How to Find the Best Family Neighbourhoods for Your Kids

I moved to Mississauga when I was 7, long before Churchill Meadows or Central Erin Mills even existed. The Mississauga I grew up in was fantastic for kids; tens of thousands of homes were being built, and families just like mine were moving out to the ‘burbs’ and settling in. The best family neighbourhoods were every neighbourhood!

I remember the day we moved to Tallmast Crescent in Erin Mills; my mom and dad were so busy unpacking that they told me to go ride my bike to get me out of their hair. There I was, riding around streets I had never seen, exploring my new neighbourhood with complete freedom. Every street I rode down had a bunch of kids playing out front, and when I found King’s Masting Park, it too was full of kids playing together. Once we settled in, we met all the other families and kids on the street, and I couldn’t wait to get home from school every day to knock on the doors and see who could come out and play. With so many kids, there was always someone who could come out and play. These memories are such a huge part of my happy childhood, and I never imagined that in today’s Mississauga, many kids wouldn’t get this same experience.

Today, with every neighbourhood well established, and no land left except for condo infill, prices of homes have risen and the age of many communities has gotten older. Normally, it’s a good reflection of a neighbourhood’s quality and reputation when there’s a large older population; that means people love living there and don’t move. But for a young family, is there anywhere left in Mississauga that has a lot of kids? Where are the best family neighbourhoods?

A Consistent Trend in Mississauga

There is one thing for certain in Mississauga, we are getting older. In every single neighbourhood I reviewed, the population forecasts all looked the same. This is for one small neighbourhood of 800 people, but every single chart, in every single neighbourhood, looked like this:

Mississauga Population Forecast Best Family Neighbourhoods

This isn’t because people are leaving town; it’s not like we have vacant homes or gutted downtowns. Homes are occupied with people, just not young people. The average family household population in areas outside Mississauga are as high as 3.6, but here, it’s closer to 2.6. Over the decades I’m sure we once were 3.6 (or possibly even higher) and have dropped a full 1 person. The high housing costs in Mississauga have put financial pressures on families, and many are choosing to have less kids on average. On the flip side, families with more kids are attracted to cities further away with more affordable house prices. So together, the effect of the city aging in population and not being able to attract new young families, has made a noticeable impact.

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Realtor.ca Statistics

When looking at any listing on Realtor.ca, there is this tab that many people don’t notice. It is an excellent collection of data regarding the demographics of the neighbourhood.

You can see neighbourhood size, average income, number of families with and without kids, as well as charts by population age, profession, education, etc. If you want to really know who your neighbours are, this tool is for you. Most neighbourhoods are quite large, like Central Erin Mills, and a listing will only usually show you the immediate area of 500-1000 people. This is great because you will be most affected by the people on the immediate streets around you. But for my purposes, I reviewed the stats all around the neighbourhood, to really get an accurate sense of the neighbourhood. For the most part, there were almost no dramatic shifts from one Sub-Neighbourhood to another. For example: Pheasant Run, Sawmill Valley, West Erin Mills and Council Ring of Erin Mills were all pretty much the same. So although the charts I will show you below are not exact, they are a good representation of the neighbourhood as a whole.

Aging Neighbourhoods

These are some of  the neighbourhoods that have a much larger aging population versus the younger population. If you focus on the dark blue, orange and kelly green blocks on the chart, these are the children in the neighbourhood. The size of their bar indicates the size of population they represent. Most of these neighbourhoods used to be filled to the brim with children, and now, the children have grown up and moved out. That’s left a lot of empty nest baby boomers living in these family homes. When they do move out, the high prices prevent the average family buyer from affording many of the homes in these areas, which means typically older, smaller families will replace empty nesters. This will not have any dramatic positive effect on the population composition.

These neighbourhoods are characterized as such:

The population aged 0-19 is less than or between 20-25% , and the population age 55+ is between 25-30% or greater

Park Royal Best Family Neighbourhoods

Clarkson

Streetsville Best Family Neighbourhoods

Streetsville

South Erin Mills Best Family Neighbourhoods

South Erin Mills

Lakeview Best Family Neighbourhoods

Lakeview

Applewood Best Family Neighbourhoods

Applewood

Cooksville Best Family Neighbourhoods

Cooksville

Erindale Best Family Neighbourhoods

Erindale

Sheridan Homelands Best Family Neighbourhoods

Sheridan Homelands

There absolutely are kids in all of these areas, but they are fewer and further between. There is no guarantee you’ll be living close to any kids who are your children’s age. Be a detective in these areas; look for strollers on the porch, or tricycles and scooters by the garage. If you check out the house you want to buy at the time school lets out, do you see adults walking with young children to pick up kids at school, or kids playing in the street after school? If you go look at the house on the weekend, are there kids out in the front playing, or riding their bikes, or is it a ghost street? If these are the neighbourhoods you want to live in, and want to live near kids, do some extra research to see if the house you like is on a street with other kids.

