You know the saying “Location! Location! Location!”? It’s typically used in the context of picking an area for your business, or shooting a movie, but in reality it’s crucial when deciding where you will live. I’ve lived within a subway stop of my childhood home for my entire adolescence, and even when I moved out on my own as an adult, I lived a 15 minute walk away from my old house. It wasn’t anything that I did consciously, it just so happened. As a result, I’ve grown very used and accustomed to the 4 square blocks around my place. But now that it’s time to move on, I’m making the very deliberate decision to spread my wings and fly to a new neighbourhood. Toronto is full of great areas, and this is the perfect opportunity to explore a new one.
I will admit, this is giving me a bit of anxiety – we are always anxious about the unknown – but I’m also feeling a bit of a sense of adventure. And overwhelmedness (a word I just made up). There is a lot to consider when choosing a neighbourhood, especially if you’re looking to buy – things like will you have kids while you are there and, if so, what are the schools like? What happens if you switch jobs – what will the commute be like/how close are you to transit? How dog-friendly is the neighbourhood? What kind of people tend to live there? Is it an up-and-coming neighbourhood or a totally settled area? How long are you planning on living there? And the list goes on and on…
Thankfully, before we buy we will be renting for a while, so we can test-drive our top neighbourhood and see what it’s like. But in the meantime, as the time to move approaches, this is a decision that requires some thought and research. I’ve found 3 great resources that can help make the decision.
- A very good article from HGTV on what to consider when choosing a neighbourhood
- City of Toronto neighbourhood demographic information
- BlogTOs neighbourhood profiles (more about what to do, see, eat…which is also crucial unless you plan on never leaving your house)
But the one thing we will start doing is actually visiting the neighbourhoods for lunch or dinner on weekends in order to get a sense of the vibe and character.
Oh, and in the case of inspiring moving music, I’ve been listening to this as I search for places because 1) it’s got the word “neighbourhood” in the title and 2) it’s a fantastic song.