Finding an apartment in Toronto can be tough. You might not want to let go of a rental property if you are paying a reasonable price, because rents are constantly increasing.
And, what if you find yourself in a position where you will be traveling out of the city for a few months or more? Maybe you have a job contract that’s taking you out of town for a while, or maybe you’re going away on an extended vacation. Subletting or offering up your residence for a short-term rental can be a great way to hold on to a rental property, while keeping your rent money in the bank.
Before renting out your space, check with your landlord first, and then make sure you have the proper renters’ insurance in place before doing so.
What Is Renters’ Insurance?
Renters’ Insurance, also known as tenant insurance or apartment insurance, provides coverage for an individual’s personal belongings within a rental unit, as well as coverage for damage to the property or injury to an individual on the premises.
Some buildings require renters to have their own insurance policy in place, so it’s important to check your agreement. Renter’s insurance is not required by law, but it is an often inexpensive way – usually between $15 and $30 a month – to protect yourself against an unforeseeable event such as water damage or theft.
It’s important that you have the appropriate coverage for your property and valuables, so it’s recommended that you get a tenant insurance quote to ensure you get the coverage you need.
What Is Covered By Renters’ Insurance?
The two main components of your renters’ insurance policy are contents and third-party liability coverage.
Contents – You’ll be asked how much coverage you want for your contents (TV, furniture, clothing, books, etc.) and you’ll pay accordingly to the amount you want insured. The insurance provider might also require an itemized list, receipts, or photos to prevent insurance fraud.
Third-party Liability – The other main component of tenants’ insurance is liability. This is necessary for example if someone slips and falls and sustains injures in or around your property. If the person needs to be away from work for a while, you don’t want to be stuck with salary replacement or medical costs – this is why you have liability coverage.
What Is Not Covered By Renters’ Insurance?
When offering up your residence as a short-term rental, you should be aware that your general tenant insurance may not cover every potential scenario. Guests staying in your residence could hold a party and intentionally damage your apartment, or guests could steal things from you. They may injure themselves while staying there, or fail to pay the short-term rental fee altogether. If this happens, a typical tenant insurance policy would not cover the losses.
You should also be aware that not all insurance providers allow individuals to rent out their property for commercial purposes. It’s important to notify your insurance provider of your intention to list your residence as a short-term rental before doing so, and if they don’t allow it, shop around for an insurance provider who does.
What Is Short-Term Rental Insurance?
If you’re going to be subletting or offering your residence as a short-term rental, it’s a good idea to supplement your tenants’ insurance with short-term rental insurance.
Short-term rental insurance generally covers any theft, attempted theft, or damage done to property committed by a tenant, loss of property or injury to a guest of the tenant, as well as the loss of fair rental value (or loss of rental income). Different insurance companies offer different coverage options, so comparing renters’ Insurance quotes will help you determine what policy is right for you.
What Do I Need To Know About Short-Term Rental Insurance?
Before you rent out your residence, it’s essential that you notify both your landlord and your insurance company of your intent to do so. By informing them of your intent, you’ll ensure that your property will have the protection you require in your absence. Be prepared to answer your insurance company’s questions regarding the rental scenario. Insurance companies will want to know things such as how long you intend to rent your residence, how many people will be staying there, and what valuables will be on site.
The policies can vary from company to company. Some, for instance, might only provide limited coverage since you do not own the property yourself. When speaking with your insurance provider, it’s important that you be open and honest about the specifics regarding the property you are renting out.
While your insurance premiums will likely rise, it’s better to be honest than to be found to be omitting information or not providing accurate answers. If you misrepresent your intent while talking to your insurance provider, you could find that, should you need to file a claim, the company will not insure you, or worse, that you lose your insurance coverage altogether.
As a renter, the piece of plastic you carry around in your wallet can have a profound impact
on everything from how likely your rental application will be approved to the amount of
money you spend (or save) on monthly household bills. With that in mind, we’ve listed five
important credit card tips that every renter should follow.
1.) Pay off your credit card bill on time (it will help your credit score and rental search).
If you’ve ever submitted a rental application before, you’re probably well aware that most
landlords require you to provide a copy of your credit score. This three-digit number is a
measure of your creditworthiness (in other words, it’s a rating of how reliable you are at
paying bills and loans on time) – and the better your score, the higher the likelihood your
rental application will be approved.
One of the biggest factors that goes into formulating your credit score is how often you pay
off your monthly credit card bill on time. As a renter your payment history accounts for an estimated 35
per cent of your total credit score, and a missed payment can leave a negative mark on your
In a rental market as competitive as Toronto’s, having a credit score in the bad to poor range
can make it infinitely harder to find a place to rent. So, always prioritize paying off your
credit card on time (even if you only make the minimum payment). Along with a potential hit
to your credit score, missing a credit card payment has other consequences including interest
charges and late fees.
