Urbs vs. Burbs

Six families defend their visions of the ideal life in and around the GTA

Deciding where to live in the GTA was fraught even before sky-high prices and rock-bottom supply turned searching for real estate into a battle royale. Everyone wants a prime location, a good deal and ample space, but absent a Roy family–sized trust fund, we usually have to cave on one or two must-haves. Want that big yard and second bathroom? Better be ready to move off the subway line. Dreaming of a downtown dwelling close to work and surrounded by restaurants? Get used to the condo elevator and the sounds of bickering neighbours through the walls.

And yet, despite the compromises, everyone thinks their decision is best. We found five families—a lively mix of proud sub­urbanites, devoted downtowners and committed ­renters—who are thoroughly convinced that their way is the superior way. Who’s most right? That’s up to you.

This story appears in the July 2023 issue of Toronto Life magazineTo subscribe for just $39.99 a year, click here. To purchase single issues, click here.