Aurora & Newmarket: Close to Toronto, but far from the hustle of city life
With some homebuyers priced out of the downtown Toronto core, not to mention limited availability, many are heading to the suburbs in search of more affordable homes.
Those looking north – to Aurora and Newmarket – may indeed find savings. They may also get more bang for their buck, in the way of larger properties and lots for those prices.
But it isn’t all about paying less in Aurora and Newmarket, where proximity to nature, including the Oak Ridges Moraine, and expanding highway and transit infrastructure, make living here and working in Toronto an appealing option.
Located in York Region, Aurora is an increasingly popular and affluent town. According to the 2016 Census, the population here grew 4.2 per cent from 2011 to 55,445 – but is forecast to grow to more than 69,000 by 2020.
With an average household income of more than $155,000, Aurora is one of the wealthiest towns, not just in the province, but in all of Canada.
What’s causing such growth? An increasingly diverse economy and business expansion, which drive housing demand and rising prices.
Through it all, Aurora has been able to maintain a small-town feel. In 2016, it was ranked as one of the Top 25 places to live in Canada.
Still, the October 2018 municipal election brought change to Aurora. Tom Mrakas unseated incumbent Geoff Dawe, running on a platform centred around housing and growth. He had said he wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He also intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment and improve municipal infrastructure.
Located just seven kms north of Aurora, with a population of more than 85,000, Newmarket, too, gets lots of love.
In a recent survey conducted by the Town, 95 per cent of residents said they are satisfied with Newmarket as a place to live, and 80 per cent are satisfied with overall service levels.
“The feedback received from the Community Survey results support Newmarket’s reputation as one of the Best Places to Live in Canada, according to MoneySense Magazine,” says Mayor John Taylor.
Like neighbouring Aurora, Newmarket was ranked in the top 25 communities in Canada in 2016 and 14th among best small cities. In 2017, Amazon Canada rated it as number 20 of the top 100 most romantic cities in Canada.
Also, as was the case with Aurora, the elections last year brought change to Newmarket, when then-Mayor Tony Van Bynen decided not to seek re-election. John Taylor took over, making the economy, business growth, community building and expanding new housing developments his top priorities.
Location, location, location
• Aurora, population 55,445, 49 kms north of Toronto
• Newmarket, population 84,224, 7 kms north of Aurora