2.) If you don’t have a credit card, open one (even if you won’t use it much)
If you’ve never opened a credit card under your name before, your credit score could be
hurting (and that can make your hunt for a rental apartment that much more difficult).
Here’s why: Without a track-record of credit card payments to refer to, financial institutions
and lenders have less information about how you manage debt and money. That can make it
harder for them to determine your financial reliability, in turn, hurting your score. Having a
credit card can also help to diversify your credit mix, which can increase your score by
showing lenders that you can manage multiple types of credit at once.
If you’ve actively chosen to avoid applying for a credit card for fear of being tempted into
overspending, you can request for a low credit limit or a secured credit card. We suggest
using any of the multiple websites that let you compare the best credit cards in Canada that
are tailored for your personal financial goals.
3.) Use a credit card to save on utilities and household expenses
Rental cheques aside, a considerable chunk of your spending as a renter goes toward paying
for utilities. Along with making a conscious effort to cut down on electricity use, one of the
most effective ways to save on utility bills (as well as other recurring household costs) is to
use a rewards credit card.
Some of Canada’s best cash back credit cards offer up to 2 per cent back for every dollar you
spend on recurring bills (such as hydro, internet and rental insurance) and 4 per cent back on
all your purchases made at grocery stores. Over the course of a year, that can add up to
substantial savings on necessary household expenses. It’s important to note however, you
should only use a credit card to cover expenses that you know you can pay at the end of the
month, otherwise you’ll get hit with costly interest charges.
4.) If you have the money, use a credit card to furnish your home
If you plan on making a number of big-ticket household purchases (such as buying new
furniture for a rental you just moved into) and have the money to pay off everything in full,
you should know there are advantages to using a rewards credit card to cover the bill.
First and foremost, you can offset some of the cost by earning cash back or points on every
dollar you spend. This can be particularly true if your credit card has a welcome offer that
lets you earn bonus points or cash back for a limited-time, further accelerating your savings.
Secondly, many credit cards offer buyer protections, such as automatically doubling the
manufacturer’s warranty on your purchases for free, which can provide some added peace of
mind when it comes to your major household purchases such as a new flat-screen television.
Before you swipe your card however, it can’t be overstated enough that you should only use a
rewards credit card for purchases that you can pay off in full, otherwise you’ll be on the hook
for costly interest charges.
5.) Avoid using cash withdrawals for rental emergencies
If you’re in a financial bind and need cash to cover rent or an urgent home repair, using your
credit card at the ATM for a cash advance can seem like a convenient solution – but it will cost
Cash advances are almost always accompanied by high fees, and unlike other purchases made
on a credit card, interest is charged upfront from the moment you withdraw money from the
ATM with no grace period. That’s why it’s recommend that you avoid cash advances at all
costs and instead maintain an emergency cash fund specifically to pay for household-related
With that being said, if you’re caught in a situation where you have no other option but to get
a cash advance, it’s best to use a low interest credit card. While most cards charge anywhere
between 22 per cent and 24 per cent in annual interest for cash advances, many of the best
low interest card charge rates as low 8.99 per cent. That can translate to significant savings if
you need money and a cash advance is your only solution.
Borrowers have had a tough year: Interest rates, and the resulting cost of taking out a mortgage, have gone up this year as the Bank of Canada -– the nation’s central bank which sets the cost of borrowing — toughened up lending criteria.
And, thus far, there isn’t any relief promised in 2019 as the Bank could be in the position to raise rates at least five more times before it’s through.
While this has made it materially harder for home buyers to qualify for a mortgage and break into the market, higher interest rates are also squeezing bottom lines for landlords, whether they own multiple-unit rental purpose buildings, or are renting out a portion of their private residence or condo.
Here’s what landlords should be aware of as the new year ushers in a rising interest rate environment.
What Does the Bank of Canada Do?
First, let’s take a look at the purpose of the nation’s central bank: The Bank of Canada is tasked with keeping the nation’s economy stable, and that includes stimulating spending and borrowing during a recession, and reining in credit use when inflation runs hot.
It has a number of tools at its disposal to do this, one of the most important is pricing its Overnight Lending Rate. This rate is used by Canada’s consumer lenders (think the Big Six Banks) as a benchmark for their Prime rate pricing, which is then used to set variable mortgage and line of credit rates.
So, when the Bank of Canada hikes or cuts its rate, the price of Prime, and these consumer borrowing products follow suit. The Bank tends to cut its rate when there are severe risks facing the economy. For example, it slashed rates twice in 2015 in response to plummeting oil prices. When the economy is doing well, the Bank hikes its rate to keep inflation growth in line. The Bank makes eight announcements each year to reveal whether its rate will be hiked, cut, or remain the same.
