what are the cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in the greater toronto area via liv rent

[Updated August 2022] The 8 cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in the Greater Toronto Area

Toronto certainly isn’t known for having the cheapest rent in Canada. In fact, before the market changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto was consistently the most expensive place to rent in the country. But how much is rent in Toronto exactly? We’re going to look at rental averages across the main cities and municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area and show you where the cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in the GTA to help you keep your monthly costs as low as possible.

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Table of Contents


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1. Ajax-Pickering


Average rent in Ajax-Pickering

The average rent in Ajax-Pickering was just $965 for a one-bedroom unit according to the latest data from the CMHC.

Elsewhere in the Durham Region, average rent in Oshawa is significantly more more expensive at an average of $1,669 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit according to our August 2022 Rent Report.

Neighbourhood Breakdown: Ajax-Pickering

About: Located between Scarborough and Whitby in the Durham Region, Ajax and Pickering are two particularly affordable municipalities on the eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area. Ajax in particular has become an extremely popular destination for young professionals seeking affordable housing without sacrificing convenience, and the area has developed a relaxed, suburban feel with plenty to do for residents of all ages.

Though larger than Ajax geographically, Pickering has a similarly sized population and a similarly quaint, lakefront vibe to its neighbour. The area is popular among young families for its relatively affordable housing and array of amenities like parks, community centres, and of course – beaches along Lake Ontario.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto:

Ajax and Pickering are about a 30-40 minute drive to Downtown Toronto by car, which makes both communities popular with commuters seeking a quieter place to call home. Both municipalities also have their own GO Train stations, with Ajax taking about an hour to reach Downtown Toronto, and Pickering about 75 minutes.

Rental types:

Both Ajax and Pickering offer a similar mix of single-family residences, multi-residential buildings such as condos, as well as larger lakefront homes along the shoreline.


2. Beechborough-Greenbrook, Toronto


Average rent in Beechborough-Greenbrook

The average rent in Beechborough-Greenbrook was just $1,066 for a one-bedroom unit as of the CMHC’s latest data. Compare this to Downtown Toronto’s $2,231 average for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit in August 2022, and Beechborough-Greenbrook seems even cheaper – at under half the price.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Beechborough-Greenbrook

About: A largely working-class neighbourhood, Beechborough-Greenbrook is a diverse area with residents from across a variety of cultures and backgrounds. The neighbourhood is located on the northwest end of Toronto, in the York district and isn’t far from the heart of the city. There is one public school in the neighbourhood, as well as the expansive Coronation Park which spans much of Beechborough-Greenbrook’s west end.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: This neighbourhood is on the western outskirts of Downtown Toronto, about 30 minutes away by car. Transit from Beechborough-Greenbrook is also perfectly manageable, with about a 45-55 minute trip by bus and train.

Rental types: Beechborough-Greenbrook has all manner of housing options, from multi-million dollar single-family dwellings to high-rise apartment and condo buildings.

  • Studio apartments for rent: Toronto
  • One-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto
  • Two-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto

3. Rexdale-Kipling, Etobicoke


Average rent in Rexdale-Kipling

The average rent in Rexdale-Kipling was $1,122 for a one-bedroom apartment according to the latest data from the CMHC.

Looking at liv.rent’s own August 2022 Rent Report, rent for Etobicoke as a whole average $2,070 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit, which makes Rexdale-Kipling look even more affordable in comparison.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Rexdale-Kipling

About: Rexdale-Kipling is a largely residential neighbourhood with a decidedly suburban feel in the GTA’s Etobicoke municipality. The main streets of this lively part of town are the namesake Kipling Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard, as well as Islington Avenue – all of which have plenty of businesses and shops for residents to enjoy. The neighbourhood also borders the Humber River on its north end, with walking trails along its banks.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Rexdale-Kipling is about a 35-50 minute drive to Downtown Toronto, and about 70 minutes by transit with the 32 bus and the 1 line towards Yonge-University.

Rental types: Rexdale-Kipling is largely suburban, with mostly townhomes and single-family residences as well as some low-rise condo buildings.

4. Old East York, Toronto


Average rent in Old East York

The average rent in Markham was $1,134 for a one-bedroom apartment according to CMHC data. This is nearly half of Downtown Toronto’s average for an unfurnished one-bedroom unit, which was $2,231 as of our August 2022 Rent Report.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Old East York

About: Historic Old East York is northeast of Toronto’s Downtown core, and offers surprisingly good value for renters despite its great location and plentiful amenities. There are plenty of green spaces throughout the neighbourhood like Stan Wadlow Park and ET Seton Park, primarily bordering the Don River that runs through East York. Residents will also find an assortment of schools with plenty of history, as well as areas for shopping primarily on the north end of the area.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto It’s about a 20-minute drive to Downtown Toronto from Old East York, and about 35-40 minutes by transit.

