Pros and Cons of Living in Whitby, Ontario

Pros and cons of living in Whitby

Did you know that Whitby, ON has two sister cities, Feldrich in Austria and Longueuil in Canada? While it is not entirely uncommon to have a sister city, the fact that one of Whitby’s sister cities is in another country makes it quite special. This allows for increased cultural awareness and educational, commercial, and developmental partnerships. Known for its natural harbor on Lake Ontario, the city has a growing population and a thriving economy.

According to the rankings by Macleans, the city of Whitby is the 31st best place to live in Ontario, Canada. However, when it comes to relocating to a new place, there are many more features to consider other than high rankings. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of living in Whitby, ON to help you make a calculated decision.

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1. Commuting Convenience

One of the primary reasons why people move to Whitby, ON is because of its proximity to Downtown Toronto and other economic hubs in the region. This makes it a great commuter town for people working outside of Whitby, ON. The city is well connected via Highway 401 and 407. Therefore, allowing an easy commute to cities in the west. If you are traveling by personal transport, it takes approximately 45 to 50 minutes from Whitby to Downtown Toronto. However, the strong public transit system allows users to easily commute via the GO Train and Bus

On average, it takes about 50 minutes to get to Downtown Toronto via the GO Train. Although the GO Bus ride is a bit longer, you will find that outside of peak hours, there are minimal delays and congestions. Moreover, the scheduled GO Train runs every 30 minutes during the weekdays and every hour over the weekends.

2. Safety Ensured

Did you know that the city of Whitby is 89% safer than other cities in all of Canada? Despite its proximity to cities like Oshawa that have a comparatively higher crime rate, the city of Whitby ON is a safe and secure place to live and raise a family. According to, the city’s average crime rate is almost 37% lower than the national average. Similarly, the violent crime rate is also considerably lower at 34% compared to the national average. 

You will also find that the crime rate of Whitby has not drastically changed over the years. This means that the law enforcement agencies in the city have a sturdy presence thereby, ensuring safety and security for all residents.

3. Great School System

Whether you are planning to put down some roots or simply relocating with family, then you will love the schooling system in Whitby, ON. According to the Fraser Institute, many schools in Whitby are ranked higher than their counterparts around the province. For instance, a local school known as Falling Brook Public School is ranked in the top 100 schools in Ontario

You will also find that Whitby is home to the Durham District School Board Headquarters also. Thereby, providing maximum oversight to the local schools in the city. Moreover, the city’s diversity ensures parents have easy access to French and Catholic schools here. 

Perhaps the most attractive feature about the educational system in Whitby is that it is home to a prominent and internationally recognized day and boarding school known as Trafalgar Castle. Their women’s only facility is highly recognized for the university prep programs offered to grades five to 12.

3. Thriving Economy

Unlike many other neighboring cities like Ajax and Oshawa, Whitby has a thriving economy due to many reasons.

For starters, its strategic location on the map and proximity to economic hubs like Toronto allows it convenient access to many global markets and economic structures.

Secondly, you will also find that Whitby has a relatively well-educated workforce. found that almost 95% of the complete population in Whitby has obtained and completed post-secondary education. This means that businesses have easy access to educated personnel when hiring for new opportunities.

Finally, there are many low-cost commercial properties to choose from for people thinking about moving or starting a business in Whitby. These real estate options offer financial stability because of their debt-free profile. Companies like AECOM, Gerdau, Lear, and 360Insights have already established offices in Whitby thereby attracting many potential employees.

As Whitby, ON grows population-wise and financially, you will find the local government increasingly investing in the city to attract and retain businesses.


1. Lack Of Food Diversity

If you are a foodie like me, then moving to Whitby may not be a great idea. Many people moving from Toronto, Markham, and other big cities have expressed sincere disappointment in the lack of food diversity in the city. Although there are some well-rated West Indies, Chinese, Italian, and fast food options available, these are generally one-off establishments. This means that locals often travel to neighboring cities and towns for entertainment.

2. High Property Taxes

Did you know that Whitby homeowners pay one of the highest property taxes in Ontario? At 1.12%, it is currently one of the top five places in the province with the highest property tax rate. This means that although real estate is affordable compared to Toronto, Markham, and other neighboring places, the high property tax makes Whitby a less desirable place to move. You will also find that the 5% increase in the overall population of Whitby from 2011 to 2016 led to a gradual increase in property prices. It was noted that real estate prices in Whitby have increased almost 24% within one year (2019 to 2020).

3. Brutal Traffic 

Although employment opportunities in Whitby, ON, have increased over the last few years, many people still commute to neighboring cities for work. As a commuter town, the residents face brutal traffic congestions at peak hours since Highway 401 is the only route connecting these easter cities to the west. Therefore it is recommended that people try to avoid rush hours, typically between 8 am to 9:30 am and 4 pm to 6 pm.

Bottom Line

Whitby is a great place to live if you’re looking for something in the middle of Toronto and Oshawa. It’s close enough to both cities that there are plenty of places to find work, but it doesn’t have the same hustle bustle as living in either city.

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