November 13, 2023 | Downsizing

What Are the Top Places in the GTA When Downsizing?

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Downsizing from the family home you’ve lived in for many years can be an involved process. It isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is inevitable for many of us as the children move out and we feel the need for a change in our lives. 

For some, the thought may be a little disheartening, but think of the endless possibilities and adventures that await you when you no longer have a large property to care for and maintain! Selling and moving on often leads to having more liquid cash at your disposal. Plus, it leaves you with more of the most precious commodity of all: time. 

The question then becomes, what will you do with this influx of time and abundance that you’ve never enjoyed so much of before? Travel, shop, or start a new hobby? The potential is endless, but the first step is to begin. 

Beginning the Process

Deciding to downsize opens up many questions about what to do first, what to do next, and sometimes, what to do at all. Of course, perhaps the biggest question of all is where. The GTA is full of possibilities. In our opinion, Pickering, Markham, Downtown Toronto, Stouffville, and Seaton are among the best communities for those looking to downsize. However, with so many different personality types, it’s challenging to pinpoint “the best.” Where you end up depends primarily on your needs and the lifestyle you want to experience. Let’s take a look at the different types of downsizers and where they may best fit in.

Downsizing Profile # 1: Looking to Simplify

We often joke that there are two types of downsizers: 

  1. Those who can’t get far, far away from downtown Toronto fast enough
  2. Those who can’t get to downtown Toronto fast enough 

Of course, this doesn’t actually encompass all empty-nesters or downsizers. You’ve also got the snowbirds who head off to a tropical paradise every winter, along with the family-oriented empty-nesters who strive to stay close to their children and grandchildren even as they’ve grown. Then there are those who want to escape from the city, some who carve out a rural paradise, and some who wish to remain in highly developed areas that still offer the convenience of city life.

Someone looking to simplify is more than likely looking to get away from the hecticness of the downtown core. They may love the convenience and the amenities, but they also crave a little peace and quiet where they can enjoy time to themselves. Without the business of work and raising a family, it could be a perfect time to nurture a new hobby. 

This type of downsizer may love to start baking, painting, or even get to work writing that novel that’s always been burning at the back of their minds. The following communities are excellent choices for those empty-nesters who want to enjoy a little more tranquillity in their lives.

  • Pickering: With both quiet areas and fast-paced neighbourhoods, Pickering offers the best of both worlds. As a growing community, Pickering offers many social clubs and recreational activities just for those over 55. You will also find opportunities to buy on the waterfront at prices far more affordable than in Toronto, including several pre-construction projects close to all amenities and a much lower cost per square foot. For those who wish to travel, you will enjoy quick access to Go Transit. 
  • Seaton: Seaton is one of Pickering’s newest master-planned developments, with many newly constructed homes to choose from. It’s also an oasis of outdoor beauty, with green spaces, parks, and trails galore.
  • Stouffville: Quiet and peaceful, Stouffville is perfect for those who enjoy a small-town feel. This highly supportive community is also full of quaint shops, aromatic bakeries, independent boutiques and coffee shops. Life may be full of serenity, but it is never boring.

Looking for more help in deciding when to move and where to go? The resources below are a great start:

Downsizing Profile # 2: The Every Day Adventurer

For the “can’t wait to get closer to downtown” downsizer, every day is a thrilling new adventure! The city they love never sleeps, and neither do they. The hustle and bustle and endless activity only energize them even more. 

They have more time to themselves now that the children have achieved independence, and they intend to make the most of it. The shopping, the dining, the thriving nightlife, and the vibrant art and entertainment scene; they want to experience it all and more. Here are some of the top communities for the empty-nester who can’t get enough of the bright city lights:

  • Downtown Toronto: A beautiful waterfront, where the busy streets are full of trendy stores, bustling theatres, art galleries, museums, and more. Living in Downtown Toronto comes at a price, but is an excellent destination for those who love life in the fast lane.
  • Markham: Every day, more people are discovering the joy of Markham, from the vibrant theatre scene on the historic Unionville and Main Street to an eclectic array of cozy eateries and artisan shops. As a result, the city is getting busier and more lively, perfect for those who crave the excitement of downtown but at a more affordable cost of living. In addition, access to Highways 404 and 407 and GO Transit makes getting in and out of the city a breeze.

What Profile Suits You?

It would help if these profiles were cut and dry, but that is rarely the case. More than likely, you see a little of yourself in each of these. For example, you may want to simplify your life by saving money and living further from the downtown core. But that doesn’t mean you don’t crave excitement. It’s just that your version of excitement may be different from someone else’s. Perhaps your version includes more outdoor adventures rather than a hopping entertainment scene. Or you may prefer to save your hard-earned money for special occasions and memorable experiences than on shopping and dining.

Everyone is different, and there are enough adventures to go around! It’s human nature to have difficulty deciding your path, especially when there are so many options before you. What can you do?

Are you looking for more resources to successfully sell your home and downsize? Check out some of our related reading below:

Know What You Don’t Want

Whether you’re making a birthday list, a Christmas list, or a list of features for your new home, deciding what you want is one of the most difficult tasks there is. If you’re drawing a blank, a change in your approach can help. Instead of thinking about what you want, many people find it easier to list off what they don’t want. For example:

  • You don’t want a house that needs a lot of renovations.
  • You don’t want to be located on a busy street.
  • You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere.
  • You don’t want to hear horns blaring at all hours of the night.
  • You don’t want a massive yard to take care of.
  • You don’t want to be far from your family.
  • But you also don’t want to be too close to your family.

The list goes on and on. However, the good news is that you can use this checklist to create a clear image of what works for you. In this case, perhaps a modest townhouse in a convenient neighbourhood just outside of Toronto will do. Since your home is only a few years old, there are next to no renovations needed. You have enough room for overnight guests, but not so much that family members will be asking to move in with you. How much more perfect can it get?

By understanding your personality and goals, your journey to your dream home and downsizing lifestyle is one giant step closer. Now that the picture is clear, you may begin your new adventure with a sense of wonder and excitement.

Are you ready to begin the downsizing conversation? We are here to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to 647-875-8000  or for more information or to get started.

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