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It seems like quite a few people are trying to get to know Toronto. I am going to be finishing off my Masters and I started a blog to record down some of my experiences. I wrote two post related to this topic. The first one is related to University of Toronto itself shown in the following link:

http://controlgradstudy.blogspot.ca/2013/07/quick-orientation-tour-guide-to.html

 

The other one relates to the area near University of Toronto:

http://controlgradstudy.blogspot.ca/2013/08/quick-introduction-to-toronto.html

 

I hope that it will be useful to you guys.

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In case newcomers to Toronto are starting to lurk on this thread, I'd add to the apartment-hunting comments that www.kijiji.com is also a really important resource. www.viewit.ca also used to be very good, but I didn't find it as helpful in my most recent apartment search; but it's good to look everywhere!

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I used myhood.ca when i wanted to see people's opinions on a place.

 

I lived on residence in my undergrad and off campus as well (kensington market area).

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I'd also recommend checking the bedbug registry (http://bedbugregistry.com/metro/toronto/) before deciding on any particular location. I've dealt with an infestation once since moving to Toronto and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I stopped sleeping and was a ball of stress every time I stepped foot into my apartment. And unfortunately, bedbugs are everywhere in Toronto.

 

I've lived in downtown Toronto for four years now, to all lurkers or potential York/Ryerson/U of T students: feel free to PM me with questions about the city anytime you want. I can tell you anything you want to know about looking for a place, preferred neighbourhoods, awesome restaurants/cafes to try, where to go shopping for food, and what it's like dealing with life in Toronto.

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I have a question about neighbourhoods, if anyone has any input. 

 

I'm most likely going to go to York and my husband is currently going to Ryerson. I've been looking at neighbourhoods that fall in the middle, by public transit. Now I was wondering if anyone had any insider info about neighbourhoods in that area. Specifically, is there anywhere we should stay away from? 

 

Thanks!

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I have a question about neighbourhoods, if anyone has any input.

I'm most likely going to go to York and my husband is currently going to Ryerson. I've been looking at neighbourhoods that fall in the middle, by public transit. Now I was wondering if anyone had any insider info about neighbourhoods in that area. Specifically, is there anywhere we should stay away from?

Thanks!

As a former UofT student and current student at York, I feel I am qualified to answer your question due to the similar commutes they have to your situation. I live downtown and love it, but the up to 4hr a day commute is killing me (streetcar, subway, bus). If your husband is at Ryerson and you are going to York I really only see two or three options for you.

1) St. Clair West - it's as "in the middle" as you'd want to get and maintain a certain quality of 'living in Toronto,' that I would assume is part of the appeal of coming here. It's reasonably priced (for Toronto), has lots of shops, cafés, etc. that make for a good day to day lifestyle. It's right near St. Clair West station, so your husband would have about a 20-30 min commute and you'd have about 45min. It's close enough to York to make the commute more bearable and close enough to downtown by train to make a citydweller feel better. It also has a streetcar route, which is a bonus.

2) The Annex - Anywhere around Dupont, Spadina, or St.George Stations. It's a great place to live and hang out, but could be prohibitively expensive depending on your budget and preferences in place to live. If you were close to Dupont it would add about 5 min to your and remove about 5 min from your husband's commute. The further south you go, the farther your commute will be. That being said, if your husband bikes at all, any of these would be a great option for him to commute that way.

3) The Junction - This would be around Keele Station. This is much further west than you'd think is reasonable based on a map, but it's got a lot going on (in a good way) and the 41 express from Keele Stn. goes directly to York. It's a good option if you're looking for something nice, but not in the "downtown" region. This option would make your commutes about equal, around 40-45 min depending on traffic, etc.

Note: all of the above assumes that you'd live right near the station. That being said, all of these are great neighbourhoods, so being several blocks from the station would be safe and potentially favourable depending on amenities and what have you. Also, a must know thing about Toronto, basement apartments are very common and some are fantastic, so don't just categorically discount them.

Hope that was in some way helpful.

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As a former UofT student and current student at York, I feel I am qualified to answer your question due to the similar commutes they have to your situation. I live downtown and love it, but the up to 4hr a day commute is killing me (streetcar, subway, bus). If your husband is at Ryerson and you are going to York I really only see two or three options for you.

