The 8 Cheapest Neighbourhoods To Rent In The City Of Toronto
Renters across Canada are facing increasingly high rental prices, particularly in major urban centres like Vancouver, Montreal, and of course – Toronto. Although not as pricey as Metro Vancouver, the Greater Toronto Area’s rent has climbed significantly in recent times, most notably within the City of Toronto itself. With all that being said, there are still lots of areas of the city with more reasonable rent prices, for those who know where to look. To start your search off on the right foot, liv.rent has compiled a list of the eight cheapest neighbourhoods to rent in the city of Toronto, as well as giving a bit of information about each to help you decide where your next rental home will be.
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1. North St. James Town
Average rent in North St. James Town
North St. James Town has some of the cheapest rent in the city, with one report from April 2021 giving an average of $1,691 per month for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit. Compare this number to equally central areas like Kensington-Chinatown ($2,359) and Bay Street Corridor ($2,608), and rent in North St. James Town and rent in North St. James Town seems even more affordable in comparison.
Neighbourhood breakdown: North St. James Town
About: North St. James Town is one of the most diverse and densely populated neighbourhoods in the city of Toronto, and is known to be Canada’s largest high-rise community. Home to many newcomers to the country, the St. James Town neighbourhood is multicultural to its core and has many distinct communities within its boundaries. The neighbourhood is towards the east end of Toronto’s downtown core, marked by Bloor Street East to the north, Parliament Street to the east, Sherbourne Street to the west, and Wellesley Street East to the south.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: By car, North St. James Town is only a 10-15 minute drive to Downtown Toronto, while multiple transit options including the 1 and 2 bus routes will take residents to the heart of the city in 15-25 minutes.
Rental types: Known as Canada’s foremost high-rise neighbourhood, condos are the primary rental option available within North St. James Town. The area is very densely populated and renters will likely find themselves in a large, multi-storey apartment building.
Average rent in Parkdale
Parkdale’s average rental prices are deceptively low considering how much the neighbourhood has to offer. Going off torontorentals.ca‘s December 2021 Rent Report, average rent in the neighbourhood is just $1,703 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit. This is consistent with what we’re currently seeing here on liv.rent – of our current listings in the neighbourhood, the average price is $1,745.
Neighbourhood breakdown: Parkdale
About: Parkdale is a fascinating neighbourhood southwest of Toronto’s downtown. The area feels like a village within the city, with a diverse immigrant population and a vibrant commercial district along Queen Street West. Foodies will find Parkdale particularly attractive – the area’s Tibetan and Polish populations mean plenty of delicious restaurants, while newer waves of residents in the area have brought trendy shops and bars to Parkdale. The neighbourhood is bordered by Lake Ontario to the south which affords access to the many paths and parks along the city’s waterfront. In terms of geographic area, Dufferin Street marks Parkdale’s eastern boundary, Roncesvalles Avenue marks its west end, and the CP Rail line is to the north.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Parkdale is a little further west of Toronto’s downtown, but residents can still reach the centre of the city in about 20 minutes by car, or 30-35 minutes by transit.
Rental types: Parkdale has an eclectic mix of rental types, ranging from majestic Victorian mansions dating back to the area’s early days, to newer developments geared towards enticing younger renters and newcomers to the area.
3. Cabbagetown-South St. James Town
Average rent in Cabbagetown-South St. James Town
Cabbagetown-South St. James Town is just to the east of Toronto’s downtown, but offers much better value than many of the neighbourhoods surrounding it. Within this area, renters can find an unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment for an average of just $1,722 as of torontorentals.ca‘s December 2021 Rent Report. On liv.rent, we’ve seen listings go for much cheaper, with one-bedroom, unfurnished apartments in the neighbourhood currently averaging just $1,450 as of the time of writing.
Neighbourhood breakdown: Cabbagetown-South St. James Town
About: Cabbagetown-South St. James Town is one of the oldest areas of the city with settlements dating back all the way to the 1840s. In fact, the community is home to Canada’s largest concentration of preserved Victorian-era houses and history is everywhere one looks within the area. More recently, the area has become home to younger renters and families alike who are drawn to its walkability, eclectic mix of shops, and close proximity to Downtown Toronto. Cabbagetown was known to be a prominent neighbourhood of the counter-culture movement in the 1960s and 70s, and this legacy is apparent in the many unique shopping destinations within the neighbourhood.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Cabbagetown-South St. James Town’s central location is another huge selling point for renters – it’s only about a 15-minute trip by bus and train to Downtown, or a 10-minute car ride.
