Accommodation in Toronto

Finding accommodation in Toronto
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Updated 2019-04-30 14:22

Finding accommodation will be one of your primary concerns while moving to Toronto, regardless of the duration of your stay. The city basically caters for the needs of each and everyone, even though the demand is much more significant than the offer. This article explains how to find accommodation as an expat in this huge cosmopolitan city.

Rent prices in Toronto

In general, rents in Toronto are quite expensive. Also, rent prices depend on the type of accommodation chosen, whether it's a bachelor apartment, a studio, an apartment or a condominium. For example, if you want to rent an apartment with a separate bedroom, count around CAD 1,200 per month. If you are looking for accommodation close to the city centre, the rent can go up to CAD 1,500 for a 1-bedroom apartment and up to CAD 3,000 for a 3-bedroom. If you prefer a luxurious apartment, you may be required to pay several thousands of dollars per month.

The average monthly price of a bachelor apartment in Toronto as of 2018 is CAD 800 while a one-bedroom apartment, that is an apartment with a single bedroom, can cost around CAD 950. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment can amount to CAD 1,050 on average and for a three-bedroom apartment around $1,100 per month.

The cheapest neighbourhoods in Toronto

The Junction

A neighbourhood of young, newly married and single professionals, the Junction is cheap. For instance, The Junction is 2% lower than Toronto city's average monthly rent.
Average rent by housing type and size:
studio/bachelor CAD 730
1-bedroom CAD 1,478
2-bedroom CAD 1,871
3-bedroom CAD 2,530

Scarborough

Arguably the cheapest of Toronto's neighbourhoods, Scarborough is home to many new immigrants, especially those who came in not with a deep pocket and still struggling to balance their cash book. The condos in Scarborough cost far less than the Toronto average at CAD 253,833 as against CAD 602,804 according to a report by Zoocasa. Scarborough is a government subsidised housing area, so houses can be found cheaper than in most other parts of Toronto. The monthly rent in Scarborough is 18% lower than Toronto's average.
Average rent by housing type and size:
studio/bachelor: CAD 800
1-bedroom: CAD 915
2-bedroom: CAD 1,236
3-bedroom: CAD 1,480
Condo CAD 1,916

How to look for accommodation in Toronto

Before looking for permanent accommodation in Toronto, you should try to find a temporary one. You can stay in a motel, a hotel, bed and breakfast, according to your budget. It is from this temporary accommodation you can carefully study the environment before choosing where to stay permanently. This waiting period is necessary since it helps you avoid making a hasty decision that you can come to regret. It's better to stay longer in temporary accommodation than rush to inadequate permanent accommodation. Make sure you get familiar with the way of life, the public transportation and the neighbourhood.

If you have a small budget, you can try sharing a house. By checking the housing ads or Facebook groups dedicated to finding accommodation in Toronto, you will soon find someone willing to share their home and its utilities. A lot of students and temporary residents choose this solution. A room in a shared house usually costs between CAD 700 and CAD 800 per month.

Check newspapers and other websites to find a place to rent or to buy. You will also find renting offers in several public areas including bus stations, libraries and community centres. If you feel uncomfortable looking for accommodation on your own, there are specialised agencies that help newcomers find accommodation. Some of these agencies like Toronto Rentals exist both virtually and physically with their offices in the streets of Toronto.

The most popular neighbourhoods in Toronto

Toronto is a very large city: it spans over 630 square kilometres and is home to almost three million inhabitants. Among the main residential areas close to the city centre, you will find Forest Hill, Rosedale and the Annex. Chinatown, Kensington Market, Greek Town, Spadina, Little Italy, Little Portugal and Parkdale are the neighbourhoods where most of the stores are located.

Your choice of where to stay will depend on your several factors including proximity to your workplace, your school or your kids' schools. The public transport system in Toronto is widely used and highly efficient. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) manages fifteen lines of tramways, four lines of subway and almost 150 bus lines. Several bus and tramway lines only operate at night. The subway is open from 6 am till 1:30 am, except on Sundays when it opens at 8 am.

Lease regulations in Toronto

Before renting accommodation in Toronto, it's best to inquire on relating regulations. For example, the landlord is not allowed to ask personal questions about your country of origin, your sexual preferences or other questions that may be regarded as intruding into personal privacy. However, landlords may ask for documents proving you have the means to pay rent. It can be proof of employment, a certificate from a guarantor or references from your previous landlord.

The landlord can also request you to provide a security deposit that they will keep until your last month of rent. At the end of the lease period that you agreed together upon, the landlord is allowed to increase the rent, but he cannot do it during the lease period. The provincial government decides the legal increase rate for the rent according to the inflation rate.

In the province of Ontario, the lease can be a verbal or a written agreement. Whatever the case, make sure to determine the duration of the lease and the services included in the rent with the landlord. You may have to pay for water, electricity and heating. Checking the premises with the landlord before moving in is highly recommended.

The landlord can try to evict you from the house if he thinks you committed an offence against the terms of the lease. If you do not understand specific terms and conditions of the contract, or if you have doubts, you can always contact the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to obtain more information about the regulations.

Good to know:

Most of the lease contracts are valid for one year. If you want to move out before the end of the lease, you must continue paying the rent, except if the landlord accepts renting the apartment or room to someone else.

Housing insurance

Think about getting insurance for your house, whether you are the owner or the tenant. You will find several insurance companies on the Internet. You may also ask the question to your banker or your car insurance agent.

Useful links:

Toronto Rentals
Craigslist
Gabino Home
Locanto
Kijiji Toronto

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.