1) St. Clair West - it's as "in the middle" as you'd want to get and maintain a certain quality of 'living in Toronto,' that I would assume is part of the appeal of coming here. It's reasonably priced (for Toronto), has lots of shops, cafés, etc. that make for a good day to day lifestyle. It's right near St. Clair West station, so your husband would have about a 20-30 min commute and you'd have about 45min. It's close enough to York to make the commute more bearable and close enough to downtown by train to make a citydweller feel better. It also has a streetcar route, which is a bonus.

2) The Annex - Anywhere around Dupont, Spadina, or St.George Stations. It's a great place to live and hang out, but could be prohibitively expensive depending on your budget and preferences in place to live. If you were close to Dupont it would add about 5 min to your and remove about 5 min from your husband's commute. The further south you go, the farther your commute will be. That being said, if your husband bikes at all, any of these would be a great option for him to commute that way.

3) The Junction - This would be around Keele Station. This is much further west than you'd think is reasonable based on a map, but it's got a lot going on (in a good way) and the 41 express from Keele Stn. goes directly to York. It's a good option if you're looking for something nice, but not in the "downtown" region. This option would make your commutes about equal, around 40-45 min depending on traffic, etc.

Note: all of the above assumes that you'd live right near the station. That being said, all of these are great neighbourhoods, so being several blocks from the station would be safe and potentially favourable depending on amenities and what have you. Also, a must know thing about Toronto, basement apartments are very common and some are fantastic, so don't just categorically discount them.

Hope that was in some way helpful.

 

Thank you so much for your detailed response! This is exactly the kind of information we need. St. Clair West sounds perfect. I'm a country girl who enjoys the city, my husband is a suburbs kind of guy... We don't agree on much when it comes to housing!

 

Also you mentioned so many things that I hadn't even fought of, like streetcar routes. Thank you!!!

 

Another question, would you say that anything further north than St. Clair West loses the city neighbourhood feel? 

Edited by rj16

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Thank you so much for your detailed response! This is exactly the kind of information we need. St. Clair West sounds perfect. I'm a country girl who enjoys the city, my husband is a suburbs kind of guy... We don't agree on much when it comes to housing!

Also you mentioned so many things that I hadn't even fought of, like streetcar routes. Thank you!!!

Another question, would you say that anything further north than St. Clair West looses the city neighbourhood feel?

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No worries. I am glad it was useful to you! I wouldn't say you ever really lose the city feel unless your really out in the boonies. The reason I don't suggest it be further north is merely commute time and access to the city in terms of quality of life. It's the best compromise and a very large number of York students live in that neighbourhood for this very reason. Just as an example, I never go north of Bloor except to see friend in St. Clair West or to go to school. I just prefer to be in the heart of the city (even though I'm from a town of less than 10K in Sask!).

One thing that's impossible to know about without living here is the subway ride. The distance between the stops up to about Dupont are approximate 2 city blocks apart. As such a ride from say Queens Park to St George (2 stops away) is less than 5 min.; very much a walkable distance. The distance between Dupont and St. Clair West is much further. Like maybe a 5 min train ride. Likewise, the distance from St. Clair West to Eglinton West is even further than that. So, though EW is a fine neighbourhood with all the amenities, you are just looking at being quite a bit further from downtown. I wouldn't say it feels all that different from say SCW, but up there you're going to have a lot more people with cars. On the map is doesn't seem like that much further, but in reality it's enough that I personally wouldn't even consider it.

If you're worried about the "city feel," I think SCW is a good compromise. It is definitely not downtown by any stretch, but is close enough that you can get there in 20 min or so, yet it still feels like it's own little world. You wouldn't need to leave if you didn't want to, in terms of amenities available. The streetcar is also a plus, as I am sure you know that trains stop around 1 on the weekend. Thus, being near a bus route that is 24hrs and having access to the 24hr streetcar is a benefit if you like to go out at all.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

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No worries. I am glad it was useful to you! I wouldn't say you ever really lose the city feel unless your really out in the boonies. The reason I don't suggest it be further north is merely commute time and access to the city in terms of quality of life. It's the best compromise and a very large number of York students live in that neighbourhood for this very reason. Just as an example, I never go north of Bloor except to see friend in St. Clair West or to go to school. I just prefer to be in the heart of the city (even though I'm from a town of less than 10K in Sask!).

