It’s normal for families with children to be skeptical about raising them in a big city environment, and curious about suburban alternatives. In the suburbs, kids and parents can enjoy big backyards and quiet, tree-lined streets. Grocery stores are bigger and offer more selection, and homes tend to be larger too. But the inner city isn’t without its charm. Endless cultural and learning opportunities are right around the corner, in museums, galleries, on stages and city streets. Parents may have shorter commutes to work, which means more time to spend with family and friends.
Toronto insiders consider it a family friendly city, with zoos, aquariums, lots of solid public and private school options, and plenty of fantastic parks. They also know that while some of the 140-plus neighborhoods are meccas for young professionals or students, others are sweet spots for family friendly Toronto living. Here’s a look at five Toronto neighbourhoods that are great for raising a family.
Located along Lake Ontario to the east of Old Toronto, The Beaches is both a popular tourist spot, and a fantastic neighborhood for families to live. Here you’ll find a mix of highly ranked schools and daycare as well as an exciting and trendy environment full of specialty shops and restaurants, several parks and, of course, lakeside beaches. Kew Gardens, is a popular spot to enjoy bandstand performances and concerts and the Beaches International Jazz Festival every July. The Beaches has a reputation of being both clean and accessible, with streetcars traveling to and from downtown Toronto and other popular neighborhoods. Housing in The Beaches is mostly semi-detached and large Victorian, Edwardian and New-Age homes. Perfect for children and parents alike, this family friendly Toronto Neighborhood should be on your radar.
Families go wild for Allenby because of its homes are not as tightly spaced as most Toronto neighborhoods and the schools rank highly. Built in the 1930s and 1940s the homes are charming and unique. If you’re interested in enrolling your children in French immersion school, Allenby Junior Public School is one of the best Toronto has to offer. Other perks of the neighborhood that families love include the Beltline Trail and other green areas, as well as the North Toronto Memorial Community Recreation Center, which is stocked with an outdoor pool and track, fitness equipment tennis courts that transform into ice skating rinks for winter fun.
Leslieville is so much more than an up-and-coming, extra trendy neighborhood for young hispter families. It’s truly one of the most family friendly Toronto neighborhoods. Here, you’ll find restaurants that the kids will love like “Lil’ Bean n’ Green, as well as fashionable clothing stores for kids, like Baby on the Hip near Queen and Carlaw Streets and Little Peeps nearby in Riverside. Take your kids to Withrow Park and Lower Don Trail for water sports and nature walks, then stop at one of the neighbourhoods great ice cream parlors for a treat. Leslieville schools are known for having fantastic teachers and lost of extracurricular activities before and after class.
Bloor West Village
Last but certainly not least, Boor West Village has all the charm of a quiet suburban neighborhood with quick and easy access to Toronto’s most exciting downtown neighbourhoods by subway. Restaurants and Cafes in Bloor West Village repeatedly make lists of top family friendly Toronto venues. Try The Good Fork or Black Rabbit. The small-town atmosphere also features top-notch bakeries and Ukrainian specialty food shops, as well as playgrounds, parks, gardens and even a zoo. The variety of traditional and alternative school options rank highly, and nearby libraries offer more kid-friendly activities and resources.
This city began its life as a railroad town in 1913, and has blossomed into one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods to raise the kids. Located on the east end of Toronto, Leaside is known for top-notch schools and family friendly Toronto parks, as well as convenient transportation and lots of world-class shopping on Bayview Avenue. The houses are charming and spacious, with unique exterior detailing. They have large yards and the streets are lined with trees. With credentials like this, no wonder Leaside is so in-demand amongst the upper-middle class, and that it’s one of the more pricier parts of Toronto to purchase a home.
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