If you're interested in purchasing property in the Greater Toronto Area, the region of North York deserves your attention. A large section of the metropolitan area, North York is an extremely diverse collection of communities that presents tremendous real estate opportunities in virtually every price range. To gain a basic background on the North York real estate market, simply read on.
History Of North York
As its name suggests, North York was originally the rural outskirts of York Township. Today both communities have been engulfed by Toronto, but there are rich historical roots throughout North York that date back to 19th century settlements. By the early part of the 20th century, it was clear that North York was developing into a suburban annex of Toronto, and the area was incorporated as a Township of its own in 1922. World War II brought explosive growth to the area, and North York rapidly became one of the biggest suburbs in Canada. Throughout the 50s and 60s, innovative urban planning measures created several distinct communities throughout the area.
Fusion With Greater Toronto
By the end of the 20th century, North York had grown so close to Toronto that amalgamation was inevitable. North York was merged into Toronto itself in 1998. It maintains a somewhat independent municipal leadership through the North York Community Council, which is a sub-committee of the Toronto City Council. The steady growth experienced throughout North York over the past seven decades has left it with a rich and varied collection of communities, featuring practically every type of housing imaginable. Well over 600,000 Toronto citizens live within the boundaries of North York today.
A Diverse Population
North York features a culturally diverse population thanks to its great size and easy accessibility. Many of its residents are newcomers to Canada, (more than half of the people are foreign-born) although there are also many solid communities formed around families that have lived in North York for generations. Cultural enclaves found in North York include Toronto's largest concentrated Jewish community, located on Bathurst Street. Further north is an area of Russian settlement commonly referred to as "Little Moscow." A well-established Chinese community can be found in the eastern end of North York, while healthy enclaves of Latino, African, and Caribbean Canadians live in the western end. Other large ethnic groups include Arabs and Iranians; North Toronto is home to "Salam Toronto," the Toronto area's weekly Persian/English newspaper.
Cultural And Commercial Attractions
One of the industrial powerhouses driving North York's development was the aircraft factory and military base in the Downsview area. Following the cold war, this land has been converted to community use, featuring the beautiful Parc Downsview Park and the Toronto Aerospace museum. Black Creek Pioneer Village is located in North York, featuring a preserved example of the area's 19th-century development. North York even boasts one of the world's few urban ski destinations, the North York Ski Centre located in Earl Bales Park.
North york has its own high-density downtown district with great commercial development on Yonge Street in the center of the area. Commercial skyscrapers and high-rise residential buildings are becoming more and more common. The purchasing needs of locals are met by an extensive network of malls and smaller commercial developments. This area is also home to municipal buildings that serve North York and all of Toronto, including significant parts of the metropolitan area's public school administration. This highly-urbanized area is linked into the Toronto subway system.
North York Real Estate Opportunities To Suit Every Need
Owing to its vast dimensions and diverse collection of sub-communities, North York is an ideal place for finding great real estate opportunities. Regardless of your budget and your preferred form of housing, you can likely find exactly what you're looking for in North York. Condos are common throughout the more heavily built up parts of the region, while the less dense outskirts feature suburban homes both modest and palatial. If your interest in North York Real Estate is more focused on investment, there are ample opportunities for purchasing turn-key rentals and commercial properties throughout North York.
General Characteristics Of North York
While there are more than a dozen distinct neighborhoods in North York, some general rules of thumb will help you navigate the overall landscape. The area is bisected by the east-west line of Ontario Highway 401. Most (but not all) of North York's high density development is located south of the highway, while areas to the north of the road tend to be more suburban in character. There are significant exceptions caused by old development (e.g. some of the oldest townhouses in the southern portion are low-density single and double occupancy dwellings) and more recent urban planning (e.g. the residential high-rises constructed around Jane and Finch in the 1960s).
The Value Of Local Expertise
While this article hopefully provides a decent introduction to the overall character of North York, you'll really need much more information to make informed real estate decisions. This is why working with a local real estate agent is an extremely good idea. North York is large enough to require a great deal of time to learn intimately. Agents who base their operations in North York will have the insight and experience necessary to guide you to the best real estate opportunities in the area. With their assistance, you can improve your odds of finding the perfect piece of property in North York dramatically!