One thing that's impossible to know about without living here is the subway ride. The distance between the stops up to about Dupont are approximate 2 city blocks apart. As such a ride from say Queens Park to St George (2 stops away) is less than 5 min.; very much a walkable distance. The distance between Dupont and St. Clair West is much further. Like maybe a 5 min train ride. Likewise, the distance from St. Clair West to Eglinton West is even further than that. So, though EW is a fine neighbourhood with all the amenities, you are just looking at being quite a bit further from downtown. I wouldn't say it feels all that different from say SCW, but up there you're going to have a lot more people with cars. On the map is doesn't seem like that much further, but in reality it's enough that I personally wouldn't even consider it.

If you're worried about the "city feel," I think SCW is a good compromise. It is definitely not downtown by any stretch, but is close enough that you can get there in 20 min or so, yet it still feels like it's own little world. You wouldn't need to leave if you didn't want to, in terms of amenities available. The streetcar is also a plus, as I am sure you know that trains stop around 1 on the weekend. Thus, being near a bus route that is 24hrs and having access to the 24hr streetcar is a benefit if you like to go out at all.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

 

Again, thank you so very much! That answers all the questions I have for now. 

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As another Torontonian, I think sukipower's advice is spot on. The thing both of you will need to understand is that you will absolutely have to spend some time commuting to and from both campuses each day.  I live downtown and would personally suggest erring on the side of living closer to the Ryerson campus instead of the York campus. The York campus is in a much less vibrant part of the city. It's harder to get around up there, and if you make friends who live downtown, you will definitely feel a little more isolated because you will live so far from the action. Toronto is a large city with an underdeveloped transit system, so living close to 24-hour transit lines (such as streetcars and subways) is important if you want to enjoy the amenities of the city.

 

I would personally advocate that you avoid the Annex if you're graduate students. It's more of an undergrad "hub", and the housing is needlessly expensive.

 

St. Clair West is an odd neighbourhood. It's very close to transit (bonus!!), but it's definitely a little more isolated than other neighbourhoods. It's technically part of "uptown", not downtown, and you notice it while living there. It's relatively affordable, but there are some terrible apartments in the area. So just be thorough when looking for housing if you want to live there. Also, it's an odd mix of old Toronto "money" (read: wealthy retired people) and newer immigrants. I personally like that mix, but some people may not.

 

The Junction: this is an amazing neighbourhood but OH MAN is it out of the way. It's not on the subway line. It will take the person getting to Ryerson a good 45 minutes to get to school each day by transit. It's a great place to live, though. There's lots of fun restaurants, shops and even a delightful brew pub (the Indie Ale House) for those of us who love good beer.

 

Your other option would be to suck it up a bit more and live downtown, and make sure you're close to the UNIVERSITY-SPADINA subway line. It goes almost all the way to York University, so the person going there will be able to ride the subway almost all the way to school. If you do live downtown, I can't recommend the Little Italy/Trinity-Bellwoods/Dundas West area highly enough. I've lived in this area for four years and it's just so much fun. It's accessible by transit, there's great shopping, cool restaurants and bars and lots of green space to enjoy in our very short summer.

 

Anyway, good luck with your move! And welcome to Toronto!!

Edited by Kaitri

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As another Torontonian, I think sukipower's advice is spot on. The thing both of you will need to understand is that you will absolutely have to spend some time commuting to and from both campuses each day.  I live downtown and would personally suggest erring on the side of living closer to the Ryerson campus instead of the York campus. The York campus is in a much less vibrant part of the city. It's harder to get around up there, and if you make friends who live downtown, you will definitely feel a little more isolated because you will live so far from the action. Toronto is a large city with an underdeveloped transit system, so living close to 24-hour transit lines (such as streetcars and subways) is important if you want to enjoy the amenities of the city.

 

I would personally advocate that you avoid the Annex if you're graduate students. It's more of an undergrad "hub", and the housing is needlessly expensive.

