Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, it’s also one of the priciest places to buy a home.
Affordability has caused many Torontonians to move out of the city, and settling down in one of the neighbouring cities. It's also resulted in many investors looking at properties further down the QEW.
The question is, what type of house do you get and what price can you expect to pay for a home in these nearby communities?
We’ve put together a little roadmap, heading down the QEW from Toronto all the way to Niagara Falls, looking at the average home price and what type of house that affords you.
The average sale price can look drastically different from city to city. You’ll see that in some areas the average home is a small bungalow, while others are large family homes.
So, let’s start in the big city itself…
We’re starting in the City of Toronto. This is an average for the entire city. Certain neighbourhoods are far more expensive, but we’re looking at the average of all of Toronto.
To find a detached family home close to that average price, you’re looking outside the downtown core.
At this price point, downtown you're likely looking at a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo. If you're willing to move your search north, you can find a detached 3+ bedroom home with some yard. The homes in this price range are going to be quite small compared to some of the other homes on this list, but you’re in Toronto proper.
Close to shops, restaurants, and transit, you’re getting all of the benefits of city living.
Moving west, as you enter Mississauga, homes grow larger, and prices start to go down.
This was an early Toronto suburb, which has grown to be the sixth largest city in Canada. The larger homes, lower costs, and proximity to the downtown has made Mississauga appealing to many working-class families.
Mississauga’s current average sale price sits just over one million dollars.
At this price point, you're looking at a 3+ bedroom, 2-bathroom detached home.
You can find homes in nice, family-friendly neighbourhoods. You're not getting luxury finishes, but decent-sized, livable family homes.
Oakville wins the title of the priciest average home along the QEW.
This picturesque, highly sought-after suburb of Toronto will cost you.
You’re getting space, and upscale living, but the average sale price for this bedroom community is a whopping $1,261,600.
Depending on where you're looking in Oakville, that could be a detached home or a townhome, either way, it'll likely have 3+ bedrooms and 3+ bathrooms, and decent square footage.
Oakville is a beautiful place to live with great parks, schools, and easy access to the QEW. You're getting a convenient suburban living, but it will cost you.
Continuing down the QEW, Burlington is another suburban city home to many daily commuters. Burlington is home to many great schools, beautiful parks, and family homes.
For the city’s $1,046,652 average sale price, you can either get a condo downtown, or you can get a charming bungalow furth in town.
If you're looking to be downtown and you don't need a lot of space, you can find a spectacular 1+1 bedroom condo at this price. If you're looking for a family, you're looking more north at slightly older, but charming bungalows, likely with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.
What was once considered a rougher, blue-collar city has seen a resurgence in recent years, with a growing art presence. Boutique shops, restaurants serving artisan foods, and monthly music and art festivals, Hamilton is quickly becoming the next hot place to call home.
While prices in the city have quickly soared in recent years, the city’s average sale price of $779,486 has a nice ring to it for anyone travelling down the QEW. That’s the average for the entire city. Communities like Hamilton East, Centre, West, and the Hamilton Mountain are all cheaper, while Ancaster, Dundas, and Flamborough will all cost more.
At this price point, you have a lot of options on the Hamilton Mountain, which is a desirable area for families. Downtown more your vibe? You'll also find many great detached homes in good neighbourhoods there at this price. On the mountain you'll generally get more yard, garage, and driveway, while that's not guaranteed in the city. Either way, you're looking at a 3+ bedroom home in a good area.
Pretty much wherever you are in the city, you're close to a major highway and not too far from the QEW.
As you head East along the QEW, south of the lake, you’ll find the Hamilton suburb, Grimsby. This side of the Burlington Skyway definitely comes with more space, and at a much lower cost than Burlington or Oakville. Still, the average price is a significant jump from Hamilton at $868,753. That being said, you can find many great family homes around that price point.
Grimsby is a small (but growing) historic town founded in 1790. It has the charm of a small town with great shops and restaurants along its Main St., but with three QEW exchanges in town, you have easy access to the neighbouring cities.
Choose from one of Grimsby’s historic homes for character and charm, or a new build in one of the many new subdivisions for turnkey living.
If you’re looking for a place in the suburbs, that’s close to the highway, and for a reasonable price, this Grimsby home may be the perfect home.
Can’t afford Grimsby? The next town down the QEW is beautiful fruit and wine country. The town of Lincoln is made up of several smaller communities, the largest of which are Beamsville, Vineland, and Jordan.
Home to dozens of wineries, fruit farms, and greenhouses, Lincoln is a beautiful place to live and visit. With an average sale price of $804,300, it is slightly more affordable.
Close to the QEW, this is a great place many people are moving to in order to raise their families away from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Lincoln has had a lot of new subdivisions popping up as more and more people are flocking to Niagara, but there are plenty of slightly older homes available at a lower cost.
Beamsville is the most affordable area of the town and has the bulk of the town's population. Vineland and Jordan generally have larger properties, and more farmland, but more subdivisions are moving in there too!
Welcome to the Garden City! St. Catharines is once again less expensive than the towns to the west with an average sale price of $619,800.
At this price, you're generally looking at a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom bungalow.
St. Catharines is a very renter friendly city, and a lot of these homes have potential for basement secondary suites. This has made it a popular choice for investors who are looking for extra money from their home.
At the far end of the QEW, you have the honeymoon retreat, Niagara Falls. Away from the tourist centre of Canada, you can find many great family homes for a reasonable price. The average price in Niagara Falls is $605,700.
This is the furthest from Toronto, but it's also the cheapest. You can find nice family homes in the city, you're close to the border, and transit into Toronto is increasing and making it easier for people to travel between cities.
120 kilometres is a significant distance, but all of these cities along the QEW have something special to offer.
Buying in nicer suburbs may end up costing more than their neighbouring the city centres, but you’re also getting a bigger house on a bigger lot. Still, prices generally go down the further down the QEW you travel, which is why more and more investors are looking at homes in cities like Hamilton and St. Catharines.
With over a $600k spread in pricing, it’s clear that location comes with a heavy price tag.
Photos courtesy of https://www.realtor.ca