The Bank has kept rates historically low in the years following the 2008 recession, but started hiking again as trade, consumer spending, and energy prices all improved. The current rate of 1.75 per cent was reached in October following agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which cleared up much of the uncertainty facing Canada’s trade relations with the United States. However, the Bank chose not to move the rate higher in its most recent December announcement, due to renewed oil pricing struggles in Alberta.
Why Will Rates Keep Rising?
Economists believe that should inflation and other factors continue to grow, the Bank will continue to hike its Overnight Lending Rate several times in 2019, until it reaches a “neutral” range of between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent. –
Five more increases are estimated to reach this range, and mortgage rates will be materially more expensive once it’s finished. That’s tough news for all mortgage borrowers, but even more so for those looking to finance investment properties or rentals, as they already need to pay a higher mortgage rate.
That’s because anyone purchasing a second (or more) property or rental purpose buildings with multiple units must pay a minimum 20 per cent down payment and can only get an uninsured mortgage from their lender, which comes with a higher mortgage rate than the insured variety available to those who make smaller down payments.
Besides higher mortgage rates, those with 20 per cent-or-higher down payments must also pass the federal mortgage stress test, which requires borrowers to prove they could afford a mortgage at a benchmark rate of 5.34 per cent. That’s roughly 2 per cent higher than most competitive rates available on the market, and results in qualifying for a smaller mortgage overall.
Variable Monthly Payments Will Rise
More hikes from the Bank will result in higher monthly mortgage payments for landlords holding variable mortgages, though those with fixed-rate mortgages won’t feel the brunt until renewal, or if they wish to refinance their properties. This could be most acutely felt by unit holders in Toronto condos, who are relying on year-over-year market appreciation to be cash-flow positive.
Ontario Landlords Also Face Rent Controls
Landlords in Ontario who face rising interest rates and higher monthly carrying costs for their investment won’t be able to offset these increases via higher rents. As of last April, all existing rental units are subjected to rent controls, limiting rent increases upon lease renewal to the maximum provincial guideline increase -– 1.8 per cent for 2019. Only new units that have been untenanted prior to Nov. 15 are exempt from these controls.
While these rent controls are an important protection for tenants’ affordability, especially in the extremely competitive Toronto and Vancouver real estate markets, they do limit landlords’ ability to absorb rising maintenance and carrying costs.
With these factors in mind, it’s important for existing and prospective landlords to be aware of how their profit margins may change over the course of the year, and whether renting makes financial sense if carrying costs become too high.
As of last April, within the province of Ontario, all rental units – whether in a rental purpose building or privately owned units common among short-term rentals – are subject to rent control. This means landlords may only increase rents upon lease renewal by the maximum mandated by the province (1.8 per cent for 2019). While this is beneficial for tenants’ affordability and housing stability, it does limit landlords’ ability to raise rents to sufficiently offset rising maintenance and carrying costs. The only exception to this are newly built units which have not had lease occupancy prior to Nov. 15.
When you’re a renter, there are very few things you need to worry about. You only really have to deal with rent, utilities, and insurance. But when you want to become a homebuyer, there are many more things to consider
Find out how much you can afford
You need to ask yourself: “how much can I afford?” For the answer to that question, try using a mortgage affordability calculator. Put in your annual salary, monthly debt payments, property taxes, heating costs, and condo fees (if applicable) to get an estimate. Once you have a general idea of what you can afford, you’re going to need to come up with a down payment
Have money for a down payment
You’re going to need to save money—a lot of money.
You need at least 5% down in order to buy a home if the purchase price is under $500,000. If it’s more than $500,000, but less than $1 million, you’ll need 5% down on the first $500,000 and 10% down for the portion above $500,000. For example, if the home you want to buy is $600,000, you’ll need to come up with at least $35,000 ($500,000 x 5% = $25,000 + $100,000 x 10% = $10,000). And if the home is costs more than $1 million, you need at least 20% down.
If you don’t want to pay for mortgage default insurance (also known as mortgage insurance or CMHC insurance) for a home that costs less than $1 million, you need a down payment of 20% or more.
Where you can get a tax-free loan
If the down payment amount seems daunting, you’re allowed to make a tax-free withdrawal from your RRSP under the Home Buyers’ Plan as a first-time homebuyer.
You can withdraw up to $25,000 for your down payment. If you’re buying with a spouse or partner, you can each withdraw up to $25,000 for a total of $50,000. You must repay that amount over a 15-year period, but the first payment isn’t due until two years after the money is withdrawn. So if you borrow $22,500, you must make annual payments of $1,500 a year. If you don’t, the amount you don’t pay back is considered taxable income. Also, repayments aren’t considered to be RRSP contributions and they won’t affect your deduction limit.
