Where to buy real estate in Toronto in 2019 - MoneySense

Where to buy real estate in 2019: Metro Toronto

With large yards, parking and homes that are just steps from an inner-city ravine system, Rockcliffe-Smythe is our No. 1 Toronto neighbourhood pick.

by

Image by brigachtal from Pixabay

The spring market came a little late to Toronto this year, but for many sellers it arrived in the nick of time. Sales surged 17% in April 2019, compared with the year before. For many, this increased activity is a signal that Canada’s largest real estate market is finally stabilizing after a year of decline. While the decline was intended—Toronto’s housing market cooled considerably last year as industry and government officials tightened mortgage regulations, imposed taxes on foreign buyers and took other measures designed to curb runaway prices—it did raise concerns that this market interference had gone too far.

The thing about Toronto, though, is that market fundamentals are still strong. The city offers great employment opportunities, there’s been an uptick in immigration and businesses seem to be investing in the future. All of this lends itself to a strong economic base for this city—the sort of base that attracts workers, their families and the need for housing.

These strong economic fundamentals also mean that Toronto’s housing market remains expensive. That’s one reason why this year’s list is dominated by neighbourhoods once considered completely undesirable.

But don’t get be fooled. A community can’t rise in this list just because it’s cheap; there are other factors that need to be in place. In this case, our top three neighbourhoods all benefitted from major investment in transit.

The Rockcliffe-Smythe neighbourhood is now more accessible by the Eglinton LRT line to Keele, while the Humber Summit neighbourhood is great for car commuters relying on Finch Avenue, Steeles Avenue, Weston Road, Highway 400 and Highway 401. Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on this year’s list is our No. 3 neighbourhood: Glenfield-Jane Heights, which includes the notorious Jane & Finch ’hood. The big draw for this neighbourhood is that housing prices are so much cheaper, and this is gradually attracting families and investors looking for value. Plus, with an already large immigrant base—mostly Spanish-, Italian- and Vietnamese-speaking residents—this neighbourhood is a natural draw for recently-landed immigrants who want to put down roots in Toronto by purchasing property.

