Etobicoke, Toronto

7 Things to Know Before Moving to Central Etobicoke

Are you considering moving to Central Etobicoke, but are not quite sure if it is the place for you?  Let me show you some of the things that were surprising to me when we moved here as well as the 7 Things To Know Before Moving To Central Etobicoke.

Here is what you are going to learn in this video:

  • What homeownership includes here
  • Why nature lovers live here
  • Looking for more space? You will find it here
  • Commuting Truths
  • YYZ the good and bad
  • Shopping and entertainment
  • So many different neighbourhoods 

1. Pride of Ownership

When we moved here from High Park, one of the biggest things I took note of was the pride of ownership.  

Lawn care, decks, patios and landscaping are prominent here. Most homes are well manicured and more than likely, your property will be generous – so get used to cutting grass, raking leaves, weeding, sweeping debris and clearing snow.

Snow clearing and removal from sidewalks and driveways is taken seriously here. Many people will have the snow cleared within a few hours of snowfall. In many parts of Central Etobicoke the City sidewalk plow does clear sidewalks of snow within 12 hours after snow accumulation.  The sidewalks are passable for strollers, pedestrians and dogs, which is such a bonus in the winter. 

2. Green Space

Etobicoke exists within a series of ravine systems and green spaces.  The sheer size of these systems means that more often than not, you can enjoy peace and nature without masses of people out trying to get the best Instagram shots (High Park anyone?).

The Etobicoke Creek system in the furthest west portion of Etobicoke is my personal favourite, and it runs from Caledon, along Pearson Airport and cuts right through Eringate -Centennial, south through Markland Wood all of the way south through Alderwood and Long Branch to Lake Ontario.  

Mimico Creek also runs through Central Etobicoke, and can be found south from north of Mississauga through Islington Village down to Mimico and Humber Bay Park at Lake Ontario.

There are many homes that have properties that back onto these Conservation lands, with gorgeous views and woodland settings. These trails and parks are enjoyed by many residents for dog walking, running, hiking and biking.  

I will warn you though, we cannot exist within such a vast green space without living amongst wildlife.  Even if you do not have property backing onto these systems, it is  common in all of these neighbourhoods to see wildlife regularly.   These creek systems serve as corridors for coyotes, deer and fox.  Rabbits are common, as are beavers and raccoons and skunks.  If you are not comfortable with wildlife in your front and backyard and on your streets, you may have to consider that many parts of Etobicoke may not be ideal for you.

3. Generous Lot Sizes

One of the biggest draws of Central Etobicoke for our family was the lot sizes.  Even in the original Islington Community, which is the oldest neighbourhood in Central Etobicoke, the lots tend to be larger with spacious yards.  

In the post war era, infill housing communities filled in what used to be farm land, with spacious, low rise development in  Eringate/Centennial/West/Deane, Princess/Rosethorne and Etobicoke/West Mall.  The planning that went into these neighbourhoods included what was considered the Canadian dream at the time – a yard to relax in, a driveway for your car and sizeable front yards for meticulous gardens.   

Another interesting observation about Central Etobicoke is that many of the homes have pools.  With the generous lots and family oriented communities, it is not surprising that a large number of homes offer swimming pools as well. 

 

4. Commuting

Prior to moving to Etobicoke from High Park I only drove if necessary as driving and parking downtown is a nightmare. 

In Etobicoke, driving and parking have come to be something I am grateful for. 

Etobicoke was built in the post war era, and construction coincided with the manufacturing and ownership of cars.  This is reflected in how the area was planned.  The streets are wider than downtown for example, and houses were built with driveways and garages.

During this time shopping plazas were also being constructed and they were planned with thought given to ample parking lots to accommodate driving. This was one of the biggest differences I noticed when we moved from downtown. I can get to  a grocery store and park with ease, zip to whatever store I need to get to without any headaches or wasting time in gridlock.  It’s glorious.  

But cars do not rule here like some would think.  The wider roads and ample driveways give space for cyclists and kids playing on the roads and driveways as well.  There are kids on bikes and scooters everywhere, and there are plenty of bike trails spread through many neighbourhoods for leisurely strolls as well as for travelling to work.

For bike  commuting, the designated bike path on Eglinton West stretches to the Humber River and beyond, for example, which is a favourite commuter route for many.

As for Transit, there are 4 TTC Subway stops on the Bloor/Danforth line that run through Western Toronto/Etobicoke.  The last westerly stop on the TTC Subway route is Kipling Station.  The TTC provides Bus Service from all of these Subway Stations. 

The  Eglinton West LRT  is currently in development and will be the Westerly line across Eglinton, from Mount Denis to Renforth Dr

 


5. YYZ

Pearson International Airport is located just outside of the the north west corner of Etobicoke (technically it is in Mississauga).  With such close proximity to the airport, it is an excellent location for anyone who works in Pearson, or needs to jump on a fight with little notice.  It is also excellent for checking  your bags and going home to relax until it is time to get through security. 

 However, there are parts of Etobicoke that  see airport traffic.  The flight paths are openly published and you should definitely speak to me about what area you are considering if you are concerned about flight paths.

 Residents do not seem bothered by the flights – unless there is a major runway renovation as there has been in the past. The airport authority really does try to respect the residents of Etobicoke and keep flight noise disruptions to a minimum. 

The north/south flight paths are the ones that can impact Etobicoke, but they are not as frequent, or as often as areas such as Mississauga that are under the East/West paths and experience daily, frequent flights. 

6. Shopping

The next thing you need to know about Central Etobicoke is that not all communities have a “main strip” or downtown area that anchors the community.  

When Etobicoke was constructed, industrial, residential and commercial zoning were separated.  Southern Etobicoke communities such as Long Branch, New Toronto and Mimico all have a commercial/business areas along Lakeshore, but most Etobicoke communities have smaller concentrations of businesses and restaurants spread out throughout the communities. 

The Village of Islington is an exception, as the neighbourhood dates back to the first settlers there in the early 1800’s, the housing boom of the 50’s and the to the formation of the BIA in 1986.    In other part of Central Etobicoke, it is the strip Malls and local favourites such as Cloverdale Mall and Humber Town  that anchor the businesses to the community . As a result, you may think that Etobicoke is lacking in the things that make neighbourhoods loveable – but you will find that each neighbourhood has its own identity, shops and restaurants. 

7. Different Selection of Neighbourhoods

Whether you are looking for more of a lake vibe, a park vibe or a luxury neighbourhood vibe – you can find the perfect neighbourhood for you in Central Etobicoke.  From the leafy, winding streets of Edenbridge – Humber Valley to the golf course /family friendly neighbourhood of Markland Wood – each neighbourhood has its own bonus points and highlights. If you would like to learn more about each individual community, stay tuned for my series where I take a closer look at each community.

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