North York is known for its diversity, and it’s exactly this lack of homogeneity that makes it hard to describe. The area covers nearly 177 square kilometres and is divided into 30 neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character and flavour.
Speaking of diversity, this concept goes well beyond the built environment of North York. The residents themselves are from all over the world, with 56 percent of individuals living in North York born outside of the country. The largest community in North York is Chinese, comprising over 13 percent of its residents, while Westminster & Branson is home to the largest concentration of immigrants: a staggering 73 percent.
The commercial businesses of North York reflect the area’s diversity of well. Little Manila, situated in Clanton Park & Wilson Heights, is home to numerous Filipino eateries and grocery stores, as well as the annual Taste of Manila festival in the summertime. Then there’s Koreatown North, which takes over the stretch of Yonge Street between Sheppard and Finch. Here, residents and visitors alike can get their Bibimbap fixes, stock up on ingredients and prepared foods at Korean markets, or even let loose in a Karaoke room.
Koreatown North is also known as North York Centre — the area’s central business district. Office towers are aplenty near the intersection of Yonge and Sheppard, and all along Yonge up to Finch. Residents living in this neighbourhood also have access to the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the North York Civic Centre (located in the former city hall), plus shopping, dining options, and a movie theatre in the recently renovated Yonge Sheppard Centre.
Some North York condos for rent are also situated to some of Toronto’s most impressive shopping centres. While downtown Toronto residents have just one option when it comes to massive malls, those living in North York have their choice between Yorkdale Mall, the Shops at Don Mills, and Bayview Village. In fact, the former is not only the fourth largest mall in Canada, but it’s also the home of the first Apple Store, Tesla Motors, and Cheesecake Factory in the country.
North York condos for rent also attract outdoorsy types interested in the area’s sizeable parks. Earl Bales Park is one green space of note, as it’s home to something quite unusual: a ski hill. The park also boasts an off-leash dog area and hiking trails, and it’s highly Instagrammable — especially in the fall when the leaves start to change colour.
Then there’s Downsview Park, the first national urban park in Canada. Interestingly enough, this 2.4-kilometre square park is home to a private airport where Bombardier performs its aircraft testing. While visitors won’t be able to get up close and personal with the planes, they can visit the Downsview Park Merchant’s Market. People often come to this market for the inexpensive shopping, but it’s the food they wind up staying — and coming back — for. Prepared foods from around the world can be found here, from Pupusas to Samosas, Falafel, Bubble Tea, and more.
One theory as to why newcomers are attracted to this area is the affordability of North York condos for rent. While North York may be home to some extremely affluent neighbourhoods like the Bridle Path & Sunnybrook Park, the area is generally associated with lower prices than one would expect of the downtown core.
With almost 500 condos spread throughout North York, prospective renters have plenty of choice when it comes to size, style, age, and location. Those looking for a location that doesn’t resemble downtown whatsoever, yet still provides access to the subway, can consider North York condos for rent in neighbourhoods like Bayview Village and Yorkdale. The Lotus in Bayview Village, for example, sits right atop Bayview Station on the Sheppard line, while Yorkdale’s Midtowns on the Subway is aptly named: the building is a short walk away from Lawrence West Station on the University-Spadina line.
York Mills is yet another great option, where North York condos for rent offer both subway and highway access, as well as a peaceful, family-friendly setting. The Townhouses of Hogg's Hollow and the 10 Old York Mills Road Condos, for example, are two great options for those who want the ability to walk to the Yonge Subway line, plus they offer the added bonus of being a short drive away from the 401.
The stretch of the 401 that crosses through North York isn’t just convenient for anyone living in North York condos for rent — it’s also a record breaker. This part of the 401 is the busiest stretch of highway in North America, plus the stretch that crosses over Hogg’s Hollow is the busiest multi-structure bridge in North America.
Drivers living in North York are clearly well-situated thanks to the 401, but they also have plenty of other options for getting around the city. The Allen Expressway carries cars as far south as Eglinton Avenue, from which drivers can continue on toward the downtown core. The 400 also comes in handy for anyone heading north toward Vaughan, while the Don Valley Parkway is useful for residents who need to reach Downtown Toronto and the East End in a hurry.
As for those who prefer not to put up with traffic jams and parking fees, the TTC’s extensive infrastructure comes in handy for North York residents. The Yonge and University-Spadina lines carry passengers south into the city centre, while the Sheppard line offers access to neighbourhoods like Bayview Village and Don Mills. Plus, there are plenty of buses that carry passengers along major roads for those who don’t live within walking distance of a station.
The Locals: More foreign-born than not.
Code of Conduct: North York residents need to know to expect slow-moving traffic during rush hour — especially when travelling via the busiest highway in North America.
What You’ll Find: Recent immigrants and the longstanding communities ready to welcome them.
What You Won’t Find: Densely packed streets filled with dive bars and concert venues.
The Homes: Subway-adjacent condos plus tons of single-family homes in between.
Sealing the Deal: The unmatched range of global cuisine.