Etobicoke is Toronto's truest suburb. Miles of single-family houses stretch across
the landscape, which is crisscrossed by highways and expressways, connecting
residents to big-box shopping and to downtown Toronto. The former municipality,
which is now part of the city of Toronto, is west of downtown and measures about
350,000 people of all incomes and very diverse ethnic backgrounds. To the
south, where Etobicoke meets Lake Ontario, are neighbourhoods full of mega
mansions, whereas the north end has more high-rise apartment buildings.
Who Lives Here
A bit of everybody. With lots of places to work, affordable
rents, plenty of housing options and a multitude of highways on which to
commute to downtown, Etobicoke is home to seniors, families of all types, some
young professionals and school-age kids. What does set Etobicoke apart from
other areas of Toronto is the number of immigrants: nearly half of Etobicoke
residents were not born in Canada, and the north end is more than 35% South
Anyone wanting the suburban lifestyle while remaining close
enough to downtown Toronto. Families will find themselves near to schools and
work, seniors will enjoy walkable areas with all the services they need,
commuters can drive to work on a number of highways or take transit, and
everyone will find shopping centres within a reasonable distance from home.
However, with some areas undergoing redevelopment, such as along the south
end of Etobicoke, even those who love condo living are in luck.
Not-so-perfect for: Dislikers of change. Longtime residents of Etobicoke
lament the ever-changing skyline due to an influx of condominiums in a few
different areas of the municipality. But for newcomers, these developments offer
living opportunities in all sorts of neighbourhoods.
Life and Style
Like any good suburb, Etobicoke offers a mix of quiet residential
life along with some decent shopping and a few quality places to eat. The main
shopping destination is Sherway Gardens on the Queensway. The seven golf
courses in town bring out mainly the older population during the summer months,
while the younger generation flocks to annual summer events like Project X beer
festival and the Toronto Ribfest. Nightlife in Etobicoke isn't bad, with a few
nightclubs and lounges, especially along the Queensway, and even a swingers
club for those who are into that kind of thing. From the north to the south of
Etobicoke, the style varies dramatically because of the demographic shift along
the way, with lower-income immigrant families focused in the north and middle-
and higher-income people living in Islington and the south.
Most of Etobicoke's housing stock is single-family detached
houses, and that includes new and older construction. However, after a brief
decline, the municipality's population is growing once more and with less land
available for new developments, infill and higher density builds are becoming
increasingly popular. While Etobicoke's north has always been a high-rise
apartment haven (mostly with lower rents), the south end is seeing a growing
number of luxury condominiums taking shape. While house prices have
skyrocketed in the past three or four years, rents have remained pretty stable,
coming in at about half the average price elsewhere in Toronto – although
renters can expect rates to rise if demand begins to outpace supply.
Avg. rent by type and size
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods Etobicoke is 5% lower than GTA average
Typical housing type
Older bungalows and newer two-storey homes
Some of the top restaurants in Etobicoke are concentrated along the
Queensway, including Italian joints like Pazzia Osteria and Sanremo, as well as
Tom's Dairy Freeze, whereas Islington Village is home to some down-to-earth
BBQ, burger and sandwich shops, and also Toji Sushi, one of the better sushi
places in town. The northern neighbourhoods are chock full of amazing Indian
places and kebab shops. After going out for a bite, residents head to the
Cineplex Queensway, one of the first movie theatres to offer the lean-back seats
and even motion seats. During the summer, residents file out of their homes to
attend music festivals, a jerk festival (the food), rib fest, farmer's markets,
lobsterfest, beer festivals such as Project X, and arts events around town and in
the later parts of the year, there's the unmissable Halloween Bed Race.
Shoppers congregate at the upscale Sherway Gardens and there's even an Ikea
in town. Humber College is in Etobicoke's Woodbine area.
Sherway Gardens mall
Apache Burgers, since 1969
Tom's Dairy Freeze
Characterized by detached houses built mid-century, Alderwood is a truly
residential community. Life here is focused around Alderwood Centre, which
includes the local library, pool, daycare and community centre. A seemingly
endless number of schools in the community and an inherent sense of safety
make it a great place to raise children.
