With the Greater Toronto Area's ever-increasing prices, it is often difficult to know which neighbourhoods provide the best value for your money in 2021. If you are in the market for a pre-construction condo or townhome to live in or as an investment property, our list of the best GTA neighbourhoods to buy a pre-construction condo in 2021 is a great place to start!
Let us begin in Toronto's East Bayfront neighbourhood. Consisting of 55 acres on Toronto's waterfront, this piece of land is bordered by Jarvis Street and the Jarvis slip to the west, the Gardiner Expressway to the north, Parliament Street to the east and Lake Ontario to the south.
East Bayfront is a mixed-use neighbourhood where you'll find offices, shops, public spaces and, increasingly, a number of modern condominium buildings that showcase stunning views of the lake. A waterfront promenade connects the area with downtown Toronto and provides a sunny path popular with rollerbladers, dog walkers and joggers.
East Bayfront is on track to increase significantly in density, with several large-scale mixed-use projects under construction. This will involve an additional 6,000 residential units, including 1,200 affordable homes.
In addition to all of this, the district also includes an arts-and-culture-focused development that features office space for arts organizations and teaching facilities for both OCAD University and George Brown College, along with a mixed-use waterfront development that will make room to support over 2,000 jobs. There will be 3 million square feet of commercial space too, which will add approximately 8,000 jobs to the area.
What's more, buyers looking for help paying their mortgage will be happy to know that 68% of residents in this neighbourhood are renters, which is more than enough to keep rental rates competitive while also giving new landlords the chance to vet and select the right tenants.
Overall, the neighbourhood is expected to build three million square feet of commercial space to attract new employers and corporate investors.
Moving to the heart of the city is the Entertainment District. As the name suggests, this area encompasses all things entertainment. Bound by Queen Street West to the north, University Avenue to the east, Spadina Avenue to the west, and the Gardiner Expressway to the south. One of its focal points is the Queen and John intersection.
This area was once infamously known for being the "club district," but now this particular area has seen an invasion of new residential condominiums being built. Although the neighbourhood has matured in its taste in entertainment, there are still many recognizable landmarks located in this part of the city. Within the Entertainment District’s boundaries, you will find the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Royal Alexandra Theatre, Roy Thompson Hall and Princess of Wales Theatre. All of Toronto's major league sports teams are also based within its boundaries. The area also boasts a vibrant business community located in state of the art office towers and converted historical manufacturing warehouses, office lofts, and studios.
As the area became increasingly known for its high-end condo residences, the stigma of being a clubbing district began to diminish. That revitalization has continued, and the area has become a red-hot location for residential living.
Named for the Allan Gardens Conservatory positioned within its borders, this district has become a condo powerhouse for investors looking to plant their money in an up and coming neighbourhood.
The Garden District has an incredibly urban aesthetic to it, and it is a metropolitan hub with a great deal of traffic that traverses in and out of the neighbourhood at all times. The majority of its inhabitants are young single professionals, students and working couples without children. The lack of primary and secondary schools in the neighbourhood and the chaos and noise of downtown living tends to make this area more attractive for those who crave the urban lifestyle. Most families with children in Toronto tend to live a bit further toward the fringes of the city.
But where this neighbourhood lacks in schooling for children, it makes up in accessibility to some of the city's top colleges and universities. Ryerson University, which stretches across 121 acres of urban landscape, is known for numerous programs, most notably the Ted Rogers School of Management, Canada's largest business school. Yet, the number of beds offered by the University is slim. Ryerson's campus can only accommodate 3.8% of students forcing the remainder to find housing nearby, and that is where condominiums come in. George Brown College and UofT St. George campus are also within a short commute.
And speaking of transit, access to public transportation in the Garden District is exemplary. There are several easily accessible subway stops, streetcars, and buses, many of which run 24 hours. For example, people who work in the nearby Financial District or Hospital Row can rest assured that they have a plethora of transit options to arrive at their place of employment on time.
Condos investors would be remiss to ignore the opportunities coming out of this neighbourhood!