 

St. Clair West is an odd neighbourhood. It's very close to transit (bonus!!), but it's definitely a little more isolated than other neighbourhoods. It's technically part of "uptown", not downtown, and you notice it while living there. It's relatively affordable, but there are some terrible apartments in the area. So just be thorough when looking for housing if you want to live there. Also, it's an odd mix of old Toronto "money" (read: wealthy retired people) and newer immigrants. I personally like that mix, but some people may not.

 

The Junction: this is an amazing neighbourhood but OH MAN is it out of the way. It's not on the subway line. It will take the person getting to Ryerson a good 45 minutes to get to school each day by transit. It's a great place to live, though. There's lots of fun restaurants, shops and even a delightful brew pub (the Indie Ale House) for those of us who love good beer.

 

Your other option would be to suck it up a bit more and live downtown, and make sure you're close to the UNIVERSITY-SPADINA subway line. It goes almost all the way to York University, so the person going there will be able to ride the subway almost all the way to school. If you do live downtown, I can't recommend the Little Italy/Trinity-Bellwoods/Dundas West area highly enough. I've lived in this area for four years and it's just so much fun. It's accessible by transit, there's great shopping, cool restaurants and bars and lots of green space to enjoy in our very short summer.

 

Anyway, good luck with your move! And welcome to Toronto!!

 

Thanks Kaitri! It's good to hear another insider perspective. I'm quite worried about moving to a city that is basically unknown to me so I'll take any advice I can get. St. Clair West sounds very appealing to me and I will definitely heed that warning if we end up looking at places there. 

 

I just thought of another question: when should we be looking? I'll have orientation on the 28th and we will need to move in a little bit before then. So I assume we will need to sign a lease for August first. When will such apartments be listed? And we'll be coming in from out of town just to look at apartments, how much time should we expect to take? 

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I'll add to this conversation. The Parkdale/Roncesvalles/High Park areas would be good places to look. If you're in the right part of any of these areas, you can find easy access to the subway as well as street cars to take your wife to Ryerson. The rent is affordable (or it was before I moved away for school) and there's easy access to great restaurants and nightlife. However, the commute to York will still be obnoxious. I'ld also second the Trinity Bellwoods/Little Italy/West Queen West area. Awesome nightlife, easy access to public transit, slightly more expensive then the neighbourhoods I mentioned because they are closer to the core. There are tradeoffs to living in Toronto, you just have to pick what priority you feel is the most important; neighbourhood, affordable rent or ease of commute? 

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I agree with the above posters with regard to Queen West/Trinity Bellwoods, as well as Roncesvales, but I will qualify that I didn't recommend them initially for precisely the reason of commute. I personally love both of these neighbourhoods, but as I currently commute to York daily and my husband has done so for the past three years, I cannot (in good faith) recommend them for you.

The quality of life that we have is greatly diminished by the commute and the more time spent commuting, the more we resent it. I am not lying when I tell to you I spend up to 4 hours a day commuting. Based upon the TTC Trip planner or Google maps, my commute on paper is only supposed to be about 50 min. In reality, with the unreliability of timing for the streetcar and the 196 York bus, I need to give 1.5-2 hours each direction in order to ensure I'm on time for things. The time spent in cramped quarters for such long periods of time starts off well, as you can get a lot of reading done, but with time, it gets really old. Especially in winter. As such, I cannot stress enough the importance of being reasonably close to a subway on the University side of the YUS line. Or near a place that has a direct bus to York (like Keele Stn).

As Kaitri said though, living near York is pretty much a horrible idea. All of the international students in my program initially lived in the graduate residence or near to campus and almost immediately looked for places elsewhere. And I'll respectfully disagree about the Annex. There are a lot of undergrads in the neighbourhood due to the proximity to U of T, but I do have a lot of friends in their 30s who live on the side streets and in no way feel out of place or that it's overrun with undergrads. It is way expensive, though.

All things considered, I am sure you will do what's best for you. :)

With regard to actually looking for an apartment, I'd start looking for an apartment around the time that people are going to be moving this spring/early summer. We found our current place in a February and we rented it for May. That being said, if you do wait until August I'm sure you'll find something, you'll just have fewer options. There are always places for rent.

Also, be advised that getting places in Toronto require two months rent up front (first and last) and that they often go quite quickly. As such, do your research in advance for what you want, prices, locations you'd consider renting, etc. so that when you do find something good, you can jump on it. Good luck! We'll be moving to Montreal this fall, so I'm in the same situation and understand how stressful it is.

