The 9 Best Neighbourhoods in Toronto for Renters

Just like lists that rank things as trivial as the best makeup trends for this fall, and as critical to sustaining life itself as the best hamburger joints in town, the data for compiling the list of the best Toronto neighbourhoods to live in is wholly subjective.

For some, the best neighbourhood in Toronto is judged by the quality of its nightlife; for others, its proximity to work and schools for the kids; and for many, the extent of its gentrification.

Then, for some homeowners and real estate investors, the best neighbourhoods in the city are judged by the upward pressure on home prices in the areas. Take Cabbagetown, for instance.

In an effort to let you judge for yourself what is the best neighbourhood in Toronto, according to your own criteria, we’ve put together a mind-blowingly comprehensive set of neighbourhood guides for nearly every individual neighbourhood in Toronto proper, as well as for several cities and regions around the GTA.

Check them out:

 

But since what you’re probably after from clicking on this article is a quick hit of what would be considered the best neighbourhoods in Toronto from a renter’s perspective, we’re happy to provide!

1. Dufferin Grove

More hippie than hipster, Dufferin Grove is loved by families and singles alike, who get the benefit of cool shops, tons of community gardens, nice older homes, affordable rents, schools, low crime, an easy commute to downtown and even a little bit of nightlife on Bloor Street. Renters can easily find two- and even three-bedroom apartments in the low-rise buildings here for around $1,500 to $1,800 per month.

2. Cabbagetown

Thanks to picturesque heritage homes, trendy new yoga studios and spas, great cafes and unique restaurants, Cabbagetown ticks all the boxes for lifestyle, offering an almost endless list of activities for people of almost any age. It’s as family-friendly as it is a great spot to hang out after dark. And while the average rents here tend to be on the high side, renters can, in all honesty, find a great spot to live in almost any budget, with pockets of social housing scattered throughout. This latter point also contributes to a bit of diversity in the Cabbagetown population. Cabbagetown is minutes from downtown (many ride their bikes to work) and has several schools and parks for the kiddies.

3. Deer Park

For families with kids especially, Deer Park is a gem among Toronto neighbourhoods, with great schools in the area plus some of the best parks and natural green spaces in the whole city. For commuters, the 512 St. Clair streetcar makes the trip to downtown stupidly easy. But Deer Park isn’t just for the families who live in the big expensive homes on quiet streets – the rents in the neighbourhood are lower than the city’s average, and there’s plenty available in almost any type of place, from three-bedroom townhomes, to one-bedroom apartments in converted heritage homes, and two-bedroom higher-end condos. And for singles and younger couples, Yonge-St. Clair is just a short stumble away, offering great bars and restaurants.

4. Davisville Village

As the centrepiece for surrounding neighbourhoods like Davisville Village, Yonge & Eglinton is a nightlife hotspot and is lined with awesome housing for renters that includes low-rise apartments, high-rise condos and small houses. Living here isn’t cheap, but Davisville Village makes up for the price with the endless possibilities for entertainment options. The Village is the family-friendly corner of Yonge & Eglinton, with bigger homes just a few blocks away from the main intersection and a few well-ranked schools nearby.

5. The Junction

At a glance, the Junction looks like a quiet, family-oriented neighbourhood with its heritage homes, antique shops, community events and treed parks. And it is – there’s a significant population of families who live in the Junction. But it’s also been eyed by trendy hipster types lately, who’ve moved in an opened up organic coffee shops and raw food bars, as well as converted the Junction’s lofts into studios and galleries. There are some cool spots like Little Malta on Dundas that’s become a popular weekend hangout, and the neighbourhood’s streets get crowded with summer festivals, like the Junction Music Festival. Rents are pretty much average, but there’s generally lots available.

6. Leslieville

Dubbed “Hipsterville East”, Leslieville is without a doubt trendy in all the ways one would expect: rows of cafes with simplistic, geometric logos on their signs and boasting sustainably sourced products inside, super earthy yoga centres, a thriving film and arts culture, and pet shops specializing in boutique apparel for Frenchies. But hey, there are a ton of people out there who love that stuff (and for good reason!) and will find themselves very much in love with living in Leslieville. Plus, it’s close to the Beaches, rents are lower than normal and it’s generally a super renter-friendly place, whether you’re single, a couple without kids or a family with children.

7. Church & Wellesley

Toronto’s gay village is, as you’d expect, an absolute destination for rowdy and unconventional nightlife, trendy shops and incredible food. The place oozes style and community spirit, which is a huge selling point for renters, whether you’re LGBTQ or not. The rental stock is mixed, but isn’t exactly cheap – nor is it expensive. The one drawback is that while Church & Wellesley should be considered family-friendly for its atmosphere and amenities like parks and schools, there aren’t a ton of families living in the area.

8. North Toronto

There are a few neighbourhoods in Toronto that really have it all, and North Toronto is one of them. North Toronto blends trendy with wholesome, dishing up a mix of nightlife, schools, parks, community spirit, unique restaurants, quiet streets and lively hotspots. Once again, rents are about average here, which is pretty impressive considering the awesomeness of North Toronto. Yonge & Eglinton makes up the heart of the neighbourhood.

9. Kensington Market

One of the coolest aspects of living in Toronto is the kaleidoscope of diversity, and the epitome of this diversity is Kensington Market. People who live here come from all walks of life, all ethnic backgrounds imaginable and usually have an offbeat ideological inclination, which adds to the charm of the neighbourhood, which many Torontonians only consider as a weekend shopping destination. In fairness, Kensington Market doesn’t have the highest safety rating and certainly doesn’t have a conventional style of nightlife, but it is tops for charm, for that tight-knit feeling and for, let’s call it, adventure.

Naturally, this isn’t the only ranking out there. Toronto Life publishes a
ranking of the best Toronto neighbourhoods as well, but ranks them very differently than TorontoRentals.

If you’re looking to rent in any of these areas, use this handy tool!

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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