One of the biggest challenges that new families are often faced with is the question of where to settle down, start a family and raise the kids? Access to services, amenities, quality education and activities play a big role when determining a location. More importantly, however, is the level of safety an area provides, while also affording its residents ample opportunity with the livelihood to support a family.
With a lot of consideration going into choosing an area to live in, families, especially with young children may find relocating very taxing – emotionally and financially. To help ease your search, we’ve put together a list of 4 areas to consider when starting a family in the Durham Region.
Finding a Home in Durham
When it comes to settling down in Ontario, the Durham Region may not be the first to come to mind, especially when you have bigger cities like Toronto close by that attract most of the attention. However, the Durham Region holds its own in terms of livability and opportunities.
The Durham Region also has some key advantages that it offers to residents, including competitive real estate prices, access to nature, an abundance of activities, as well as a rich cultural heritage.
The Durham Region’s located just east of Toronto, with its own job opportunities being a short trip away. This is one of the reasons why Durham has heavily invested in transportation and provides commuters with access to public transportation. The GO Transit’s the regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area providing service to downtown Toronto and other nearby urban areas, carrying over 70 million passengers a year.
Education’s also readily available within the Durham Region and is overseen by the Durham District School Board (DDSB). With their motto of “ignite learning” – educators help students excel in their education with compassion and care.
The Durham Region’s also abundant with various amenities and activities that residents can take part in and enjoy. The region’s rich in history and culture, with lots of great parks, access to nature trails, Lake Ontario and more.
With Durham having so much to offer, let’s now take a closer look at some of these areas.
1. Port Perry
Port Perry’s a lakeside town on the southern tip of Lake Scugog that boasts scenic countryside that has been featured in a few films and on TV. Composed of a population of approximately 10,000, with that number increasing over the summer.
There are a number of schools that’ll cater to your child’s educational needs. Schools within the region are supervised by the DDSB, so you can count on the quality of education. With lots to choose from, here are some schools in the area:
- R. H. Cornish Public School
- Children’s House Montessori School
- Prince Albert Public School
Port Perry also offers a lot of activities for both residents and tourists visiting the area. From the outdoors to the indoors, everyone can find something to do here. Here’s a quick list:
- Visit Palmer Park and Birdseye Park
- Check out the Marina and enjoy a meal at the Boathouse Grill
- Visit the Scugog Shores Museum Village
- Practice your swing at the Sunnybrae Golf Club
- Try your luck at the Great Blue Heron Casino
- Enjoy some wine at the Ocala Winery & Orchards
If you’re looking into moving here, the average cost of real estate’s about $728,228. Land cuts are sizable and can accommodate a family of all sizes.
Moving on, we’ve Brooklin, located towards the northern part of Whitby. Its downtown area is designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation District while to the east, has more of an urban vibe.
Parents have many options when it comes to securing their children’s education here, with a lot of schools to choose from. Here are a few:
- Blair Ridge Public School
- Chris Hadfield Public School
- St. Bridget Catholic School
- Saint-Charles Garnier Catholic School
The general area offers a lot of activities that’ll occupy your leisure time, such as:
- Learning about being a secret agent at Camp X
- Go sailing from Port Whitby Marina
- Check out the Waterfront Trail on the banks of Lake Ontario
- Walk around Downtown Whitby
- Travel back in time at the Lynde House Museum
- Learn about the heritage in Downtown Brooklin
With Brooklin being located closer to Toronto, real estate prices can average around the $932,747 mark. However, what you get in the exchange’s a quiet area away from the noise of the big city that’s rich in cultural heritage, close to nature, experiences 35% lower crime rates than the Ontario average and enjoys an exceptional livability score of 86.
3. Pickering Beach
Pickering Beach‘s a small community located on the shores of Lake Ontario, in the town of Ajax, east of Toronto. Being one of the older neighbourhoods, you’ll find that its layout’s a grid street pattern and large open spaces with lots of trees. An interesting characteristic of the neighbourhood – its unique mix of housing styles dating back to the early 1900s that give off a nostalgic appeal. However, these original homes are slowly being replaced by more modern houses.
Pickering Beach also has a good choice of schools composed of public and private, including:
- Ajax High School
- St. James Catholic School
Duffin’s Bay Public School
The area’s also surrounded by parks that are perfect for nature lovers and a great way to introduce your kids to the outdoors. These parks make for great places to enjoy family picnics and activities:
Real estate in the area’s also competitive, as it’s one of the most desirable places to live in the Durham Region. The average cost of property here can be around $912,207, so start saving up early. It ranks slightly lower than Brooklin, with a livability score of 83, thanks in part due to the higher cost of living in the area.
Bowmanville’s a quaint little community located in the municipality of Clarington, about 75 km east of Toronto. The sense of community is strong with Bowmanville being a small town. There are no shortages of green spaces here, while still having lots of activities to do.
Despite its distance from the busier Toronto area, it offers great opportunities for your kids to learn, with a host of schools to enrol them in, such as:
- Central Public School
- Bowmanville High School
- Clarington Central Secondary School
Take your kids around Bowmanville and enjoy the local sights and sounds the town has to offer. There are a lot of things to see and do here, with these naming just a few:
- Go shopping at the Markets by Dream Day
- Have a picnic at Rotary Park
- Cooldown at Port Darlington East Beach Park
- Check out the historic buildings in Tyrone, such as Tyrone Mills
With an average real estate price tag of around $824,945, Bowmanville comes in second on this list of affordability, just after Port Perry. You can find condos, detached homes, townhomes and even retirement living here, making it suitable for many. It also boasts the highest livability score on this list at 87 and experiences about 30% less crime than the national average, making for a safe place for you and your family.
For Your Peace of Mind
In Durham, you’ll find indoor and outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy across the region. The Durham Region has a lot to offer new families moving into the area, including sizable land plots, plenty of parks, green spaces and educational opportunities for children to learn, play and grow.
To better aid in your search for the perfect home, consider working with a local real estate professional to help you narrow down your choices and come to an informed decision.
One thing’s for sure, though. No matter the neighbourhood you eventually decide on, you’re going to be fine. The quality of life in the Durham Region’s excellent.
We’re Here to Help!
Jellyfish Real Estate’s a team of real estate professionals. Our goal’s to simplify your life, so you can spend less time worrying about real estate and more time enjoying life.
If you’d like to learn more about real estate or if you have any questions or concerns about selling your property, buying your next home, opting to rent or rent-to-own, visit our website or contact us today.