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Rank Neighbourhood Area Average home price (2017) Value Momentum Average price vs. area Avg. price vs. metro district Avg. price vs. outer region 1-year price change 5-year price change Final Star Rating
1 Rockcliffe-Smythe Toronto W03 $723,575 77.24% 83.77% 97.7% 63.03% 77.7% 6.71% 79.0% ★★★★
2 Humber Summit Toronto W05 $706,722 84.89% 75.00% 94.2% 60.81% 75.0% -4.97% 133.4% ★★★★
3 Glenfield-Jane Heights Toronto W05 $745,701 88.99% 80.78% 92.0% 59.39% 73.3% -3.66% 168.6% ★★★★
4 Keelesdale-Eglinton West Toronto W03 $1,204,201 78.54% 78.73% 97.1% 62.67% 77.3% 7.14% 71.8% ★★★★
5 Little Portugal Toronto C01 $916,466 48.13% 87.13% 89.3% 101.20% 124.8% 1.39% 186.1% ★★★★
6 Oakwood-Vaughan Toronto C03 $615,053 72.57% 73.69% 51.4% 77.02% 95.0% 7.70% 71.1% ★★★½
7 Mount Dennis Toronto W04 $1,306,366 99.07% 57.09% 68.0% 51.69% 63.8% -1.51% 61.0% ★★★½
8 Kensington-Chinatown Toronto C01 $701,448 37.87% 95.52% 96.8% 109.78% 135.4% 9.62% 473.2% ★★★½
9 Oakridge Toronto E06 $712,802 93.47% 64.55% 86.8% 58.95% 72.7% -4.68% 74.4% ★★★½
10 Black Creek Toronto W05 $730,270 87.50% 67.72% 92.8% 59.90% 73.9% 4.55% 59.1% ★★★½
11 West Hill Toronto E10 $864,733 87.31% 60.07% 88.3% 61.37% 75.7% 8.42% 57.2% ★★★½
12 Caledonia-Fairbank Toronto W03 $874,039 60.82% 89.18% 112.6% 72.67% 89.6% 9.95% 85.6% ★★★½
13 Woodbine-Lumsden Toronto E03 $886,913 74.63% 61.19% 86.2% 73.45% 90.6% 1.02% 65.1% ★★★½
14 Briar Hill-Belgravia Toronto W04 $1,353,253 64.55% 78.36% 98.1% 74.53% 91.9% -0.42% 83.1% ★★★½
15 Dufferin Grove Toronto C01 $731,473 32.28% 98.69% 100.3% 113.72% 140.3% 14.72% 512.7% ★★★½
16 Weston Toronto W04 $729,035 88.99% 58.21% 80.9% 61.47% 75.8% 0.80% 61.9% ★★★½
17 Woburn Toronto E09 $746,787 81.34% 64.18% 99.9% 61.27% 75.6% 2.84% 65.9% ★★★½
18 Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown Toronto W10 $702,736 73.13% 81.90% 106.3% 62.76% 77.4% 8.63% 74.0% ★★★½
19 Humbermede Toronto W05 $772,315 89.93% 61.38% 91.5% 59.06% 72.8% -1.87% 82.7% ★★★½
20 Eglinton East Toronto E08 $631,198 83.77% 58.77% 84.3% 64.90% 80.1% 0.24% 65.6% ★★★½
21 Malvern Toronto E11 $692,097 91.60% 54.48% 92.3% 53.04% 65.4% -0.33% 61.4% ★★★½
22 Kennedy Park Toronto E04 $729,499 91.42% 41.98% 91.5% 58.16% 71.7% -1.65% 56.0% ★★★½
23 Rexdale-Kipling Toronto W10 $813,832 78.17% 73.69% 103.9% 61.31% 75.6% 2.91% 69.4% ★★★½
24 Humberlea-Pelmo Park W4 Toronto W04 $742,644 77.61% 69.78% 90.0% 68.39% 84.4% -5.68% 91.7% ★★★½
25 Elms-Old Rexdale Toronto W10 $730,011 75.19% 74.07% 105.8% 62.41% 77.0% 8.70% 65.2% ★★★½
26 Crescent Town Toronto E03 $1,279,511 91.23% 40.86% 72.0% 61.35% 75.7% -4.26% 52.4% ★★★½
27 Moss Park Toronto C08 $1,306,424 38.06% 83.40% 101.0% 107.53% 132.6% 17.07% 433.1% ★★★½
28 Cabbagetown-South St. James Town Toronto C08 $768,813 34.14% 79.29% 103.1% 109.79% 135.4% -4.84% 240.8% ★★★½
29 West Humber-Clairville Toronto W10 $1,391,603 70.15% 80.60% 109.5% 64.61% 79.7% 10.61% 67.4% ★★★½
30 South Parkdale Toronto W01 $787,442 27.99% 94.40% 104.3% 116.95% 144.2% 13.42% 228.3% ★★★½
31 Clairlea-Birchmount Toronto E04 $966,748 70.15% 64.93% 104.1% 66.17% 81.6% 2.71% 66.8% ★★★½
32 Mimico Toronto W06 $1,098,825 51.49% 76.68% 102.4% 81.24% 100.2% 4.87% 77.3% ★★★½
33 East York Toronto E03 $968,126 40.49% 80.60% 108.3% 92.34% 113.9% 10.23% 76.6% ★★★½
