Raising a family in Toronto brings a lot of unique opportunities, but it can also really put a strain on your finances.
It can take a bit of budget creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to make it all work, but it can be done!
Toronto is a fantastic place to raise children. It’s full of great elementary and high schools, not to mention some of the best post-secondary options in the country.
Growing up in a vibrant, urban, family-friendly neighbourhood is an experience like no other, with a plethora of areas to explore and activities to enjoy.
But there’s no question that living in Toronto can be expensive, especially for families.
Try these simple tips for finding ways to live affordably in Toronto with your family, letting you be close to work, school, and tons of great amenities that you can only find in the city.
Finding the Right-Sized Apartment
Renting for a family can be a bit trickier than finding a place to live on your own.
Demand for 2 bedroom apartments for rent in Toronto outstrips supply, and it can be competitive getting a place that’s big enough for your family.
Part of the problem is that it’s just more profitable for developers to build studio and 1-bedroom apartments, which usually get higher prices per square foot.
One of your best bets for finding a larger apartment is looking at older purpose-built rental apartments, or apartments located in houses that have been converted into duplexes and triplexes.
Larger apartments tended to be more common in older buildings, plus there’s the added benefit that they’re more likely to be rent-controlled.
In Toronto, units that were first put on the market after November 15, 2018, for example, are not under the same rent control rules as other units.
Search for Affordable Family-Oriented Neighbourhoods
While many lists of the best neighbourhoods for families in Toronto will focus on some of the city’s most prestigious (and expensive) postal codes, there’s more to the city than Forest Hill.
There are some great family-friendly neighbourhoods that are more budget-friendly than the places that are more likely to be home to millionaires than ordinary families.
The Upper Beaches is a popular option, thanks to its good transit access, the high number of schools in the area, and the proximity to the beaches, just a short walk or bike ride downhill.
The price of housing is much friendlier than The Beaches right next door, too.
For high-rise living, The Waterfront is increasingly becoming more family-friendly. The area has tons of kid-oriented recreational spaces, and there are plans to add more schools to the area.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that you research different neighborhoods and their amenities, crime rates, and available education options, to help you decide on the best possible area.
Make Active Living Part of Your Family Life
One of the best things about raising a family in the central parts of Toronto is making it all work without a car.
While there are some people who will tell you that a car is a must-have for raising kids, they couldn’t be more wrong.
Everything you need is within walking distance in many downtown Toronto neighbourhoods, and if you’re an avid cyclist, the city’s slowly improving cycling network is making things safer for everyone, including young riders.
When you consider the cost of the vehicle itself, the rising cost of gas, and potential charges for a parking space, the money you save getting rid of your car can help cover the higher cost of housing.
And, as an added benefit, when you raise your family car-free, you teach your kids to embrace active lifestyles that will keep them healthier and happier for years to come.
The biggest challenge of raising a family in Toronto affordable is almost always finding the perfect place to live.
Put your effort into that first, keeping in mind that you may be able to save on other expenses once you find the perfect home.
With a clear budget and a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to give your family an incredible city life that your children are sure to love.