Have a good credit score
As a renter, your landlord may have checked your credit score. As a potential homebuyer, a low score may prevent you from getting a mortgage. However, a high score can help you get a great mortgage rate whether you’re a first-time homebuyer in Ontario, a first-time homebuyer in B.C., or anywhere in Canada for that matter.
If you want to improve your chances of getting a mortgage, it’s best not to apply for a credit card or line of credit right before or during the mortgage application process. Trying to get additional credit may have a negative impact on your score.
Prepare for a stress test
As a homebuyer, you have to undergo a mortgage stress test. You must qualify at either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 5.34%) or your lender’s rate plus two percentage points—whichever is higher. For example, if your lender offers you a rate of 3.59%, you’ll have to qualify at 5.59% (3.59% + 2%).
This stress test is to help make sure you can afford your mortgage in the event rates rise, but it could also hurt your ability to get a larger mortgage. The rules don’t apply to all credit unions so you may want to consider getting a mortgage from one of them instead.
The bottom line
Making the transition to a homebuyer from a renter may seem daunting. However, you don’t need permission from your landlord to make any changes and you can do whatever you want to the property you live in. Best of all, you don’t have to pay someone else’s mortgage.
Finding a new apartment in Toronto can be a hassle, but using a great rental website can make your search a lot easier. Whether you are looking for a specific size, location, or number of bedrooms and bathrooms, apartment hunting websites can save you time by narrowing down your hunt to include your precise needs.
Here are our top 15 picks (spoiler alert: the first one’s us) for Toronto’s best apartment rental websites for finding the perfect rental:
Servicing Toronto and the surrounding GTA since 1995, TorontoRentals.com is a great apartment listing website for finding apartments, condos, and houses for rent. Filters allow you to narrow down your search by price range, property type, bedrooms, bathrooms, and whether or not the unit is pet-friendly. From there, results can be listed or shown on a interactive map view which allows you to see which public transit routes are nearby.
As well, Toronto Rentals has recently launched 3D virtual tours of properties that can be viewed with virtual reality headsets or in 3D on your phone or laptop. This feature is great for checking out a listing before you actually visit it! Beyond rentals, the website also includes neighbourhood guides for those new to the city and plenty of helpful articles about renting in Toronto.
Rentals.ca is a national apartment rental website that serves over 100 cities across Canada. The site features search tools that let you cater your search by price range, bedrooms, bathrooms, property type, and whether it is pet friendly. In addition to being easy to navigate, the site features a map view for listings, which is great for finding properties near your school or work.
Rentals.ca also has 3D virtual apartment tours included on their listings. This allows you to view their units in a more in-depth way than typical photo listings.
Selling everything from cars to concert tickets, Kijiji is a hotspot for second-hand items and a good place to search for apartments being listed by independent landlords. Make sure to read through listings carefully to avoid scams on this site, and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This includes ensuring you visit any rental property before you agree to be a tenant, and making sure you get anything a landlord promises to you in writing before you begin your lease.
Viewit.ca has been a staple in the Toronto rental industry with their widespread coverage of rental signs. View it’s website allows you to narrow down your search by city zone, bedrooms, bathrooms, property type, and whether the unit is furnished. Select View it listings also feature video tours.
PadMapper is a rental website that focuses on the geographical aspect of finding a property (or “pad”). Padmapper search tools allow you to narrow down your results by price range, bedrooms, and whether you are looking for a short term or long term rental. As well, with PadMapper you are able to draw onto their map to outline the specific area you want to see results from.
Rent Seeker is a rental agency in Toronto that has a lot of search options to help you hunt for a property. In addition to price, bedrooms, and property type; you can also select which amenities you’re looking for such as air conditioning, swimming pools, balconies, and parking. This is great for renters that have very specific wants in their hunt for a new place.
The original online classified advertisements website, Craigslist is still used by many independent landlords to list their units. While this makes it a great place to find deals, it also makes it susceptible to scams. Make sure to do your due diligence with any property you find on here to ensure it is a real unit being offered by a trustworthy landlord.
Walk Score’s main feature is that it focusses on how walkable a property is from nearby restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and other attractions. As well, you can input your work or school to see what your commute would look like from a specific property. This is great for downtown Toronto and saves you the added step of checking Google Maps for similar information.
Gotta Rent is owned by Metroland Media, the same company that owns the Toronto Star, Toronto.com, and Workopolis.com. In addition to price, property type, and bedrooms; you can also search for listings on their site based on a variety of features as well as whether a property is near schools, parks, or other community amenities.
Rent Hello lets you search for properties near any location, school, workplace, or point of interest. Search results can be filtered by price, bedrooms, smoking or non-smoking, whether a property is pet-friendly, and by selecting specific property management firms you want to see listings from. Their website also features a blog that actively posts about rentals properties and other related topics.
