off campus guide to Toronto Metropolitan University formerly known as Ryerson. Best neighbourhoods, tips for renting, and more via liv rent

The best off-campus housing at Toronto Metropolitan University

Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson University, is Downtown Toronto’s third-largest post-secondary institution, behind only The University of Toronto and York University. The breadth of the school’s programs and its excellent reputation both within Canada and internationally mean thousands of students move to Toronto each year to attend the school. While Toronto Metropolitan University does offer student residences, a spot in them isn’t guaranteed for first-year students, and upper-year students typically prefer to live outside of the campus as well. For those seeking off-campus housing near Toronto Metropolitan University, we’ve put together this guide on how to look, where to look, and how liv.rent can help make your search for rental housing safe and efficient.


Table of Contents


Toronto Metropolitan University off-campus housing overview


Types of accommodation

In Toronto, you can generally find these kinds of accommodation for rent:

Housing Type
Condo
House
Townhouse
Room
Furniture
Unfurnished
Furnished
Bedrooms
Studio
1 Bed
2 Bed
3 Bed
4+Bed
Pet Policy
Allowed
Not allowed
Dogs allowed
Cats allowed

Many students opt to split a larger rental with roommates to cut down on costs as well.

Looking for a place to share

If you’re looking for a room in a shared space that’s perfect for students, then your first place to check should be liv.rent’s listings. You can use the map tool to find a place that’s close to campus and use the search filter “Room” under “Housing Type” to look at all the available places in the area.

FREE Roommate Agreement Template: Download Here

Looking for a roommate

Off-campus students at Toronto Metropolitan University looking for roommates can post their available rooms for rent on liv.rent for free. Plus, the 100% digital platform means that you can connect with a roommate online.

Another great place to look for roommates is on liv.rent’s Greater Toronto Area Facebook Group. Here, you can connect with other TMU students seeking off-campus housing within a safe, moderated group.


Average rent in Toronto

Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in Canada. According to our latest Rent Report, the average cost of rent across the Greater Toronto Area was $2,010 for an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit, and $2,255 for a furnished unit as of September 2022.

average rent for furnished vs unfurnished units in the Greater Toronto Area for the September 2022 liv rent report

Of course, rent differs from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. The difference between a one-bedroom downtown and one in Brampton can be significant. That’s why liv.rent has broken down Toronto’s municipalities to provide a more accurate look at rent in each area. See below for average rent prices as of September 2022. Toronto Metropolitan University students will be primarily concerned with rent prices in Downtown Toronto, since this is where the primary TMU campus is located – although it is possible to live in one of the neighbouring municipalities if you’re OK with a slightly longer commute.

average rent for unfurnished units in different areas of the GTA via livrent's September 2022 Rent Report

Transit in Toronto

Getting a place as close to campus as possible is important because being a student is hard enough — tacking on a difficult commute can really wear you down over time.

When you’re looking for a place, be sure to keep public transportation options at the top of your wish list. Here are some transit tips for students looking for off-campus housing:

Transit options in Toronto for off-campus living at U of T
  • Use liv.rent listings to see how far each unit is from which public transit options
  • Look for apartments along the subway lines or near other forms of public transit
  • Ask landlords what the neighbourhood’s public transportation options are like

Best neighbourhoods for renting near Toronto Metropolitan University


The Annex

Stretching from Dupont Street in the north to Bloor Street West in the south, and Bathurst Street in the west to Avenue Road in the west, The Annex is an incredibly desirable neighbourhood at the very heart of Toronto. Not just for students of the University of Toronto‘s nearby St. George campus, The Annex is a lively hub for students and professionals of all backgrounds – and a wonderful area for TMU students to call home. Anyone looking for a truly urban student experience would do well to start their search in this neighbourhood, as the Annex is home to some of Toronto’s best-known entertainment and dining destinations.

Types of accommodation in The Annex

The Annex is mostly known for embodying the classic style of Toronto architecture in its large “Annex style homes”. These typically multi-bedroom homes are great for students with roommates, or seeking shared accommodation near campus. There are also low-rise apartment buildings and newer homes within the neighbourhood’s boundaries.