Rental types: Though it’s known for its many gorgeous Victorian houses, these days there are just as many multi-storey apartment buildings within the neighbourhood offering renters a variety of options.
4. Forest Hill North
Average rent in Forest Hill North
Despite being one of Toronto’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, Forest Hill North also offers some of the city’s cheapest average rent. An April 2021 report had the area’s rent at just $1,706 which puts it well below the city’s average. On liv.rent, we’re seeing units in the area go for around $1,900-$1,950 at the time of writing – which while higher, is still low for the city as a whole especially given the luxury postal code.
Neighbourhood breakdown: Forest Hill North
About: Located north of Downtown in the Midtown area, Forest Hill North enjoys a reputation as one of the city’s premier addresses and is home to entrepreneurs, celebrities, and the city’s elite. With this in mind, we were surprised to see that the area’s rent is well below the city’s average given its stature within the city. There are plenty of top-notch schools, luxury shopping, and scenic trails. Transit options are also plentiful in the affluent neighbourhood, and driving is convenient as well. In spite of all this, there are plenty of reasonable rental units to be had in Forest Hill North as newer condos and apartment buildings crop up to accommodate renters.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Forest Hill feels like a world in itself, but it’s also quite close to Toronto’s downtown. Driving, it’s only about 20 minutes to city centre, or 25-30 minutes by transit.
Rental types: While Forest Hill is known for its opulent mansions housing Toronto’s elite, it’s rare to see these places for rent. Instead, renters will be glad to discover the neighbourhood’s many newer condos and apartment buildings.
5. East End-Danforth
Average rent in East End-Danforth
It’s a bit harder to quantify average rent in Toronto’s East End-Danforth area since it encompasses a wide swathe of land within the city. One source has it at $1,705 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit as of April 2021, while another has it at $1,992 for December 2021. Here on liv.rent, we’re seeing numbers somewhere in the middle with an average of $1,775 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit in the neighbourhood as of the time of writing.
Neighbourhood breakdown: East End-Danforth
About: As the name suggests, East-End Danforth is on Toronto’s eastern end, just above The Beaches which brings in plenty of tourists and locals alike in the warmer months. East End-Danforth encompasses The Danforth neighbourhood, which is home to Toronto’s largest Greek population and hosts a festival celebrating Greek culture in the summer months. As such, there are plenty of grocers and restaurants which also offer Greek fare, as well as a mix of shopping centres with just about everything renters could ask for. There’s a large shopping district along Danforth Avenue which is the de facto centre of the neighbourhood, and transit options are plentiful, as are schools and parks.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: As it’s on the city’s eastern edges, East End-Danforth is a little further from Downtown Toronto: by car, it’s only about a 15-20 minute drive, but transit takes 30-40 minutes depending on the route taken.
Rental types: East End-Danforth is known for its quaint neighbourhood feel due to the number of detached homes lining the area’s scenic streets, as well as Victorian-era homes leftover from the city’s early days. Luckily, many of these smaller detached and semi-detached homes are for rent, and there has also been some development activity in recent times bringing plenty of condos to the area.
6. Yonge & Eglinton
Average rent in Yonge & Eglinton
Yonge & Eglinton has an excellent reputation as one of Toronto’s all-around best neighbourhoods to live in, yet its rental prices are still far below the city’s average. As of April 2021, a city-wide report had the area’s average rent for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit at $1,838. On liv.rent, we’re seeing even cheaper prices for the same unit type – as of the time of publication, one-bedroom, unfurnished apartments can be had for just $1,795 on average.
Neighbourhood breakdown: Yonge & Eglinton
About: Although it is, and sounds like a cross-street, Yonge & Eglinton has carved out a reputation for itself as one of Toronto’s best neighbourhoods in terms of housing options, crime rate, transit and more. At the epicentre of the city’s Midtown, Yonge & Eglinton offers one of the most central locations in the city with excellent transit, a thriving business district, plenty of restaurants and shopping destinations, and just about everything else renters could ask for. It’s especially popular amongst young families because of the number of top-tier schools within its borders, in addition to its safety and tight-knit community feel.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: Adding to its appeal, Yonge & Eglinton is just a quick 15-20 minute trip on the 1 line to Downtown Toronto, or about the same by car.
Rental types: Befitting its status as one of the city’s most renter-friendly neighbourhoods, Yonge & Eglinton has rental options galore, including plenty of high-rise condos, smaller apartment buildings, and detached and semi-detached homes. Whatever stage of life you’re at or your unique needs, this neighbourhood is the place to be.
