Cars on driving on the freeway at night

Best neighbourhoods to own a car in Toronto

Toronto is known for being a highly walkable city, but what about those of us who own a car, where is the best place for you to lay down your roots? We took a look at key factors that can be the difference between a driver’s dream and a nightmare, to help you figure out the best ‘hood for you.

Low walk score

Walk score rates neighbourhoods based on how good they are to get around on foot. Areas with a good walk score tend to be ones that you wouldn’t need a car for your day-to-day amenities. So chances are if you live in a neighbourhood with a high score, your car wouldn’t get much use-not so good for those of us with a much-loved set of wheels.

Flipping walk score logic on its head and identifying the five least walkable neighbourhoods in the city gives a good insight into the localities where your driver’s license will be your best friend.

  1. Rexdale- walk score 48

  2. Humbervalley- walk score 49

  3. Martingrove walk- score 51

  4. Cliffcrest- walk score 54

  5. Thistletown- walk score 54

Poor transit

Transit is key in the downtown core, and if you want to avoid the congestion the city’s roads often see, it can become your saving grace on the daily commute. However, not all parts of Toronto have access to its TTC network, particularly those on the outskirts of the inner-city. The five neighbourhoods with the lowest transit score might not be the best if you need to rely on public transport to run the kids to school, get to the office or pick up groceries. On the other hand, these areas are extremely suitable for passionate roadsters.

  1. Rouge 0.7

  2. Eringate-Centennial-West Deane 1.4

  3. West Humber Clairville 2.0

  4. Lansing-Westgate 5.6

  5. Centennial Scarborough 9.9

Insurance Cost

In Ontario it is mandatory to have car insurance, however one thing you might not realize is how your postal code actually affects your insurance. Toronto has some of the highest insurance rates in all of Ontario, but some post code areas pay even more.

This is because if various factors associated with the neighbourhood including:

  • Car theft

  • Break and enters

  • Car collisions

  • Bike lanes

  • School zones

  • Vandalism

  • Construction

  • Population density

  • Traffic

  • General crime

The areas in the GTA that have the lowest average insurance rates include, M6G postcodes in the Christie area of downtown. As of 2015 average rates were found to be just under $1,500 annually, which is roughly the standard price for car insurance in Ontario. The next best neighbourhood for car insurance is the M5P region of Forest Hill North, who pay just a few dollars more. And finally, the number three area for decent car insurance prices is the M4P postcode area of Davisville North, where cost averaged just over $1,500.

Congestion & Roads

Toronto is well known for its road congestion which doesn’t exactly lend itself to drivers. In fact, Toronto placed 6th on the list of worst cities for commuters. Downtown congestion is a serious problem a lot of the time, not only during commuter hours. In fact, the closer to the downtown the more people are starting to turn to their bicycle for the morning commute.

However, while congestion overall isn’t so bad outside of the city, during commuter hours suburban areas may actually be worse. “Downtown congestion is a serious problem, but the issue is more acute in areas outside Toronto’s core that don’t have reliable transit,” says transit expert Iain Dobson.

It seems no matter where in the city you call home, you’re going to spend some time sitting in traffic.

Residential parking

For car owners, the best property for you will be one with its own private garage or driveway, although many areas in Toronto only have on-street parking. Luckily the GTA is great for car-owners when it comes to parking. Luckily, the city offers residential on-street permits for locals to park their cars on the street within a specified area.

The permits are implemented on either a street-name basis or on an area basis. This allows greater flexibility for permit holders, by allowing them to park in a given vicinity rather than a set spot. Holders also benefit from overnight parking and are not limited to one, two and three hour parking limits.

 

If you’re looking to move to a new area and you want to find out how much it lends itself to car owners, you should consider all of these factors. Whether it takes a phone call to your insurer or a visit to the Walk Score website, how driveable it is could be the thing that ultimately determines where you find yorumany areas only have on-street parking new home.