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Real Estate

A cool, growing Toronto neighbourhood you can afford

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Rockcliffe-Smythe is close to all amenities, offers quick access to an amazing ravine system, and still has homes that sell for less than $700,000

A cool, growing Toronto neighbourhood you can afford

Every day seems to bring new news about the rising cost of buying a home in Toronto. This can make many of us feel like we’ve already been priced out of the market and may never own our own home—at least not without taking on a mortgage so large it prevents us from enjoying life’s small luxuries, like vacations and nights out to dinner and a movie. We might consider buying a home outside the city, but that means hours of our day spent commuting instead of spending time with family and friends.

But there are still some areas of Toronto that are more affordable than most, and with some help from the right financial partner, owning one of them is still a possibility.

One Toronto neighbourhood that’s safe, fun, and affordable is Rockcliffe-Smythe—possibly the last place in town where you don’t have to be a millionaire to own a detached home somewhat near the city core. Rockcliffe-Smythe runs from around St. Clair Avenue West north to Eglinton Avenue West, and from Weston Road to the Humber River. What was once farmland became a major development in the 1920s when the area was converted into a gravel pit. Once the pit was spent at the end of the Second World War, developers began building residential homes in the area, mainly for returning servicemen and their families.

A cool, growing Toronto neighbourhood you can afford

Today, Rockcliffe-Smythe is still made up mostly of single-family detached homes. Smythe Park today sits on the site of the one-time gravel pit, and is joined by several other green spaces, including Black Creek Park and Gaffney Park. In fact, Rockcliffe-Smythe’s western edge consists entirely of green space, including Lambton Park and Scarlett Woods golf courses. The area also offers many recreational facilities, including the Smythe Park Recreation and Community Centre, the York Community Centre, and the Smythe Park Outdoor Pool. Best of all, there’s an amazing ravine system with a variety of multi-use trails.

Major streets like Dundas, Jane, and St. Clair provide all major amenities, like grocery stores, banks, and drug stores, as well as a mixed variety of chain and mom-and-pop shops, including restaurants, bars, and several craft breweries. The hip but rapidly gentrifying Junction neighbourhood is just next door, as is the quickly growing Stockyards District, where you’ll find the Stock Yards Village, an outdoor shopping mall with more than 50 brand name stores.

Being close to St. Clair makes for easy streetcar access and a direct connection to both the University and Yonge subway lines, while the Dundas car and several busses run to the Bloor–Danforth line. The northern part of Rockcliffe-Smythe will soon be within walking distance of the new Eglinton Crosstown line, and if you like to cycle, the waterfront is a quick zip down the Humber River bike trail.

The average sale price of a home here is just under $700,000, with multiple-bedroom homes still selling for less than $800,000. That puts Rockcliffe-Smythe within reach for a lot of people who thought they might never be able to afford a house in the city. You can get even closer to your goal—and reduce a lot of the stress that comes with the homebuying experience—by choosing the right financial partner. We asked HSBC to tell us how they’re helping people navigate today’s real estate market and make their homebuying dream a reality.

“Buying a home is an important purchase,” says Barry Gollom, HSBC’s Senior Vice-President of Products and Customer Experience. “By offering one of the lowest mortgage rates in Canada, HSBC takes a lot of the personal stress out of a mortgage stress test.”

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HSBC wants to make sure you’re mortgaging your home and not your life. Getting a better rate can make a big difference in the long run—and not just in terms of helping you pay your mortgage down sooner. A lower mortgage rate can also put a few more dollars in your pocket each month to do with as you please, whether that’s spending it on a night out or investing it for the future. “We can help with TFSAs, GICs or even a monthly investment plan,” says Barry Gollom. “You work hard for your money, so HSBC wants to make sure your money works hard for you.”

Offering the lowest possible rate upfront not only speeds up the process of applying for a mortgage, but it also makes the overall experience less stressful, whether you’re taking out your first mortgage or have bought a home before. “People aren’t leaving the branch thinking, ‘I’m not comfortable negotiating. Did I get the best price?’ Why put someone though that stress when they’re already looking at a significant life investment?” Barry Gollom says. “Once someone goes out and shops around after seeing our rate, we’re often successful in earning their business.”

HSBC even gives you the time you need to look around and compare rates by offering a pre-approved mortgage rate for 120 days. With HSBC, you’ll never feel rushed to accept a rate before it expires.

Considering all the things that cause us stress during the process of taking out a mortgage, it’s good to know that, with a partner like HSBC, wondering whether you got the lowest rate isn’t something you’ll need to worry about. And with an HSBC branch nearby in The Kingsway, help is just a quick drive away.

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