It's a tough question because I don't always answered the same way. My answer really depends on the person asking. Some prefer their emerging neighbourhood a little more "done", a place that is clearly on the upswing that is already filled with an assortment well-reviewed restaurants, doggie day care, and yoga studios. Who doesn't know by now that Leslieville and Ossington Street have tranformed to some of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city, in some cases surpassing most of the established neighbourhoods as far as the cool factor is concerned?
Today, however, I want to speak to those pioneers out there, the ones who are looking for the next "hot" neighbourhood before any one has the inkling to open up a cool coffee shop or an organic grocery store. I want to talk about an area that has potential. The prices of the houses are still humble, but it's ripe for some action. In the past I have talked about Weston Village up at Lawrence and Keele as being an inexpensive place to buy on the upswing, but today I want to talk about Caledonia, several blocks east of Caledonia Street between St Clair and Eglinton.
But why there? you may wonder. How does this Dave guy even know this is a place that will become a hot neighbourhood? Well, I don't know for sure, but there are a few indicators. First, there is housing. Like I often say, neighbourhoods that have houses that are close to public transit and are in relatively decent shape, are ripe for improvement. There are very few houses being built in this city. So, the inventory remains low and the demand, over the long term increases.
Also, there already is a decent commercial strip nearby where cool things can go and where currently there are a number of functioning businesses, which serve the neighbourhood well.
And lastly, there is one indicator that I have noticed from the trenches as a real estate salesperson. I have shown a lot of homes here recently, and I see a lot of first time buyers being pushed into this neighbourood because they are getting priced out of Mimico, Leslieville and the Junction, the cool hoods whose emergences have become known, and whose prices have gone up.
One of the best things about this neighbourhood is the landscape. Surprisingly great views with rolling hills and streets that go up and down that has a look more similar to San Francisco than flat Toronto.
The St. Clair streetcar is right there with a street car only lane for quicker public transit. It's easy to access the 401 from Eglinton, and you even had Earlscourt Park, a surpisingly large park that is often overlooked.
Caledonia right now is largely a working class Portuguese neighbourhood with a few Italians thrown in. There are other ethnic groups in here as well, but when the FIFA world cup is on, you'll know this is a Portuguese neighbourhood. (Unless Portugal is eliminated and then they back Brazil). Generally speaking, the Portuguese have been known to take care of their homes here. There are quite a variety of homes in this neighbourhood from the humble bungalow to the historic two-story brick home. It reminds me of Beaconsfield when it was called Little Portugal, located at College and Douvercourt, an area that used to be largely Portuguese and Italian. Nowadays Beaconsfield still has that Portuguese flavour but the neighbourhood is much more mixed with new homeowner, a lot more variety of commercial businesses, and much bigger price tags on the houses.
In the Toronto neighbourhood of Caledonia, the prices are still reasonable by this city's standards. So, if you want to buy a house in a hood that could become hot soon, you may want to consider this neighbourhood.