Help for Home Hunters: Finding a Place to Live in Toronto

Help for Home Hunters: Finding a Place to Live in Toronto


Make a List of Priorities

First, think hard about what you need. Make a list that includes everything that is important to you in a living situation and rank those things from most important to least important. A jacuzzi and a view of Lake Ontario would be nice, but good roommates, nearby groceries, and access to public transportation are even better.

This list of priorities will be your reference point as you search for a place to live in Toronto. It will help you filter out what you don’t need, make decisions faster, and ask the right questions when it comes time to meet a landlord, ultimately saving you time.


Create a Budget

Take a look at your budget to figure out how much you can afford for rent.

Rental prices can vary widely depending on location, square footage, number of bedrooms, parking, and the year that the building was built (Source: LinkedIn). As of January 7, 2023, the average rent for a studio apartment is $1,806 CAD (Source: Zumper).

Prices tend to drop the further away from the downtown core you go, but that can also mean spending more time and money on transit.

Imagine this scenario: you find an apartment that is $100 below the average price. Great! However, the apartment is one hour away from your school. This means you will have to use transit. Monthly TTC passes for post-secondary students cost $128.15.

So, does it really make sense to save $100 on rent if you are going to have to pay $128 and spend more time on transit? (Keep in mind, you will likely need some form of a TTC pass, unless you have your own vehicle).


Decide Where You Want to Live

Toronto is full of many vibrant neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character exemplified by architecture, shops, restaurants, and walkable streets. To find the neighbourhood that’s right for you, check out our post, The Best Places to Live in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.


Start the Search

The best places to start your search is with our trusted housing providers:

If you decide to use another site that allows users to post their own items, such as Craigslist or Kijiji, always be aware that if a post seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, you might come across scams on some of these sites, so it is up to you to use your best judgment when browsing.  

View the Unit & Apply 

Once you’ve found a rental unit that looks good, follow these three easy steps: 

Step 1. Request a Viewing

Using a formal email address, you can ask any questions you have about the unit and location. Try to visit the unit in-person, as the videos and photos of a unit may have changed since they were taken.  

Step 2. Apply for a Unit 

After you have viewed the unit and decided it adheres to your list of priorities, you will need to complete a rental application, which involves providing references and giving your landlord consent to complete a credit check.

The best reference is a previous landlord. However, if you are new to Canada, that might not be possible. In that case, you can ask a teacher or another trusted authority figure to be your reference.

Step 3. Secure Your Unit

Once your application has been accepted, you will have to sign a standard lease agreement and, in most cases, pay the first and last month’s rent.


For more detailed information about finding a house in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, check out our helpful housing guide on this page.

If you have any further questions about housing, email with your Student ID in the Subject Line.

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