The Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area

The Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area

Justo Team | June 21, 2019

While living in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can be amazing, it is certainly not cheap and it comes at a price, an extremely high price. This is true if you are renting a home or buying a home. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city of Toronto as of February 2019, is $2,270 CAD. The average rent for a two-bedroom in the City of Toronto is $2,850 CAD. While the average home price for a home in the Greater Toronto Area depending on where you are could range from $804,508 to $1.01 million for a detached home.

Related article: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for Buying a House in Toronto

The City of Toronto has the highest average rent in Canada for a one-bedroom apartment, and Vancouver has the second highest rent in Canada at $2,080 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,850 CAD for a two-bedroom apartment. However, this does not mean that there aren’t affordable neighbourhoods in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Do not despair if you dream of living in Toronto and/or the Greater Toronto Area there are affordable neighbourhoods here.

Reading this might have you giving up on your dreams of owning a home in the Greater Toronto Area because it’s so expensive. However, you might not realize that home prices if you are looking to buy a home in the Greater Toronto Area vary greatly depending on the neighbourhood(s) where you are looking to buy.

 Related article: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid for a First Time Home Buyer in Toronto

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For example, in October 2018 the average price for a detached home in the 416 (Toronto including Black Creek Village Etobicoke, Scarborough, and York) was $1.34 million CAD. However, if you are looking to buy a home in the 905, they were significantly less expensive given that the average price for a house in the 416 during 2018 was more affordable. The average price for a home in the 905 was $905,722. The following guide includes information on the most affordable neighbourhoods for buying homes in the 416 and the 905.

Related article: GTA home buyers and sellers are overpaying by thousands

Luxury Homes in Canada
Custom-built luxury houses in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada.

The Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in the 416

West Humber-Claireville (Toronto, Ontario)

The community of West Humber-Claireville is one of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods. It is located in the northwest corner of Toronto, in Wards 1 and 2 (Etobicoke North). This is an area known for being culturally diverse, the 2016 Toronto neighbourhood profile for West-Humber-Claireville noted that this neighbourhood is home to many immigrants and people whose first language is not English.

West Humber-Claireville is known for offering residents easy access to green space since there are over 50 public green spaces in the area such as the Claireville Conservation Area and the Disco Yard. This area is home for having many detached houses and is where the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto Hindu temple, Humber College’s North Campus, Etobicoke General Hospital and the Woodbine Centre and Racetrack are located. It is a relatively calm neighbourhood since few people are out on the streets here.

Rexdale-Kipling (Toronto, Ontario)

Rexdale-Kipling is another neighbourhood located in Ward 1, in the Etobicoke North area, in the City of Toronto. Rexdale-Kipling like West-Humber is also known for being culturally and linguistically diverse since residents speak many other languages in addition to speaking English. Rexdale-Kipling like West Humber-Claireville is also located in the northwest corner of Toronto. It also is close to Thistletown-Beaumond Heights, which is also located in the Etobicoke North area.

Thistletown-Beaumond Heights (Toronto, Ontario)

Thistletown-Beaumond Heights is another culturally diverse neighbourhood located in Ward 1, the Etobicoke North area. This area is also known for being culturally diverse with a high concentration of immigrants living here. It is also known for having the Franklin Carmichael Art Centre and the Albion Islington Square Business Improvement Area. The Albion Islington Square Business Improvement Area was created to represent and support the interests of the commercial and retail area found at Albion and Islington, which includes and jewellers, hair salons, ethnic grocers and a variety of restaurants.

Bendale (Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario)

Bendale is a community in Scarborough, a former suburb of Toronto that became a part of the Amalgamated City of Toronto on 1 January 1998. Bendale is located in the central part of Scarborough, south of the 401 between Markham Road and Brimley, with easy access to freeways, TTC, and GoTransit. It has close proximity to the Scarborough Town Centre mall, near some of the area’s best shopping centers, parks, clinics, and other amenities.

Woburn (Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario)

Woburn is another culturally diverse community in Scarborough. It is known for being quiet and family friendly, whose approximate boundaries are Highway 401 (in the North), the Canadian National Railway tracks in the South, McCowan Road at the west end, with East Highland Creek, Scarborough Golf Club Road, and Orton Park forming the eastern borders for Woburn.

Morningside (Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario)

Toronto’s Morningside neighbourhood is located within the Scarborough area of the City of Toronto. This neighbourhood is known for having an abundance of valley, parkland, and creeks. The parkland in Morningside that is part of Highland Creek and East Highland Creek continues through a portion of heavily wooded land in a steep valley. There is also a bicycle path that traverses the park, running the same course as both East Highland Creek and Highland Creek. Neighbourhoods in this community include Curran Hall and Seven Oaks. The land in Curran Hall and Seven Hall backs up onto valley lands.

