- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Toronto Guide (PDF)
Accommodation in Toronto is made up of properties of every shape and size, and newcomers should be able to find something to suit their budget and circumstances without much hassle. Whether purchasing or renting property in Toronto, there is a great variety available.
Types of accommodation in Toronto
For most cities, it is the case that the closer to the city centre, the more expensive the rentals become. This is only partly true of Toronto. While luxury condominiums dot the skyline, and while the city is continuously constructing skyscrapers, there is a large immigrant population living in sub-par housing within the city’s core. This creates a striking contradiction where multi-million dollar condos reach upward next to homeless shelters that can appear to be near collapse.
This uneven distribution of wealth means that there are apartments available for people from all walks of life almost anywhere in the city. While the districts in the west and north have some extremely expensive properties and rentals, there are plenty of townhouses, high-rises, and small houses in and amongst them from which to choose.
Keep in mind that though it's possible to find nearly any type of accommodation in any given area of Toronto, some areas are more commonly associated with certain accommodation features. For example, accommodation on the periphery of Toronto is more likely to come with green space and ample parking opportunities.
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in Toronto, but, typically, most rentals are unfurnished, unless specified otherwise.
Finding accommodation in Toronto
The best way to find accommodation in Toronto is by perusing the plethora of online listings. Additionally, local newspapers offer classifieds. Real-estate agents can also be incredibly helpful, as they are familiar with the market and the logistics surrounding leasing and negotiations. In many cases, these agents host listings on their company websites as well. Landlords are responsible for paying the agent's commission, so expats need not worry about incurring extra expenses.
Renting accommodation in Toronto
Once an expat has found a property they like, they will need to review and sign the lease.
Lease agreements generally cover the following: duration of the lease (usually 12 months), additional financial responsibilities of the tenant (water will usually be included in the rental charge, but tenants will have to pay for gas and electricity usage), deposit (usually two months' rent, refundable in principle), and forfeiture conditions (which explain how any breach of the contract leaves the tenant liable for eviction from the property).
It is important to carry out an inventory and note any damages when moving into a property because deductions from the security deposit will be made for any damages to the property at the end of the tenancy.
►To learn about the various neighbourhoods in and around the city, check out Areas and Suburbs in Toronto
Are you an expat living in Toronto?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Toronto. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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