Kids playing best family neighbourhoods

Best Family Neighbourhoods for kids age 10-19

Mississauga does still have some good areas if your kids are a little older. Two premium neighbourhoods lead the pack, with Mineola and Lorne Park. If you are a family with good means, then these are the neighbourhoods for you, as you will get the best for both you and your kids. Also in this groupCentral Erin Mills and Rathwood both have some very good secondary high schools, thus good for middle-school and high school aged kids. Both of these neighbourhoods are quality neighbourhoods but unlike Lorne Park and Mineola, they have relatively lower priced townhomes and condo’s that are more accessible to a wider range of buyers. On the chart, focus on the Kelly Green Bar and it’s size relative to the other age groups. These neighbourhoods are characterized as such:

The population aged 0-19 is between 25-30%, and the population age 10-19 is over 15%

Mineola Best Family Neighbourhoods

Mineola

Lorne Park Best Family Neighbourhoods

Lorne Park

Central Erin Mills Best Family Neighbourhoods

Central Erin Mills

Rathwood Best Family Neighbourhoods

Rathwood

Central Erin Mills is only 20% total kids and 13% age 10-19 but the unusually large group age 20-34 skews the otherwise large child numbers. Suggesting, perhaps, that many adult kids are still living at home. This is a convenient location for those attending UofT Mississauga.

best family neighbourhoods high schools CEM and rath

Best Family Neighbourhoods for kids age 0-9

Mississauga doesn’t have any neighbourhoods that have a strong population of young children. The villages below are the best there are, although pale in comparison to cities outside Mississauga, which I will touch on later in the article. The best family neighbourhoods are Meadowale, Lisgar, Churchill Meadows, and Port Credit. I now live in Meadowvale, and I can personally confirm that there are plenty of kids, especially in South-East Meadowvale where I live. There are 8 neighbours who have kids the same ages as my children, and although its not as much as when I was a kid, there’s certainly enough kids for my 3 boys to go outside and find someone to play with. I’m very glad we don’t have to rely on scheduling playdates in order for our kids to socialize.

Meadowvale Best family Neighbourhoods

Meadowvale

The population in Meadowvale aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 14%

Lisgar Best Family Neighbourhoods

Lisgar

The population in Lisgar aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 16%

Churchill Meadows Best Family Neighbourhoods

Churchill Meadows

The population in Churchill Meadows aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 15%

Port Credit Best Family Neighbourhoods

Port Credit

The population in Port Credit aged 0-19 is 21%, and the population age 0-9 is 11%

Where you decide to live is dependant on so many factors, including commute, budget, family support, income, etc. If you have strong social network full of friends with kids your child’s age, you might be impacted little by the demographics of your street. Mississauga is one of the best real estate investments you can make, given our strong jobs base and proximity to Toronto. Amenities and access to events and festivities are excellent. So it’s all a matter of priorities and the situation you are in. Even if your budget is tight, commute might be a huge factor in the quality of your family life, so you might still choose a smaller house in Mississauga over a longer commute.

Best Family Neighbourhoods outside Mississauga

I would say that if commute is more flexible than budget, you might be a family looking for more house, more kids, and are willing to extend outside of Mississauga. If you want to find a family home for a better price, and you want to ensure your street is likely full of children for the foreseeable future, here are some excellent options.

The Village Guru works in the entire West GTA, and we have a partnership with Robert Preece within the Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Family, who has over 20 years experience service the Hamilton/Niagara Region. So if you decide that you would prefer to live in any of the neighbourhoods below, we can provide you the high quality, expert advice you need with your home purchase and sale.

West Milton

Best Family Neighboruhoods West Milton Population Statistics 2018

Best family neighbourhoods West Milton Population Projections

The population in West Milton aged 0-19 is 34%, and the population age 0-9 is 23%

East Milton

Best Family Neighbourhoods East Milton Population Statistics

Best Family neighbourhoods East Milton Population Statistics

The population in West Milton aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 22%. Notice the drop in population relative to the completion of home developments. East Milton is starting to resemble Mississauga as time goes on. 

