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.
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 Asian.
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.
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 compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods Etobicoke is 5% lower than GTA average
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.
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 great shopping.
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 commuters.
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.