We’re often asked what we think are Toronto’s next hot neighbourhoods. So we reached out to the rest of the BREL team for their thoughts, and here’s what they had to say:
Mike Lind: Cliffside and Cliffcrest
Cliffside and Cliffcrest are adjoining communities south of the railway tracks and Danforth Road, and overlooking the Scarborough Bluffs that rise high above Lake Ontario at this point. In 1962, one of the original area hotels was moved to Blackcreek Pioneer Village. There is a lot of history here.
St Augustine Seminary was established by the Catholic Church just off Kingston Road in 1910, and has been a local landmark ever since. There was also once a streetcar line on Kingston that was shut down in the 30’s (please bring one back!).
Motorists can head into downtown Toronto in about 25 minutes via Kingston Road & the Gardiner Expressway. TTC buses connect passengers to the Kennedy station on the Bloor-Danforth subway. Scarborough GO Train station (on the Oshawa-Toronto-Hamilton line), just south of St. Clair, whisks commuters downtown in 20 minutes.
The Cliffside Village shopping district along Kingston Road (with a wide boulevard, between Danforth & Midland) has lots of small retailers, a number of plazas, and is also home to a number of small motels that had their hey-day serving east-west travellers in the days before the 401. Visitors can enjoy the colourful wall murals that depict the community history.
These motels (some shady, some quaint) are beginning to give way to developers as they sit on a nice chunk of land. I can count 7 developments already underway. The developments are gearing towards bigger than normal Toronto condo floor plans to attract family-oriented condo living.
I’m sure you’ve heard my ranting and raving about how my wife and I watched and grew with the Danforth and Woodbine area. Well, I see the same progress beginning here and, we moved into the area last July (2014).
Since I live in the area and keep a strong eye on ‘up-and-coming’ neighbourhoods, I can let you know that I’ve seen a significant increase in properties being offered for sale, people buying into the area and fixing older homes to modern standards (because they can afford to do it) and, just in my immediate area alone, a 13% increase in sale prices from just last year.
What I Love About the Area
- Getting to the lakeside parks, the beach, access to The Gardiner, DVP and 401. The schools are highly rated (there’s lots of money in Cliffcrest). Shopping options in abundance. I can’t turn a corner without stepping on a park.
What I Don’t Love About the Area
- Restaurants are severely lacking (we’re foodies). Some of the neighbourhoods have a mish-mash of house styles (picture a tiny bungalow beside a Toronto colonial). There are a lot of absentee owners renting their properties.
Interesting Discoveries and Observations
- People love their E-Bikes here! I see people riding them everywhere and, I know of half a dozen people that actually ride them to work downtown daily.
- Neighbours tend to take their neighours garbage and compost bins back from the street if they get home first. It’s the small gestures in life.
Jeanette Preis: New Toronto/Mimico
I love the West end area known as New Toronto, or Mimico. (I like the East end too, don’t get me wrong…).
Perhaps you know that in early 2012, Toronto Life magazine ranked Mimico first on their “Where to Buy Now” list of Toronto neighbourhoods. So it’s not really a secret….
There is just something about this sweet, orderly neighbourhood in South Etobicoke with the numbered streets that appeals strongly …it still feels like a village, located just West of Royal York Road, along Lake Shore Blvd. extending to Brown’s Line and beyond…
Mimico was formally recognized as a village in 1905, and in 1917 became a “town”. It was an independent municipality until amalgamating with Etobicoke in 1967 and becoming part of the City of Toronto in 1997. ( Little known trivia fact – Sir Henry Pellatt, builder of Casa Loma, spent his final days virtually penniless, at his chauffeur’s home in Mimico where he died.)
The homes in the area are primarily small frame and brick bungalows and modest two storey detached houses built largely between the 1910’s and the 1950’s. Larger single family homes are located closer to the lake, south of Lake Shore Boulevard. Prices have risen in recent years, but it IS still possible to find a lovely home for substantially less that a Buyer would pay in the downtown core…
There’s oodles of retail along Lakeshore Blvd. with restaurants and cafes springing up and newly built condos at Lakeshore & Browns’ Line. and new developments bringing fresh energy and young homeowners into the area. And the lake, did I mention this area is Right! On! the! Lake!
Parks abound… including Colonel Samuel Smith Park. This park includes the first Wetlands-Wildlife Restoration trail on the Great Lakes. Cliff Lumsden Park, Prince of Wales Park and Rotary Peace Park which features a new outdoor swimming pool, a large baseball diamond, two tennis courts, and a children’s playground.
SO much to love here! Let’s go West!!