Straddling Etobicoke and Brampton, Clairville is dominated by new residential
subsections north of Queen Street and has a large South Asian population.
Eatonville consists mainly of low-density residential homes mixed with rental
apartments, condominiums and townhouses especially at Burnhamthorpe Road.
Apart from low-end retail areas along Dundas Street West and Bloor Street West,
there are two renowned shopping malls: Cloverdale Mall and Honeydale Mall.
The relatively affluent neighbourhood of Edenbridge is defined by its parks
system. You'll not only find five golf courses within a kilometre of each side of the
border, but also huge networks of green spaces. If you are looking for the
wealthiest part of Etobicoke, look no further than Edenbridge.
Highfield has a relaxed, rural feel even though it's less than just an hour drive
from downtown Toronto. The natural surroundings attract newcomers in a major
way, as well as the neighbourhood's cozy, easy, non-intimidating atmosphere.
Homes available include detached, semi-detached and townhouses.
New, luxury condos are sprouting up along the shore of Lake Ontario in the
Humber neighbourhood of Etobicoke. A great location with proximity to shopping
and parks is attracting young residents of Etobicoke to the area.
Humber Heights, also called Humbervale, is a well-known neighbourhood in
Etobicoke. Humber Heights has a variety of different housing types, like
mansions on Yorkleigh Avenue and Westmount Park. However, most homes are
the low-density, single-family sort.
A combination of old houses, single-family homes, apartments and condo
buildings make Islington stand apart from its neighbours. Most old buildings
especially north of Dundas and East Kipling have been brought down and
replaced with big, luxurious homes. People are flocking to the neighbourhood
because of the large lot sizes, mature trees and proximity to downtown.
Located along Toronto’s waterfront at the utmost southwest part of the city is
Long Branch, Etobicoke’s well-established neighbourhood. Long Branch is
undergoing a changeover with many new homes popping up along Lakeshore
Boulevard. This lakeside hamlet is rather charming with its city district parks, a
local stadium, a public library, a waterfront boardwalk, GO Transit access and
Bordered by Humber Bay Park on its eastern edge and the lake to the south,
Mimico is surrounded by pretty, natural areas. Housing in this neighbourhood is
mixed, with a few older homes concentrated around the Mimico Creek area,
older apartment and townhouse style buildings around the commercial areas on
Royal York Road and Lake Shore Boulevard, and lots of new condo
developments popping up along the Humber Bay area and along the lake. After
the local population declined steadily following WWII, the neighbourhood
decayed somewhat in several areas, but has more recently been called one of
the GTA's best up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Easy access to the GO transit
line and its proximity to the city of Toronto make Mimico a great spot for
New Toronto’s industrial corridor at the north end of the community is being re-
envisioned after years of standing vacant, making it one of Etobicoke's
neighbourhoods-under-transition. This area has a large contingency of
government-assisted housing mainly between 9th and 13th streets on Lakeshore
Boulevard’s north end.
Markland Wood's single-family houses were built by 1967, but many custom-built
houses were added around Markland Drive in later years, including some tract
housing on Thicket Road. There are two older condos on the west side of Mill
Road, north of Markland Drive. Millwood Park, Bloordale Park and Etobicoke
Creek get residents outside on nice days.
Rexdale initial residents were mostly English and Scottish immigrants, but today
it has evolved into a multicultural neighbourhood. Notable residents include
Ghetto Concept, K'naan, P. K. Subban and Rheostatics. The interior of the
neighbourhood is mostly nicer, single-family homes while the outskirts include
plenty of rental apartment buildings.
Middle-class families live in Richview, bordered by Highway 401, Dixon Road,
Royal York Road and Eglinton Avenue. Richview has a big Italian population and
homes here are primarily single-family homes. The Toronto Transit Commission
(TTC) runs a number of buses through Richview to connect commuters to
Kipling, Royal York and Islington subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth line.