The Durham Region is one of the most desirable places to live in all of Ontario right now.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and because of the opportunities there, the metropolitan area has grown over the years to have some of the best places to live. Several communities in the Durham Region serve as the perfect community to settle down in with the ability to commute to other larger cities. They’re also great places to live and work from, raise a family, enjoy the quiet countryside, or find a beautiful home with a view of Lake Ontario.

Dan Plowman has been the #1 Real Estate Agent in the Durham Region for years, and his professional and dedicated team have dominated the real estate market here. Through experience, they know each community's market and what life here offers, because they know every household has unique needs.

From small towns to large cities, here are some of the best communities to live in near Toronto, in the Durham Region.


Oshawa, with a population close to 200,000 people, is the largest city in the Durham Region.

This has made Oshawa a central hub of its own, with many people that live in the area commuting here for work. It’s a thriving area with plenty of career opportunities, and remains easily commutable to Toronto as well. Wherever you work, Oshawa is a perfectly sized city for many, and more affordable than other major cities nearby.

The location and surrounding area is ideal for many, but so are the services, amenities, and homes found in Oshawa. There are three post secondary schools in Oshawa, making it one of the most popular choices for students continuing their education. Once graduated, sectors in fields like advanced manufacturing, health technology, logistics, energy, and IT are all experiencing growth in Oshawa. Even the Canadian headquarters for General Motors Canada is found here.

With both older neighbourhoods and recently developed ones, there are plenty of distinct subdivisions here with different property types at flexible price points.

Parks, walking trails, conservation areas, public swimming pools, community centres, and sports facilities allow for as much play as there is practical living, learning, and working. And of course, Lake Ontario means life in Oshawa offers a lake lifestyle for unforgettable summers and a great way to spend sunny days with friends and family.

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Clarington is a lower-tier municipality in the Durham Region, but the population here is still roughly 100,000.

Located very close to Oshawa, about 20 minutes by car, Clarington is a comfortably sized city that gives residents everything they need with everything else close by.

Clarington is made up of several communities that offer home buyers a chance to live in different locations to offer different lifestyles. Bowmanville and Courtice are two of the most popular communities in Clarington.

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Just a short drive away from the heart of Clarington, Bowmanville is a popular community in the Durham Region. Established in the mid-1800’s this is a town with a rich history that continues to grow and be a place for families.

All of the shopping, dining, and entertainment in Clarington and Oshawa are readily accessible to the residents of Bowmanville. This is a small town with big city opportunities, and the spectacular Lake Ontario and it’s shoreline covers the south of the community.

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Courtice, like Bowmanville, is a small town community located between the two incredible cities of Oshawa and Clarington and Lake Ontario.

Bowmanville is a hip city with a love for art, and Courtice is a family-friendly neighborhood and a superb place to raise kids. With several facilities, parks, and programs that foster athletic ability, as well as promote physical health, it’s a fun place to grow up. Lake Ontario doesn’t hurt either.

Of course, families looking for a place to live need education options, and Courtice has over ten schools.

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Pickering is another large city in the Durham Region, with a population close to 100,000 people. Pickering is a similar city in size and beauty to Clarington, offering picturesque views of both Lake Ontario and heavily forested areas.

Pickering is 45 kilometres west of Clarington, giving home buyers looking to the Durham Region even more flexibility. This is a chance to live in a similarly sized city but live much closer to the big city energy that Toronto has to offer.

Pickering is mostly rural communities to the north, suburban streets in the city, and beautiful lakeside living to the south. Pickering is a wonderful place to live, whether you’re a family looking to settle, a couple interested in a condo unit, or a working professional buying your first home.

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The population here in Whitby is close to 150,000, and the residents here can choose exactly the life they hope for.

The northern area of Whitby is ideal for those that love rural life. With open countryside, the homes here can include acreages and suburban homes with large yards. Brooklin is one popular community located north of downtown Whitby that offers this kind of lifestyle.

To the south, it is a hub of business and urban areas. There are many homes here, but also condo and townhouse developments. There’s also lakeside living, although much of the shoreline of Lake Ontario here is dedicated to the scenic walking path. Whitby has the longest uninterrupted stretch of lakeside trail than any other area.

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Brooklin is the most northern community of Whitby. Life here is incredibly peaceful and quiet, with quick access to surrounding towns and Lake Ontario.

The real estate market here is incredibly hot right now. The properties here reflect small town life in the country. The plots of land are very large, with picturesque views and affordable prices. This was once a quaint community in the country, but with the rapid growth of Whitby, Brooklin is growing as well.

Investing in property in Brooklin now means owning prime real estate in what is soon to be a vibrant and thriving Durham Region town.

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Named after the HMS Ajax, a Royal navy cruiser, Ajax is a lakeside community situated between Pickering and Whitby. This means Ajax has two popular communities on either side of it, beautiful lakeside living to the south, and rolling countryside to the north.

Within the city limits of Ajax, the downtown core has recently seen a revitalization of residential, retail, and office space. The surrounding area is made up of roughly 30 neighborhood communities, like Applecroft, Carruthers Creek, Lakeside, and Pickering Village.

With five high schools, several elementary schools, and a population that continues to grow every year, this is a go to Durham Region community for home buyers.

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Are you considering buying or selling a home in the Durham Region? We can help! Contact us online or call 905-668-1511 to speak to one of our local real estate experts today!

Alyssa Mitchell, Durham Region Realtor

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