Rental Market Update

This report is adapted from  via. Blog.To

Toronto rent prices have been up, down and all around lately as the market recovers from pandemic lows in 2020 that saw apartments get increasingly more affordable month-over-month for more than a year straight.

Now that the provincial economy has nearly opened up in full again and the return of international travel and immigration as we used to know it is on the horizon, things are picking up in the short-term rental, long-term rental and real estate world in general (though as far as house and condo purchases in the city, things hardly even cooled due to COVID-19).

The average price of renting a unit in Toronto proper and the GTA overall has started rising slowly once more.  

In the city proper, neighbourhoods like Cabbagetown-South St. James Town, North St. James Town and South Parkdale are among those that have the cheapest rents right now, while Rosedale-Moore Park, the Bay Street Corridor, and Waterfront Communities-The Island had the priciest, and also more active listings.

While general affluence of and rental trends of certain areas are obvious factors in price, there are other things at play — namely, the number of options made available by new builds.

"The neighbourhoods with low levels of new condo construction experienced over the past decade have seen the biggest increases in rent in 2021 in the city of Toronto," Bullpen President Ben Myers said alongside this latest data. 

"Desirable communities near transit, with a lack of supply have been the first to recover during the pandemic."

Compared to the rest of the GTA, renting in downtown Toronto remains, on average, more expensive than in Brampton, Mississauga, Markham, Ajax, East York, Scarborough, York and Etobicoke, though cheaper than in Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Pickering, as per the most recent numbers from the two companies.

As workers prepare to return to the office (on top of all else that is opening up), the experts expect that rent prices will continue to rise, especially in popular areas where supply remains tight.

What do Rentals Cost in Toronto?  This chart ranks the rentals by Neighbourhood in Toronto:

How does Toronto Stack up to Canada? 


What Landlords look for in an ideal tenant?

Renting in Toronto can be very competitive, so understanding what Landlords look for in a tenant can help you be successful in finding a condo to rent in Toronto.   Landlords look for a good track record, good credit score and stable income.

4 Tips on finding great rental in Toronto:

  1. Be organized; have your employment letters, salary verification, references & credit report ready to put an application in right away.
  2. Think of it as a job application – You’re interviewing for the space, so play up your strengths, compliment the property and keep demands to a minimum
  3. Video speaks 1000 words – do a video introduction or Zoom call with the Landlord or Landlord’s Realtor
  4. Look in your budget – Landlords have their choice of applicants for premium properties – sometimes they rent for over the asking price.  So make sure you’re looking in or slightly below your price range


Recent Blog Posts

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A disturbing trend I've come across recently is the fraud in the rental space.   As an agent who handles a fair share of rentals; these issues have shown up over several ways this year.   I'll tell you about 3 instances I've had and the red flags that appeared with each! 

When I'm representing a landlord and an application comes in, I spend a lot of time going through an applicants documentation and getting references and looking through their background.  Here's what I do:

  • Call their employer by finding the employer's website and calling through their office to confirm employment.  I don't just call the supervisor on the application
  • Look carefully at the documents to see if they are real; company letterhead & credit reports can be faked or bought
  • Check social media & linked in
  • Call past landlords
  • Make sure there is a building at the address they're currently renting
  • Check that the landlords name and property owners names match.   If it's an apartment building call through the property management company if it's an apartment rather than calling the number provided.
  • Look at the credit report for signs of altering

With those things in mind, let's look at 3 things that have happened to me this year!

1.  Student rental Scam - fake rental and landlord

First of all, you should never have to pay to submit a rental application, or be asked for a deposit before you get a chance to see the place.   These scams are generally ads on sites like Kijijii and Facebook for rentals that look too good to be true.  They also steal MLS listings for homes and advertise them at lower rates.  I came across one recently through a family friend desperate for some student housing.  It was a big scam; and when I called them out they 'protested too much'.    Here's how to spot these scammers:

  • They demand payment to submit a rental application
  • They demand a deposit before you see the unit
  • Makes excuses why they are not available to speak to on the phone 
  • Will only communicate through messenger, text or email
  • The advertised price is way lower than other rentals
  • Their Facebook profile was just created
  • Their Facebook name does not match their user name ID (see the URL) 

2. Fake Rental Applications   

There are some very good forged documents out there.  I had some people submit an application on a lease I was advertising and here's what I found during the checks, among the other checks I did as above :

  • Inconsistencies in addresses on the application
  • Employment letter does not look real - no header or footer with information on the company letterhead

3. Forged Tenacy Papers

I had a call from a gal who had a great story, good employment, good credit, moving to Toronto from outside the city for work, can't come in to look for a place so needed virtual showings.  Could I help her find a place.  Sounds great right?  

Now I don't usually check tenants out before I help them (and I'd helped out a client with an out of town move this year already in a similar situation)  But with everything going on right now, I felt it couldn't hurt to see what her references would say.   So she sent in her application & 

then came the paperwork - the address of her job didn't match up with her story.  The company had never heard of her or her supervisor.  There was even no property listed at the home she had put for her address!  Other red flags for scammers include what she did:

  • get overly upset when called out 
  • provide complicated excuses for 'mistakes' on application forms
  • call the fact checker a liar, unprofessional, etc.

So be careful out there folks! 


A big thank you to the communities of Guildwood, West Rouge & Port Union for the terrific support last Saturday for my Community Shredding Event.  About 30 families participated - and their generous food donations filled our Jeep to the brim!   The food donations were taken straight to Feed Scarborough - the Scarborough Food Security initiative and will be distributed to local satellite food banks in the area.   Judging from the huge line up outside the Manse Rd. food bank Saturday, it's much needed. 

Chartwell Guildwood was my partner for this event and provided the venue and great snacks.  Thank you Kelly & Dianne for your wonderful support.  As always, Papersavers was gracious, friendly, professional and helpful!  

One interesting sideline - My husband, myself, Dianne and Alex from papersavers all grew up within the same area!   Such a big city/small world!