My in-laws have just found out that they are moving with their 2 kids (5 and 7) to Toronto and don't know anything about the city. My BIL will be working near the university in York. They are looking for areas with lots of green space/outdoor activities, family-friendly, open minded, decent public schools would be a plus and not too far from his work (30 minutes more or less). They wouldn't mind being a bit outside of the city. Any recommendations Toronto mamas?
Not sure you still need the info, but if you do, I want to tell you that we live in the west end of downtown Toronto and love it. My neighbourhood is called the Junction Triangle, and is still sorta undergoing gentrification, but as a good friend said recently, "what's a neighbourhood without a little spice?" We are the only area left in the downtown region that is on the subway line where you can still buy a house for under 500k too! Our neighbourhood public school leaves a little to be desired, but I personally feel that if you do your job as a parent at home, that your children will do well no matter their school (of course I mean this with children who are fortunate enough to have no learning disabilities etc). There are also a couple of alternative schools nearby that accept enrolment from any area of the city, and are easily within driving distance.
As for green space, I am two subway stops from High Park, which is huge! I also live within walking distance of Dufferin Grove Park, which TOTALLY rocks, and also has a weekly organic market and also hosts a community dinner each Thursday evening!j
Most of my neighbours smile and nod, even if we don't know one another. I have a large Portugese population in my area, and I find (hoping I don't sound like i am profiling) that Portugese sense of family and community is wonderful to be around. I also find that MANY in my area lean toward natural family living and a more peaceful and laid back type of lifestyle.
York University isn't close by, but can be reached by transit in 45 minutes here, less if you're travelling by car.
I can hop on a subway train and be in Dundas Square or at the Harbourfront in less than 15 minutes as well! At night, it is very quiet here. My children (ages 11, 9 and 7) play in the park across the street with their friends without direct parental supervision, and we as parents are all comfortable with their safety level.
Toronto is an amazing city, full of culture and festivals and art and fabulous folks, and many neighbourhoods are very family friendly.
Hope this helps!
Certified Crazy™ Wife to my Spiderman husband (Aug '01)
Super proud Momma to DD (Jan'00), DD (Apr '02) and DS (Jun '04)
Always loving and missing our Baby James born sleeping at 19 weeks (July '03).