By: Tim Hewetson
May 25, 2010.
With same sex orientation and unions being more widely recognized and accepted, LGBT buyers have burst into the real estate market. Finding a Realtor© who understands your lifestyle and needs is important. A LGBT Realtor© can be more in-tune with your needs, style, and budgetary requirements.
Toronto has many ‘gay friendly’ neighbourhoods outside of the Church Wellesley village but unfortunately not all Realtors© know of them. As a rule, in my experience, I’ve found most people generally accepting but some neighbourhoods are more accepting then others with services and shopping geared towards the LGBT community.
In my opinion, the most gay friendly neighbourhood outside of Church Wellesley village & downtown core is Riverdale / Leslieville. This neighbourhood sits just east of the Don Valley Parkway and south of The Danforth. Queen Street East is dotted with gay owned cafe’s, galleries, restaurants, & boutiques. It wasn’t long ago that this part of Toronto was tired and run down. It’s no longer this way. The appeal for Gays and Lesbians is it’s close proximity to the downtown core, Church Wellesley village, shopping, and recreation. Home prices in this area range anywhere from approximately $400,000 for a fixer upper to approximately $1,000,000 or more for a larger home in prime Riverdale/Leslieville. The neighbourhood has a high concentration of gay and lesbian white collar professional couples who are ‘house proud’. There are also ultra chic lofts at Carlaw & Dundas that offer larger spaces and the advantages of condo loving without living downtown.
The Beach also offers some excellent choices for Gay and lesbians. Homes range from condos along the Boardwalk to large homes in the Glen Manor area. Queen street east is a shoppers and diner’s mecca. Quaint cafes and restaurants line the street with plenty of patios. A wide range of retail is available. The Beach tends to appeal to Lesbian and Gay couples who have a more laid back down to earth lifestyle but are still active. The boardwalk provide a large area for recreation, and running. Real Estate prices in The Beach tend to be higher around the $500,000 mark and up. It’s not uncommon to see Million dollar and higher valued properties offered for sale in The Beach.
Cabbagetown, which is considered to be located downtown Toronto, sits east of Parliament Street & south of Bloor has always had an appeal to Gay and Lesbian home owners. It’s tree lined streets and quaint yet spacious Victorian town homes offer curb appeal, potential and a strong community feel. Cabbagetown is within walking distance to Church Wellesley Village, restaurants, transit, entertainment and more. It offers downtown living without the noise of living directly in the core. Having a house this close to the downtown core does have it’s price though. It is not uncommon to see homes for sale in this neighbourhood start around $700,000 and up. Particularly in the North end.
Church Wellesley village is considered Toronto’s primary gay village. Restaurants and shopping are king in this neighbourhood not to mention social venues & services geared towards Toronto’s LGBT community. At one time it was difficult to own property in this neighbourhood due to the limited selection and the abundance of rentals. In the last 10 – 15 years the neighbourhood has seen growth and gentrification with numerous new condo developments being erected. For active singles and couples this is a prime location with relative stability in real estate prices. A 1 bedroom condo can be purchased in this neighbourhood for approximately $270,000 and up.
Other ‘gay friendly’ neighbourhoods include:
-The Distillery District
-St. Lawrence Market area
-Yonge & Eglinton / St. Clair
-Dufferin & Davenport
If you have any questions about any of these neighbourhoods I would be happy to answer them for you.