By Laurie MacIsaac

It’s no surprise to anyone living in Centennial that we live in one of the best neighbourhoods in the city. But does a “semi-scientific” study of the 158 communities that make up Toronto reflect our feelings? It turns out the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes” in many important categories.

Toronto Life magazine recently released its 2023 neighbourhood review, which sourced data from Environics Analytics, Open Data Toronto (City of Toronto) and Statistics Canada. The magazine rated each neighbourhood in 10 areas and assigned a weight to each category.  Housing (15%), Community (12%), Safety (12%), Shopping (10%), Diversity (9%), Education (9%), Health (9%), Employment (8%), Entertainment (8%), and Transit (8%).

The article includes a tool with which you can adjust the weight of each category so that you can focus on areas important to you, which helped me do some analysis.

Looking at the overall numbers, Centennial came in 66th of 158 neighbourhoods. My first thought was that the results were incorrect. How could our wonderful little neighbourhood be rated so, well, “meh”? I wanted to find out more.

Digging in a little deeper we can see that we rated exceptionally in important areas like Housing 5th, Safety 3rd, and Employment 3rd. Apart from Community (43rd, close to the top quarter), we were weak in the remaining categories: Entertainment 87th, Diversity 91st, Health 93rd, Education 118th, Shopping 149th and Transit 154th.

Focusing on our strengths, a quick look at the stats shows us that if the rankings were based solely on Housing, Employment and Safety, we are the BEST neighbourhood in the city. That is impressive!

In the article accompanying the results of the study, Toronto Life highlighted Centennial several times. We have the highest percentage of homeowners in the city, we were included in a group of areas with the fastest rising property values, and we were mentioned as one of four neighbourhoods with no highrises, all of which may have contributed to our high housing ranking.

But what about the areas where we are lacking? I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see how poorly we rate in the transit category. We are one of the neighbourhoods furthest from a subway station, and this rating will not likely budge, even with the implementation of the Scarborough Subway Extension. Shopping is ranked poorly as well. We are passionate about supporting our local businesses, but we do have to travel for access to larger stores.

It was a fun exercise to go through the ranking tool to see how we compare to other neighbourhoods, and adjusting the weights of the categories to see the areas in which we excel. I have included the links below so that you can do the same. But do you really need to? We all know which neighbourhood is the best in the city!

Toronto Life Article

Neighbourhood Ranking Tool