City of Toronto

North York

Rank: 11

Universe: 67,303

Vacancies: 1.3% ↓

Rents: $1214 ↑

Toronto’s Northern Neighbour Offers Big Buildings Ready for Repositioning

After the Old City of Toronto, the former City of North York is the largest market for rental apartments in the Greater Toronto Area. Despite seeing most of its growth following the Second World War, unlike its surrounding neighbours, or even Etobicoke or Scarborough, the borough-turned-city invested heavily in high-rise rental apartments.

Compared to the old City of Toronto, North York has a slightly lower concentration of apartments. Even so, North York has a slightly higher vacancy rate and a lower average rent, though vacancies are dropping, and rents remain comfortably above the provincial average.

North York shares in Toronto’s economic experience, but hasn’t had the benefit of rapid growth within Toronto’s downtown core. Four of the city’s priority neighbourhoods are found here, including Jane-Finch, Flemingdon Park O’Connor, Lawrence Heights and Westminster-Branson. Jane-Finch, in particular, has struggled to rise above the stigma of years of bad news.

North York’s lower average rents are also a draw for new residents looking for more affordable accommodations while they commute to work elsewhere. Transportation connections with the rest of the city are strong, and getting stronger.

In the past couple of decades, North York has worked to bolster its commercial development and intensify its residential neighbourhoods. The opening of the Sheppard subway and intensification along Yonge Street have helped increase heights and density in North York’s new downtown core and along Sheppard Avenue and the 401. Construction has begun on an extension of the Spadina subway to York University which should increase densities and rental demand.

While North York does not have the supply or the prices of the old City of Toronto and East York, this helps buyers and investors, offering good value for long term holds and repositioning plays.

Market Outlook

  • Northwest quadrant offers challenging market.
  • Northeast quadrant offers stable expansion.
  • Southeast quadrant offers good value for repositioning.
  • North-Bathurst corridor especially good as a long-term income play, especially for seniors.
  • Large reserve of stock in the mid-market presents many good opportunities.
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