34 Danforth Village-East York Toronto E03 $913,862 54.29% 53.54% 95.5% 81.36% 100.4% 2.18% 60.8% ★★★½
35 Rouge E10 Toronto E10 $1,507,003 55.41% 62.69% 110.5% 76.80% 94.7% 2.79% 63.8% ★★★½
36 Palmerston-Little Italy Toronto C01 $778,635 22.20% 81.34% 111.7% 126.65% 156.2% -1.47% 131.5% ★★★½
37 Thistletown-Beaumonde Heights Toronto W10 $721,620 67.72% 67.16% 110.9% 65.43% 80.7% 6.69% 65.9% ★★★½
38 Weston-Pellam Park Toronto W03 $874,229 86.19% 47.39% 94.0% 60.64% 74.8% -2.11% 59.3% ★★★½
39 Beechborough-Greenbrook Toronto W04 $915,568 66.60% 66.23% 96.7% 73.47% 90.6% -19.28% 117.4% ★★★½
40 Etobicoke West Mall Toronto W08 $744,769 72.01% 47.20% 69.4% 76.94% 94.9% -3.81% 55.5% ★★★½
41 Bendale Toronto E09 $1,480,988 76.87% 49.44% 102.0% 62.59% 77.2% 3.32% 56.2% ★★★
42 Trinity-Bellwoods Toronto C01 $700,204 23.88% 75.00% 109.8% 124.46% 153.5% 3.86% 298.9% ★★★
43 Ionview Toronto E04 $1,150,535 89.93% 27.05% 92.6% 58.84% 72.6% -5.38% 46.2% ★★★
44 Regent Park Toronto C08 $875,511 49.63% 50.19% 90.8% 96.69% 119.3% -2.84% 58.7% ★★★
45 Greenwood-Coxwell Toronto E01 $889,193 75.00% 28.73% 78.1% 73.58% 90.8% -3.98% 47.9% ★★★
46 New Toronto Toronto W06 $1,596,098 66.23% 56.72% 94.2% 74.73% 92.2% -6.33% 62.8% ★★★
47 Englemount-Lawrence Toronto C04 $971,303 36.57% 72.57% 80.1% 134.13% 165.4% -0.82% 79.1% ★★★
48 Alderwood Toronto W06 $873,114 49.07% 70.15% 102.9% 81.63% 100.7% 6.30% 65.1% ★★★
49 Blake-Jones Toronto E01 $975,044 77.99% 25.93% 77.9% 73.37% 90.5% -14.16% 28.8% ★★★
50 O'Connor-Parkview Toronto E03 $1,005,905 51.68% 58.21% 96.1% 81.94% 101.1% 5.69% 60.5% ★★★
51 Cliffcrest Toronto E08 $984,244 42.54% 72.39% 109.8% 84.53% 104.3% 7.68% 71.5% ★★★
52 Birchcliffe-Cliffside Toronto E06 $725,980 39.37% 78.92% 121.8% 82.71% 102.0% 16.60% 66.4% ★★★
53 Morningside Toronto E09 $1,201,571 82.28% 37.13% 99.5% 61.01% 75.3% -7.83% 56.7% ★★★
54 Yorkdale-Glen Park Toronto W04 $940,929 30.22% 76.31% 132.9% 100.98% 124.5% -0.47% 83.1% ★★★
55 Eringate-Centennial-West Deane Toronto W08 $1,616,335 66.79% 50.56% 71.3% 79.07% 97.5% 6.91% 49.2% ★★★
56 University Toronto C01 $1,282,144 16.98% 90.49% 119.8% 135.83% 167.5% 3.24% 495.3% ★★★
57 Bathurst Manor Toronto C06 $933,915 46.08% 58.77% 87.9% 107.75% 132.9% -8.66% 68.8% ★★★
58 Rustic Toronto W04 $936,804 55.60% 71.08% 103.3% 78.48% 96.8% 0.64% 102.7% ★★★
59 Woodbine Corridor Toronto E02 $1,322,692 65.86% 34.70% 85.6% 78.73% 97.1% -3.61% 48.2% ★★★
60 Islington-City Centre West Toronto W08 $1,064,529 34.14% 70.71% 100.3% 111.16% 137.1% 14.44% 61.2% ★★★
61 Long Branch Toronto W06 $1,575,584 39.37% 65.49% 112.7% 89.46% 110.3% 0.90% 73.9% ★★★
62 Humewood-Cedarvale Toronto C03 $924,255 34.51% 65.67% 88.3% 132.41% 163.3% 10.49% 60.5% ★★★
63 Kingsview Village-The Westway Toronto W09 $2,162,519 59.14% 49.07% 99.9% 77.67% 95.8% 1.68% 57.5% ★★★
64 Annex Toronto C02 $2,115,505 14.55% 63.81% 106.9% 181.73% 224.2% 11.64% 49.1% ★★★
65 Forest Hill North Toronto C04 $835,467 15.67% 64.55% 106.1% 177.78% 219.3% 13.88% 59.9% ★★★
66 Humberlea-Pelmo Park W5 Toronto W05 $761,846 64.37% 48.32% 108.8% 70.21% 86.6% -0.70% 52.7% ★★★
67 Wexford-Maryvale Toronto E04 $874,045 75.19% 34.33% 100.7% 64.02% 79.0% -9.05% 55.8% ★★★
68 Corso Italia-Davenport Toronto W03 $918,131 58.02% 36.38% 113.8% 73.45% 90.6% -3.11% 48.1% ★★★
