Greater Toronto Area
While I do reside and work out of my office in Toronto, I always make it known that I’m willing to provide my real estate services to clients that need me most — and quite often, that requires travel to the Greater Toronto Area.
Big city life isn’t for everyone, and recent statistics have shown just that. As more and more people look to leave larger downtown metropolitan areas like Toronto, surrounding communities within the Greater Toronto Area have become increasingly appealing.
To learn more about what life in the Greater Toronto Area has to offer, and where some of my favourite areas are, read my community guides to the GTA here.
- Richmond Hill
Just a half-hour drive west of downtown Toronto, Mississauga is one of the Greater Toronto Area’s largest communities — and it’s actually the sixth-largest city in Canada. Made up of over 20 different neighbourhoods, there really is a place for everyone here.
From Mississauga’s busy downtown core to its sleepy suburban neighbourhoods, there’s a great selection of places to live in the city. It comes down to what you prefer!
Additionally, if you’re a fan of the outdoors, you’ll love living in Mississauga. With an expansive shoreline and plenty of public parks, walking trails, and green spaces, Mississauga is beaming with natural beauty.
With such an eclectic mix of people and cultures living in Mississauga, there is always something new to do and see here. Between shopping at the ever-popular Square One Shopping Centre, enjoying the wide range of different cuisines, and spending time outdoors, one could never grow tired of this city.
For a wonderful day outside, head down to the shores of Lake Ontario to spend some time at the beach or find one of the many stunning public parks within Mississauga to enjoy the breathtaking local scenery.
There is a wide variety of homes available in Mississauga, and buyers can truly find anything they want here. From high-rise condo units close to popular shopping areas to traditional suburban bungalows and impressive modern mansions, you’ll find just about every type of home.
One thing you’ll almost always find about the homes in Mississauga is how close they are to green spaces, especially around the suburban areas.
Just west of neighbouring Mississauga, Oakville is another beautiful Greater Toronto Area community that sits right along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. This picturesque town is made up of about a dozen different individual neighbourhoods, each with its own unique charm.
Oakville is also one of the Greater Toronto Area’s more affluent communities, with lots of well-to-do residents flocking to the town for a safe and scenic escape from busier, more urban city centres. For this reason, you can expect to find lots of stunning, well-manicured suburban residential neighbourhoods in Oakville.
However, Oakville residents enjoy quick access to surrounding cities like Toronto by being in close proximity to major highways like the 403, 407 and QEW. Commuters also enjoy Oakville’s efficient Go Transit train service, connecting to major stops going both east and west along the lakeshore.
Oakville is generally quite a quiet town, which is the way most residents like it. However, there is still lots to do in this Greater Toronto Area community.
With a vibrant lakeside hub of different shops, restaurants, and cafes, Oakville’s harbourfront has its own quaint charm, while those who enjoy the outdoors can take full advantage of the surrounding provincial parks and conservation areas.
For avid golfers, the Glen Abbey Golf Club is a very well-known and highly-rated local golf course, which features quintessential Oakville landscapes and greenery.
Oakville also boasts an outstanding selection of local schools, including both public and private institutions. This is a major draw for families looking to find their next community.
Being such an affluent, largely suburban community, Oakville contains many homes that are on the pricey side. Expect to find broad, newly-built detached family homes along perfectly-manicured tree-lined residential streets in the posher parts of Oakville, with some townhouses and condo units available in the uptown core.
Due to the highly-ranking local schools, most residential communities within Oakville are very family-oriented. If you are looking for a safe and status-driven community to raise children in, Oakville might be the choice for you.
Located up at the very northern end of Toronto, Vaughan is a rapidly-expanding community and is currently the fifth-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area. This relatively new community has seen a huge spike in popularity over the last 20 to 25 years, though it only officially became a town in 1971.
There is quite a diverse and multicultural mix of Vaughan residents, with many newcomers to Canada choosing to live in the area to be close to large international communities.
There is a fantastic arts, food, and culture scene in many areas across Vaughan. Residents commonly take advantage of that, enjoying authentic European cuisines, shopping experiences, and art displays.
Vaughan Metropolitan Centre serves as the downtown core, while the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre is one of the busiest malls in the entire York region.
Perhaps Vaughan’s most recognizable landmark is Canada’s Wonderland, one of the largest amusement parks across the country.
Vaughan’s residents and visitors also love to get outside and interact with nature in the enormous surrounding public parks and conservation areas to the city’s north and west, as well as the nearby private golf clubs.
Due to the rapid expansion of Vaughan over the last 20 years, you can expect lots of newly-built suburban family homes and townhouses here. While there are some new condo buildings scattered across the more populous downtown areas, most of the homes in Vaughan are single and double-storey detached suburban homes.
Located just east of Vaughan, the city of Richmond Hill is one of the most popular residential communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Since the ‘90s, Richmond Hill has seen consistent growth across its diverse population, which is currently made up of about 200,000 residents with an eclectic mix of different cultures and nationalities.
Overall, Richmond Hill is considered an affluent city, with many residents working in high-performing business sectors. For that reason, many large companies have their corporate headquarters located in Richmond Hill, including Rogers Communications, Science & Medicine Canada, BMW Canada, Epson Canada, Lexmark Canada, and Suzuki Canada to name a few.
With over 130 shops, restaurants, and other retailers, the Hillcrest Mall is always a draw for those in the Richmond Hill area. Conveniently situated at the corner of Yonge Street and Carrville Road, the mall is generally a popular shopping destination for residents and visitors alike.