Rental types: Old East York is known for its older buildings that exemplify Toronto architecture, but there has been some new development in the area that has seen more high-rise condo buildings nearby.

  • Studio apartments for rent: Toronto
  • One-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto
  • Two-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto

5. Bendale, Scarborough


Average rent in Bendale

The average rent in Bendale was $1,141 for a one-bedroom unit according to CMHC data. In Scarborough as a whole, an unfurnished one-bedroom unit averaged $1,865 per month as of our August 2022 Rent Report.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Bendale

About: Bendale, also referred to as Cedarbrae or Midland Park, is a primarily residential area on the east side of the municipality of Scarborough, which is itself east of Downtown Toronto. This primarily middle-class neighbourhood has practically everything renters could ask for, including its own school system, the large Thompson Memorial Park, both TTC and GO Line stations, and the Scarborough Town Shopping Centre, as well as a nearby hospital.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Bendale is about a 30-minute drive away from Downtown Toronto, with multiple transit options that allow you to complete the journey in about 50-60 minutes.

Rental types: Bendale has a fairly equal representation of single-family, detached homes and apartment buildings.


6. Rockcliffe-Smythe, Toronto


Average rent in Rockcliffe-Smythe

The average rent in Etobicoke was $1,147 for a one-bedroom apartment according to CMHC data. This is well below Downtown Toronto’s average for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit, which is $2,232 per month as of our August 2022 Rent Report.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Rockcliffe-Smythe

About: Rockcliffe-Smythe is yet another up-and-coming neighbourhood on Toronto’s west side that’s seen considerable attention in recent years as an affordable, exciting new community for all sorts of renters. Primarily residential but with easy access to some of the city’s best amenities, Rockcliffe-Smythe is a nature lover’s dream with parks everywhere you turn and easy access to both the 401 to take you out of town, as well as an excellent transit network within reach.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Rockcliffe-Smythe is only about a 25-35 minute drive to Downtown Toronto, or about 35-45 minutes by public transit. Runnymede Station is probably your closest transit option for getting downtown quickly.

Rental types: This family-friendly neighbourhood is mostly made up of single-family, detached homes although there’s a good selection of condos and apartments in Rockcliffe-Smythe as well

  • Studio apartments for rent: Toronto
  • One-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto
  • Two-bedroom apartments for rent: Toronto

7. Kennedy Park, Scarborough


Average rent in Kennedy Park

The average rent in North York was $1,151 for a one-bedroom apartment according to CMHC data. In Scarborough as a whole, an unfurnished one-bedroom unit averaged $1,865 per month as of our August 2022 Rent Report.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Kennedy Park

About: Kennedy Park, also sometimes known as Scarborough Junction, is one of the city’s original suburban residential districts, as well as one of its largest. This family-friendly community has plenty of nearby schools within its borders and in surrounding areas, and is known for its many parks and green spaces for residents to enjoy. Kennedy Park also has its own GO Train and TTC stations to provide direct access to Toronto and other parts of the GTA.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Kennedy Park is approximately a 25-30 minute drive to Downtown Toronto by car, or about 40-50 minutes by transit by way of the GO Train.

Rental types: Kennedy Park has a strong community feel and offers a variety of options for both young families and individuals, primarily single-family residences and townhomes.


8. Long Branch, Etobicoke


Average rent in Long Branch

The average rent in Long Branch was $1,173 for a one-bedroom apartment according to CMHC data. According to liv.rent’s own August 2022 Rent Report, rent for Etobicoke as a whole average $2,070 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Long Branch

About: Located on the southwest side of Etobicoke, Long Branch is a popular lakefront community that’s surprisingly affordable for renters searching for cheap rentals in the Greater Toronto Area. Marie Curtis Park is a fixture in the neighbourhood with a boardwalk stretching along Lake Ontario as well as a playground and plenty of room for afternoon picnics in the park. The idyllic Long Branch neighbourhood was once the favourite vacation destination for Toronto’s elite, and still has many cottages to this day.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Long Branch is only about a 30-minute drive to Downtown or a 45 minute trip by GO Train.

Rental types: Though it was once cottage country, Long Branch now has a selection of low- and high-rise apartments in addition to single-family detached residences.