Malvern (Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario)

Malvern is another neighbourhood in Scarborough in the northeast section of Toronto. This neighbourhood has maintained its rural feel since they have kept mature trees, ravines, woods, and parklands. This neighbourhood is known for being more affordable and for this reason, there are many more recent arrivals here. There are more than 60 different ethnic groups represented in this neighbourhood, with the highest majority of ethnic groups being Afro-Canadian peoples, British, Chinese, and people with East Indian heritage.

Rouge (Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario)

Rouge, is another neighbourhood that is a part of the former suburb of Scarborough in the City of Toronto. This neighbourhood is known for having affordable housing, shopping centres, schools, a community centre, and parks including the Rouge Beach Park and Marsh which represent the Eastern most beach in Toronto. Rouge offers close proximity to public transportation and highways for commuters. You can observe the natural beauty in this area along Sheppard Avenue, where you can find a fantastic view of the Rouge River Valley. Rogue is bordered by the Metro Toronto Zoo in the north, the Rouge River Valley in the east, and Highway 4o1 in the south.

Rockcliffe-Symthe (York, Toronto Ontario)

Rockcliffe-Symthe is a residential neighbourhood located in the former suburb of York, it is 15 kilometres from Toronto’s downtown city center. Rockcliffe-Symthe is known for having detached homes with yards and plenty of parking, as well as a ravine system as part of an abundance of green spaces offering multi-use trails and parks. It is surprisingly well-connected to transit given its connection to the St. Clair streetcar line, which is known as being the City of Toronto’s most efficient surface transit routes.

Keelesdale-Eglinton West (York, Toronto Ontario)

The Keelesdale-Eglinton West neighbourhood, located in the former suburb of York, is known for having affordable housing that ranges from bungalows to two-storey homes you can find along side streets. Many homeowners tend to buy in this neighbourhood before they eventually move onto buying larger properties. The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Train (LRT) is scheduled to run through this community along Eglinton Avenue, where 19 kilometres of new transit will be built from Weston Road to the Kennedy station. The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Train, once it is completed, will be a part of the fifth line of Toronto’s metro system. This neighbourhood is known for consisting of large Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and Vietnamese populations, as well as the Caribbean restaurants on Eglinton Avenue.

Weston (York, Toronto Ontario)

Weston is another neighbourhood located in the former suburb of York. Weston is known for maintaining its small-town Ontario, rather than feeling like a neighbourhood in a major metropolis. Weston still feels like a small Ontario since two of its significant landmarks, the Humber River and the Canadian National Railway, which were important in Weston’s history are still important for this community.

Weston’s significant civic pride is visible on Weston Road, which is Weston’s main street, where large gold and green signs welcome visitors to Weston. Weston Road is also part of the parade route for Weston’s annual Santa Clause parade.

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Downsview-Roding (North York, Toronto, Ontario)

Downsview-Roding is another neighbourhood located in North York, in the northern section of Toronto. It is home to the Downsview-Roding Canadian Forces Base (CFB), it has a former Canadian Forces Base and a current Canadian Forces facility in the area, which gives the area an abundance of military history.

The neighbourhood is home to the 572-acre Downsview Park, which is a former military base, consists of a national urban park, with some designated areas for commercial use and community services. The airfield adjacent to the park was used in 2002 to host World Youth Day and in 2003, for the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto (SARS Stock).

Downsview-Roding is also home to the Denison Armoury which is located east of Downsview Park, where you can find the headquarters for the 4thCanadian Division, Joint Task Force Central and 32 Canadian Brigade Group.

Downsview-Roding is also home to North America’s first, state-of-the-art, fully digital hospital, Humber River Hospital, which opened during October 2015. It is also home to a variety of other green spaces including Diana Park, Roding Park, and Chalkfarm Park.

Glenfield-Jane Heights (North York, Toronto, Ontario)

Glenfield-Jane Heights is a neighbourhood that used to be a part of the former suburb of North York. Glenfield-Jane Heights as a neighbourhood includes the southern part of Jane Street and Finch Avenue. Jane-Finch was originally developed and conceptualized in the 1960s to be a model suburb, as a response to Toronto’s rapid urban growth and was planned to accommodate a socially diverse population, with a great amount of public housing. It is now home to a large immigrant population with many Spanish, Italian, and Vietnamese speakers. It is a neighbourhood known for shopping and having a lot of parks.

Black Creek (Toronto, Ontario)

Black Creek is a neighbourhood located in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area of Toronto. It is known for having a large Jamaican, Italian, and South Asian population. Black Creek was a part of Jane-Finch, the model suburb built during to accommodate a socially and economically diverse population and a lot of public housing during the 1960s in response to Toronto’s rapid urban growth. Black Creek is part of the City of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas which is based on the City of Toronto’s “equity score” which measures how liveable an area is when considering things such as employment, access to green spaces, and walkability.