69 East End-Danforth Toronto E02 $1,207,792 68.84% 18.66% 83.9% 77.16% 95.2% -4.79% 34.3% ★★★
70 Runnymede-Bloor West Village Toronto W02 $1,465,100 34.51% 46.46% 110.7% 101.50% 125.2% 3.96% 49.5% ★★★
71 Henry Farm Toronto C15 $2,503,258 28.92% 63.81% 101.0% 123.12% 151.9% -8.89% 73.7% ★★★
72 Bedford Park-Nortown Toronto C04 $908,743 6.53% 77.24% 125.6% 210.37% 259.5% 6.68% 71.9% ★★★
73 Centennial Scarborough Toronto E10 $959,693 57.28% 47.76% 109.8% 76.37% 94.2% 1.15% 52.0% ★★★
74 Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview Toronto W09 $818,679 50.93% 56.72% 103.7% 80.65% 99.5% 12.89% 49.5% ★★★
75 Brookhaven-Amesbury Toronto W04 $950,569 76.87% 23.88% 90.5% 68.80% 84.9% -2.56% 34.4% ★★★
76 Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-Junction Toronto W02 $1,909,055 63.06% 24.44% 87.1% 79.88% 98.5% -4.85% 40.1% ★★★
77 Newtonbrook East Toronto C14 $1,283,280 25.19% 65.67% 93.1% 160.43% 197.9% -10.89% 77.6% ★★★
78 Stonegate-Queensway Toronto W07 $822,992 29.10% 73.88% 118.3% 107.84% 133.0% 18.27% 62.0% ★★★
79 York University Heights Toronto W05 $2,621,947 65.86% 27.99% 107.2% 69.16% 85.3% -4.50% 45.1% ★★★
80 Bayview Village Toronto C15 $2,664,929 3.73% 81.53% 180.8% 220.34% 271.8% 0.22% 96.9% ★★★
81 Yonge-St. Clair Toronto C02 $938,422 4.10% 68.10% 131.8% 223.95% 276.2% 9.57% 61.5% ★★★
82 Highland Creek Toronto E10 $1,377,618 49.25% 38.25% 113.4% 78.86% 97.3% -10.69% 53.7% ★★★
83 Newtonbrook West Toronto C07 $848,109 38.06% 48.32% 89.8% 115.77% 142.8% 3.77% 59.3% ★★★
84 Guildwood Toronto E08 $987,603 72.76% 27.05% 92.5% 71.27% 87.9% -7.38% 46.2% ★★★
85 Maple Leaf Toronto W04 $908,986 43.47% 33.96% 109.2% 83.00% 102.4% -9.44% 45.9% ★★★
86 Steeles Toronto E05 $806,554 65.86% 12.13% 93.4% 76.39% 94.2% -8.78% 34.3% ★★★
87 Downsview-Roding-CFB Toronto W05 $1,234,296 68.66% 39.18% 105.0% 67.78% 83.6% 6.66% 40.7% ★★★
88 Roncesvalles Toronto W01 $2,099,546 43.84% 24.63% 92.5% 103.73% 127.9% -0.35% 35.3% ★★★
89 Kingsway South Toronto W08 $1,016,076 7.84% 83.96% 159.2% 176.44% 217.6% 14.20% 71.4% ★★★
90 South Riverdale Toronto E01 $933,688 53.17% 21.08% 90.7% 85.39% 105.3% -6.10% 42.7% ★★★
91 L'Amoreaux Toronto E05 $784,794 60.26% 27.05% 95.9% 78.46% 96.8% -1.25% 40.6% ★★★
92 Rouge E11 Toronto E11 $832,235 65.67% 30.04% 114.8% 65.95% 81.3% 5.82% 35.6% ★★★
93 Milliken Toronto E07 $3,378,544 72.20% 27.43% 94.2% 69.94% 86.3% 0.71% 39.5% ★★★
94 St. Andrew-Windfields Toronto C12 $806,087 24.44% 62.13% 78.7% 283.92% 350.2% -2.16% 65.4% ★★★
95 Agincourt North Toronto E07 $873,976 77.80% 13.81% 91.2% 67.74% 83.6% -6.42% 33.5% ★★½
96 Tam O'Shanter-Sullivan Toronto E05 $1,325,612 73.51% 18.66% 89.8% 73.45% 90.6% -11.14% 39.4% ★★½
97 Wychwood Toronto C02 $2,300,349 45.90% 22.20% 65.6% 111.40% 137.4% 2.11% 30.3% ★★½
98 Willowdale East Toronto C14 $1,773,134 11.19% 68.28% 112.1% 193.32% 238.4% 14.68% 65.2% ★★½
99 Willowdale West Toronto C07 $968,178 14.93% 61.57% 115.6% 149.01% 183.8% -5.73% 76.2% ★★½
100 Junction Area Toronto W02 $969,265 58.96% 16.04% 88.7% 81.36% 100.4% -0.33% 25.8% ★★½
101 Victoria Village Toronto C13 $909,570 62.87% 21.64% 67.6% 81.45% 100.5% -12.90% 42.3% ★★½
102 Broadview North Toronto E03 $1,426,676 68.66% 3.36% 89.7% 76.44% 94.3% -13.34% 19.4% ★★½
103 Clanton Park Toronto C06 $1,066,035 31.16% 42.16% 97.8% 119.89% 147.9% -5.74% 51.8% ★★½
