GTA Community Profile - North York City Centre

GTA Community Profile - North York City Centre

Tuesday May 10th, 2022


Toronto's North York City Centre is one of the most desired neighbourhoods for international students and many young people who are new to the Greater Toronto Area to settle in.
In this GTA Community profile, we will explore why North York City Centre is so attractive to students and new immigrants.

North York City Centre Community Location and Transportation

When students or new immigrants mention that they live in North York, they are generally referring to the central part of North York, also known as North York City Centre. The community is located north of Highway 401, a major east-west artery, and Yonge Street, the main street in Toronto.  The North York City Centre neighbourhood refers to the two blocks between Yonge St & Finch and Yonge St & Sheppard.

North York Geographical Area

By SimonP - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The City of North York is located north of the City of Toronto.  Due to the city’s extensive transportation network, North York is considered the heart of the Greater Toronto Area.  Under normal traffic conditions, travelling from North York to any part of the Greater Toronto Area only takes about half an hour.

Highway 401 runs east-west across the GTA. The stretch of Highway 401 across North York is one of the busiest highways in North America, with average daily traffic of 400,000 vehicles.

Another major artery, Highway 404, which runs north-south through the city, is also only about a 10-minute drive from North York City Centre.

Travelling up north to popular Chinese communities such as Markham and Richmond Hill is very convenient, as Finch is the terminus station for the Finch GO Bus. The North York City Centre community is served by three subway stations on the TTC Line 1 Yonge-University subway line: Finch TTC Subway Station, North York Centre Station, and Sheppard-Yonge Station.   Travelling southbound to downtown Toronto only takes about half an hour, which makes the subway ride faster, more convenient, and more economical than driving.  

North York City Centre has excellent access to most post-secondary institutions located in Downtown Toronto, such as the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. It is also in proximity to York University (9 km), Centennial College's School of Aviation (7 km), and Seneca College (7 km).

North York City Centre's central geographical location and its vast transportation network attracts many post-secondary school students, young workers, and new migrants looking for a convenient location to settle in. 

North York City Centre Community Environment

With its unique geographical location and transportation advantages, North York City Centre has developed into one of the most prosperous business districts outside Downtown Toronto.  The area now has many thriving restaurants, coffee shops, and a wide variety of retail stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls.

In addition to being a hub for shopping, North York City Centre is home to many high-rise office towers which house many world-renowned companies, such as Proctor and Gamble (P&G) and Nestle.

North York City Centre Environment

By PFHLai - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Asian cuisine dominates the restaurant scene in this area, especially Korean food. Hence, this area is also known as "Korean Town". Many of these restaurants and coffee shops in this area are open late, so there is always something interesting happening at night.

Two shopping malls are located next to the North York Centre Subway Station, which are connected by an underground passage and have direct access to the station.  To the east is Empress Walk, where you can find major supermarkets, Loblaws, and Cineplex Cinemas.  The other shopping mall, North York Centre, shares the same building as the North York Central Library, which is Greater Toronto Area's second-largest public library, and North York Centre's, a twin tower office complex that includes hotel, retail, and commercial space.

North York Central Library is a local cultural hub. The area surrounding North York Civic Centre Complex and Mel Lastman Square is dotted with cultural venues such as Meridian Arts Centre, the Toronto District School Board headquarters, and Gibson House Museum.

North York Central Library

By PFHLai - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The North York City Centre, strictly speaking, is located in the official neighbourhoods of Willowdale West, Willowdale East, and Lansing.  

North York City Map

These neighbourhoods are rich in green space, where city parks such as Bathurst Park, Finch Avenue Hydro Corridor, Addington Greenbelt, Earl Bales Park, the Hinder Property, and the Stuart Greenbelt are located.  Most of these green spaces are scattered around the Don Valley, forming a green belt spanning more than 30,000 hectares in the GTA.

North York Centre Schools and Catchment Area

Willowdale and Lansing, where North York City Centre is located, have two top public secondary schools: Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts, and Earl Haig Secondary School.  Both schools offer arts programs, sports, and extracurricular activities, and both have an excellent academic reputation and are consistently ranked among the best schools in Canada. 

Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts is a Catholic arts school, and is ranked #12 in the most recent Fraser Institute report.  The school offers education from grade 7 through grade 12, and offers four art majors in music, drama, dance, and visual arts.  Students need to audition during the admission process. After graduation, students can obtain both the high school graduation certificate, and an Arts level certificate.

North York Cardinal Carter Arts Fraser Institute Ranking

Earl Haig Secondary School is currently one of the largest public high schools in Ontario, with over 2000 students.  Its most recent Fraser Institute ranking is #21, and the proportion of ESL students is 18.8%. The school offers two types of programs: the Claude Watson Art Program and the Enrichment Program. The former is a prestigious arts program for gifted students who want to pursue their artistic career in either fine arts or design. It was established in 1998, and is named after Claude Watson, a Canadian artist and educator. The latter is a specialized program which provides enrichment opportunities for students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), business, health sciences, and humanities.

Earl Haig Fraser Institute School Ranking

The Earl Haig Secondary School catchment has some well-known junior high schools and elementary schools. Among them is McKee Public School, which is ranked #71 out of 1338 schools in the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). With the high quality elementary school and secondary school in the neighbourhood, many parents who are concerned about their children's education like to live in this area. 

Earl Haig Secondary School Catchment

North York City Centre Demographics

According to the most recent census profile, there were 45450 people living in North York City Centre, 7 times more than the average density across Toronto. 

Of those residents, approximately 71% identified themselves as married, similar to the numbers in Toronto and Ontario. Family with children is 37%, slightly less than the average across Toronto and Ontario.  Approximately 52% are aged 20-44, with a median age of 36.5 years old, which is 7% younger than the median age in Toronto.

In terms of the ethnic minority, 32.3% identified themselves as being Chinese, followed by 15% who identified themselves as Western Asian, and 13% who identified themselves as Korean. The top three immigrant groups by place of birth are Mainland China with 13.8%, Iran with 13.4%, and South Korea with 9.1%.

The median annual household income is $63,140, which is a big gap from the Ontario median household income of $91,540 in 2019. About 64% of the population has an annual household income of less than $80,000, and one-third of this group earns less than $20,000.
Interestingly, census data shows that 83% of residences have a college degree or higher, compared to 52.6% in Toronto. This may be because many students and young people looking for work choose to live in North York, so these residents have a high degree of education but have not yet found their ideal high-paying job.

North York City Centre Real Estate Market

The most common property type in North York City Centre is condo apartment. According to the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board, in March 2022, the average selling price of a condo in Willowdale East was $831,989.  The average selling price of a condo in the Willowdale West community was $861,242, and the average selling price of an apartment in Lansing was $778,840.

When we compare the average apartment prices in several other neighbourhoods where students and office workers favour in Downtown Toronto, notably Bay Street Corridor ($1,074,442), Waterfront Communities C1 ($889,159), and Waterfront Communities C8 ($1,002,019), prices are relatively lower in North York City Centre.
With its easy access in all directions, an apartment in the North York City Centre community is a wise choice for both self-residence and investment.

Buying and Selling Toronto Real Estate

Whether you are buying your first condo, or selling a single-family home, Team Priscilla Han Realty can help you.

We are proud to serve the whole Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including but not limited to the CIty of Toronto, North York, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Aurora, Scarborough, Mississauga, Oakville , Pickering, and Oshawa.

We help research properties that are best tailored for home buyers, providing them with instant notification of newly available properties, access to exclusive deals that are not on the MLS.  

For property sellers, we have a database of thousands of buyers-in-wait, 20,000+ combined subscribers on YouTube TouTiao. Our "Your Home Sold Guaranteed, or I'll Buy It" program provides seller with a worry-free selling process. Our professional staging, photography, and videography service help sellers present their property at their best and maximize exposure to potential buyers!

Reach out to us at, or call/text: 647-360-8963 for a free consultation or home evaluation. Visit our website, for more up - to - date videos, blogs, and listings.



Post a comment