Waterdown

best family neighbourhoods Waterdown Population Statistics 2018

best family neighbourhoods Waterdown Population Growth Projections

The population in Waterdown aged 0-19 is 27%, and the population age 0-9 is 16%. 

Stoney Creek

Best family neighbourhoods Stoney Creek Population Statistics 2018

Best family neighbourhoods Stoney Creek Population Projections

The population in Stoney Creek aged 0-19 is 33%, and the population age 0-9 is 20%. 

 

Summary

It’s hard to accept, but the new reality of many areas is that there are just less children. And for most people, areas demographics are just one of many factors when choosing where to live. I feel very lucky that my kids are surrounded by other kids on the street, and we have formed friendships with our neighbours and will have impromptu get-togethers now and then. We don’t have family/cousins who live close by, so this set up is ideal for us, and is very valuable for our children. If you have a strong social or family network that ensures your children can socialize regardless of where you live, then you can be open to far more neighbourhoods.

It’s also important to note that as neighbourhoods age, its very common for schools to close due to lack of children. School funds are shifted to build more schools in growing neighbourhoods, instead of where the youth population is in significant decline. In Peel, schools are closing in older Mississauga neighbourhoods and opening in Brampton. In Halton, Burlington has suffered school closings, where new schools are planned for Milton.

This is why your lifestyle is a critical component to any good home search, it’s never just about the number of bedrooms. If you want to experience a higher level of knowledge and expertise to ensure you find a home that you love not only now, but 5-10 years from now, contact The Village Guru today to learn more.

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Updated 2 Bed, 1 Bath Condo with 2 parking Spots in the Mississauga City Centre

550 Webb Dr, Mississauga City Centre, Mississauga. SOLD

Highlights:

  • Updated 2 Bed, 1 Bath
  • Bright and Open Concept
  • Engineered Brazilian Cherry Wood Floors Throughout
  • Laminate flooring throughout 1st and 2nd floor
  • Porcelain Tiles In The Kitchen And Bath, Marble Tiles In The Foyer
  • Tandem parking spot that fits 2 cars
  • Stainless Steel Side By Side Maytag Fridge, Venmar Vent Hood, GE Built In Dishwasher, GE Ceramic Cooktop, GE Wall Oven, Washer And Dryer

See some of the pictures below and feel free to contact Jeff O’Leary at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing this Updated 2 Bed, 1 Bath Condo with 2 parking Spots in the Mississauga City Centre or another like it.

 

 

550 Webb Dr Living Room

550 Webb Dr Living Room

 

Unique, sun filled layout at WideSuites Condominiums

208 Enfield Place, City Centre, Mississauga. SOLD

MLS Listing Details

Highlights:

  • Spacious 1 bed, 1 bath wide suite model designed to allow maximum light in
  • Open concept layout
  • Updated kitchen- granite counters, wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, tile backsplash
  • His and Her’s closets
  • Ensuite laundry with stacked washer and dryer, 1 storage locker and 1 parking space

See some of the pictures below and feel free to contact Jeff O’Leary at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing this WideSuites condominium at 208 Enfield Drive or another like it.

The Ultimate in Urban Lifestyle in downtown Mississauga. WideSuites Condominiums

The Ultimate in Urban Lifestyle in downtown Mississauga. WideSuites Condominiums

 

Located in the Mississauga City Centre, WideSuites is the perfect fit if you are looking for a turn key condo with a walking lifestyle that is close to amenities. If you would like to see this home or others like it let’s talk!

One Park Condo Mississauga

388 Prince of Wales Drive #907, City Centre, Mississauga. SOLD

MLS Listing Details

Highlights:

  • Spacious 1 bed, 1 bath Daniel’s built condo unit
  • Strip hardwood flooring
  • Updated kitchen- granite counters, wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, mirror backsplash
  • Walkin closet
  • Ensuite laundry, 1 storage locker and 1 parking space

See some of the pictures below and feel free to contact Jeff O’Leary at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing this condo at 388 Prince of Wales Drive or another like it.

388 Prince of Wales Drive #907 has a modern and sophisticated feel.

388 Prince of Wales Drive #907 has a modern and sophisticated feel.

Located in the Mississauga City Centre, Daniel’s One Park Tower is the perfect fit if you are looking for a turn key, walking lifestyle that is close to amenities. If you would like to see this home or others like it let’s talk!

