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Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in Canada in terms of cost of living. The average monthly salary doesn’t cover basic monthly expenses. Is it because of inflation? Well, some of it.

The cost of housing has risen as well, making it hard for a lot of people to pay rent. This is especially true in Canada’s most popular cities, like Toronto, where the average monthly rent for an apartment is over $2,000 for a one-bedroom and over $3,000 for a two-bedroom.

However, you can still find rentals that cost below the current average. For instance, here’s how to find cheap apartments for rent in Toronto.

How To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto

Research is key to finding cheap apartments for rent in Toronto. If you go online, you’ll see plenty of different websites where people can post new apartments for rent. Below are some of the common platforms people use to find cheap rent in Toronto: 

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto Through Toronto Home Zone (THZ)

THZ is a private Facebook group for people seeking short and long-term rentals and roommates in Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). It’s managed by a non-profit called the Ontario Tenant Alliance and its volunteers, so you’ll need to become a member before you can look at listings.         

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto Through Kijiji

This massive online advertising service can help Canadians buy, sell and trade just about anything, from used cars to rental accommodations. Users offering long or short-term rentals can post classified ads privately and include any details they want. This includes whether the unit is furnished, has utilities included and how much it costs.  However, because of that, you must be wary of scams when on Kijiji.     

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto Through Padmapper

This online search engine is designed specifically for apartment rentals. It allows you to customize your search options with filters like price, number of bedrooms, and short or long-term listings. It even has a map feature that you can use to view rentals in areas surrounding Toronto (or your location).    

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto Through Toronto Rentals

Like Padmapper, Toronto Rentals includes a digital map that you can use to browse rentals in the city center and the neighbourhoods around it. It also takes things to the next level by offering a Virtual Reality feature, which gives users the best immersive apartment-viewing experience on the market.       

Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto Through Zumper

If you want a website that’s really easy to navigate, Zumper provides a large-scale map, along with a detailed list of all the rental listings in your desired area. It also gives you the option of drawing directly on the map and focusing on a specific area, so you’ll never miss out on cheap apartments for rent in Toronto.    

Did you know you can rent-to-own a house in Ontario?

Where Are The Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto?

Although you’ll encounter a lot of expensive rentals in the heart of downtown Toronto, there are several neighbourhoods with cheaper options. To give you a better idea, here’s the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in the cheapest neighbourhood surrounding Toronto

NeighbourhoodLocation DescriptionAverage Rent Price
MaltonNortheast of Mississauga, in the Region of Peel, Mississauga$1,150
WhitbyEast of Toronto, in the Region of Durham, beside Lake Ontario $1,550
East YorkNortheast of Danforth Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway$1,589
New TorontoWest of Toronto in Etobicoke, on Lake Ontario$1,595
DownsviewNorth of the Toronto City Centre, close to the 410 Highway $1,600
BramptonRegion of Peel, near Lester B. Pearson International Airport$1,613 
Black CreekNorthwest of downtown Toronto, in the area of Jane and Finch$1,630

What Is The Average Rent In Toronto?

According to Zumper, there are approximately 3,990 apartments for rent in Toronto, ranging from “affordable” to “luxury”. 1-bedroom rentals are the most common, with 1,316 listings, and 4-bedroom rentals are the least common, with 125 listings. While those numbers are always subject to change, here are the current average prices of apartments for rent in Toronto:  

Median RentYear-Over-Year (Y/Y) Change 
Studio $1,80825% ($358)
1 Beds$2,35024% ($250)
2 Beds$3,00025% ($600)
3 Beds$3,80027% ($805)
4 Beds$5,20030% ($1,200)

Prices are subject to change and are based on Zumper.

What If You Can’t Pay Your Rent In Toronto?

As expensive as rental dwellings can be in Toronto, it’s important to pay your rent on time if you wish to avoid fines, evictions, and other penalties. If you think you won’t be able to pay your rent this month or next, you may want to consider options like:  

Speaking To Your Landlord

Start by having a discussion with your landlord as soon as possible. Since your rent payments generally go toward the cost of owning and maintaining your apartment, failing to pay could cause financial problems for them, and thus problems for you. 

So, no matter the reason, it’s essential to give your landlord plenty of notice if you anticipate not being able to pay your rent. Then, if you have a good relationship, they may be understanding and offer you some flexibility until you can rectify the situation.   

Paying With A Credit Card

Unfortunately, most landlords don’t accept credit cards as a method for paying rent. Cheques, direct debits, and cash are usually preferred. However, there are some third-party apps and rental payment services that you can use to pay rent with a credit card

These services allow you to enter your credit card information and, in exchange, they’ll pay your rent for you. It may take about two to seven business days for your landlord to receive the payment, so be sure to account for your app or service’s wait times before you use it. Most rent payment services will also charge a fee to process and send your payment.   