Casalova is a realty brokerage that features properties for both renting and purchasing. Beyond price, bedrooms, and bathrooms, you can also filter results on their website by availability date, square feet, and whether a property is a new development. Overall, this website is good option for those debating between renting or purchasing their next home.
4 Rent’s primary channel of advertising is through their bi-weekly magazines. However, their website’s key features are its map and list views for properties, as well as a Tentant Tips section that includes articles surrounding renting and related topics.
Condos.ca is a hub for everything condo related. Their websites allows users to rent, buy, or sell condos and offers exclusive access to pre-construction opportunities. There’s even a luxury condo section for those of you with deep pockets looking for a new home. For those of you set on the condo lifestyle, condos.ca is a good place to start your search.
Realtor.ca is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association and includes both residential and commercials properties for purchase or rent. Each listing comes from a licensed brokerage so while you won’t encounter any scams, you also won’t find any independent landlords listing on here. Your search can be filtered by price, bedrooms, bathrooms, and by listing date.
Other Apartment Hunting Resources
Facebook groups such as this one can be a great place to find a good deal on a rental property
If you’re a student, make sure to check if your university/college has an off campus housing directory for student rentals
If you’re feeling old-fashioned, newspapers such as the Toronto Star still feature classified sections with apartment rentals
Started in 1995, TorontoRentals.com has become one of Canada’s largest apartment rental sites. By staying ahead of the latest technological trends, TorontoRentals.com offers top-tier user experience to potential renters looking to find their next home. TorontoRentals.com strives to make the painful process of searching for a rental home easier.
Recently, the leading apartment rental website has made it easier for students to find apartments by building a custom off-campus housing tool. Check it out here:
New Tool to Help Students in Toronto Find Off Campus Housing - YouTube
From TorontoRentals.com’s off-campus housing page, students find their campus on a map or from a list. Each Toronto university or college, as well as any sub-campuses that are in the GTA, can be found there. The site then shows available listings around that campus within a radius equivalent to 30 minutes walking distance. If you click the TTC button on the map subway lines are displayed to help those students who want to ride into school, and a handy radius resizing feature makes it easy for cyclists who can bike in from a bit further away.
This new off-campus housing feature is built on top of TorontoRentals.com’s industry-leading apartment listing interface. Functions like narrowing searches by price, number of bedrooms and other filters make the entire process that much easier.
The idea came after talking to students in Toronto who mentioned how frustrating their apartment hunting process was. TortontoRentals.com saw the opportunity to help students locate rentals close to campus by creating a custom map tool for easy navigation.
Since 1995, TorontoRentals.com has redefined the rent-seeking process by seamlessly blending Toronto’s rental listings with an interactive and practical visual platform. Rental seekers from across Canada and countries around the globe are greeted with an industry-leading user interface. 3D and virtual tours add transparency to the renting process for its thousands of daily visitors. From product design, to smoothly functioning tech, to personal customer support TorontoRentals.com is transforming into an innovative market leader. To learn more, view available apartments for rent or, list a rental, visit TorontoRentals.com.
I was born and raised in Toronto, and it’s safe to say that in 26 years of living here I have gotten to know Toronto pretty well. People have different things they look for in their neighbourhoods, so these picks are based on what I feel makes a neighbourhood a great place to live. I love a neighbourhood where you can walk from your place to get most of your errands done, be close to a subway, be near lots of nature AND entertainment, and have the overall feel of living in a community.
Too much to ask for from a Toronto neighbourhood? Not so!
Anything is possible.
Just because you live in the big city of Toronto doesn’t mean you cant find a great community where you’re able to get to know your neighbours. Even in the heart of downtown!
As someone in my twenties, I am definitely drawn to the more active parts of Toronto where you can feel the pulse of the city. Having a lot going on around you is extremely motivating but a neighbourhood where you can get the best of both worlds, a bit of quiet and the hectic city life is ideal. Here are my top ten picks for the best neighbourhoods to live in, ones that I feel meet the criteria I listed.
Where to live in Toronto – My top ten picks
Yonge and Eglinton
Yonge and Eglinton can be called midtown Toronto, but really its on the upper half of midtown. This area has undergone a development boom in the last couple years but even before that, it was a popular place in the city. Iconic bars including the Duke of Kent and Rose and Crown line the streets here, along with pretty much everything else you would need. Medical offices, grocery stores, bars, subway, and great restaurants. It’s ideal for people who want the feel of downtown without being right in the thick of it. Lots of apartment buildings and condos and its uptown location make this one of the more affordable places to live in Toronto. It’s less than a twenty minute ride to Dundas station and less than twenty minutes to get to the burbs in the other direction. This rental is just a hop and skin from Eglinton station.