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You guys are great! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

 

Sukipower - that sounds like an awful commute. Although it's nice to think of it as time to read, I know myself too well... 

 

Our priorities are:

1 - affordability

2 - commute length

3 - proximity to basic necessities

 

I like a nice neighbourhood feel, with little shops and cafes, but could not care less about nightlife. 

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Rj16, glad to be of service!

And I agree. It's a horrible commute. But I choose to live downtown, close to all the wonderful things the others were mentioning (minus bars, I also don't care about that), so it's my price to pay. It is also, seriously, just the reality of going to school at York. They give great funding, but they need to to keep students' interest. I love the university; it's a great school, but whoever thought that the location was a good idea was completely out to lunch. ;) If I'd have decided to stay at York next year for PhD, one of my conditions was moving closer to the subway. It will get a little better when the subway extension opens, but they keep postponing it.

If affordability is #1, set yourself a limit and don't go over it unless it's for something perfect. Based on these three criteria, I'd say St. Clair West or thereabouts is probably the fairest to both of you without one of you getting the unfair deal. I have a friend who lives on Vaughan like 5 bus stops/a short walk from the station and it's a great place. I think they pay $1300, which is (imo) too much, as I know you can get cheaper in the same neighbourhood. If you set your budget around $1000-1100 you should be able to get something really nice. It'll all just depend on size, etc. Craigslist and Kijiji will be your friends in this process. Start searching now, so you can get a feel for what exists so you're prepared once the hunt really begins. Happy apartment hunting!

(Also, just to clarify, it seems like I'm trying to sell this neighbourhood, but it's really coming from a place of experience. I love everything about Toronto, except for commuting to York from downtown. I used to believe that I wanted to live IN the heart of the city and wouldn't compromise that for my school life or commute, etc. Needless to say, that has changed.)

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I guess we all make compromises sometimes. And at the end of the day we all just have to do what is best for us.

 

Anyway, thanks again for all the info. I appreciate your honesty! 

 

It really is an odd location. I can see why they aren't downtown but did they really have to go that far? I hope I love it as much as you do, despite the location and commute.

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As others have said, I wouldn't live near York.  It is located in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Toronto.  However, that's where there was land when the university was founded, and the neighbourhood definitely wasn't as dangerous back then (1959).

 

I'm not a fan of big cities, so despite the fact that I will be attending the University of Toronto, my husband and I are staying in our home, in a smaller city to the west of Toronto, and we'll both commute daily.  My husband already commutes to Toronto 4 days a week, and it's only 50-60 minutes for him, by car.  I'll have to add about another 20 min on the subway to that.  When I lived in Ottawa, however, my commute was 1-1.5 hours on a crowded OC Transpo bus, with one transfer part-way through, so I'm used to a long, annoying commute.  So it really depends on what you want.  I know some people hate commuting so they are willing to spend a lot of money on rent for a tiny place in Toronto.  We decided we would rather have a nice 3 bedroom home with a mortgage that is far less than what we would be paying for a 1 bedroom apartment in Toronto, and that we would put up with the commute.

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RunnerGrad - Thanks for sharing your opinion. Would you have any non-city recommendations for us? My husband is not a city guy and would actually really like to buy rather than rent. For my first year we will rent but we will definitely be reevaluating our situation next year. 

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Housing in the GTHA is getting pretty expensive. Without knowing what your price range is, it would be hard to recommend any particular area. I would always advocate moving to a city with a bit of a "community feel", which means that personally I would rule out any of the suburbs outside of the city. I'd suggest looking west of Toronto if you buy anywhere. Those communities are more established than anywhere east or north of Toronto. Also, no one has mentioned this, but as someone who currently drives on the highways around Toronto every day, I can tell you with certainty that you may not be prepared for the terrible commute if you choose to drive to campus. It's one of the worst in North America. 

 

Also, lots of analysts talk about an impending housing market correction once interest rates increase and as boomers move out of their homes (and try to sell to millennials who will never make enough to afford the prices the boomers are asking). I don't want to get into a discussion of the economics of home ownership, but renting isn't a terrible decision in the GTHA right now, especially if your resources are limited (i.e. you're on a fixed student income). 

