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Today, our Broker of Record Brendan Powell shares his predictions for the 5 hottest Toronto neighbourhoods in 2020:

Hot ‘Hood #1: Rockcliffe Smythe

Affordable detached houses in Toronto? Easy TTC access? Greenspace galore? Dare I say quaint? With the Humber River on its west side and the rejuvenated Stockyards on its southeast corner, Rockcliffe-Smythe has enough going for it that it makes our shortlist of likely hotspots. For generations, the heavy rail tracks heading to the Junction have separated the neighbourhood from more affluent areas closer to High Park. Now that the Junction has found its mojo, and High Park is out of reach for many, it’s finally time to jump the tracks. 

In Rockcliffe-Smythe, you’ll find small detached houses on good-sized lots. Alongside the East York or Mimico-style post-war bungalows are older, century-old brick homes with the same size but with even more character. You can still buy a house here with a condo budget, and still be a short drive to cool stuff in the Junction, Roncesvalles, High Park or Bloor West Village. (The R-S retail still needs a few years) 

Hot Hood #2: Waterfront East/East Bayfront/Quayside

With debate swirling around Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs and their plans to reinvent a swath of waterfront as the “neighbourhood of the future,” nobody really knows what the eastern waterfront area will look like in a decade…but you better believe it’s going to be spectacular. 

Change has of course been well underway for years, with projects like Pier 27 and Corus Quay leading the charge. Watch for the explosion of new buildings and streets to accelerate–much as the West Don Lands were transformed over the last five years. Exciting times for a formerly drab stretch of our city’s valuable waterfront.

Hot Hood #3: South of King West – Wellington/Front/Spadina

Anyone noticed the giant hole where the Globe & Mail and Toyota dealership used to be on the northwest corner of Spadina and Front? What’s replacing them is gonna be a doozy–in a good way. “The Well” is a megaproject that aims to pull the King West vibe south to Front.

The north side of Wellington is going to be almost as busy–walk west along Wellington (after a lovely brunch at Le Select Bistro perhaps), and you’ll pass a sea of development proposals, most towering over the existing buildings. While it’s doubtful they will be approved for the heights they are asking for, the reality is that years of construction are ahead…and while I have a soft spot for the brick warehouses on Welly, the change, it is definitely a-comin’.

Hot Hood #4: Dupont…still!

A few years ago in this same neighbourhood predictions blog I called the Dupont strip (especially centred around the Galleria Mall) a neighbourhood to watch. I was right…although it has been slow-moving. Inexorably, the gentrification has progressed, the Geary Ave strip has gone from decrepit to hip to kind of expensive for what it is. The Galleria replacement project is selling like hotcakes and developments are popping up like mushrooms pretty much everywhere from Lansdowne to Avenue Road. Some are even quite swish (e.g. Tridel’s Bianca) considering they’re still right beside the train tracks. Oh, Dupont, how you’ve changed…

Hot Hood #5: Eglinton West along the new subway

This one’s for Matt, our tireless advocate for the downtrodden underdog, Eglinton West. He’s got a point.

The rest of us don’t seem patient enough to wait out the endless construction (even though it’s “expected to be completed in 2021.”) Matt contends that basically ANYWHERE along a new subway line that didn’t exist will breathe new life into everything from businesses to streetscape, to, of course, property values. Once it’s completed, all bets are off as to how fast and where it will change will come most, but change WILL come. In real estate, it’s a rule of thumb that if you are walking distance to a subway line, it will automatically increase demand for and the value of your property. Suddenly we will have a giant strip of property that never had that benefit before, have it fall into their laps. It’s the real estate equivalent of an inheritance (except they had to suffer through the years of construction pain to get there, so it wasn’t exactly free.)

Related: How to Pick Your Next Toronto Neighbourhood: 88 Things to Consider

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