Best Commuter Towns

Want to commute into downtown Toronto? Here are the best places to live

Got a job downtown and trying to figure out where the best place to live is? After all, there's a lot to consider: from house prices to commuting times into the big city, and everything in between.

Thankfully, help is at hand. TheRedPin have been hard at work over the past few months, analysing thousands of homes for sale in the Greater Toronto Area to come up with the definitive ranking of the best – and the not so best – places to live when commuting into one of Canada’s major cities.

Beautifully presented in the graphic below (the full ranking is at the bottom of this post, too), we can reveal that the top five places to buy property where new homes in the Greater Toronto Area are still relatively affordable, spacious and in close proximity to downtown for an easier Monday morning commute are:

  • Ajax
  • Pickering
  • Whitby
  • Maple, Vaughan
  • Port Perry, Scugog

At the other end of the scale, the bottom five places are:

  • Milton
  • Oshawa
  • Oakville
  • Keswick, Georgina
  • Burlington

We also found that despite the higher prices, choosing a home in downtown Toronto is a very good choice when accounting for commuting time.

Best Commuter Towns GTA

To produce the ranking TheRedPin looked at thousands of property listings in the GTA, comparing house prices, average commuting times to downtown Toronto and average property price per square foot. TheRedPin then took the results and ranked them accordingly, coming up with the 27 desirable and not so desirable commuting hotspots.

"If you want a better quality of life, you should consider buying property in Ajax, Pickering and Whitby - these make the top three towns in our ranking," says TheRedPin's Hyder Owainati. "Thanks to good average house prices and relatively short commuting distances, we've named these the best places to live for commuting to downtown Toronto."

"However, homebuyers looking for homes for sale in Toronto shouldn't be put off from exploring buying property in other areas. One thing our research shows is that houses in the suburbs can be more expensive than those close to downtown Toronto. It's worth exploring our map to find the town that suits you best."

Oh, and if you’re particularly interested in buying a condo, you need to read our research into the average price per square foot for Toronto condos, by neighbourhood.

Our ranking

Town Average house price Average commuting time (per day) Average price per sq. ft. Average yearly commuting time per sq. ft. Score

Rank
Ajax $719,666.67 145.0 $352.17 18.44 6,495 1
Pickering $775,733.35 132.5 $386.16 17.14 6,620 2
Whitby $764,807.50 172.5 $340.82 19.98 6,810 3
Maple, Vaughan $1,291,174.69 150.0 $514.44 15.53 7,991 4
Port Perry, Scugog $1,034,271.70 192.5 $409.61 19.82 8,117 5
Acton, Halton Hills $1,028,257.98 205.0 $397.41 20.59 8,184 6
Caledon $1,611,567.78 177.5 $541.13 15.49 8,383 7
Brock $808,550.00 210.0 $362.47 24.47 8,870 8
Whitchurch-Stouffville $1,030,436.13 162.5 $471.65 19.33 9,118 9
Brampton $564,523.91 130.0 $390.67 23.38 9,135 10
New Market $1,047,436.52 200.0 $429.75 21.33 9,166 11
Hamilton $634,504.97 172.5 $361.66 25.56 9,242 12
East Gwillimbury $1,015,824.14 190.0 $437.53 21.27 9,306 13
Aurora $1,230,168.98 165.0 $534.22 18.62 9,949 14
Uxbridge $1,071,615.98 182.5 $475.92 21.07 10,026 15
Richmond Hill $1,532,023.91 147.5 $632.97 15.84 10,026 16
Bowmanville, Clarington $571,804.42 202.5 $337.10 31.03 10,460 17
Mississauga $627,948.24 100.0 $503.31 20.83 10,485 18
Markham $1,391,904.43 117.5 $706.34 15.50 10,947 19
Milton $728,619.95 180.0 $415.74 26.70 11,098 20
Oshawa $500,781.73 170.0 $375.39 33.12 12,434 21
Oakville $1,950,231.68 127.5 $885.51 15.05 13,325 22
Keswick, Georgina $736,901.20 205.0 $442.58 32.00 14,164 23
Burlington $1,048,940.28 177.5 $584.08 25.69 15,005 24

Local option

Toronto – Yonge and King $987,596.94 20.0 $991.59 5.22 5,176 Would be #1
North York, York, by subway $1,571,640.35 50.0 $1,126.19 9.31 10,488 Would be #20
North York, York $1,571,640.35 100.5 $1,126.19 18.72 21,080 Would be #27

Commuting and your health

As well as property prices, energy savings and convenience, there is another very important reason to consider living somewhere that gives you a shorter commute into the office: your physical and mental health. In Canada, more and more of us commute farther and farther to work than ever. The average Canadian spends 63 minutes a day getting to and from work. That's 275 hours per year and nearly 12 full days spent commuting.

A recent study of employees found that those with longer commuters are 46 per cent more likely to get less than seven hours sleep a night (the recommended level) and 21 per cent are more likely to be obese. What's more, 33 per cent are more likely to suffer from depression, 37 per cent are more likely to have money worries, and 12 per cent are more likely to suffer from work-related stress.

Conclusion

Our research gives you one of the most comprehensive guides to choosing a place to live that factors in your commute in the whole of the GTA. After analysing thousands of property listings and cross-referencing data, we hope our study shines a light on Toronto's property market - and helps you make the buying decision that's best for you.

Fair Use

Feel free to share the images found on this page freely. When doing so, please attribute the authors by providing a link back to this page, so your readers can learn more about this project and the related research.