104 Hillcrest Village Toronto C15 $1,220,567 56.90% 9.14% 73.5% 89.59% 110.5% -10.44% 33.8% ★★½
105 Parkwoods-Donalda Toronto C13 $1,902,021 48.69% 26.87% 85.1% 102.57% 126.5% 0.59% 38.9% ★★½
106 Lansing-Westgate Toronto C07 $1,685,373 11.94% 61.38% 124.0% 159.84% 197.2% -0.86% 62.8% ★★½
107 High Park-Swansea Toronto W01 $954,582 14.18% 62.50% 126.3% 141.63% 174.7% 8.94% 58.5% ★★½
108 Danforth Toronto E03 $1,186,697 57.46% 5.60% 94.1% 80.22% 98.9% -10.84% 27.2% ★★½
109 Don Valley Village Toronto C15 $1,069,615 52.43% 24.63% 81.8% 99.73% 123.0% -15.31% 48.6% ★★½
110 Scarborough Village Toronto E08 $1,338,629 37.13% 32.28% 116.7% 89.89% 110.9% -6.71% 44.5% ★★½
111 Lambton Baby Point Toronto W02 $1,837,206 23.51% 52.99% 122.7% 112.50% 138.8% 13.72% 57.4% ★★½
112 Leaside Toronto C11 $1,287,180 15.86% 33.40% 111.9% 154.39% 190.4% 11.86% 28.3% ★★½
113 Playter Estates-Danforth Toronto E03 $3,287,905 26.31% 29.10% 126.9% 108.17% 133.4% -3.86% 25.2% ★★½
114 Rosedale-Moore Park Toronto C09 $1,700,179 5.60% 68.47% 119.9% 276.31% 340.8% 19.90% 63.3% ★★½
115 Yonge-Eglinton Toronto C03 $1,112,402 26.49% 19.59% 95.3% 142.88% 176.2% -8.43% 38.7% ★★½
116 Markland Wood Toronto W08 $977,718 53.36% 25.56% 84.3% 93.48% 115.3% -11.53% 42.6% ★★½
117 Westminster-Branson Toronto C07 $1,649,747 61.75% 3.17% 63.7% 82.17% 101.3% -21.79% 24.1% ★★½
118 Lawrence Park North Toronto C04 $940,485 34.89% 17.35% 82.8% 138.64% 171.0% -2.49% 31.3% ★★½
119 Agincourt South-Malvern West Toronto E07 $958,013 52.24% 25.19% 106.5% 79.04% 97.5% -7.36% 45.1% ★★½
120 Pleasant View Toronto C15 $1,707,152 65.86% 4.85% 66.1% 80.51% 99.3% -12.84% 27.8% ★★½
121 Mount Pleasant West Toronto C10 $1,553,112 21.64% 22.76% 103.2% 143.46% 177.0% -2.42% 31.8% ★★½
122 Mount Pleasant East Toronto C10 $1,516,934 30.97% 20.71% 93.8% 130.52% 161.0% -2.68% 35.0% ★★½
123 Princess-Rosethorn Toronto W08 $1,154,177 20.15% 45.90% 115.0% 127.48% 157.2% 0.37% 53.8% ★★½
124 North Riverdale Toronto E01 $1,321,537 41.60% 0.75% 103.0% 96.99% 119.6% -27.05% 2.8% ★★½
125 High Park North Toronto W02 $2,368,252 25.56% 33.77% 121.1% 111.06% 137.0% 6.81% 36.7% ★★½
126 Lawrence Park South Toronto C04 $1,374,148 8.77% 23.88% 118.8% 199.02% 245.5% -10.16% 44.1% ★★½
127 The Beaches Toronto E02 $2,012,771 21.83% 21.83% 125.5% 115.48% 142.4% 4.55% 28.2% ★★
128 Edenbridge-Humber Valley Toronto W08 $3,757,271 9.14% 43.28% 152.6% 169.15% 208.6% -3.72% 43.5% ★★
129 Forest Hill South Toronto C03 $1,319,395 1.31% 17.35% 210.6% 315.75% 389.5% -9.04% 39.6% ★★
130 Bayview Woods-Steeles Toronto C15 $1,199,256 41.04% 16.04% 91.0% 110.88% 136.8% -5.67% 36.1% ★★
131 Banbury-Don Mills Toronto C13 $1,199,256 8.77% 42.91% 140.9% 169.85% 209.5% 8.80% 48.0% ★★
132 Humber Heights Toronto W09 $2,507,174 31.16% 89.18% 129.6% 100.78% 124.3% 9.78% 95.6% ★★
133 Casa Loma Toronto C02 $4,755,258 6.53% 14.74% 124.0% 210.70% 259.9% -2.02% 27.0% ★★
134 Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills Toronto C12 $2,700,000 6.90% 36.94% 110.8% 399.62% 492.9% -7.26% 53.2% ★★
Value
Measures how affordable the neighbourhood is compared to the surrounding area and the region overall
Momentum
Measures how quickly prices are appreciating in this neighbourhood, with an emphasis on long term appreciation