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Housing in the GTHA is getting pretty expensive. Without knowing what your price range is, it would be hard to recommend any particular area. I would always advocate moving to a city with a bit of a "community feel", which means that personally I would rule out any of the suburbs outside of the city. I'd suggest looking west of Toronto if you buy anywhere. Those communities are more established than anywhere east or north of Toronto. Also, no one has mentioned this, but as someone who currently drives on the highways around Toronto every day, I can tell you with certainty that you may not be prepared for the terrible commute if you choose to drive to campus. It's one of the worst in North America. 

 

Also, lots of analysts talk about an impending housing market correction once interest rates increase and as boomers move out of their homes (and try to sell to millennials who will never make enough to afford the prices the boomers are asking). I don't want to get into a discussion of the economics of home ownership, but renting isn't a terrible decision in the GTHA right now, especially if your resources are limited (i.e. you're on a fixed student income). 

 

That's exactly why it's not happening this year! I've convinced him to wait so we can see where the markets headed (and us too!). 

 

I've experienced Toronto traffic once and it was enough to make me reconsider Toronto all together.... 

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Housing in the GTHA is getting pretty expensive. Without knowing what your price range is, it would be hard to recommend any particular area. I would always advocate moving to a city with a bit of a "community feel", which means that personally I would rule out any of the suburbs outside of the city. I'd suggest looking west of Toronto if you buy anywhere. Those communities are more established than anywhere east or north of Toronto. Also, no one has mentioned this, but as someone who currently drives on the highways around Toronto every day, I can tell you with certainty that you may not be prepared for the terrible commute if you choose to drive to campus. It's one of the worst in North America. 

 

Also, lots of analysts talk about an impending housing market correction once interest rates increase and as boomers move out of their homes (and try to sell to millennials who will never make enough to afford the prices the boomers are asking). I don't want to get into a discussion of the economics of home ownership, but renting isn't a terrible decision in the GTHA right now, especially if your resources are limited (i.e. you're on a fixed student income). 

 

Well, just goes to show you that everyone is different.  There are many, many people who commute into Toronto from as far west as Hamilton and Kitchener/Waterloo.  That's why the GO trains are full of people doing those commutes on a daily basis.

 

Also, my husband and I looked at the places for rent in Toronto before we ended up buying our house out where we are.  We absolutely could not afford to live anywhere that would meet our needs.  Like I said before, a small, one bedroom apartment would have cost us more in rent than our current mortgage does on a three bedroom semi-detached.  As for renting versus owning, let's just say that when you've been renting for 20 some years, owning your own place begins to have a great deal of appeal.  Also, we aren't worried about any housing market corrections, for a vareity of reasons.  If someone is looking to move again in the near future, however, I would certainly suggest some caution.

 

Besides, the commute on the 407 isn't that bad.  Neither is the 401 at 0530 to 0600 in the morning, nor at 1500 to 1530 in the afternoon.  At least not from where we are, west of Toronto, into the GTA.  We don't end up driving into downtown Toronto, however.  That is something I wouldn't do.  I'll be hopping on the subway line at my husband's workplace, where he conveniently has free parking, and that is right across from a subway station.  I've done the commute enough with my husband, when I've been going into Toronto for a variety of things (conferences, interviews, etc.) to know that it really isn't all that bad, for us.  Some people might consider it horrible.  When my husband doesn't want to drive, due to weather or other reasons, we commute via the GO Train, which is just fine, although it does get crowded the closer you get to Toronto.

 

No doubt for many people the best choice is to rent somewhere in Toronto.  It just wasn't the right choice for us.  We much prefer living in a small city, west of Toronto, and dealing with the commute.  LIke I said, there are thousands of people, just like us, who live in communities served by the GO Train, and who commute into and out of Toronto daily.  Of course the closer you get to Toronto (i.e. Oakville), the more expensive the housing becomes, but I know people living out in Georgetown, Guelph, Burlington and Hamiton who do the commute daily.  It all depends on what you want.

 

RunnerGrad - Thanks for sharing your opinion. Would you have any non-city recommendations for us? My husband is not a city guy and would actually really like to buy rather than rent. For my first year we will rent but we will definitely be reevaluating our situation next year. 

