| by Kenneth Chase | 5 comments

TORONTO APARTMENT HUNTING | Tips & Neighbourhoods Discovering [ENG SUBS]


Hello everybody, how are you? I’m good!
I’m trying to get used to the cold… It’s not easy,
in this moment the temperature outside is -10 °C. In today’s video,
I want to show you a little bit of Toronto. I’ve visited Toronto a few times lately, because I was searching for an apartment like crazy! I had the chance
to start discovering the city and some of its neighbourhoods. Toronto is full of so many different things, so many neighbourhoods and they’re all different. Here in Toronto, the housing market is crazy. There’s such a high request of apartments, that every listing
expires incredibly quickly. To give you an idea,
real estate agents work also at night. A real estate agent replied to me at 1.30 am,
I’m not joking! They work also on weekends,
saturdays and sundays! As soon as you see
an apartment you like, you should confirm and say “Ok I’m going to take it”,
so it’s not easy to make a choice. I tried to do everything
in about one week. I saw 9 apartments in 3 days! I tried to book more possible appointments, because, as some of you already know,
I’m not living in Toronto right now, I’m living a bit far,
so I wanted to spend entire days in Toronto and see the most possible apartments
in one day, so I could maximize my time there. How does it work here?
There are two possibilities. You can talk with a real estate agent, or you can search for a sublet. Speaking with a real estate agent
is the less “annoying” choice: you tell the agent
exactly what you need, what type of apartment, the neighbourhoods,
the maximum amount you can spend, and he will take care
of sending you the best listings. However,
it’s not a thing that everyone can do. You can do it only
if you’re searching for a rent of 1 year minimum and you also need to provide
a list of documents that’s not possible to have if you’re just arrived to Canada. Once you decide
you want a specific apartment, you need to send an application, kind of you’re applying for a job, containing these documents: references, your credit score, recent paystubs and an employment letter,
to confirm you have a job. You see it’s impossible to have all these documents if you’re just arrived to a city. At this point, once you’ve sent the application, you have to wait for the landlord’s response, which can be also negative. If he or she believes your credit score or your salary
is not high enough, you can be rejected. In case your application is confirmed,
you can sign the contract. When you sign the contract,
you have to give 2 deposit cheques and the number of post-dated cheques needed
to cover the entire rental duration. What’s the other chance? Airbnb,
or searching for a sublet, which is really common in Toronto. I saw both: apartments
with real estate agents, and sublets. Since I’m not so organized, or I should actually say my mind is not organized,
I always try to control it and organize all my ideas
in the clearest way possible, so I’ve created an Excel file
to hunt for an apartment! Since I had such a little time,
I needed to look at the situation in a clear and organized way. In case you are hunting
for an appartamento in Toronto, or in any other city of the world, maybe you can find this Excel file useful. You can find the download link in the description below,
and you can fill it up with your own details. You need to pay attentions
to many different things when you search for an apartment in Toronto. There are so many things
that I’ve never heard of before. A fun thing is that many buildings, especially skyscrapers, have a gym inside,
also a pool sometimes. This is a plus you should consider
when you’re searching for an apartment. Knowing you can access to a gym for free,
it’s not bad at all. Most of the buildings have concierge. It’s a big thing,
for better security but most of all,
since I really love buying on the Internet, it’s perfect for me
because they take care of all the shippings arriving. But the funniest thing you should notice
when you search for an apartment in Toronto is the laundry machine. Laundry machine and dryer, because they always go together. You’ll always find the dryer here in Toronto. Obviously, with this cold,
nobody puts its laundry outside like we do in Italy. It’s not 100% sure you will have
a laundry machine and a dryer in your own apartment. You may have to go to a laundry shared floor where you will find shared laundry machines and dryers. So you will share an area in common
where everybody goes to do its own laundry. Exactly
as we see in TV series: it really happens. Other times it happens
the laundry machine and the dryer are in the basement. Exactly like in “Home Alone”! In the apartment I’m living right now,
so exactly where I’m sitting in this moment, the laundry machine and the dryer are in the basement! And the basement is so dark! Everytime I go downstairs, I think about Kevin
who’s scared to go down to his basement. But there’s more! Sometimes you will have to pay to do your laundry! There’s a thing called “coin laundry” here. There’s not difference if you live in a skyscraper or you share a house, maybe divided in different floors,
where you live let’s say at the groundfloor, and someone else lives at the first floor,
and someone else lives in the basements, (because here,
living in a basement is absolutely normal) anyway, in both cases
you may have to pay because these laundry machines
