Are you considering renting an apartment in Toronto? Toronto city living means access to cool cafés, film festivals, parks, a lively waterfront , trendy clubs and the country’s greatest art gallery.
With the right rental apartment in Toronto, you can use your time to party, play, or just chill out instead of commuting. From lofts to mansions, townhouses or high-rises, the right place, the right area and the right lifestyle is waiting for you in Toronto.
Renting in Toronto: a booming city
If you want to be at the heart of Canada's focal point of development and growth, Toronto is where it's at. Many tourists mistake it for the capital of Canada, and with the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s easy to understand why.
Toronto is booming, and Toronto’s downtown core accounts for about 25% of all the office space currently being built in Canada. But there’s also major residential and non-office construction going on, including the renovations of Union Station, the development of the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, and the much-anticipated construction related to the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan American Games.
If you’re planning on renting an apartment in Toronto, take a look at forecast growth in Toronto’s Official Plan, which guides the city’s growth for the next couple of decades and forecasts more than 1.66M jobs in the City and predicts 3.19M residents by 2031. Will you be counted among them?
Where to find the best Toronto apartments
The social (and economic) glue of Toronto is the neighbourhood. No matter where you’re working or studying, Toronto’s neighbourhoods continue to offer great amenities to tenants.
The first decision you’ll have to make is whether you rent in Toronto’s downtown core or in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) suburbs of York, North York, East York, Etobicoke and Scarborough. While these offer cheaper alternatives to living downtown, you’ll have to take into account commuting costs and the distance to downtown Toronto.
With so much choice and so many vibrant communities, where do you start your rental search?
If you don’t find the right apartment here, broaden your search to other hip neighbourhoods. It all depends on your personality. With easy access to streetcars, buses, and subways, you can run with the hipsters on Yonge and Eglinton, join the Masters of the Universe on Bay Street, go boho in the Kensington Market area or go native in other neighbourhoods – it’s down to finding an area that reflects who you are.
Toronto's supply of housing is very diverse, and while there has been strong growth in housing construction, particularly condos and particularly in the Downtown and Waterfront areas, there’s been very little increase in rental units available and the rental market remains tight.
The strong demand for rental accommodation in Toronto is keeping the prices competitive, and even driving them up in areas, despite the construction boom of condos that are being leased rather than sold. Many young professionals or students choose to share with a roommate.
It won’t be a big surprise that average household incomes in Toronto are higher than the national and provincial averages, which is a good thing considering renting and buying in Toronto is such an expensive venture!
An average one-bedroom apartment will set you back anywhere from $1,150 to $1,650 a month, more if you’re close to desirable downtown locations or transit lines. If you’re planning on renting an apartment with a roommate, plan on spending at least $1,450- $2,300 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the Rental Board.
Want an easier way to rank neighbourhoods by cost? Take a look at this easy-to-use rental heat map.
How to find Toronto apartments
In a tight rental market like Toronto, you'll want to be quick to visit properties before they're snapped up by someone else.
The Internet offers several good resources for apartments, but don't forget to also check Internet email lists, local newspaper classifieds and bulletin boards at libraries and community centres.
You should also drop into to local real estate agents; many will represent renters, too.
Go walkabouts in the neighbourhoods you like and keeping an eye out for the "For Rent/For Lease" signs on buildings.
Get to know the area before you visit the apartment. Come equipped and know what you’re looking for. Some apartments may come furnished; if not, budget enough money for furniture, rental insurance and utilities.
Once you find a place you like, make a good impression when you meet the building manager or rental property owner.
You will probably have to fill out a rental application and be subject to a credit check. You’ll want to brush up on your Legalese so you know exactly what terms and conditions you’ll be bound to in your rental agreement. You may be able to negotiate, but don’t risk losing the apartment! Save your energy for the renewal.