For more, please see our complete methodology

Toronto’s top 3 neighbourhoods to buy

1. Rockcliffe-Smythe

Not a millionaire? Want to own a detached home close to downtown? Take a look at this year’s No. 1-ranked Toronto neighbourhood: Rockcliffe-Smythe.

Why did this way-under-the-radar neighbourhood make it to the top spot? The homes here have ample yards and almost every one comes with dedicated parking. (Not many Toronto ’hoods can boast the same.) It’s super-close to the newly built Stock Yards Village, a buzzy outdoor shopping mall at St. Clair Avenue and Weston Road, with a Roots, Winners and Nations, a grocery store that bonuses busy parents with a play area, games room and arcade.

Commuters have plenty of options as the neighbourhood is close to the 24-hour St. Clair streetcar line and pretty close to major inner commuter driving routes. The extension of the Eglinton LRT line to Keele will add even more accessibility to this area. And it’s just steps from an inner-city ravine system (can we say hiking and biking?).

However, we weren’t the first to spot this awesome up-and-coming neighbourhood. That prize goes to Toronto Life, which listed Rockcliffe-Smythe among their top three ’hoods for first-time buyers in 2015, a year before BlogTO awarded the neighbourhood a top spot, followed by a “best kept trendy ’hood” award from Airbnb in 2017.

