Riverdale vs. Leslieville: Which is better for renters?

As the prices in the west side go up and affordable renting spaces become more and rarer, it’s time to start looking outside of the usual areas and consider places you might not have otherwise given a second chance. Leslieville and Riverdale are both becoming booming neighbourhoods in Toronto, but why? What’s so special about these old ‘hoods?

They’re cheaper

Just by virtue of not being “prime real estate” (ie., real estate that’s reasonable for non-millionaires), you’re already looking at a bill that’s several hundreds of dollars less a month. By being a bit further away from your favourite stores in the heart of downtown (while still being close to some great places), you’ll end up saving a ton of money.

They’re both awesomely diverse and multicultural

Both of these beautiful, historic neighbourhoods boast large minority populations, which means encountering new, diverse values, culture (and food!) every day. It’s awesome knowing that when you step outside your door, you won’t really know what you’re in store for until it happens! Try checking out Riverdale’s Chinatown, which is the second biggest in Toronto, or Leslieville’s Little India. Nothing like eating authentic food from authentic cultures!

Both have really vibrant art communities

Downtown may have the stores, the studios, the theatres and the stadiums, but that doesn’t mean the eastern neighbourhoods of Toronto suffer any lack of culture. Leslieville has a thriving, young art collective that supports many local galleries – Parts Gallery, Project Gallery and Brayham Contemporary Art to name but a few! Riverdale, similarly, boasts a great community and includes the Studio District in South Riverdale. Many people are working in the film industry in this area, and many artists choose to run their studios out of the many lofts in the area.

Don’t hate on the idea of living in the East

Because there are so many chances for a new perspective if you shift your attitudes towards what you need in a place to live! Just because a neighbourhood may not be in the heart of the downtown scene, doesn’t mean it’s inferior in any way. From thriving art communities to great restaurants and amazing people, the East Side neighbourhoods of Leslieville and Riverdale will surely provide you with as much culture, food, drinks and life as any other in TO, and you’re sure to have just as much fun.

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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