9. Cliffcrest, Scarborough


Average rent in Cliffcrest

The average rent in Cliffcrest was $1,183 for a one-bedroom apartment according to the latest CMHC data. According to liv.rent’s own August 2022 Rent Report, rent for Scarborough as a whole average $1,865 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Cliffcrest

About: A primarily residential neighbourhood on Scarborough’s southern end, Cliffcrest is a family-friendly neighbourhood along the shores of Lake Ontario. This area is known for its abundance of parks, with green spaces almost everywhere one looks, like Holly Blossom Memorial Park to the north or Scarborough Bluffs Park along the water. There are plenty of great restaurants nearby as well, and multiple schools for children of all ages.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Cliffcrest is only about a 40-45 minute drive to Downtown Toronto, or a 50-60 minute trip by metro.

Rental types: Cliffcrest offers renters a variety of options for housing, with primarily single-family, detached residences and smaller apartment buildings. Interestingly enough, it’s also one of just two places in the city where you will find float homes.


10. Wexford-Maryvale, Scarborough


Average rent in Wexxford-Maryvale

The average rent in Wexford-Maryvale was $1,223 for a one-bedroom apartment according to CMHC data. According to liv.rent’s own August 2022 Rent Report, rent for Scarborough as a whole average $1,865 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit.

Neighbourhood breakdown: Wexford-Maryvale

About: Located on the western end of Scarborough, Wexford-Maryvale is a mostly residential neighbourhood known for its significant Greek population, plentiful parkland, and an excellent school system. There’s plenty to do here including multiple shopping centres like the Golden Mile shopping mall and Eglinton Square, as well as great transit options throughout the neighbourhood.

Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Long Branch is only about a 45-minute drive to Downtown or about an hour trip by TTC line and bus.

Rental types: Wexford-Maryvale has a good mix of low- and high-rise apartment buildings in addition to single-family residences throughout the area


Average rent in the Greater Toronto Area

Toronto rent has rebounded significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Downtown where prices have returned to well above their previous levels.

So, what’s the cheapest rent in Toronto? Well, the average rent is $1,979 for an unfurnished one-bedroom and $2,091 for a furnished one-bedroom unit. But if you break down rent by GTA neighbourhood, then the current unfurnished one-bedroom ranking looks like this:

Source: liv.rent’s August 2022 Toronto Rent Report

If you find an apartment for rent in Toronto that’s less than these averages — then we’d call that a good deal!


What is the cheapest rent in Toronto?

The cheapest rent in Toronto is typically found in neighbourhoods like Brampton and Markham that are a little bit further away from the centre of the city, but prices have been known to fluctuate significantly throughout the GTA.

As an example, Brampton has typically been the cheapest place for renters in Toronto over the past years, but this list shows that there are plenty of individual neighbourhoods in other corners of the city and region with even cheaper rent. To stay on top of the area’s rental averages, we suggest keeping your eyes peeled to our monthly Rent Reports. We’ve recently added a breakdown of the GTA’s individual neighbourhoods, as well as including data for cities and municipalities outside of the GTA to give renters a clearer picture of Ontario’s rental scene.


How to find cheap rent in Toronto

Now that you have an idea of what the cheapest neighbourhoods are in the GTA, how do you find cheap rent?

1. Use liv.rent to find listings

The first place you can look is liv.rent — search in an affordable neighbourhood and drat and drop the price selector tool to pull up listings that are within your budget.

2. Look for rental incentives

Next, you can scan listings with rental incentives like a month of free rent, discounts on rent, or other freebies that come when you sign a one-year lease.

3. Negotiate rent

Finally, you might be able to negotiate a lower rent for a unit. This is especially true if the place you’re looking at is listed for above the monthly average in the area.

Ask the landlord if they’d be open to accepting 5% to 10% less and be ready to prove that similar units in the area are going for cheaper.



Resources for Toronto Renters

COVID-19 resources 

For information regarding COVID-19, refer to these comprehensive resource posts. They include information on the various federal and provincial assistance initiatives available to help support landlords (small business relief) and tenants (rent relief):

Renting in Ontario

For information on renting in Ontario, refer to these resource posts about leases and evictions.



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liv.rent writer sarah anderson

Sarah Anderson, B.A.

Creative Content Writer at liv.rent

Sarah Anderson is a Creative Content Writer at liv.rent who shares the latest updates and news with the safe and trusted community of landlords and tenants at liv.rent. [Read Full Bio]

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