Why is MoneySense late to join the Rockcliffe-Smythe fan club? Data. Our more conservative ranking forecasts possible future appreciation based on past performance and current conditions. But that doesn’t mean Rockcliffe-Smythe was completely off our radar. In 2017, the neighbourhood ranked No. 73 out of 142 Metro Toronto locations. In 2018, it moved up the list but still didn’t crack the top 25. Now, in 2019, this west-end neighbourhood has taken the No. 1 spot in the Metro Toronto ranking.

This leafy residential community is mostly made up of single-family detached homes. With large amounts of green space, including the centrally located Smythe Park, the area attracts middle-income buyers who want a good single-family home close to downtown.

Average prices here are a smidge lower than surrounding communities, but the real saving can be found when comparing average Rockcliffe-Smythe to average Metro Toronto or GTA houses, which are 47% or 22% more expensive, respectively.

2. Humber Summit (W05)

Humber Summit began as a pioneer community—that’s why the time-travelling Black Creek Pioneer Village attraction is located here. It was originally centred around the grist and saw mills of the 1840s. Over time, this community evolved into a resort community: a place where Toronto socialites could come and unwind at the shores of the Humber River. However, many of these resort cottages were destroyed in 1954, when Hurricane Hazel ripped through the area.

Through the process of rebuilding, this community became the middle-class neighbourhoodit is today, with a well-established Italian community, along with growing South and East Asian communities.

For commuters, several major roadways pass through, including Finch Avenue, Steeles Avenue, Weston Road, Highway 400 and Highway 401.

For the most part, the homes in this neighbourhood are semi-detached back-splits with attached single and double-car garages. The average house price is 39% cheaper than in Metro Toronto, and 25% cheaper than the GTA average.

3. Glenfield-Jane Heights

Ask just about any realtor who has worked longer than a decade in the Toronto markets and they’ll tell you to avoid this neigbhourhood. Full stop.

But times change. Funding and resources are directed into less-than-desirable areas and things start to improve. And eventually, that improvement starts to reflect in the numbers. Crime goes down. Families move in. Developers start to build. And before you know it, a neighbourhood has overcome its old reputation. It happened in The Junction; it happened in Parkdale; and it’s happening at Moss Park. Next on the list is this year’s No. 3-ranked Glenfield-Jane Heights.

It’s infamous as part of Toronto’s notorious Jane-Finch area—Canada’s equivalent to The Bronx. But, being a lower-priced neighbourhood in a large, expensive city, home buyers have slowly started to move in and set down roots.

These days, the community is home to a large immigrant population, with a high percentage of Spanish-, Italian- and Vietnamese-speaking residents. While many still live in high-rise apartment buildings and semi-detached houses, there are streets of single-family homes where a strong sense of community is starting to build.

Jane-Finch Mall is popular for shopping, and a number of parks are located throughout Glenfield-Jane Heights, including Firgrove, Oakdale, Spenvalley, Stanley, along with parts of Derrydown, Topcliff, Downsview Dells and Northwood.

In 2008, then-Toronto City Councillor Anthony Perruzza attempted to rebranding the neighbourhood using banners attached to hundreds of hydro poles. The banners displayed the name “University Heights,” a moniker given to the Jane-Finch area in municipal planning documents. The rebranding didn’t really eliminate the area’s tarnished reputation. But plans to construct a light rail line—the Finch West LRT—is going a long way to help change and gentrify this inner-suburban neighbourhood. The LRT station is scheduled to open in 2023 and the influx of labour and investment into the area, due to this infrastructure project, is helping a great deal with property values.

While the communities’ average household income is typically lower than the average household income for the GTA, this is starting to change as home buyers and investors realize its untapped potential. Houses here are more than 40% cheaper, on average, than the City of Toronto average house price, and more than 25% cheaper than the average GTA house price. While property prices fell almost 4% last year, five-year price growth is more than 186%, making this area both a strong purchase in terms of value and potential future price momentum.