1-bedrooms in Toronto?
January 31, 2008 7:57 PM   Subscribe

TorontoApartmentFilter: Am I crazy to hold out for a nice 1 bedroom apartment in Toronto's downtown west-side (Little Italy, Roncy, maybe Parkdale, etc.) for under $1100?

What about under $1000?

Part of being nice means not being cramped, and not being cookie-cutter, parquet floor in a high-rise.
posted by regicide is good for you to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
did you earn less than $43,000 last year? Then, here you go.
posted by parmanparman at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2008

The reason I ask is I need to quickly make a decision on a very lovely apartment that's nearly $1200, which is kinda prohibitive.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:04 PM on January 31, 2008

parmanparman: Holy crap, I qualify for social housing?!

Thanks - but is that sort of price going to be relatively easy to find, for nice places, in general?

posted by regicide is good for you at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2008

And honestly I prefer a graceful old (and well-kept) building to a hip new one.

But I'm not expecting anyone to find apartments for me - I'm just wondering if I'm being too picky; what are people's experiences with 1bdrm prices in Toronto?

posted by regicide is good for you at 8:10 PM on January 31, 2008

I found an approx 1000sf loft last June on the north end of Sorauren for $1000 inclusive. Building was built in 1905.
posted by dobbs at 8:19 PM on January 31, 2008

Oops, sorry, missed your "high-rise" desire. Mine's obviously not a high-rise. (But has hardwood floors, exposed brick, 14ft high ceilings, exposed ceiling beams, laundry on premises...)
posted by dobbs at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2008

I meant not in a high-rise.

Also, I am murdering you for your loft.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:25 PM on January 31, 2008

My landlord advertises on Craigslist, fyi. Nothing free at the moment. I did get a friend in here in November. 700sf and $850 I think.
posted by dobbs at 8:28 PM on January 31, 2008

You will definitely be able to find something, but it'll take time. And you'll see a LOT of basement apartments come up for rent. Craigslist is one of the most common places for rental postings, but be sure to check Facebook Marketplace - Toronto's network is massive.
posted by smitt at 8:32 PM on January 31, 2008

Yes, you can find a nice 1 bdrm in all the areas you listed for less than $1100. It just requires some patience and persistence. Keep in mind that craigslist is being scoured by like-minded individuals regularly (myself included) so the key is to jump on promising listings immediately.

A couple of sites that I regularly check are myhood.ca and viewit.ca (caveat, I have never actually rented any listings from these sites -- YMMV). Best of luck.
posted by purephase at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

there are some oldish, low-rise (like 5 storey walkup) buildings right on the east side of roncy, like a block or two south of the loblaws.. a one-bedroom in one of those is $850. they're not palatial or anything, but they're pretty cute- there's a small bay window in the living room of each unit, for instance. i forget the addy, sorry- but i've seen them come up on craigslist once in a while.
posted by twistofrhyme at 10:19 PM on January 31, 2008

If you love the apartment and you can afford $1100, I would suggest you take it.

Apartments under $1000 that aren't basements and aren't roach-infested hovels in that area are less and less common all the time.

They seem common until you actually start going to see apartments... then you start to see it's not going to be easy.

(I lived in the area from 2003-2007 and had I not been leaving the city I doubt I'd have been able to afford to live above ground alone.)
posted by loiseau at 10:36 PM on January 31, 2008

I recommend Viewit.ca. I found a (small, admittedly) place for $700 at Avenue and Davenport. It's not fancy, but it is fine for one. But I think I was lucky.

I don't think $1100 is that unreasonable, but also $1200 isn't that massive if it's flash. You can certainly get cheaper, though, but quality and convenience can drop massively. I'd say you were at the middle to high end of what you can get, but the availability lower than that is much smaller - it may depend on how much time you have to find somewhere.
posted by Brockles at 5:54 AM on February 1, 2008

Have you tried negotiating the price on the current place you're interested in? I successfully talked down the price on the last two places I rented in Toronto, and with the vacancy rates in the city where they are today you are in an even better position to do so. This works best if you have a decent credit rating, solid employment, and a positive reference from your previous landlord but even if you don't have these things don't let it stop you.

The thing landlords don't want you to know is that good tenants are extremely hard to find. If you can convince them that you are a safe bet, that you'll take good care of the place and pay your rent on time and that you will likely stay for more than a year then it is worth it for them to take a small loss on their monthly rent. $100 less per month is better than 1 month of the place sitting vacant and needing a new paint job and repairs every year. ALWAYS try to get a better deal based on this fact! At a minimum, negotiate to have utilities included whenever you can.

Also, if you're willing to expand your search area you could look in the Junction, Parkdale, Bloor & Dufferin/Ossington. Parkdale isn't as scary as it was 10 years ago when I moved to Toronto as a student and lived there in a leaky basement 1-bed for $450. Check around the up-and-coming areas along Queen West West where all the little galleries are and you'll see the early signs of gentrification. Move in now and lock in a low rent...

Good luck! Those places are out there. Before I bought my condo, my boyfriend and I were paying $1250 for a beautiful newly reno'd 2-bed at Danforth & Broadview. You should definitely be able to find a nice 1-bed for under $1100.
posted by id girl at 6:14 AM on February 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I used to live in a totally fabulous 3rd floor walkup on Roncy. $1200, 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, sunroom, washer & dryer IN THE APARTMENT (!!!!!!!!), steps from everything. Not sure if it's available right now.

So yeah, it's easily findable in the area. But you know what they say about birds, hands, and bushes..
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:15 AM on February 1, 2008

You are going to have a hard time if you don't want to live in a basement, and if you aren't willing to do some fixer-upper-ing. The farther west you go, the easier it'll be. (I lived at Bloor and Landsdowne a few years ago in a great place for a very good price, but I also had to walk past hookers and really scary looking people doing drug deals every time i wanted to walk home from the subway station at night. If you're willing to put up with that kind of neighbourhood - i wasn't - then there are plenty of bargains to be had.)
posted by Kololo at 7:59 AM on February 1, 2008

I saw a lot of basements while I was looking in November, but I managed to find a very nice ground floor one bedroom on Dundas just above Roncesvalles for $990 inclusive. It's a little compact, but I just pretend I'm at sea.

It may take some persistence, but there are decent places available, and landlords are definitely willing to toss in extras (washer & drier) to attract good tennants.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2008


How long will you be staying? Landlords are often more willing to give a month of rent for free than to lower rate, presumably because of rent control. You definitely want to negotiate rent if you are staying for 3-5 years, but if for two years a fixed discount is good enough.

Just last year a friend got the entire main floor of a house at Christie Pitts for little more than $1100/month.
posted by Chuckles at 12:46 AM on February 3, 2008

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