If you prefer time spent outdoors, Richmond Hill’s vast selection of public parks, paths, and trails are available year-round — in fact, the city goes to great lengths to ensure its 32 km of accessible trails and 147 public parks are maintained for safe use 12 months out of the year.
With a large community of high-earners living in Richmond Hill, you can be sure many of the homes here reflect their owners’ affluence. In neighbourhoods like Oak Ridges, Rouge Woods, and Westbrook, you can expect to find lots of generously-sized properties and custom homes.
In addition, there are also quite a few newer home subdivisions across Richmond Hill, which offer a lower entry point when it comes to homes in the area.
Found directly to the east of Richmond Hill and just north of Scarborough, Markham is currently the fourth largest city in the Greater Toronto Area. With a population of over 350,000, this suburban city is home to a wide variety of residents with a diverse range of backgrounds and ethnicities.
While Markham’s population is mainly very family-oriented, the community is also appealing to single young professionals as a result of the thriving local tech industry. Markham has branded itself as “Canada’s High-Tech Capital” as a result of several high-tech and life science companies choosing the city to host their head offices in, including IBM Canada, Motorola Canada, Broadcom Canada, Honeywell Canada, and many more.
Markham is also conveniently located for commuters who work in surrounding areas, as the city has quick access to several large highways, three GO Train Stations, and the Viva rapid transit bus system.
One of the most popular destinations within Markham is Main Street, a thriving shopping district within the historic Old Markham Village — the former Markham’s former downtown neighbourhood. With a charming selection of local shops and restaurants, there’s something for all to enjoy on Main Street.
If you prefer spending time outdoors, Markham also has a fantastic array of fields, paths, and trails to explore. The grounds of Morgan Park in the Markham Village contain a large sports field, swimming pool, tennis facility, and children’s playground.
In addition to Morgan Park, Markham residents love walking, running, and cycling along the Rouge Valley Trail, which winds through the breathtaking Milne Dam Conservation Park.
For commuters, Markham has fantastic access to local 400-series highways, including the 401, 404, and 407. The city is also home to three GO Train Stations, including Markham Village, Milliken, and Unionville stations.
There are a wide variety of homes in the Markham area, ranging from smaller bungalows to expansive agricultural ranch properties. Markham also boasts an impressive collection of well-preserved heritage homes originally built between the mid-1800s to early 1900s.
While almost all of Markham’s heritage homes are situated in the older neighbourhoods of the city, there are many impressive new-built and custom homes here as well. Due to Markham’s wide lots and tree-lined streets, it’s a very desirable place for residents who want to build their dream home from scratch.
Head north along the 404 or highway 48 from Markham and you’ll find the town of Stouffville, Ontario. More formally known as Whitchurch-Stouffville after the two towns amalgamated in 1971, most of this Greater Toronto Area town’s 50,000 residents live close to Stouffville’s urban downtown centre. This more urban section of Stouffville is located in its southeast corner and has attracted many newcomers to the area in recent years.
With major developments happening in and around Stouffville’s urban centre, there has been a recent upswing in young families choosing to move to Stouffville where house prices are still palatable. Stouffville is also a popular destination for older people to retire in because of its safe, small-town atmosphere.
Stouffville’s urban neighbourhood, which is based around the intersection of the town’s Main Street, Mill Street, and Market Street, is easily the most thriving part of the town. With numerous shops, restaurants, cafes, and more all within walking distance, residents of this area don’t need to travel far to find what they need.
Further away from the downtown centre, Stouffville residents also enjoy being active at the Stouffville Arena, Stouffville Clippers Sports Complex and Whitchurch-Stouffville Leisure Centre. If you’re a golfer, then Stouffville’s Spring Lake Golf Club and Timber Creek Golf are at your disposal.
Considering Stouffville is going through lots of new developments within its residential districts, you can find almost any type of home here. From suburban detached and semi-detached freehold homes to more condensed single family townhouses, there is a wide range of properties to choose from.
Head closer to Stouffville’s downtown core and you’ll find slightly older homes, mainly single to double-storey freeholds, all with their own heritage charm.
Situated about an hour’s drive directly north of Toronto’s downtown core, Newmarket is a popular suburban town in the Greater Toronto Area with a population of about 90,000. What was originally a farming and industrial community when it was first founded in the 1800s, today Newmarket is home to a diverse set of residents.
From local business owners, healthcare workers, manufacturing and retail employees, and commuters who travel between Newmarket and neighbouring towns, there are lots of different sectors that support Newmarket’s economy.
With several picturesque designated heritage sites, buildings and properties located on or close to Newmarket’s Main Street have an old-world charm and character to them.
When in Newmarket’s urban centre, a visit to the Main Street Heritage Conservation District is a must. Many of the quaint old buildings and homes here hold architectural and historical significance in Newmarket’s history and make for great scenery when walking about downtown.
The Newmarket Farmers’ Market is also a must-do and runs on Saturday mornings from early May to late October. If you’re in need of a larger shop, the Upper Canada Mall is the largest, most popular shopping destination in the Newmarket area.
Fairy Lake, the large public park located in the middle of downtown Newmarket, is also a popular meeting place for residents and holds many local festivals and fairs, including the annual Shakespeare-In-The-Park performance.
This largely-rural and suburban town consists of lots of planned communities and new developments filled with detached single family homes. Whether they’re part of a suburban community or found within Newmarket’s heritage downtown core, the homes here are generally quite family-oriented.
Additionally, rustic farmhouses and barns can also be found near Newmarket, as well as open lots that are popularly bought by custom home builders.