area.
Today, Bermondsey has over 200 firms and employs about 7,000 people. Some notable companies in the area include Habitat for Humanity, Peek Freans, Epitome Pictures, Bell Canada, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, The Model Railroad Club of Toronto, Mill Street Brewery, and Muddy York Brewing Company, among others.
Bermondsey is bordered west by Don Valley, Eglinton Avenue to the northeast, and O’Connor Drive to the southeast. So if business and working is the aim behind relocating, then Bermondsey makes a perfect choice.
Thistletown makes it to my list of best areas to live in Toronto because it is a culturally diversified neighborhood. Not like the ones you have seen, as much of the population in Thistletown are from the East Asian region.
Ethnic groups from several parts of Europe and Asia have come into Thistletown and flourished immensely. There is a large presence of East Indian, Caribbean/West Indian, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani residents in Thistletown.
Thistletown is home to parks, churches, and schools ideal for family life.
The area has the Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Thistletown Baptist Church, Fellowship (2012 merger of Albion Gardens and Pine Ridge) Presbyterian Church, and the St Andrews Roman Catholic Church. Parks include the Albion Gardens Park, Beaumonde Heights Park, Kipling Heights Park, and Rowntree Mills Park.
The average cost of a house in Thistletown is around C$1,399,000, while a condo’s cost is around C$699,900.
- York University Heights
Also known as Northwood Park, York University Heights is one of the northernmost areas in Toronto, Ontario. The area gets its name – York University Heights – from the York University campus located in it. Aside from the university community, the area is populated by persons of Italian and Chinese descent.
With an array of private residences from detached to semi-detached bungalows, townhouses, condominiums, low-rise apartments, and high-rise apartments, York University Heights is a great place for residential purposes.
Parents who would like to stay close to their kids while study at York University can choose this area as their destination for relocating. With about 12.5 percent Italians, residents here are treated with some of the best Italian cuisines.
Houses in the York University Heights area are surprisingly cheap. One would expect that a neighborhood closes the York University would show traces of expensive housing. The average cost of a house in the York University area is about C$1,269,000, and the price for a Condo is around C$799,000.
As a Christian, you will want to stay in a Christian community. Among the best areas to live in Toronto is to be in a Christian community in Wexford.
Wexford is located in the eastern part of the city of Toronto. The area spans through Lawrence Avenue East between Victoria Park Avenue and Birchmount Road. Most of the population is made up of people with Greek heritage.
Wexford also has a soccer club home to several municipal parks and is home to Scarborough Minor Hockey Association. Aside from sporting and recreational institutions, Wexford is amazingly filled with churches and Christian communities.
Wexford contains the Church of St. Jude, Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, Scarborough Citadel of the Salvation Army, St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church, Wexford Heights United Church (2002 Merger of the historic Zion-Wexford and Wilmar Heights congregations), and the Wexford Presbyterian Church.
If you would like to stay in Wexford, be rest assured you would need around C$2,899,999 to buy a house in that area. For a condo, your budget should be around C$988,000.
L’Amoreaux was named after Josue L’Amoreaux, a French Huguenot loyalist who lived in the area around the 18th century. Victoria Park Avenue borders it to the east, McNicoll Avenue to the south, Kennedy Road to the west, Huntingwood Drive to the north.
One would expect that L’Amoreaux would be a French-dominated area, but that is not so. It is ethnocultural, though, with 68 percent of the population being people from China, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. The three largest population groups in the area are Chinese, East Indian, and Canadian.
Several elementary schools in the region and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) operate two public schools, namely L’Amoreaux Collegiate Institute and Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute.
Getting a property in L’Amoureax would cost between C$2,880,000 and C$1,300,000.
Your budget should be around $1,150,000 to C$829,000, To buy a Condo.
- Oakwood Village
To wrap up this catalog of the best areas to live in Toronto, allow me to introduce Oakwood Village. This area makes it to this list, particularly because it is a Business Improvement Area (BIA). Have no idea what a Business Improvement Area is?
A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an area where businesses and sometimes residential buildings are required to pay additional tax or levy to fund projects within the area boundaries. For instance, being a BIA, businesses and residents of Oakwood Village are expected to pay an additional tax to fund projects within the neighborhood.
The reason for this is so that the area can fund services the residents and business owners perceive to be inadequately performed by the government’s existing tax systems. These services are supplemental to those provided by the municipality, and they could include providing security, cleaning the streets, construction of pedestrian walkways, street enhancement, among others.
Like many of the other neighborhoods in this article, Oakwood Village joins in depicting the multicultural nature of Canada. According to the 2016 Canadian population results, the population of Oakwood Village is 61 percent European, 18 percent South East and East Asian, 13 percent North America, 10 percent Caribbean, 8 percent Central, South, and Latin America, 7 percent African, 1 percent natives. The remaining population is shared by West Central Asians and residents from the Middle East.
Houses in Oakwood Village start from around C$582,000 to C$2,340,000, while you can get a Condo for around C$485,000 to C$1,045,000.
Final Thoughts on Best Areas to Live in Toronto
There are many reasons why Toronto would pass over and over again as the preferred destination when relocating. Whether you are in Canada or an immigrant coming to Canada for the first time, Toronto will capture your attention for being a multicultural city with diverse cultural heritages.
Residents enjoy free and quality healthcare, access to green spaces and quality water supply, exquisite restaurants serving the best of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Canadian recipes, and a chance to experience all four seasons of the year.
What are you waiting for? Put your stuff together and head to your destination – Toronto. Any of the areas I have outlined above will suffice for a perfect habitat. Enjoy your stay!