 

Anywhere west of Toronto that is on one of the GO Train lines, would be my recommendation.  Note that the closer you get to Toronto, the more expensive housing becomes, so there's a trade-off between shortening your commute time and housing prices.  You can see a map of the GO Train lines here: http://www.gotransit.com/timetables/en/PDF/Maps/01140414/train_map.pdf

 

Georgetown is quite nice.  Not too big of a city yet, although bigger than it was 10 years ago.  Milton is another community that has seen enormous growth over the past 10 years, as has Burlington.  But it really depends on how much of a commute you are willing to deal with.  I seem to have a fairly high tolerance for a fairly long commute, as compared to some people! 

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RunnerGrad - Thanks for sharing your opinion. Would you have any non-city recommendations for us? My husband is not a city guy and would actually really like to buy rather than rent. For my first year we will rent but we will definitely be reevaluating our situation next year. 

 

I've lived in Mississauga (a suburb west of toronto) for nearly my whole life except for a few years i spent living in toronto (on campus and off campus) just to experience the 'university life'.

 

The only downside of Mississauga is that you need a car to go anywhere. However, there are great links via GO transit to York University and Ryerson. There are buses at Square one (the main shopping area) that go directly to York University and all the Go Trains/Buses go to Union station which is the main train hub in Toronto. From Union station, it's a 20~ min walk to Ryerson or you can take the 10 min subway ride if you're lazy. My commute to U of T downtown from Mississauga is 45 mins one way so it's less than 2 hours per day.

 

The train line runs like this: Union -> Kipling (subway station) -> Dixie -> Cooksville -> Erindale -> Streetsville -> Lisgar -> Milton

 

There is also a subway station (Kipling) which is in the very far end of Mississauga bordering Etobicoke but personally i find the commute via GO so much more enjoyable than the TTC.

 

Mississauga is also devoid of nightlife lol. Everything is closed after 9pm or so and restaurants are closed on sundays! There are little pockets with cafes and stuff (like streetsville, which incidentally also has its own GO train stop) but none of it is within walking distance. Lakeshore (an area by the lake) is also nice but i don't think there are many places for rent and might be pricey as it is lakefront property. It's a really nice area to stroll around and they have lots of restaurants and cafes! And even though it's a suburb, it's very diverse. One of the biggest multicultural events (carasauga) is held in Mississauga every year.

 

I'm just throwing out Mississauga out there but it's really not viable unless you have a car. I used to dislike living here (mostly because after going to a concert, i'd get home at 2/3am) but now that i'm older, i actually don't mind it.

Edited by nakuu

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I've lived in Mississauga (a suburb west of toronto) for nearly my whole life except for a few years i spent living in toronto (on campus and off campus) just to experience the 'university life'.

 

The only downside of Mississauga is that you need a car to go anywhere. However, there are great links via GO transit to York University and Ryerson. There are buses at Square one (the main shopping area) that go directly to York University and all the Go Trains/Buses go to Union station which is the main train hub in Toronto. From Union station, it's a 20~ min walk to Ryerson or you can take the 10 min subway ride if you're lazy. My commute to U of T downtown from Mississauga is 45 mins one way so it's less than 2 hours per day.

 

The train line runs like this: Union -> Kipling (subway station) -> Dixie -> Cooksville -> Erindale -> Streetsville -> Lisgar -> Milton

 

There is also a subway station (Kipling) which is in the very far end of Mississauga bordering Etobicoke but personally i find the commute via GO so much more enjoyable than the TTC.

 

Mississauga is also devoid of nightlife lol. Everything is closed after 9pm or so and restaurants are closed on sundays! There are little pockets with cafes and stuff (like streetsville, which incidentally also has its own GO train stop) but none of it is within walking distance. Lakeshore (an area by the lake) is also nice but i don't think there are many places for rent and might be pricey as it is lakefront property. It's a really nice area to stroll around and they have lots of restaurants and cafes! And even though it's a suburb, it's very diverse. One of the biggest multicultural events (carasauga) is held in Mississauga every year.

 

I'm just throwing out Mississauga out there but it's really not viable unless you have a car. I used to dislike living here (mostly because after going to a concert, i'd get home at 2/3am) but now that i'm older, i actually don't mind it.

 

Thanks! I'll add it to the list :D

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