Black Creek is where the Black Creek Community Farm is located, it is an eight-acre farm on Jane Street, south of Steeles Avenue The Black Creek community farm boasts certified organic vegetable fields, a forest trail and food forest, 4-season greenhouses, an outdoor classroom, pavilion and bake oven, a mushroom garden, chickens, and beehives. While the Black Creek Pioneer Village is also located in the community which provides a glimpse into what life was like during the 19thcentury. Now part of the Toronto-York-Spadina subway extension project is now running through this area and into Vaughan, linking Toronto and York.

Related article: How to Find the Best Places to Live in Toronto?

Houses In Greater Toronto Area

Most affordable neighbourhoods in the 905

Essa (Essa, Ontario)

Essa is a rural area in the Township of Essa, located southwest of Barrie in Simcoe County in southern Ontario. The Township of Essa includes several small towns including Angus (Borden), Colwell, Egbert, Ivy, Thornton, Utopia, and Baxter, which has a distinct group of smaller communities which form part of one larger, inclusive community. People living in Essa can enjoy homes on spacious lots with scenic views and more affordable property taxes while still having access to major highways and amenities because of its proximity to city centres such as Barrie, Alliston, and Toronto.

Those looking to buy in Essa will find a mix of well-maintained older homes and more recently built neighbourhoods that provide the area with a suburban feel. It also offers expansive parks and scenic views.

Oshawa (Oshawa, Ontario)

Oshawa is a city located in southern Ontario, approximately 60 kilometres east of downtown Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Oshawa is frequently seen as the eastern anchor for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Golden Horseshoe. It is the largest municipality within the Regional Municipality of Durham. Downtown Oshawa is an Urban Growth Centre which is part of the government of Ontario’s Places to Grow Initiative. There are many university students here and in 2016, Oshawa was recognized by StatsCan as the sixth best place in Canada to find full-time work.

Brock (Brock Township, Durham, Ontario)

The Township of Brock is located in Durham, 95 kilometres northeast of the City of Toronto which is why it is known as Durham’s “Gateway to the North”. While Brock is a predominantly rural township it does have three small urban centers, Beaverton, Cannington, and Sunderland.

Clarington (Clarington, Durham, Ontario)

Clarington is one of the fastest growing communities in the Durham region. It has the largest land area in the region of Durham since it is 608 square kilometres. Its major urban centres include Bowmanville, Courtice, and Newcastle. While the countryside in Clarington appears that it could go on forever since it is primarily a rural area, the picturesque hills that are part of the Oak Ridges Moraine provide a postcard-worthy view for this municipality.

Georgina (Georgina, York, Ontario)

Georgina is one of the fastest growing markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where home values are increasing quickly as people are getting priced out of the City of Toronto and cities closer to Toronto’s urban centre. Georgina is the northernmost municipality in the region of York, located 70 kilometres north of Toronto and now with the extension of the 404 Highway to Keswick, it is now more accessible than ever.

Georgina is in a beautiful location on the southern edge of Lake Simcoe. While Georgina might seem like one municipality it consists of a number of communities including Keswick (the most populated), Sutton (a more cottage focused town), Jackson’s Point, Baldwin, and Pefferlaw. The further inland you go into Georgina you will find farmland and now more areas which resemble more traditional Toronto suburbs with subdivisions, shopping centers, and more, this is particularly true in areas such as Keswick, which is the most populous area in Georgina.

While Georgina’s location on the southeast shore of Lake Simcoe has helped it to become a year-round destination for cottagers and tourists. Popular activities in Georgina include boating, fishing, golfing, and horseback riding. Georgina is an excellent place to fish year-round and it is dubbed the “Ice Fishing Capital of Canada”. Finally, Georgina is known for having excellent public beaches that are great places during the warmer months for swimming and having picnics.


While living in the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can be expensive, there are deals to be found if you look in areas that are not as high-end, popular or less desirable. If you are looking to purchase a home, finding a crack, buyer’s agent can also help you with finding a more reasonably priced home and they might even be able to help you find a home that you otherwise might not be able to find on your own. If you are willing to look at some neighbourhoods in the 416 and the 905, that might not be on your radar you might be able to find the home of your dreams. Finally, you might have better luck finding a more affordable home or a home within your budget in the neighbourhoods. However, things change so what might be affordable or the new hot place to live in 2019, might not be the same a few years down the road.

Related article: How to choose the right real estate agent when buying a home in Toronto?

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Whether you’re on a budget or not, our experts are here to help you find your next home.

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Photo by Matthew Lai on Unsplash

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