and these dryers turn on only with coins, maybe a 2 dollars coin. It’s really something I’ve never heard of before! Having some good transports near my apartment was really important to me to make a choice. Also having the supermarket near. I can only imagine me walking among the snow walking endlessly
to arrive at the supermarket, with cold and windy weather! And with my beautiful old lady’s shopping trolley! Some of you already know I love going for grocieries with my old lady’s shopping trolley. It’s since I was living in Milan that I can’t live without
my old lady’s shopping trolley! I didn’t bring my trolley from Milan, I will buy a new one here. But guys,
let’s talk about it, it’s the best way to go for grocieries! If you don’t have a car, how are you going to do? Hare you going to carrying heavy bags all around? Absolutely not.
Old lady’s shopping trolley for life! In case some of you
are hunting for an apartment in Toronto, you can find below, together with the Excel file, some links. Those are the main websites
I used to search for apartments listings, both sublets listings
and real estate agencies listings. Anyway, I’m going to stop talking now,
let’s go to Toronto! Since my first appointment
was in the west area of the city and I had some free time, I decided to stop in Graffiti Alley, an area of Toronto full of street art! The first apartment I saw
was here, in Shaw Street. I must say the building was really beautiful. The gym was well equipped. And there was a rooftop terrace
with a breathtaking view! Right, I forgot to tell you! Terraces
are a super common plus inside Toronto buildings! I liked the neighbourhood a lot, it’s on King Street West,
which is full of bars, café and cute small buildings. Really really nice. I could see myself easily in a place like that, Mi ci sono rivista molto in una zona così, but unfortunately transports
are not the best here! There’s no metro;
there’s only a tram, which is called street car here, that goes to downtown. The unit was really small! I was searching for a studio, but in this case there wasn’t no space even for a table! There was a murphy bed,
which basically is a dropdown bed. But, there was a couch! I’ve noticed that here, in studios,
you will find a couch way more often then a table! I don’t know,
maybe people just eat, study and/or work on the couch! And you can find a murphy bed very often as well. I don’t know why they don’t put a sofa bed, which mix together a bed and a couch
and makes you save so much spaces! I was searching for a furnished apartment, since I am, at least at the moment, just stopping by for some months. This requisite narrowed my researches a lot: I’ve noticed here you can find
unfurnished apartment for rent way easier. Anyway I really liked this first apartment overall, also if it had some cons, like the supermarket not so close. I just thought again of me walking in the snow with my old lady’s shopping trolley… Powerful scene! You should know
Toronto is not a cheap city at all, especially for rents. To give you an idea: the rent of this apartment,
which was really small, not more that 25 square metres,
but probably less, and it was not even located in “downtown downtown”, was 1.100 euro montly. In that moment I’ve really understood that to find a comfortable apartment I would have spent way more
I was expecting. The second apartment
was not so far from the first. It was in a neighbourhood called Liberty Village. This time as well, unfortunately,
I couldn’t film the inside of the apartment. This was the building and this was the entrace. The building was really beautiful inside,
modern, bright… Also a bit alternative I must say:
there was an art gallery in the hall! I could feel I was in a “hipster” neighbourhood. Here, for the first time,
I noticed that to enter in Toronto buildings, especially in the new ones, you need to use an electronic key called “key fob”, that open the doors only to who’s registered in the building. The apartment was nice,
there was also a balcony, great! But, also this time,
no space at all for a table nor for a couch! On this one I was going to the next level: just eat and work on the bed! That was a murphy bed! The price was the same
as the first one, so I was a bit hesitant. I loved Liberty Village. The post industrial architecture,
all these boutiques… I liked it so much! There’s such a cool and quiet vibe,
it looks like being inside a separeted town. But transport is not the best here. I really fell in love with this neighbourhood but then I tried to rationalise and think about how my every day life would have been there and probably it wouldn’t have been the most practical. For me it was really important
to find an area of the city from where you could reach all the rest easily. First of all, I still don’t know where I will work, and I also would like to explore the city the most possible! It’s true that transport in Toronto is not widespread as it should be. If you thought
that the map of the Rome subway was fun, since it’s a X
with some extensions, you’ve never seen the map of the Toronto subway! It’s an U,
two lines with some extensions. And the city is huge! The third apartment I saw
was near Yonge Street. The building was this one, a very high one, and the unit was at the 31st floor! Amazing! The apartment was big, there was a big room, a kitchen, a large living room,
way more than I needed actually. The price was the same as the other ones,
