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News 4 years ago

Toronto vs. The World

What does $2 million get you, around the world?

It’s almost impossible to be unaware of the value in Toronto’s housing market. The on-fire real estate sector is top of mind for most Torontonians, whether they’re looking to buy, sell or simply live in Canada’s largest city. Much has been said about the state of things when it comes to real estate prices, but as a global contender, how does Toronto really measure up?

When looking at the cost of property in a particular city in the world, it is most often reported as “prime residential value” by the OECD, global organizations including real estate consultancy Knight Frank and global real estate provider Savills, and other groups that track the cost of housing.

Prime residential values (sometimes called the prime residential index) are calculated using a basket of desirable properties in a given area to generate an average cost per square foot, or metre. This system is most often used in cities where international property investment affects the market. According to Savills Research, the top five cities are Hong Kong (all territories including Kowloon and the New Territories) at $6,100 sq/ft, New York City at $3,254 sq/ft, Geneva, home to the largest number of NGOs and biggest non-taxed population in Europe at $2,513 sq/ft, London (which remains in the top five on the heels of Brexit while moving into some uncharted territory given England’s extraction from the European Union) at $2,380 sq/ft, and finally Sydney, Australia at $2,070 sq/ft**.

But what does it all mean when it comes to buying property? What does that cost per square foot translate to when looking for a place to live?

We’ve compiled a list of 10 global cities, including Toronto and Vancouver, and have broken down what you can expect to get for roughly $2 million — from neighbourhood, to number of bedrooms, to services nearby.

Looks like in Toronto VS the World, Hogtown is coming out on top.

From homes with a three-car garage and twice as many bathrooms to studio-sized condos, $2 million can go a long, or a little way.




In the Moore Park (Yonge and St. Clair) neighbourhood, only 15 minutes from Yonge and Bloor, $1.9 million will get you a single-family, semi-detached home with four bedrooms, over three floors. With a 3,400 square-foot footprint, the midtown haven is in a top-rated school district and close to three private schools.


In a city made up of three distinct territories, a one-bedroom and one-bathroom condo in Hong Kong Island Mid-Level West will cost, on average, $2.1 million. Roughly 600 square feet, on a high-floor and recently renovated, it’s only 20 minutes to the city centre.


Manhattan’s Columbus Circle is right in the thick of the midtown magic. At the base of Central Park it’s minutes from the MoMA, the Upper West, and Upper East sides, 5th Avenue, as well as 15 minutes to Lower Manhattan and 20 minutes to the financial district. For $1.9 million you can expect to find a roughly 1,200 square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo with a doorman, fitness centre and elevator.


Whether travelling by London’s Underground, or Overground transit, it is a mere 30 minutes from London City Centre to Upper Riverside on the Greenwich Peninsula where you can find a 1,200 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo for $1.8 million. The fitness centre, pool and panoramic views of the river are the in-condo amenities, while shops and entertainment are further afield in the town of Greenwich itself.


Thirty minutes from famed Les Halles is the city’s 16th arrondissement and Passy neighbourhood. There, for $1.9 million, you can find a three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 1,400 square-foot apartment. No elevator, but an intercom, the buildings are secure, the area is family-friendly, and it’s close to arts and culture including the contemporary art gallery Palais de Tokyo.


The city’s neighbourhoods can be hit or miss, but for $1.8 million in Yaletown, one can find a 1,100 square-foot condo with one bedroom, two bathrooms, a private deck, an outdoor pool and concierge. Only 10 minutes from downtown, it’s centrally located with accessible everyday amenities including post offices and grocery stores.


A bit removed from the city centre (35 minutes by car), the Pleasure Point neighbourhood offers a good school district and ample public outdoor space to enjoy. For $2.3 million, you can find a 3,200 square-foot fully-detached home with five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a three-car garage.


Geneva’s Chene-Bougeries neighbourhood is accessible by transit and is only 20 minutes from downtown (although 40 minutes from the UNESCO head office and other NGO headquarters). A 1,400 square-foot apartment with multiple-balconies, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, in a secure building would cost roughly $2.2 million.


Only three minutes from downtown, the Marina Bay neighbourhood and condos have great views and amenities like a pool, fitness centre and tennis courts. For $1.8 million you can find a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 700 square-foot condo.


In legendary Laurel Canyon, $2 million can get you a fully-detached 1,300 square-foot home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, Spanish-style architecture and hiking trails, schools and services a stone’s throw away. It’s a 30 minute drive to downtown, even in L.A. traffic.

*all prices are in Canadian dollars.

** The Ten data is from multiple global real estate sources including, and