Don’t know much about this south Etobicoke nabe? You’re not the only one—Mimico has been flying under the radar for a long time. But thanks to a wide range of housing and prices almost half of those found in some downtown ’hoods, first-time buyers are flocking here. Mimico’s location on the lake gives it a bucolic feel. And yet, it’s still on the Queen streetcar line, which runs along Lake Shore (or you can take the GO train a mere 10 minutes to Union Station).
HOUSING STOCK: There’s a wide range of styles and sizes, from lakeside mansions that at one time served as summer getaways for Toronto’s elite to more modest blue-collar bungalows.
BARGAIN ZONES: Look for smaller homes closer to the rail tracks that cut through the middle of the neighbourhood, or anything on the series of streets from Drummond to Albani between Royal York and Dwight, where you can get detached bungalows for about $375,000.
THE VERDICT: This burg was once strictly for blue hairs and blue collars. However, as the city core becomes out of reach for anyone without a trust fund or a serious drywalling fetish, Mimico’s suburb-in-the-city appeal increases. Of course, cheaper house prices come with a few trade-offs. Aside from a couple of noteworthy shops, the retail strip on Lake Shore is largely limited to a poorly planned, unattractive motel row, low-end nail salons and the usual dollar stores (though the high-end shops of Sherway Gardens are just a short trip west on the QEW).
NEIGHBOURHOOD HOT SPOTS:
Birds & Beans The easygoing café stocks fair-trade, organic, shade-grown, bird-friendly java and offers weekly jazz jams, which are also organic. 2413 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-913-9221.
Mimico Tennis Club Aspiring Rafael Nadals flock to Mimico Tennis for its red clay court. A rarity in Canada, clay courts are friendly to the knees and to beginners who need an extra second of response time. 29 George St., 416-657-2050.
Tatsu’s Bread Baker Tatsunobu Sato crafts organic artisanal breads, including a chewy walnut loaf. 3180 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-253-5557.
The Village Butcher Organic offerings from Ontario farms include eggs, meat, milk and ice cream. 2914 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-503-9555.
Article from Toronto Life Real Estate Guide February 2009.