but here spaces were twice as much. If not three times! In this case, no laundry and dryer in the apartment, but coin laundry in the shared room at the 4th floor. I wasn’t so impressed by this apartment, I wasn’t impressed by the furniture but the view was simply breathtaking. Can you imagine
to wake up every day and see this? Unbelievable! I must say the area
left a strange sensation on me. It’s full of stores, bars, lights… but it looked not safe to me. I saw some strange activity… In that moment
I understood Toronto is a unique city, or should I say that probably in North America
cities are just different from Europe. It doesn’t matter if you are in downtown
or you’re near to a super busy street, it’s more the single street or the single block that counts. Moreover, things cas change dramatically
from street to street and from block to block. A street can be completely quiet and safe, you just go a block further and everything changes! Toronto is kind of a “patchy” city, it’s more important
to understand how’s the specific area or block in which you are more than being near of far to downtown. Anyway Yonge Street gives strong “Big City” vibes. It’s full of lights, shops and restaurants. The day after I saw 3 other apartments. The first one was in Wellesley Street, and the second one in Bay Street. I didn’t like the area that much… Maybe it’s a little bit too chaotic. I can’t show you the apartments because I was with an agent. They were two one bedroom apartments,
so a little bit more expensive. I must say
the apartment in Bay Street had some unbelievable facilities! There was an indoor pool, a huge gym
and a private movie theatre! But I knew I had to focus
on the neighbourhood and the comfort of the apartment rather than be tempted by these luxuries! The third apartment I saw
was in one of the coolest area of Toronto, called Entertainment District. It’s a mix: there are skyscrapers,
small buildings, many clubs and bars… A mix that I loved at first sight! The building was in Peter Street
and the apartment was at the 10th floor. This apartment was very small as well. No space for a table, no space for a couch, and there was a murphy bed. I liked the furniture a lot, minimal and neat, exactly how I like it. Everything was brand new! The building was super modern
and the facilities were really good. Metro was 10 minutes walk but there was no supermarket around. There where only minimarkets and convenience stores. The third day I had a little adventure
in Bloordale Village! I wanted to go outside downtown and see what an apartment in that area could offer, an apartment with half the rent of the other ones
but still on the subway line. Here the landscape changes a lot. There are many small houses, some of them where in not great condition! The apartment
was a basement and was cute inside, really big. I couldn’t film the inside
but one thing you must see is the complete darkness of the street! It was really dark! Even more fun, was the access
to the entrance of this apartment. A dark super tiny alleyway… I think here my shopping trolley can’t pass through!
Same for my luggages! Laundry and dryer
were working only with coins, and to share with the landlord
living at the ground floor. Finally, I saw the last apartment. I went back to downtown,
near Church Street. I was immediately impressed by the building, and the hall inside was really elegant. I stood there for a while
looking at the people entering the building and I saw
that they were using a key fob to open the doors. The rent was high. Really high! My expectations were high then,
but I must say the apartment met all of them. Finally everything you would need
was fitting the space of a studio: a couch, a table and a bed. As soon as I entered in the unit,
I had a good sensation, a cozy one. Maybe it happened
because there was a beautiful black cat there greeting me? …that I wanted to be included in the rent! The view was not bad from the 8th floor. In the building there was a small gym, a sauna and a terrace. The street was not to much chaotic, and the area looked like a mix between
skyscrapers and smaller buildings. I checked immediately
how were transport and services around. 5 minutes walk there were two metro stations,
and the streetcar was basically down the street. Very close, there was
a supermarket open 24hrs. But yes, rent was too high. So, what do you think, which will be the right apartment for me? I could have kept searching
for weeks and weeks but I didn’t want to go on forever. So in the end I made a choice
and soon I will be moving! Soon I will show you
which will be my new home for the next, at least, 6 months! I can’t wait for that! Thank you for watching this video… See you soon!

5 Comments

Sparvy

Dec 12, 2017, 2:00 pm Reply

Secondo me quella perfetta è l'ultima, hai detto una cosa fondamentale che non hai detto delle altre: casa.
Sbaglio?

dovunque

Dec 12, 2017, 12:16 am Reply

Secondo noi hai scelto o quello a yonge st. o l'ultimo….aspettiamo il prossimo video! ??

Sara Galli

Dec 12, 2017, 7:13 pm Reply

Che meraviglia il Canada… io sono passata anche da Toronto per la luna di miele ?

The World n Us

Feb 2, 2018, 6:08 am Reply

Thanks for the tips

Yuvraj Tuli

Mar 3, 2019, 8:00 pm Reply

Took me a month ( signed 8 leases ) got one apartment after paying 4 months upfront rent. Getting a good place in Toronto is like finding water in the desert. Also the prices are like paying for business class and travelling in Economy!

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