Many people throughout Southwestern Ontario live in one municipality, but work in another — some rely on the GO Train for their daily commute to the office. GO Transit sees approximately 268,000 passengers travelling through the GO Transit system on any given weekday, with the majority of these riders making their way to downtown Toronto.
Whether you’re in the market to purchase a home or find an apartment, Toronto is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. In an effort to save money on housing, people are willing to give up a few extra hours of their day to commute from within the Greater Toronto Area and make their way into the downtown core. Commuting by transit is generally the cheapest option of travelling, but takes inevitably longer than driving.
The number of people making long commutes and living away from the downtown area continues to rise as Toronto’s housing affordability declines. As people move further from the city, they generally see the cost of owning a home decrease, along with lower mortgage borrowing costs.
However, the compromises between the costs of commuting and the cost of carrying a home depend on where you buy, because commuting in itself has a cost in both time and money. As someone who spent almost two years commuting from Kitchener to Toronto via GO Train, I can confidently say there’s a price to pay for the lower cost of living. Waking up before 5am, getting home late, and spending an average of four hours a day on the train isn’t the most ideal lifestyle long-term.
Is living outside the city really worth the commute? That really depends who you ask. But how much are you willing to spend to live by the most convenient GO Train stations, and how far from Toronto are you willing to go?
BuzzBuzzHome collected the average 2017 and 2018 prices for houses and condos within a 5 kilometer radius, an approximate 10-minute drive from all 66 GO Train stations. Data was sourced from BuzzBuzzHome listings.
According to the findings, the Barrie and Lakeshore West GO train lines offered the most affordable options. The Allandale Waterfront Station on the Barrie Line, as well as the West Harbour and Hamilton stations along Lakeshore West, offer the most affordable homes with average prices hitting below the $500,000 mark. Stations on the south portion of the Barrie Line are the opposite. There, home buyers are paying an average of $2,000,000 for new construction homes near King City, Aurora, Rutherford and Maple GO Train stations.
As for condos, the best pricing can also be found near stations on the Barrie and Lakeshore West lines, averaging around $407,000. However, the least expensive condos can be found by Kitchener Station on the Kitchener Line at an average of $370,502.
The most expensive new construction condos can unsurprisingly be found at stations closer to Union, specifically on the Lakeshore West Line — Oakville at $1,441,446, Exhibition at $1,091,666 and Port Credit at $1,010,471. Bloor Station on the Kitchener Line and Markham Station on the Stouffville Line still make the top five, but under the $1 million mark at $919,832 and $828,390 respectively.
5 most affordable GO Train stations for houses:
- Allandale Waterfront (Barrie Line): $444,554
- West Harbour (Lakeshore West Line): $498,789
- Hamilton (Lakeshore West Line): $498,789
- Clarkson (Lakeshore West Line): $539,588
- Barrie South (Barrie Line): $584,950
5 least affordable GO Train stations for houses:
- King City (Barrie Line): $2,725,990
- Aurora (Barrie Line): $2,242,195
- Rutherford (Barrie Line): $2,171,038
- Maple (Barrie Line): $2,130,655
- Langstaff (Richmond Hill Line): $2,103,149
5 most affordable GO Train stations for condos:
- Kitchener (Kitchener Line): $370,502
- Hamilton (Lakeshore West Line): $393,130
- West Harbour (Lakeshore West Line): $400,306
- Barrie South (Barrie Line): $416,169
- Allandale Waterfront (Barrie Line): $420,436
5 least affordable GO Train stations for condos:
- Oakville (Lakeshore West Line): $1,441,446
- Exhibition (Lakeshore West Line): $1,091,666
- Port Credit (Lakeshore West Line): $1,010,471
- Bloor (Kitchener Line): $919,832
- Markham (Stouffville Line): $828,390