When it comes to young professionals and first-time homebuyers, neighbourhoods like King West and Trinity Bellwoods get most of the attention — and with good reason. But as prices continue to rise in Toronto, many buyers are facing the reality that trendy neighbourhoods come with expensive price tags.
So, if your dreams of a detached home near Trinity Bellwoods Park seem out of reach — we’d like to introduce you to plan B; the Rouge, Dean Park, and Brookside area… it might be a mouthful to say, but you’ll save a lot of money. Covering a large swatch of land just south in Scarborough, the Rouge, Dean Park, and Brookside area is as massive as it sounds — joining 3 sizeable areas to form one neighbourhood.
On tree-lined residential streets you’ll find a mix of semi-detached and detached houses; bungalows, 2 storey homes, and back splits — at prices that won’t give you a panic attack. If you’re condo hunting in this neighbourhood, you’ll find that all buildings are located in the Dean Park area, which is by far the most urban potion of the neighbourhood.
Dean Park condos are great for families — there are many nearby schools in the public and Catholic boards, as well as daycares and athletic clubs. Nature enthusiasts have Upper Rouge Trail Park for walking trails and natural scenery. Toronto Zoo is in the neighbourhood, and any parents who have spent time travelling there while fielding questions like ‘are we there yet?’ will be pleased with that.
Most businesses are located on the southern end of the neighbourhood near Kingston Road — restaurants, cafes, retail stores, and offices; there’s also a small collection on Sheppard as well. Steeles Ave E serves as the northern boundary for the neighbourhood, and if residents venture west on Steeles they’ll encounter a large commercial space in Armdale, with additional shopping and dining.
The condo scene in Rouge, Dean Park, and Brookside is by no means bustling, but buyers have a few buildings to consider in the neighbourhood. The big draw for condos here are prices and floor plans — units in this neighbourhood are very affordable, and layouts are generous; in fact, all 1 bedroom units found here are over 750 square feet, which is how much square footage you’d get in many 2 bedroom units throughout the GTA.
Dean Park condos are located in traditional high-rise towers or modern townhomes. It’s important to note, that high-rises in this neighbourhood aren’t flashy glass towers like those in downtown Toronto — curb appeal isn’t at the forefront here.
Properties like the Camargue II Condos do provide the usual amenities such as a gym and party room, and also relaxing extras including a pool, saunas, and tennis courts. But again, you won’t get all the modern extras that come with high-rises in downtown Toronto, and some features could be dated.
Townhomes in this neighbourhood have the largest suite sizes — Harmony North Townhomes is a complex with 143 units, all of which have over 1300 square feet of living space. All Dean Park condos are located on or near Sheppard Avenue, which places residents near bus routes and restaurants.
It’s best to get this out of the way — the Rouge, Dean Park, and Brookside area isn’t pedestrian friendly, and if you want to run errands here then you’re going to need a vehicle or public transit. Fortunately, the neighbourhood has reasonable public transit, with bus routes on all major roads and some which service side streets.
Car owners have a great location — especially for those who commute downtown; the 401 is just south of the neighbourhood, making it a breeze to connect to the Don Valley Parkway.
The Locals: Diverse families in terms of size, ages, and income.
Code of Conduct: Parents suffer through long days at Toronto Zoo while their kids have the time of their lives.
What You’ll Find: A massive neighbourhood with a collection of different living environments.
What You Won’t Find: Modern high-rises.
The Homes: Semi-detached and detached 2-storey houses, and pockets of bungalows and condos.
Sealing the Deal: An easy commute for drivers.