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Accommodation in Toronto consists of properties of every shape and size, and newcomers should be able to find something to suit both their budget and needs relatively easily.
Types of accommodation in Toronto
For most cities, rent is usually more expensive in the city centre. This is only partly true of Toronto. While luxury condominiums and skyscrapers dot the skyline, there is a contingent of immigrant communities living in sub-par housing within the city centre. This creates a striking contradiction where multi-million dollar condos reach upward next to homeless shelters that appear to be near collapse.
This uneven distribution of wealth means 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 among them from which to choose.
Some areas in Toronto are more commonly associated with certain accommodation features. For instance, accommodation on the periphery is 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 otherwise specified.
Finding accommodation in Toronto
The best way to find accommodation in Toronto is by perusing the plethora of online listings. Real-estate agents can also be incredibly helpful, as they are familiar with the market and the logistics around leasing and negotiations. In many cases, these agents also host listings on their company websites. Landlords are responsible for paying the agent's commission, so expats needn’t worry about incurring extra costs.
Renting accommodation in Toronto
Once an expat has found a property they like, they must review and sign the lease. Leases can be negotiated with the landlord, and normally require two month's notice before moving out.
Lease agreements generally cover the duration of the lease (usually 12 months) and the forfeiture conditions explaining the eviction terms for a breach of contract.
Deposits are usually two months' rent, which is refundable in principle. It is important to carry out an inventory and note any damages when moving into a property to avoid any unfair deductions from the security deposit at the end of the lease.
Additional financial responsibilities of the tenant in Toronto will include gas and electricity usage, while water is usually included in the rental charge.
►To learn about the various neighbourhoods in and around the city, check out Areas and Suburbs in Toronto
"Properties are smaller but beautiful. Most houses are split, with different tenants living on different floors. They are nicely separated so there are no common areas besides the backyard. Most homes are built out of wood (instead of brick, like in SA) so sometimes you hear your neighbours above you. Basements are also very common here. But this is only referring to highly populated areas such as Toronto’s city centre. If you move an hour’s drive outside of the city you can find affordable homes and you can rent the entire property. Condos are also popular and most are pet friendly."
Learn more about Figo's expat experiences in his interview.
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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