The Harbourfront in Toronto is one of the best neighbourhoods you can live in. The view and proximity to the lake makes you forget that a 10 minute walk away is the heart of downtown and all the fun stuff that comes with that. Do you feel like a quiet walk along the water? This is your area! Do you want to be able to walk to baseball games and the biggest concerts in the city? This is your area! This is one of the most sought after neighbourhoods for a reason. You have Union station right there along the VIA rail station and GO bus station. Billy Bishop Airport is also close by for when you feel like taking a quick trip! Click here to see an example of some of the gorgeous units available in the area. It has one of the best views in the city!
How to convert a warehouse.
Liberty Village is full of young creatives working in Toronto and the area reflects that. Super hip and fun, there are a lot of cafes and bars there. The architecture is mostly converted warehouses which give it that super modern and cool aesthetic. The water is also close by enough for when you are feeling like a nice bike ride or walk along the lakefront. The only thing about Liberty Village is that it is a ways a way from a subway station, but thank goodness for buses and streetcars. Click here to look at some gorgeous, newly renovated rentals available in Liberty Village!
This is the kind of stuff you will see in Cabbagetown!
The Annex is a very student heavy neighbourhood but don’t let that scare you off. That just means you have a lot of cheap food options around you, bars with great drink specials, and you’re downtown! The houses in the neighbourhood are beautiful and a lot of them are frats and sororities from nearby UFT so if you’re the kind person that misses the Greek scene from uni, The Annex is for you.
The famous Kensington Market car garden.
Kensington Market may just be my favorite neighbourhood in Toronto. Yes you have to take a street car if you don’t like to walk but it is so worth it. The houses are unique and gorgeous, it has some of the best food in the city, the community is full of quirky personality, and China town is right there to meet all of your shopping needs. Not enough people appreciate the kind of shopping you can do in China town. The prices are cheap and you can get all kinds of groceries. Also dumplings, delicious delicious dumplings on every corner. The business in the market features quaint cafes, little fruit and veg markets, amazing ethnic food, and vintage hippie shops. Kensington is just a dream come true in Toronto. A good way to gage if Kensington is right for you is one simple question, do you like incense? If yes Kensington will probably make you very happy.
Queen St. West
Come on in, indeed.
Queen St. West is one of the most fun streets to walk down. You can plan to do some of the best shopping in the city, drink at some of the most popular bars, and eat some great food all while walking along this one street. It is one of, if not the coolest neighbourhood in Toronto. There are stores to meet every fashion style from super chic to punk. Click here for a shopping guide to Queen St. West! Definitely one of the busiest neighbourhoods in Toronto with a whole lot to offer in the way of excitement.
Yorkville is definitely one of the more high-fashion bougie areas of Toronto and it is one of the more expensive areas but hear us out. Yes, Yorkville has a lot of offer to people who have deep pockets. It is also smack dab in the heart of midtown. You have Bloor and Bay station right there, and the accessibility you have to other fun neighbourhoods like Church and Wellesley or Yonge and Eglinton is key. If you don’t feel like travelling you can go to one of the many popular bars or restaurants that are right there. Hemingway’s is great! Just look at this gorgeous condo up for rent in Yorkville.
These are the kind of views you will get at The Beaches! Not so shabby.
The Beaches may seem like it’s only for older people and families but that just is not the case. It’s for people who like to live near water and have cottage views 20 minutes away from downtown Toronto. It offers some peace from the city with lots to do around. The rent is a bit cheaper since it is slightly off the main line but if you don’t mind streetcars The Beaches is a great place to live. In the nice weather people will be walking the streets popping into the cute cafes and restaurants and night there is certainly a party scene. You will never feel like you need to leave for a weekend to get away from the city, and when you do miss the hustle and bustle its 20 minutes away! Click here to look fully a renovated Beach suite for rent! The great thing about the Beaches is that it is less crowded than the city core and for people looking to rent but not necessarily live in an apartment building would have the best luck finding that here.
This is for apartments too, not condo’s. If you want to rent a condo in the core of downtown just apply those prices to a bachelor. There are a lot of reasons that rent in Toronto is getting more expensive, and the most obvious reason is simple supply and demand. A lot of people want to live in the city, and landlords know they have a high demand and that they can get away with charging crazy prices. There are a lot more reasons than just supply / demand making rent prices sky rocket in Toronto which is on the fast track to beat Vancouver as Canada’s most expensive to live and rent in 2018.
Why is Toronto rent is so expensive?
Foreign Investments – Foreign investors tend to focus on the high-end real estate market. They can afford to pay big money and this in turn drives up housing costs all across the city. But they have also been labelled ‘property scalpers’ buying up properties and then flipping them. Instead of local costs reflecting local salaries, locals are left to compete with massive wealth from outside of their country. Vancouver has proposed a specific tax for foreign real estate buyers, which seems like a good route for Toronto to take as well and the Liberal government in Ontario is planning to implement it. It’s a way to protect it’s own citizens and making they are able to afford to live in their cities.
