Nestled in Toronto’s East end south from Eglinton Aveue East to Donside Drive and East from Victoria Park Avenue to Warden Avenue lies the hidden gem of a neighbourhood Clairlea. Built in the 1950’s, Clairlea was one of the first neighbourhoods of what is now Scarborough. That being said, it’s hardly Scarborough nor does it feel like it. It has more of an East York vibe to it and considering that the border of East York abuts Clairlea it’s no wonder.
The neighbourhood is comprised mostly of single family homes, most being detached homes on lots ranging from approximately 30 ft to 50 ft wide. Built originally with 2 and 3 bedroom bungalows it was the perfect neighbourhood for returning service personnel from WW II to raise a family; affordable and large lots with a suburban feel while still being close enough to Central Toronto. Fast forward 60 years and Clairlea still has a suburban flavour with it’s mature trees, wide streets, and parkland but it’s even better. It didn’t take long for infrastructure to develop around the neighbourhood, mainly the completion of the Victoria Park Subway station in 1968. The stations completion made the neighbourhood even more desirable due to the TTC’s bus routes running through Clairlea to the station. Commuting downtown and getting across the city became much easier. To this day the neighbourhood’s access to public transit is first class with buses running across St. Clair, Eglinton, and down Victoria Park, Warden, and Pharmacy Avenues.
To the South and East of Clairlea is the Warden Woods greenbelt which offers a piece of nature in the city. The numerous bike and foot paths are a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. For accomplished and aspiring golfers, South of Clairlea abutting Warden Woods, is the 18 hole 3 par Detonia Park Golf course. A 10 minute drive heading north or south puts you in the Eglinton and Warden big box shopping area or the boutique style shops of Queen Street East in The Beaches. The neighbourhood schools are decent. For the school year of 2015-2016 Regent Heights public school rates 7.4 out of 10, W.A. Porter Collegiate 7.3 out of 10, and Neil McNeil at 7.3 out of 10. (source: Fraser Institute school ratings).
In the last 10 years numerous ‘top ups’ have appeared in the neighbourhood just like in East York. The bungalows on generous sized lots are prime candidates to add a second story to create larger three, four, or even five bedroom homes perfect for growing families. Builders saw the opportunity and are taking full advantage of the neighbourhood’s charm and appeal.
Clairlea remains one of the few remaining neighbourhoods in Toronto that’s desirable and still affordable. From January 1, 2017 – June 1, 2017, 93 houses in the neighbourhood sold with an average selling price of $830,000. The highest sold price for this period was $1,305,000 and the lowest $565,000. Currently in Clairlea there are 44 houses for sale with asking prices ranging from $549,900 for a two bedroom, one bathroom bungalow to $1,549,000 for a four bedroom, four bath newly built 2-story. Clairlea’s average asking price during this period was $875,000. It’s a steal compared to all of East York which currently has 133 houses on the market for sale ranging from $599,900 – $3,095,000 and an average asking price of $1,097,000. (source: Toronto Real Estate Board 01/17 – 05/17).
In conclusion, if you’re a Buyer and haven’t considered Clairlea it’s time you reconsidered. With Toronto’s shrinking affordability Clairlea remains one of the few remaining affordable areas. It’s close proximity to transit, shopping, leisure activities, and good schools make it an ideal neighbourhood for a growing family.