Mimico is a community in the south-west area of Toronto in the former City of
Etobicoke. Mimico is the portal to Toronto's west-end waterfront region. This established area is well known for its scenic lakefront parks and outstanding leisure facilities. Lake Ontario encompasses it to the south, Dwight Avenue to the west, Evans Avenue to the north and Mimico Creek to the east. This area has been characterized as an up-and-coming neighbourhood for decades as the growth here has been slower than predicted... until recently.
The City of Toronto has named Mimico as a "Designated Regeneration Area. This means that there is an official plan in place for growth based on the capability of the area to do it successfully. In this rare case, Mimico's regeneration area will stretch 60 acres. And as a part of this regeneration, the Ontario Government, Metrolinx and VANDYK have both partnered to bring a new station into the community. "Mimico GO Station" is expected to reach completion in 2023. The plans call for the construction of a new station building, two new pedestrian tunnels and elevators, refurbished platforms, new entrances and below-grade parking.
"The new station we are building at Mimico is part of our plan to improve service on the Lakeshore West line to every 15 minutes or better". - John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation.
Mimico is becoming an excellent investment opportunity as it is undergoing reinvestment expansion projects. Intensification in this neighbourhood is encouraged, and soon, this area will see a record number of condominium developments, transit upgrades and vibrant new complexes with retail, parks and employment opportunities.
The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC)
The VMC is Vaughan's 442-acre central business district bound by Highway 400 to the west, Portage Parkway to the north, Creditstone Road to the east, and Highway 407 to the south. And, even with much of the area still under development, this ambitious new district is already expected to welcome massive jobs and population growth. Currently, it is expected that there will be up to 63,352 residents in 31,996 units moving into Vaughan’s emerging downtown core by 2031.
By that time, this new downtown core will be home to 1.5 million square feet of new commercial office space and 750,000 square feet of new retail space, all while offering employment to some 11,500 workers.
This exhilarating community seeks to provide residents with a high-standard urban lifestyle through the coordinated development of multi-use workplace towers, luxurious residential buildings, open green spaces, community-friendly squares, hotels, restaurants, street-level retail areas, unique cultural spaces, entertainment venues, and pedestrian links — resulting in a single area in which residents can live, work and play.
As a brand-new area made from scratch, the VMC has prioritized the development of local transportation infrastructure that will define it as a transit-oriented neighbourhood. Among these developments is the Vaughan Metropolitan Subway Station, the TTC's most northern terminus of its Line 1 subway. With more than 20,000 commuters passing through the VMC Mobility Hub daily, subway riders can reach York University in 7 minutes and the Bay Street Subway Station in 45 minutes.
But, in many respects, the future is already here. With a current population of nearly 335,000, Vaughan now serves as the region's largest employment centre, where it is home to more than 11,000 companies, 200,000 jobs, and boasts an average five-year employment growth rate of 4.1 per cent.
We truly could go on and on about the VMC as the growth already happening and planned for this region is immense. Don't let your opportunity to get into this neighbourhood at ground level pass you by.
A bustling urban environment located in the heart of midtown Toronto, Deer Park is a phenomenal place to live, work, and play. No matter the time of day or what you're in the mood for, everything can be found in this neighbourhood. Where much of Toronto has its residential areas on the periphery of their respective neighbourhoods, this area is able to successfully intertwine its residential properties together with its commercial and retail developments.
One of the major attractions to this neighbourhood is its wealth of transit options. Its central hub is Yonge and St. Clair, also home to the St. Clair Subway Station. Toronto's subway can take you from one end of the GTA to the other in less than 50 minutes.
This area is about to become even more central as its location is roughly in the middle of Bloor Street and Eglinton Avenue. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT expansion will bring a new subway line that will run along Eglinton Street, with the Eglinton Subway Station serving as a new transit hub where passengers can transfer from Line 1 to the new LRT. St Clair Station is two stops away from Bloor/Yonge Station and only one stop away from Eglinton Station. It's about to be one of the most central locations in the entire GTA.
