10 Things To Know Before Renting in Toronto

August 3, 2017

Toronto is one of Canada’s most notable and respected cities. It’s often mistaken for the country’s capital; Ottawa has that titled privilege. It doesn’t mean this beautiful city doesn’t have anything to boast about. It’s a powerhouse for history, attractions, and a vibrant nightlife. If you’re moving to Toronto in the near future, now is the best time to do so.

Renting in Toronto has never been easier because, by the year 2020, the city could have the highest number of high-rise condominiums in the world! Circl wants to help you become more acquainted with what Toronto has to offer, which is why we’ve put this extensive guide together. Read it before you start renting in Toronto!

Torontonians (and Canadians as a whole) always say sorry

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. The city of Toronto is roughly 630 square kilometres. To put that in perspective, its distance from north-south is 21 kilometres, and 43 km from east-west. Squeezed into those kilometres are over 2 million people – 2,826,497 to be exact. The city’s population makes it the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America. Chances are you’re going to bump into people from time to time! Even if you do, the person you run into will likely drop an “I’m sorry” before you can reciprocate. That’s the charming part about renting in Toronto because Torontonians are polite, genuine and not afraid to show it.

Buying a house is difficult, but renting in Toronto isn’t

The real estate market in Toronto, like many metropolitan cities, is hot. Owning a home in the downtown core will come with a hefty price tag, as a detached home in the city is on the market for $1M on average. Small, narrow homes will sell for $750K. As a result, condos and apartments are becoming increasingly available in the city, making renting in Toronto accessible and affordable. Average rental costs in Toronto vary based on the type of dwelling you’re looking for and the location you want to live in. Renting in Toronto as opposed to buying a home is a favourable option because renters don’t have to concern themselves with property tax or major upkeep.

Visit our directory to find a rental property in the city and filter the search results by budget and dwelling size. Circl will narrow down your options that are suitable to your lifestyle. When you’re choosing a rental property to move into, consider its proximity to amenities you need, such as local gyms, grocery stores, or nearby restaurants. Toronto is home for work and leisure and offers a balance of both.

Get around on public transit

Toronto’s transit system might not be the best in the world, but it does its part to cover 1200km of the city on the road and underground in the subway. Living outside of the city will make it difficult to get into Toronto, but if you’re moving and renting in Toronto, it’s easy to get to and from destinations. Opt for a monthly pass if you’ll use public transit regularly, or buy tokens as you need. No one can do anything about the traffic, but you do have options to get around.

It’s one of the most multicultural cities in the world

Take one walk through the city of Toronto and you’ll see it’s a very multicultural city. Renting in Toronto will give you a wealth of opportunity to meet new people and explore other cultures. Toronto may soon become the biggest multicultural city in the world since half of the city’s population was born outside of Canada. The multicultural population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is expected to reach over 9 million people by 2036.

Food and drinks are aplenty

If you like choice, then renting in Toronto will be perfect for you. Toronto is home to culinary masterminds, both homegrown and from around the world. There are over 8,000 restaurants and bars in the city, and you don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate it! The city is home to Susur Lee and Toronto-bred rapper Drake’s restaurant Fring’s, where you can sample globally inspired fare. Craving a good steak? Barberian’s Steakhouse has been a old-school favourite. Celebrities and athletes have been known to frequent this city hotspot. There is no shortage of dessert, either. There is always a lineup at Sweet Jesus for ice cream, but more and more ice cream shops are popping up to curb your hot summer craving.

In the summer and winter season, the city hosts Summerlicious/Winterlicious; restaurants in Toronto develop prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. It’s a great opportunity to try soemthing new and at a great price. Here’s just a taste of what the Toronto food scene has to offer:

Richmond Station – the restaurant is co-owned by a Top Chef Canada tv show winner!

Scaramouche – sophisticated French cuisine at its finest

Nota Bene – hip restaurant showcasing Canadian dishes

Canoe – enjoy inventive Canadian cuisine with an exceptional view of the city

Buca – Enjoy rustic Italian dishes paired with your favourite wine

Renting in Toronto is a gateway to culinary adventures! This is only a small selection; with 8,000 to choose from, there are endless possibilities for lunch and dinner.

There is an attraction for every passion and hobby

Whether you’re moving to Toronto for the first time, or are renting in Toronto from the GTA, you don’t have to be a tourist to explore what this city has to offer.

CN Tower – One of seven wonders of the modern world, the CN Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere. It stands 553 meters above ground and has a glass floor that lets you see down, down, down into the city. If you’re afraid of heights, don’t step on the glass! Twice a year, the CN Tower hosts stair climbs to raise money for important causes. It attracts over 20,000 participants annually, and they climb 1,776 stairs (144 flights) up the CN Tower as part of the fundraiser. For those who do not want to climb over 140 flights of stairs, you can enjoy a wonderful dinner in 360 The Restaurant. It’s one of the city’s finest restaurants, and offers a magnificent┬árotating view of the city.

