While New York City and Paris might fulfill our fantasy of what true luxury can look like, the reality is that Canadians have some incredibly extravagant neighbourhoods close to home. The great Canadian cities have plenty of luxury to be found, and these neighbourhoods are among the best of the best. They are home to athletes, doctors, lawyers, and the business movers and shakers of Canada. Power-brokers, the fabulously rich, the famous, and their peers call these neighbourhoods home.
Toronto: The Bridle Path
One step on to the Bridle Path and you’ll realize that you’re in one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in Canada. The homes are uniformly palatial, and include everything from ultra-modern architecture to homes more reminiscent of a medieval castle.
The Bridle Path had to come first on this list because it is unquestionably the wealthiest, and most expensive neighbourhood in Canada. The lot sizes are measured in acres, not feet, and the wealth is practically dripping off the gated estates. Located just east of Bayview around Lawrence, this neighbourhood has been home to wealthy people from all walks of life, including Conrad Black and the musician, Prince. Homes in the neighbourhood typically start at over $2 million, but some of the most opulent homes have sold for upwards of $20 million.
Rosedale is a beautiful and upscale neighbourhood found north of Toronto’s downtown. While Bridle Path might be flashier, according to many, Rosedale is classier. This is the traditional neighbourhood that has been home to many of the most important and wealthiest families in Ontario for generations. In Europe, the residents would certainly be thought of as part of the “old money” class of citizens.
This historic and elegant neighbourhood is almost completely isolated from the madness that can come with life in the big city. Tucked in between a series of ravines, almost all the land in the neighbourhood not occupied by houses is green space, with old growth trees isolating the residents from the clamor of the rest of the city.
Ottawa: Rockcliffe Park
Rockcliffe Park is a stunning neighbourhood in the nation’s capital. It is home to some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country. Like many of the luxury neighbourhoods in Canada, much of the area has been left wooded, although the trees are interspersed with large lots and expansive mansions.
One reason that Rockcliffe Park has become such an enclave for the rich and powerful is the privacy that it offers. The lack of sidewalks means that there is relatively little foot traffic. The community has very limited road access as well, which helps keep away people who don’t actually live in the community, offering extreme privacy and seclusion for its wealthy residents. The most important home in the area is Stornoway, the house reserved for the leader of the official Opposition Party.
Ottawa: New Edinburgh
New Edinburgh, like Rockcliffe Park, is a neighbourhood where the luxury of the neighbourhood is in part because of the power of the people who call the neighbourhood home. 24 Sussex Drive, the official home of the Prime Minister, is found in this part of the capital. Numerous ambassadors from foreign countries and other high-ranking officials call this area home. It’s hard to call a neighborhood anything less than luxurious when one of the neighbours is the leader of the country.
New Edinburgh allows residents the ability to enjoy one of the most beautiful features in the city of Ottawa, as the Rideau River forms the western boundary to the neighbourhood.
Vancouver: Shaughnessy Heights
Although Vancouver is a very modern city with a great deal of new money, it still has a handful of enclaves full of older mansions and a history of luxury. Shaughnessy Heights is certainly the foremost among these. With an average household net worth of $7.82 million, this neighbourhood in the very center of Vancouver is home to some of the most influential people in the city.
This area has the highest average price-per-home in the city. The typical home averages a price of $3.09 million. The neighbourhood was founded by the Canadian Pacific Railway as the company aimed to create a new and highly exclusive real estate pocket within Vancouver.
Vancouver: West Bay & Sandy Cove
In most coastal cities, at least one of the truly elite neighbourhoods is likely to have a waterfront view. In Vancouver, one of the most luxurious of all the waterfront communities is the West Bay & Sandy Cove area, located in West Vancouver.
With breathtaking views of the Georgia Straight and houses that tend to be examples of the best in modern high-end architecture, the West Bay & Sandy Cove is perfect for the modern city dweller who wants to revel in their lifestyle.
Montreal: Laval-sur-le Lac
If your idea of luxury brings to mind spacious, well-groomed estates without a blade of grass out of place, private golf clubs and waterfront property, then you will be very happy in Laval-sur-le-Lac. The Rivier-des-Prairies provides the backdrop for some of the most spectacular waterfront views in the country. In addition, Le Club Laval-sur-le-Lac is a legendary francophone golf club.
The large draw of Laval-sur-le-Lac is the suburban feel to the neighbourhood. It is more spacious and airy than many other luxury neighbourhoods buried in the central areas of Canada’s large cities. For those looking for a quiet getaway in one of the most vibrant cities in the country, Laval-sur-le-Lac is certainly a great choice.
Montreal: Westmount Summit
Most of Westmount could be considered among the most luxurious parts of Montreal, but Westmount Summit is where the elite of the elite make their homes. The Summit itself is actually one of the three peaks of the famous Mont Royal, from which the neighbourhood takes its name.
Westmount is located right on the island of Montreal, and is the wealthiest of the Anglophone communities in the city. Like several of the other neighbourhoods on this list, it has been known as one the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the country. Old-world brick and stone construction is typical. Important Canadian citizens, including Brian Mulroney and Marc Garneau, the first Canadian astronaut to make it into space, have at various times called the neighbourhood home.
While Bridle Path might be the most extravagant neighbourhood in the country, Calgary’s Britannia wins the prize for highest income-per-resident. Tellingly, the residents have an average household income of over 1.45 million dollars, which should speak to the kind of homes found in the area.
The most spectacular homes in the area sit overlooking the Riverdale park. The elite Calgary Golf and Country Club is where many of the city’s elite go to enjoy their leisure time. In addition, Britannia has a community feel, with a high-end shopping district in the Shoppes of Britannia. This lets the neighbourhood blend an upscale shopping district with luxury homes, something many of the tucked away enclaves do not accomplish.
Calgary: Bel Aire & Mayfair
With an average home price of $1.35 million dollars, Bel Aire & Mayfair have certainly earned a place on this list. The average home in this part of Calgary tops 4,000 square feet in size. While spectacular and luxurious neighbourhoods in their own right, Bel Air and Mayfair are known for the amazing views they offer residents of the rest of the city. The junction of the Glenmore Reservoir and the Elbow River’s twisting roads offer some of the most scenic vistas in Calgary.
Winnipeg: South Tuxedo
With an average house price that tops the million-dollar mark, Old Tuxedo certainly has earned a place in the most luxurious Canadian neighbourhoods. Although some would lump South Tuxedo and Old Tuxedo into the same category, most locals would disagree.
Winnipeg: Old Tuxedo
Closing out our list is the neighbourhood of Old Tuxedo in Winnipeg. The Assiniboine River and Assiniboine Park ensure that this neighbourhood has its share of natural beauty to accompany the stunning pre-WW II houses that line the quiet streets. The average household in Old Tuxedo has a net worth of 4.23 million, and houses average an asking price of $569,425.
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