When a neighbourhood bears a name like Willowdale, you might expect a laid back and slightly rural feel. While this may have been true in the past for this community in Toronto, the label hardly applies today. The explosive growth of the city, along with the amalgamation of North York and four other communities to form the mega city of Toronto a few years ago, has meant big changes in the Willowdale landscape.

The kind of change that has occurred within this community cannot help but affect further change in Etobicoke real estate. The neighbourhood continues to have single-family standalone dwellings as its primary residential type, but today prospective buyers can expect to find high-rise condominiums and condominium town homes as well.

As far as those standalone homes go, Willowdale has the distinction of being the first community in Canada to have what locals call "monster homes". These are the newest standalone houses in the community, built on plots of land that formerly contained a few smaller residences. Beginning in the 1990s, these homes began to be torn down in favour of the large two-storey structures. Still, there are several single-family dwellings to be found in Etobicoke homes that were built during the first half of the 20th century are plentiful.

So what about those high-rise complexes? Well, condos North York, at least in the Willowdale community, can only be found along Yonge Street due to neighbourhood restrictions. This arrangement suits all homeowners just fine. Urban professionals can still find power high-rise homes close to major centres of work and play, while Willowdale families maintain the views enjoyed from their houses for almost a century.

Willowdale living probably offers the most eclectic mix of reasonably priced homes near to the heart of the city of Toronto as can be found in any neighbourhood of the city. Restricted development has meant that the community has retained some of its suburbia feel, even if the rural has been lost.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018