Casa Loma – You don’t have to go on vacation to see a castle in real life because Toronto is home to its own castle. Casa Loma is a gothic style house that was built in midtown Toronto from 1911 to 1914. The castle was owned by Toronto financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. In 1903, he purchased the land from developers with the intention of building a massive home complete with stables, a potting shed, and a hunting lodge. It cost $3.5 million to build in the 20th century, and took 300 workers 3 years to build it. Sir Pellatt could not afford the upkeep following the Great Depression, and had to sell it in 1923. He lived there for less than 10 years. It’s now a permanent attraction for Torontonians and tourists to marvel at.

Royal Ontario Museum – Toronto’s museum is the largest museum in Canada, and over one million people visit on a yearly basis. It’s located on the University of Toronto campus and is easily accessible by subway. It opened in March of 1914 and has been a staple part of this city’s culture, featuring six million items and over 40 galleries. Take the time to see the museum’s dinosaur exhibit, minerals, European history, Canadian history, and so much more. The ROM also hosts Friday Night Live events in the spring and fall season. You’ll enjoy fare provided by food trucks within the museum, and you can eat and drink as you pass through some of the galleries.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – Many of Toronto’s attractions have been in existence for decades, but Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the newest attractions this city has. It opened in October 2013, just over two years after construction began. Located just southeast of the CN Tower, it is home to a fish tank you can walk through! It has over 5 million litres of marine and freshwater habitats, and over 13,000 exotic sea and freshwater specimens. Overall, it took $130M to build this magnificent aquarium that’s open to the public. It’s a great attraction for both kids and adults.

Canada’s Wonderland – This theme park is located north of Toronto in a GTA suburb. It’s about 40km away from the city; but it’s a must-see! It’s the country’s biggest theme park! Canada’s Wonderland opens its doors in May and closes in September every year, but open on weekends in the early spring and late fall. It boasts 16 roller coasters, has a water park, and hosts a huge Halloween-themed event every year. No trip to Canada’s Wonderland is complete without carnival food. Enjoy a funnel cake smothered in ice cream and chocolate or strawberry sauce, or opt for more traditional fare. Enjoy a fun day with friends, or bring the family!

Toronto has a lot to offer by the way of sightseeing. Spend time exploring your new city.

Ditch the car if you can

Toronto is a great city to walk around, rain or shine (but bring an umbrella just in case). You’ll notice as you get more comfortable walking around the city that everything is fairly close to each other, and if it isn’t, there’s always the subway. In case you haven’t heard, Canada is notorious for really cold winters. Never fear, keep your fingers and goes intact by walking inside the PATH. It’s an underground pedestrian walkway that spans 30 kilometres and covers most of the city’s downtown core. Skip an outdoors walk and peruse the shops instead. Over 200,000 commuters walk through the path on any given day!

Political controversies

Toronto has been home to revolutionary mayors who have made lasting impacts on the city, but politicians have had their fair share of scandals. During Rob Ford’s tenure as Toronto Mayor from 2010 to 2014, the former mayor found himself embroiled in controversy. He admitted to smoking an illegal substance months after a video of him was released caught in the act. It was an embarrassing display of publicity for the city. In his second bid for mayor, Ford withdrew his candidacy following a cancer diagnosis. He succumbed to the disease in March 2016 at the age of 46.

Toronto is big on sports

Toronto is home to several sports teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey), Toronto Raptors (basketball), Toronto Blue Jays (baseball), Toronto Argonauts (football), and Toronto FC (soccer). Every arena, field or center is packed with fans dressed in the appropriate colours to show off pride for their team. Our sports teams have undergone bad slumps, but it doesn’t stop fans from congregating outside the arenas or fields to get in on the action.

Toronto is big on its sports! If you're moving to Toronto, become a fan!

Toronto International Film Festival

Every September, celebrities and movie stars come to the 6ix (did we mention this is one of Toronto’s many nicknames?) for TIFF. The film festival has screenings, lectures and a chance to meet filmmakers, all in a short time every September. Plus, what’s not to love about lining up to catch a glimpse of George Clooney? Kidding aside, TIFF is actually a charitable organization that wants to change the way we see the world through film. Attending a TIFF screening means you’re showing appreciation for filmmakers and their impactful stories. It creates 28,000 new jobs and tickets are inexpensive. Support the growth!

Moving to a new city can seem daunting, especially if you’re living in a cramped rental property! Instead, head out in the evenings and on weekends to explore the city. Toronto is a city that always has something to offer; there is always an event to attend, a place to see, a new restaurant that’s opening. If a vacation isn’t in the budget, why not visit one of Toronto’s beaches? If you don’t know where to find the latest events, just check social media! Since Torontonians are so friendly, you’ll meet people as you experience something new. New friends and experiences will make the transition easier.

If you’re moving to Toronto and you’ve never been to the city before, get ready for it! Renting in Toronto will be an exciting experience; you’ll love it once you arrive. We encourage you to stay awhile because you’ll like what this city has to offer.

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Remember, finding a rental property in Toronto is easy when you use Circl. Download the app today to find your next rental property in Toronto. It’s easy to use, and you can contact a landlord and make an offer using the app!

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