Finding a rental in Toronto can be a challenging and daunting task with fewer new apartment buildings being developed. As Spacing's Shawn Micallef recently alluded to in his piece for the NY Times, Toronto is a city that tends to look down on high-rise living in favour of home ownership. Don't despair. There are still some great resources and techniques to find the perfect rental.
To start with Viewit.ca with its blue and white signs that dot the city is a great resource for finding a house or condo rental. If you spot one of their signs, you can easily lookup the property using the property ID number. They have a mobile friendly website and simple search too.
While most folks associate MLS and Realtor.ca with buying a house, it can also be a great resource for finding a rental too. Most of the properties listed on MLS are a bit higher-end than other rental sites as the landlord is required to pay a commission to the real estate agent to post their property. You can find very high-end rentals like this four bedroom home with a ridiculous wine cellar for $14,500/month or a lesser-priced Art Deco apartment at Avenue Road and St. Clair for $1,700/month.
Both Craigslist and Kijiji have a great variety of rentals available to suit every one of your needs. You can find everything from a room for a single vegan female, to someone looking to do a house swap in Edmonton (probably not a great idea this time of year), to a luxury 5,000 square foot Georgian-style home in Rosedale renting for $11,500/month.
Thanks to The Dirt, a site dedicated to condo reviews in the city, you can also read reviews about a building before you move in. Some recent comments will give you a flavour of what you can find on the site.
One commenter in reference to the Shangri-La says:
Cheap material high profits - The condo units are cheaply made. For example, many units have already needed the floors replaced. This is due to the fact heels from shoes will dent the "hardwood" flooring (less then a year old). Personal experience - in 4 months, needed plumbing issues resolved.. twice! Also the cheap carpet continues to leave fibers like hairballs everywhere. While another commenter also talking about the Shangri-La says:
The amenities are first rate, you do share them with the hotel, but I don't think they are too busy. There is a full salon, large pool and hot tub and a very decent size gym plus more. Lots of staff in the amenities to take care of things for you is very nice to have. Really nothing to complain about.
· Renters Week 2013 Archives [Curbed Toronto]