On top of these great subway options, St. Clair Avenue is also serviced by multiple transit options, but if you live here, there's a good chance you'll be able to walk to work. Some of the most prominent office and commercial buildings reside in this neighbourhood. Being a central location, it's also very accessible by car.
Here, like nowhere else in the GTA, the entire city is at your fingertips.
Despite its reputation as a bedroom community, this town could be one of the next hot markets in the GTA. One of the reasons for this is that its municipal council aims to take advantage of its stunning waterfront location. They've put together a plan to revitalize Port Whitby and transform it into a new vibrant urban landscape.
The redevelopment will be centred around Port Whitby and Brock Street, which is already Whitby's major commercial stretch. The identified land currently has 2,000 residents and 500 jobs, but that's expected to blow up to 12,500 residents and 3,790 jobs by 2031. This will take a concerted effort from developers and the town alike, but we can't help but get excited for the opportunities on the horizon in this emerging market.
You may want to immediately assume that all commuters are travelling to Toronto for work, but there are plenty of employment opportunities in the surrounding Durham region, which accounted for 206,494 jobs in 2018. Whitby is situated between Ajax and Oshawa, and together these are the three most important economies in Durham.
If you need to use public transit to get to different parts of the GTA, there are a few options. For the rest of the Durham Region, you could use the DRT, which provides inter-regional transit in addition to local options.
You can also take GO Transit, which can get you to Downtown Toronto in an hour.
This is one of the most exciting emerging markets in Southern Ontario. It's a small town, but it has a lot of potential because of its growth projection, according to the Government of Ontario's Places to Grow Act. It also has a diverse and robust economy that employs a good portion of its population, and it's also close to multiple other essential employment hubs.
Newmarket is sure to see significant growth, with some projections claiming that the town will reach 98,000 people by the year 2026. It also has a population density of 2,000 people per square kilometre, making it the third most densely populated census subdivision in Ontario and the 33rd most densely packed in Canada.
The town has a strong economy as well. It has a diverse collection of industries that includes business services, knowledge industries, manufacturing, and retail. In addition to its booming economy, the town is also close to some of Southern Ontario's most thriving regional economies. It's less than a 30-minute drive away from the City of Markham, widely known to be one of the most important tech hubs in the area. Even the Financial District is within reach, being less than an hour's drive away.
This is the perfect community for people who want to live a more secluded lifestyle while also being connected to the urban cores for the conveniences of modern life. It's about to see a slew of new condos, but we expect they'll mostly come in the form of mid-rise buildings. This could be a great investment for those who are looking to diversify their holdings. And here's a word of advice. Pre-construction condo projects do not last on the market here for long, so try to make haste.
We’ve added this city to the list as an honourable mention given the fact that Niagara Falls is not in the Greater Toronto Area, however, in 2021, Niagara is attracting more and more investors for its affordability and growing economy.
The city is synonymous with one of Canada's most treasured natural wonder. Niagara Falls are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, drawing in 14 million tourists each year — that's a full 30% of Ontario's tourism. At last count, the city had a population of 88,071, and the city is projecting that there will be 610,000 people by 2041.
Tourism is the primary economic driver here, which translates into always having something to do around town. Most of the attractions are around Clifton Hill. This area is almost on par with Toronto's Entertainment District in terms of attractions because it's loaded with tourist-oriented amenities.
We can't talk about the sights of Niagara Falls without actually talking about the falls themselves. The main waterfall is actually named Horseshoe Falls, and it is a stunning sight that needs to be seen in person to be believed.
The immediate area is actually dubbed as the "New Niagara Falls". It encompasses Downtown Niagara, which is all grown up with a new super hospital on the drafting table, a new 5,000 seat entertainment centre under construction, and an expanded GO Train service linking Niagara to the Hamilton-Toronto economy.
Transit and property values are closely linked. The province's plan to expand GO train service here makes this a great time to consider buying property in Niagara Falls with easy access to the system.