toronto-ossington
Photo: James Bombales

Ever wonder what Toronto neighbourhoods are the best for parks? How about which provide the easiest access to public transit or are the friendliest for pedestrians and cyclists?

Since 2014, Montreal-based startup Local Logic has been analyzing Canadian neighbourhoods and providing insights that can help home shoppers answer those questions and more.

“We like to say we’re urban planners turned data scientists,” Local Logic CEO Vincent-Charles Hodder tells BuzzBuzzNews.

“We’re using a lot of urban-planning theory to understand how cities are being used and how they’re being perceived by citizens,” he adds.

Local Logic provides rankings for Canadian neighbourhoods right down to the street corner across more than a dozen categories ranging from how many cafes are nearby to how vibrant in general the area is.

For Canadian rankings (the company also does work south of the border) Local Logic draws on open data from municipal, provincial and federal governments. It partners with the private sector, purchases data and gathers its own as well.

“We’re using a lot of user-generated data — so feedback data — in order to improve our algorithms,” says Hodder. “we’re quite confident on the quality of our scores,” he adds.

Users can search specific addresses on Local Logic for free, and the startup also licenses data to real estate companies.

What makes a neighbourhood pedestrian-friendly might be obvious — the number of shops and services nearby, wide sidewalks, quiet traffic are among the factors. But what about the scoring for how “vibrant” a location is?

“There’s a lot of things that go into it,” Hodder admits, but generally it comes down to factors that will “drive some sort of activity within a neighbourhood,” including a transit line, for example.

“We also look at what are the activities? What are the things that you can do when you’re there, and how likely is it that people actually go there for that — so how many destinations are there within that specific area?” Hodder explains.

The CEO says social-demographic factors, such as income levels, are often “overexamined” and that neighbourhoods with valuable positive qualities get overlooked because of this.

Local Logic, he suggests, can help house hunters see past a neighbourhood’s “reputation.”

At BuzzBuzzHome’s request, Local Logic provided a list of the top five neighbourhoods in each category it evaluates. See the results below (repeat numbers indicate ties).

Pedestrian Friendly

1. Church-Yonge Corridor
1. North St. James Town
3. Kensington-Chinatown
4. Bay Street Corridor
5. Moss Park

Car Friendly

1. West Humber-Clairville
2. Henry Farm
3. Eringate-Centennial-West Deane
4. Highland Creek
5. Banbury-Don Mills

Shopping

1. Bay Street Corridor
2. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. North St. James Town
2. Kensington-Chinatown
2. Trinity-Bellwoods

Cycling Friendly

1. North St. James Town
1. Palmerston-Little Italy
3. Trinity-Bellwoods
4. Kensington-Chinatown
5. University

Parks

1. North St. James Town
2. Rosedale-Moore Park
3. Cabbagetown-South St. James Town
4. Flemingdon Park
5. Elms-Old Rexdale

Nightlife

1. Trinity-Bellwoods
2. Kensington-Chinatown
3. Church-Yonge Corridor
4. Bay Street Corridor
5. Palmerston-Little Italy

Transit Friendly

1. Bay Street Corridor
2. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. North St. James Town
2. Kensington-Chinatown
5. University

Groceries

1. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. Regent Park
3. Kensington-Chinatown
4. Bay Street Corridor
5. North St. James Town

Restaurants

1. Bay Street Corridor
1. Annex
1. Cabbagetown-South St. James Town
4. Church-Yonge Corridor
4. North St. James Town

Cafes

1. Bay Street Corridor
2. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. Kensington-Chinatown
4. University
5. North St. James Town

High Schools

1. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. North St. James Town
3. Mount Pleasant West
4. Palmerston-Little Italy
5. University

Day Cares

1. Danforth
2. Taylor-Massey
3. Runnymede-Bloor West Village
4. Playter Estates Danforth
5. Trinity-Bellwoods

Quiet

1. Danforth East York
2. Guildwood
3. Princess-Rosethorn
4. Woodbine-Lumsden
5. Danforth

Primary Schools

1. Little Portugal
2. Kensington-Chinatown
3. Weston-Pellam Park
4. Runnywood-Bloor West Village
5. Regent Park

Vibrant

1. Church-Yonge Corridor
2. Kensington-Chinatown
3. Bay Street Corridor
4. University
5. North St. James Town

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