One-third of Toronto parents are raising their young families in a condo or apartment. With the lack of affordability in Toronto’s free-hold housing market, condos are becoming a much more desirable entry-point for first-time buyers as well as young families. But the question that remains is where do you find family-friendly condos and what should a young family be looking for?
What Is A Family-Friendly Condo?
Andrew Harrild, a Condos.ca Partner and VP of Sales, says that young families should first be looking for condos that have a number of bedrooms, typically 2 bedrooms or more. You want to find active amenities in the building, with a day care on the ground floor or somewhere nearby. And the building should be close to public transit, outdoor parks, and schools.
For example, check out Harbour View Estates I, Unit 1012.
Located in CityPlace downtown, this condo offers 1,220 sqft with 3 beds and 2 bath, with active amenities such as a pool, games room, squash and tennis courts, as well as an outdoor patio and garden. While the building lacks its own daycare services, CityPlace and the Waterfront neighbourhoods offer nearby daycare, not to mention outdoor parks like Canoe Landing and the Harbourfront parks. The one thing CityPlace is lacking is nearby schools, the closest found near King and Bathurst, but overall the building and the unit at Harbour View Estates I provides an excellent example of what a family-friendly condo can look like.
Where Can You Find Family-Friendly Condos in Toronto?
The first neighbourhood that jumps to mind when it comes to family-friendly vibes in Toronto is The Beaches. The truth, however, is that the Beaches only has a few family-friendly condos. The Beach Condominiums are 5 condo buildings near Woodbine Park that include a large party room with outdoor garden, and the location is certainly excellent for raising children. Walking distance to the boardwalk, access to endless parks and pet-friendly, these units are well worth checking out. However, most of the buildings in the area, such as The Boardwalk, are home to older residents who have perhaps downsized from a house in the Beaches but chose to stay in the area. The Beaches could definitely use more family-friendly buildings, in our opinion.
Another neighbourhood that is known for its family-friendly character is the Distillery District. While it might be harder these days to find a 1,000+ sqft unit here, the area offers a unique and safe pedestrian-only atmosphere that young families will love.
With only a handful of condo buildings in the area, the Distillery District is known for its intimate sense of resident community. Plus, the Distillery District Early Learning Centre provides full day-care service, the Voice Integrative School is a non-denominational, co-ed academic school for grades 1-8, and the Cooper Koo Family YMCA is only a short walk north on Cherry Street.
Looking to the east, River City is a pre-planned community condo development that has tailored its amenities to offer something for every stage of life. Offering many 2-bedroom condos across three phases, the amenities include Yoga and Pilates workout spaces, and a children’s play area with jungle-gym, arts and crafts tables, plus toys and games. Nearby several schools as well as beautiful outdoor parks including Corktown Common, River City is worth adding to your search for new, family-friendly condos.
Nearby River City, the Canary District and Canary Park developments are another set of pre-planned condominium communities that offer a full lifestyle approach for urban families. With the surrounding parkland of Corktown Common and the Lower Don River Trail, Canary District has become an appealing space for young families looking for larger, 2 and 3-bedroom condos in a fresh, urban neighbourhood.
Looking north, The Bayview Village in North York has been recognized as a growing, family-friendly neighbourhood, with buildings like St. Gabriel Village offering spacious condos starting at 1,010 sqft. Active amenities include a party room, swimming pool, multi-purpose function room for birthday parties or other events, plus security. Bayview Village also has a central community shopping centre and many notable public schools.
Look West Young People!
King West Village offers townhouse style units with lots of outdoor space and a suburban community vibe. These multi-storey, 2 or 3-bedroom homes also have private backyard spaces, giving young families much more room to play and grow than a traditional condo.
Westside Story is a loft-style townhome community in the Trinity Bellwoods area. The units are called “Tofts”, which combine the stylistic appeal of modern lofts with the spacious comfort of townhomes. The central community courtyard and front gardens offer a safe place where kids can play outside with friends and neighbours.
The High Park neighbourhood is a top choice for urban families, with buildings like Two Old Mill providing family-friendly features and large units up to 2850 sqft. The array of active amenities includes a party room/media room, Yoga studio, swimming pool, and a creative recreation space. Best of all, Toronto’s famed High Park is right across the street.
Mississauga has many neighbourhoods that offer family-friendly amenities, particularly the areas in and around Mississauga City Centre. The Kingsbridge Grand condos are a good example, located in Hurontario, that offers units up to 2,091 sqft, plus a swimming pool, tennis court, gym, parking, and security. With many public elementary and secondary schools surrounding it, plus Kingsbridge Common park, Playdium amusement centre, and Square One Shopping Centre, Kingsbridge Grand is an excellent example of family-friendly condos in Mississauga.