Spreading The Costs With A Personal Loan

If you’re having temporary problems paying your rent but you’ve got a steady job and income, a personal loan may be a better option than a credit card. With a personal loan and a trustworthy lender, you can borrow as little as $500 and use it to cover any cost, including your rent. Before getting a personal loan to pay your rent, keep in mind that:

  • You’ll have to pay interest and fees to borrow money 
  • The lowest rates and best loan terms are reserved for applicants with good credit
  • If you have bad credit, you may get denied by some lenders or pay higher rates  

How To End A Lease In Toronto

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) outlines the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords in Ontario. It also states the rules for evictions, rent increases, and other issues. For instance, here are the rules if you’re a tenant and want to end your lease:

  • You are not required to sign a new lease after it expires. Instead, the original lease terms continue and you automatically become a month-to-month tenant.
  • If you’re on a fixed or monthly lease and wish to move out, you must give your landlord 60 days (2 months) written notice before your tenancy’s end date             

How To Qualify For Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto

Remember, even a “cheap” apartment can be pretty expensive in Toronto. So, you’ll have to prove to the landlord that you can pay your rent on time to get approved. Here are some easy things you can do to qualify for a cheap apartment for rent in Toronto:   

Have A Good Credit Score

When you apply to rent an apartment, most landlords will start by checking your credit. If you have healthy credit, it’s usually because you’ve been keeping up with all your existing debt payments and will therefore be more likely to pay your rent as agreed. Some red flags that they’ll be looking out for include:

  • Poor payment habits
  • Bankruptcies
  • Large amounts of unpaid debt
  • Credit accounts that are overdue or frozen

A good-to-excellent credit score of around 660 to 900 shows that you’re responsible with your debts. This is what most landlords want to see. If your credit score isn’t great but you have a reasonable explanation for it, like a recent divorce, try being honest about it. Your landlord might be understanding and focus more on your income.         

How To Check Your Credit Score For Free In Canada

Before you start looking into cheap apartments for rent in Toronto, it’s a good idea to check your credit score, which you can do for free at CompareHub.   

Negotiate A Better Deal

If a nice apartment is out of your budget, there’s no harm in talking to the landlord. For example, if they’re renting the property out by the month, try offering them a lower price in exchange for signing a longer lease. If you only plan on staying one or two months, offer to pay in-full upfront.      

Search During Off Times

If you search during the spring or summer, it’s tough to find cheap apartments for rent in Toronto. As this is when most renters start switching living situations. As such, rentals can become more expensive and limited, leading to more competition, so it may be better to look in the winter or fall when demand is lower. 

Consider University Residence (For Students)

Renting a university or college residence can be an excellent choice, especially from May to mid-August, when terms are over. During such times, a school’s housing department will often rent out cheap apartments to summer students, travellers, and other visitors.           

Consider A Shared Accommodation

If you can’t afford or qualify to rent an apartment by yourself, you may want to consider living with one or more roommates. As long as you’re comfortable sharing all the common areas, a multi-tenant accommodation can also be a great option for dividing up the costs of cheap apartments for rent in Toronto. 

Bottom Line On Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto

Even though rental dwellings are quite expensive in Toronto and the GTA, you can find what you’re looking for with some time, research, and negotiation with your potential landlord. You can also consider alternative options to make your rent cheaper such as getting a roommate.  With inflation increasing the cost of living, securing a cheap apartment for rent in Toronto is crucial to maintaining an affordable lifestyle. 

Cheap Apartments For Rent In Toronto FAQs

Why is rent in Toronto so expensive?

Due to lingering inflation and high-interest rates, Ontario is having a housing crisis. As such, rental prices are expected to keep rising into next year. The largest contributing factors are the increasing need for adaptability and the shortage of cheap homes. 

What is the average price of rent in Toronto?

According to Zumper, the median price of rent for an apartment in Toronto is currently $2,350 a month for a one-bedroom and $3,000 a month for a two-bedroom.    

How much can my landlord increase my rent in Toronto?

The Ontario Government has specific rules for rental increases, which are calculated according to the Ontario Consumer Price Index. While the amount fluctuates yearly, rental increases were at 2.2% in 2020. So, if your rent was $2,000 at the time, your landlord could raise it to $2,044. Landlords can legally raise your rent once every 12 months but must give you a written notice of at least 90 days before they do so.
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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