7. High Park North
Average rent in High Park North
Depending on where you look, High Park North has fairly average rent for the city of Toronto, if not slightly below the typical rental rates. One report lists the average rent for an unfurnished, one-bedroom apartment at $2,046 per month, while another is much lower at $1,829. Regardless, we included the neighbourhood on this list for a reason – the value is incredible with excellent transit options, a safe, diverse community, and a beautiful sprawling park defining the area.
Neighbourhood breakdown: High Park North
About: In addition to being one of Toronto’s most pet-friendly neighbourhoods, High Park North is a historic neighbourhood with a vibrant community, a sprawling park and convenient access to one of Toronto’s premier shopping districts at Bloor West Village. The area is filled with gorgeous, quiet tree-lined streets with detached homes, apartment and condo buildings, and abundant greenery which explains its reputation as a quaint area within the bustling city. Don’t be fooled though – High Park North provides easy access to the rest of the city through three major transit stations and a great location on the west end of the city of Toronto. Recreational amenities are where this neighbourhood really shines though – its namesake 400-acre park has picnic areas, playgrounds, dedicated dog areas, and sports facilities for everything from tennis to swimming.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: High Park North is a bit more removed from Toronto’s downtown than other neighbourhoods on this list, but it’s still easy to get to the city’s centre. By car, you can be downtown in about 15-20 minutes, and the train can get you there in 25-30 minutes.
Rental types: High Park North is excellent for young families and pet owners with plenty of detached homes and pet-friendly rentals within the area. The popular neighbourhood also has no shortage of condos and high-rise apartment buildings, though.
8. Mount Pleasant West
Average rent in Mount Pleasant West
Mount Pleasant West has exceedingly affordable rent given its prime location at the heart of Toronto’s Midtown. The neighbourhood averages $1,847 per month for an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment as of April 2021, according to one report.
Neighbourhood breakdown: Mount Pleasant West
About: Mount Pleasant is every bit as wholesome as its name suggests, with convenience rivalling the city’s more densely populated urban areas, but with a quaint, almost suburban feel that’s hard to beat. It’s not far from Downtown, located in the city’s Midtown area with Mount Pleasant Road defining its east border and Yonge Street to the west. The neighbourhood is full of lush parkland and attracts locals from across the city on weekends especially. This also makes it extremely popular amongst young families, although the area has something to offer renters of all ages.
Proximity to Downtown Toronto: One major selling point of Mount Pleasant west is its easy access to the city’s centre. By car, it’s only about 10-15 minutes to the heart of Downtown, and a single trip on the train will get you there in about 20-25 minutes.
Rental types: Mount Pleasant West is primarily a residential neighbourhood and offers a wide variety of rental types including many high-rise condominium buildings geared towards young professionals.
Average rent in the City of Toronto
As you can probably see, average rent prices vary greatly across the City of Toronto. Typically, the closer you get to Downtown, the more prices go up, but this also isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are bargains to be found in every part of the city, and prices can vary a lot even within neighbourhoods. To give you a better sense of rent in the city and how it compares to the rest of the GTA, here’s a quick breakdown of average rent for one-bedroom, unfurnished rentals across the Greater Toronto Area, as of April 2022. For more insights into rental rates in the GTA and across Ontario, be sure to check out and download our monthly rent reports.
Where is the cheapest rent in the City of Toronto?
It’s hard to tell exactly where the cheapest rent in Toronto can be found, as many neighbourhoods are small and therefore hard to get an accurate sample size from. From our own numbers gathered from liv.rent listings in the area, we’ve seen that Cabbagetown-South St. James Town has the lowest rent in the city by quite a bit, at an average of just $1,450 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit as of the time of writing. On the other hand, an April 2021 report from torontorentals.ca lists Parkdale and North St. James Town as the most affordable areas of the city, at $1,669 and $1,691 respectively.
How to find cheap rent in Toronto
Toronto may be widely recognized as one of the most expensive cities in Canada to rent in, but there is still some great value to be found for those willing to do their homework. Toronto renters should make liv.rent their starting point for any home search. The all-in-one platform allows you to easily search for verified rental properties throughout the city and the GTA as a whole, and connect with trusted landlords to help avoid the usual uncertainty and risk of the rental process.
If you’re looking to automate your rental search and save time finding your perfect home, try using liv.rent’s listing alerts. These handy notifications help you take back your time by saving your criteria and alerting you whenever a new listing is posted. Filters include number of bedrooms, furnished vs. unfurnished, pet policy, and of course – budget. Here’s a quick video on how to set up listing alerts for yourself.
For more information on where to start your search and the best rental platforms available in Toronto, be sure to check out our post here.
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