Expert Info

Posted by lap_665
on 9 Oct 2018

Hello,

We are considering a move to Ontario.  My husband has been offered a job and will be located in Thornhill.  We are looking at areas to rent but don't know where the best places are for young families.  We don't want to be near the city and would like somewhere suburban but affordable.  

My husband is happy with a max 55 minute commute so could move to areas like Brampton but we don't know anything about areas like this.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  Would be such a great help.  Thanks

tompitman on 9 Oct 2018

Hi there.

I guess you have already looked at our page on areas and suburbs in Toronto? Choosing the best areas to live as an expat will depend on so many things - budge, the commute, schools, lifestyle, etc. If you have kids, you might want to start by looking at the international schools in Toronto. I'd suggest you go on a familiarisation trip to check out the areas before you decide - make a series of appointments with some local real estate agents, and try to 

Here are some options of suburbs of Toronto.

EAST

Ajax - This suburban suburb of Toronto has a population of 120,000. It's situated just east of Toronto and is popular with families with young children, and offers relative peace and quiet compared to the city. Many people have been moving to the suburbs recently, and the area is booming but much less hectic than the city. Most commuters use the Go Train to get in and out of the city. Many also drive, but the journey can be horrendous. 
https://www.narcity.com/ca/on/toronto/lifestyle/18-struggles-of-living-in-ajax 

Pickering - this suburb neighbours Ajax, to the east, but is a little less desirable but still popular with families wanting to be out of the city centre. Some people are put off by the massive nuclear power station on the beach! North Pickering is up and coming.. but more expensive. https://www.buzzfeed.com/katangus/pickering-and-ajax-are-not-the-same

Whitby - Another popular suburb, further east still. The housing in Whitby is a bit cheaper (generally it's cheaper the farther out you go from central Toronto). South Whitby by the lake - Whitby Shores - is meant to be very nice.

NORTH

Brampton is a suburb to the north of Toronto that's particularly popular with immigrants from India/ south Asia . You can get a bigger house here for your money here which is a bonus, but there are not many good schools here, and not much going on in the way of good restaurants or nightlife. It's a very popular with Asian families. Property taxes are low.  

Vaughan. The city of Vaughan is around 20km north of Toronto centre. The population has increased tenfold since 1980 to 306,000. There's a large Italian and Jewish population. The recent extension of the Toronto subway line into Vaughan makes a commute to downtown Toronto much easier. 

Markham - 17 km north of Toronto’s commercial centre (30 minutes by GO train). Markham has grown remarkably quickly - not long ago it was a small rural town. Property taxes are much higher than in Brampton, Vaughan, but the houses are mostly larger, nicer and newer homes for less price. 

WEST

Burlington. The city of Burlington sits on the shore of Lake Ontario about 50 km south-west of Toronto. The GO Train takes 45 minutes to get to Union Station in central Toronto. It's a wealthy area and the majority of Burlington’s population of 180,000 have British ancestry. There are lots of parks and golf courses. 

Oakville - next to Burlington (to its west) and with a similar demographic, the town of Oakville also lies on Lake Ontario’s shore. It's 35 km west of Toronto city centre, around 35 minutes by GO train.
 

lap_665 on 10 Oct 2018

Thank you so much for this.

We are currently living in Dubai, so we are trying to get our heads around salary as that will be a huge difference for us.  

We are considering a trip too, but need to have some areas to explore.  Toronto is huge! I'm a small town Welsh girl :o) (have lived in London though so understand big cities are pricey.  Dubai sure isn't cheap either!)

We are looking forward to a total change of lifestyle.  

Catherine on 15 Oct 2018

Hi Lap_665, if wanting to be close to Thornhill, then Markham is a good area to consider. Vaughan, which is close by, also has some of the best schools in the city, so have a look at accommodation here. If wanting to be further out, also have a look at areas such as Oakville, Mississuaga and Burlington - these are great family-friendly areas to the west of the city with good schools and transport networks. I haven't heard great things about Brampton. Unfortunately, where ever you live in Toronto you're likely to face severe traffic congestion and a long commute, so definitely try and organise accommodation as close to good public transport links as possible.