360 Square One Dr #706, Mississauga City Centre, Mississauga. Leased.

Highlights:

  • Good layout with a large balcony with good views
  • Expresso coloured bamboo hardwood floors
  • 4 piece bathroom
  • Ensuite laundry, and 1 parking space
  • Modern kitchen with dark cabinets, and stainless steel appliances
  • Walking distance to Square One and all City Centre Amenities

See some of the pictures below and feel free to contact Jeff O’Leary at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing this home or another like it.

 

360 Square One Drive Living Room

360 Square One Drive, Limelight Condos, Living Room, Mississauga Real Estate


Located in the Mississauga City Centre, steps from Square One, 360 Square One Dr  is the perfect fit if you are looking for a modern condo close to all of Mississauga’s amenities. If you would like to see this home or others like it let’s talk!

 

If you look at a Mississauga population density map, you will notice a very obvious correlation between population density and property value with the most expensive, exclusive areas of the city almost always having the least amount of people per hectare.

This is because regardless of building patterns, government development policy, or the change in public opinion regarding household footprint, land is still king in real estate and the areas with the lowest population density will always be the most expensive and sought after. Below is a Mississauga Population Density Map for 2008, and you will see that the light green areas tend to be in the older areas of Mississauga and all are some of the most sought after areas in the whole city. Areas such as Mineola, Lorne Park, Clarkson, Sheridan, Lakeview and Streetsville all fall into this category.

I also want to note that the pattern of real estate values and population Density are not unique to Mississauga, I see the same trend in other areas that I specialize in such as Oakville and Burlington. While smaller in size, Oakville and Burlington have followed a somewhat similar development pattern as Mississauga where the older areas closer to the lake and tend to be less populated and more valuable then the more northern sections.

If this article speaks to you and you are interested in older homes, check out my post titled Older Suburban Homes Back in Vogue in Mississauga, as sophisticated home buyers continue to search for homes in the areas that are more mature, that offer more space, renovation potential and a better outdoor lifestyle.

Update: Since originally writing this article, I have not been able to find another updated population map. From my own observation, the areas of Mississauga City Centre, Churchill Meadows and Central Erin Mills have had the most new development since 2008.

 

Have you ever ventured into a sales centre for a new condominium? Did you notice the sleek sales center design, the beautiful brochures, the models of beautiful spaces, even the smell? Everything looks so clean and modern, and the lifestyle is irresistible. I bet you haven’t noticed that there is very little mention of parking. I find it amusing because in terms of amenities, I’ll guarantee you will use parking way more than the pool or a rooftop patio.

Everyone buys into the dream, from the builders, to the sales reps to the potential customers. I’ll admit even I am taken back by how cool some of these developments are but then I ask myself, what the heck is up with the parking situation? It baffles me that someone would buy a condo in Mississauga and not give a second thought to the parking situation. Especially if they are a single first time home buyer and are young. The question I ask my client is, what happens if your life changes, you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, room mate or someone else move in?

When I was in university I became very familiar with the transit in Mississauga. In my 3rd year at University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) I moved to Streetsville where I had to take the bus to school. School was approximately 8km away and would take 13 minutes by car to get there (google maps verified)- and this was driving on local roads and driving the speed limit. Taking the bus…. Anywhere between 50 minutes on a good day to an hour and a half. While I didn’t physically live that far, I had to take 3 buses and if the transfers didn’t line up perfectly I often waited 20 to 30 minutes in freezing weather for the next bus to arrive. My reality of taking the bus in Mississauga sucked!!

Now the reality check. Due to affordability, first time home buyers are more often picking a condominium for their first home. Condominium projects are multi million dollar projects and builders are spending mega bucks to promote these projects. The biggest thing they sell you is the lifestyle, and often these buildings are marketed the same way developers market Downtown Toronto Condos. High walk-scores, subway access and the carefree lifestyle that doesn’t require a car because parking is a huge expense for condo developers. It’s all well and good but I have seen many people buy a condominium in Mississauga and after living there for a short amount of time they realize the downtown dream and the suburban reality can be two different things.

For the record, I am pro transit. I believe it can save you money, it’s better for the environment and it can be less stressful than driving in traffic. However, it’s my job to be a realist and spending 3 hours a day to travel by bus that would take 26 minutes by car just doesn’t fly with me or my typical client. If you are thinking of making that step into home ownership, I always say that you need to plan for the next five years. Ask yourself what is the likelihood your situation will change and you will need another car to make life work?