Access to goods and services – The bigger the city, the more stuff it has to offer. Neighbourhoods in Toronto are not all created equal. The closer to downtown you are the closer you are to restaurants, entertainment, and different services such as schools, medical office buildings, and shopping. All of this drives up the rental price because there is a high demand to be close to these amenities. That’s not to say there are no goods and services outside of the downtown core, just that they are more spread out and not as easy to get too.
The Economy – The state of the economy directly impacts rent prices. Toronto, compared to other smaller cities and towns in Ontario and specifically southern Ontario has a very active economy. There are a lot of jobs, including a lot of high paying jobs especially when compared to smaller cities / towns. This is reflected onto the rent because it goes up at the time. To put it bluntly, people who can afford to live in Toronto do and that is taken advantage of by landlords. There is a lot of very expensive real estate in Toronto because people can afford to buy it. This has a ripple effect on the surrounding areas where people rent.
Utilities – As most Torontonians are aware, the cost of hydro has been going up. Click here for an article outlines just how much hydro has gone up in the past decade.This of course means the cost of living and renting goes up. It’s most clear to those who pay utilities aside from rent and they can see the price rising when they get their bill. For those whose utilities are included in rent, landlords just raise the rent to mitigate their utility cost.
Property Location – Rent is going to be more expensive in Toronto then it is in smaller cities like London, Ontario simply because of the prime location and everything the city has to offer. Toronto’s prime property location is shown in its real estate prices,
Fighting the good fight.
Air BnB – Air BnB is still largely unregulated as municipal governments figure out the best way to do it. On the one hand it brings a lot of tourism into cities but they also have to protect their citizens. Well some arguments state that Air BnB does not have an adverse effect on rent, that does not seem to be the case. If someone can rent out a room or a house in the short term for more money then they would for a long-term renter, they are going to take that route. This means fewer units are going on the market for long-term renters. This makes supply even lower while there is still high demand, and then landlords who are renting out long term rentals jack up their prices simply because they can. After all, the demand is there.
The high demand for real estate in Toronto that only continues to grow has created a big side effect. Apartment buildings are popping up all over Toronto in order to meet the housing demand and also offer up affordable choices for people looking to live in this gorgeous city. There is a wide spectrum of apartment buildings in Toronto, and it can be hard to find the best one for you with so many choices.
When you hear some of the horror stories people have about apartments such as bad management that wont ever fix anything, and of course the much dreaded outbreaks of bedbugs it puts a lot of pressure on you to find a good building! So it’s only normal you want a building that has good management because by extension that means that the building will be well taken care of. Having it in a good neighbourhood close to the TTC is another a good asset for an apartment. Location, location, location.
Buildings don’t all offer the same amenities so it’s important to find one that compliments your lifestyle. Super active? A building with a pool and gym would probably be great for you. Do you enjoy entertaining often? Perhaps you would prefer a building that has a good common entertainment area. And finally, while the building itself does not need to be new but renovated recently is always a winner. Looking at all these different factors that contribute to making a great apartment building that most people would want to live in, we have created a list of 10 of the best apartment buildings in Toronto for 2018.
Don’t let the fact that this building is not in downtown or midtown Toronto scare you off. It is still close to the TTC, lots of schools, shopping, and parks. This is a perfect apartment building for families. Click here to see!
The building offers 1 and 2 level suites.
2527 Lakeshore Blvd West
The beautiful lobby of 2527 Lakeshore Blvd West.
This is the perfect building for people who want to be close to downtown, but no in the heart of it. Perfect for nature lovers! Located in the growing Lake Shore community, it is close to transit (express bus to downtown and there is a streetcar stop right infant of the building), shopping, and right on the Lake Ontario shore line. Click here to check it out!
Residents have access to a private park on the lake.
Laundry in the building.
141 Davisville Avenue
Located perfectly in the middle of midtown, this building is steps away Davisville subway station. You are minutes away from downtown and uptown! The best of both worlds. You can walk to do all your errands as the area offers lots of shopping, entertainment, different services, and great restaurants.
Amenities: Tennis court. It also shares amenities with its adjacent building, 111 Davisville. Residents have access to 111 Davisville’s indoor pool and roof top patio. Check the building out here!
The amount of development and growth that Toronto has undergone in the last two decades has been exponential. Since 1990, Toronto’s population has grown from over 2 million people to 6 and a half million as of 2016. That’s a lot of people looking for homes and the market has certainly only been growing. The amount of gentrification that Toronto has undergone in a lot of its neighbourhoods has done a lot to benefit the residents but also driven up prices. The great thing about finding an up and coming neighbourhood in Toronto you might score a deal in one of these transforming areas because it is in its growing phase. If you buy real estate there you are likely putting yourself in good place to have a nice return on your investment or enjoy the area for years to come. There are always growing pains to work out and the unfamiliarity with these neighbourhoods may scare you off but in reality these ten up and coming neighbourhoods are diamonds in the rusty landscape of Toronto real estate. Here is our top 10 list of the hottest up-and-coming Toronto neighbourhoods:
Yonge and Sheppard is located right at Sheppard station. Don’t be fooled by the notion that it’s suburbia though. This is one of the hot spots for Toronto condo development in recent years and shows no signs of stopping. The prices are still competitive though because people feel like its too far north. It’s their loss! There is a great night life with a lots to do around. It is very TTC accessible with the Sheppard subway right there and it’s only about a 25 minute ride down to Dundas station the heart of downtown.
A beautiful view, indeed.
Leslieville East is not to be confused with Leslieville. Leslieville itself has undergone a lot of revitalization and gentrification and now its spreading further east. Leslieville East is right between Leslieville and The Beaches. Downtown Toronto is only about a twenty-minute streetcar ride away. Leslieville East still needs more love as it is still a bit rough around the edges, but it is prime real estate for people who don’t mind putting up with the growing pains of an up and coming neighbourhood. The prices are really low for Toronto homebuyers and will only be going up!
A little rough around the edges, but not for long.
Danforth Village is off the main subway line, but still very TTC accessible thanks to streetcars. It is close to both midtown and downtown Toronto. This neighbourhood is more for people looking to buy homes in Toronto without paying with their heart and souls. A lot of the homes have been renovated and are still being sold at a great price! It doesn’t hurt that Greek Town is right there with all it’s amazing food.
Local, fresh fruit and veg at your disposal too!
Downsview still has a couple of years until it reaches it’s peak, but that’s why if you can deal with living up there you will get an amazing price for a nice condo. The recent condo development up there has brought in the shops and restaurants and that will only continue to grow. Downsview station is right there so you will have an accessible lifeline to the rest of Toronto. With the Eglinton Crosstown express on it’s way, this will make it even more TTC accessible in the future.
Quality condos for less.
RegentPark is still a low-income neighbourhood but the city has decided to invest in it and since then the plans for it have just kept growing. Even though Regent Park’s revitalization in the past couple of years has been a source of controversy in Toronto there has been an undeniable positive impact for the current residents and ones looking to buy in Toronto. Low-income housing has been improved, there are better community services, and condos have moved in and more are on the way. The improvements to this up and coming neighbourhood have caused Toronto real estate agents to say that Regent Park has some of the fastest rising value in the city and it’s location has always been pretty great, now its just more of an appealing place to live as well.
Birch Cliff is perfect for families. Located along Lake Ontario on top of the western part of the Scarborough Bluffs this picturesque neighbourhood has been the site of quite the condo boom along it’s mainstreet. The homes there tend to be big and expensive, but the condos have more competitive offers especially for Toronto prices. Already a famous spot for Torontonians to go and explore the Scarborough Bluffs, this quiet neck of the woods won’t be staying long. Businesses will follow condos and Birch Cliff is no exception having already quite a few new number of cool coffee shops and restaurants.
You should not only eat your greens, but live amongst them.
Gerrard East is east of Riverdale. Riverdale has undergone massive changes and now that is finally slowly spreading east, much like Leslieville’s development is now spreading to Leslieville East. There are a couple of great cafes and restaurants already but still lots of real estate left to be snatched up. The prices right now are low but they wont be for long.
Also home to Little India!
Rockcliffe-Smythe has gotten attention from Airbnb, BlogTO, and Toronto Life for its growth. Back in 2015 Toronto Life said that Rockcliffe-Smythe was one of the top 3 neighbourhoods in Toronto for first time homebuyers. There are a lot of schools for families with kids and green space. The development the neighbourhood has undergone includes the Stockyards Open Mall and the York Community Centre which opened up April 2017. When the Eglinton Crosstown is finally up and running the Mount Dennis stop will make the neighbourhood even more TTC accessible.
The Canadian dream.
The West Don Lands are still under construction but have for the most part been transformed from a purely industrial area into a neighbourhood. It’s great location near the water, the Distillery District, and downtown have created a lot of demand. This area was transformed from one of Toronto’s barren eyesores to a community that boasts new high rises, an 18 acre park, student housing, and low income housing.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Yonge and Finch, ah the last stop on that beautiful main yellow subway line. This neighbourhood has been a hot spot for condo development for years now and its location allows the prices to more competitive then elsewhere in Toronto. If you love Korean and Persian food, you will love it here. There are bars and restaurants so you don’t have to worry about having fun up there. The high number of condos and cheap rent has more and more businesses moving up there. A great spot for someone who is willing to be a bit further out for cheaper rent.