Average rent in The Annex

  • Studio apartment — $1,890
  • One-bedroom apartment — $2,275
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $3,300
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,600

Source: Zumper

Transportation in The Annex

Estimated commute to campus: 10-15 minutes

Perhaps the most appealing quality of The Annex, especially for TMU students, is its ease of access to three Toronto metro stations: Spadina, Dupont, and Bathurst. Spadina will typically be your most direct route to campus, and will get you to class in around 15 minutes including a short walk from Finch Station. Miss the bus? Not to worry – it’s only a 15-20 minute walk from any corner of The Annex.

Amenities in The Annex

Bloor Street has everything students can want along a walkable strip within The Annex. Entertainment, dining, and boutique shops are all bunched together and make for a great place to decompress after a stressful exam, or get together with friends during your downtime.

Browse verified listings in The Annex


Garden District

Befitting the neighbourhood’s idyllic name, the Garden District is a beautiful neighbourhood filled with sprawling parks and its namesake Allan Gardens, an indoor botanical garden and conservatory which is the focal point of the area. The Garden District has always been a popular home for Toronto Metropolitan University students since the school is in the neighbourhood’s west side. Prices are typically higher as a result of this convenience and the neighbourhood’s stately feel, although the many offerings of the Garden District may make it a worthwhile place to pursue for renters.

Types of accommodation in Garden District

Condos are the norm for student renters in the Garden District, and there are a number of smaller and high-rise buildings with suitable homes for those attending TMU. These apartments are mostly on the newer side, with correspondingly high prices on average.

Average rent in Garden District

  • Studio apartment — $1,875
  • One-bedroom apartment — $2,333
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,680
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,600

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Garden District

Estimated commute to campus: 5 minutes

Since Toronto Metropolitan University’s campus is within the boundaries of the Garden District, students living here have no excuse for being late to class. Renters shouldn’t feel the need to bus to campus, as it’s only a 5-10 minute walk to school from just about anywhere in this neighbourhood.

Amenities in Garden District

Garden District is surrounded by all of Downtown Toronto’s best urban amenities, in addition to some of the city’s best parks and green spaces. Students can catch a show at nearby Massey Hall, go shopping at Eaton Centre Mall, or hop on the train and travel to just about anywhere in the city in no time.

Browse verified listings in the Garden District


Church and Wellesley

Church and Wellesley, also known as Church Wellesley Village or simply “The Village” among residents and locals, is home to the annual Pride Toronto celebrations and is one of the city’s foremost LGBT neighbourhoods. It is a diverse, welcoming area that’s home to residents from all walks of life, and is especially popular with Toronto Metropolitan university students looking for an eclectic home off-campus.

Types of accommodation in Church and Wellesley

Church and Wellesley primarily consists of condos in both low- and high-rise buildings, and is quite densely populated with lots of options for students seeking off-campus housing near Toronto Metropolitan University.

Average rent in Church and Wellesley

  • Studio apartment — $1,750
  • One-bedroom apartment — $2,198
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $3,285
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $4,225

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Church and Wellesley

Estimated commute to campus: 10-15 minutes

Just to the north of the TMU campus, Church and Wellesley is just a stone’s throw from Toronto Metropolitan University and is an excellent option for those seeking off-campus housing with an easy commute to campus. From Wellesley Station, you can expect about a 10-15 minute commute including walking time.

Amenities in Church and Wellesley

Although it feels like a vibrant residential neighbourhood by day, Church and Wellesley comes alive at night with all manner of entertainment and dining options for residents. During the day, there are plenty of trendy stores for shopping and lots of cafes and gathering spots for studying. Overall, renters would be hard-pressed to find a more inclusive neighbourhood, especially so close to campus.

Browse verified listings in Church and Wellesley


St. Lawrence

Rich in history and local flair, St. Lawrence is a family and student-friendly neighbourhood that’s known for being the centre of Old York, as well as housing the St. Lawrence Market and its hundreds of vendors. Once a primarily industrial area, it is now a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood that’s popular for its excellent location and the sheer variety of amenities it offers.

Types of accommodation in St. Lawrence

The centuries-old Victorian homes that once characterized St. Lawrence have now almost completely been replaced by newer developments, with many high-rise condo buildings in the lively neighbourhood.

Average rent in St. Lawrence

  • Studio apartment — $1,850
  • One-bedroom apartment — $2,450
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $3,450
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,825

Source: Zumper

Transportation in St. Lawrence

Estimated commute to campus: 15-25 minutes

It’s only a quick 15-20 minute commute to campus from St. Lawrence by bus and metro, or students can choose to walk from their home off-campus to Toronto Metropolitan University in just under 25 minutes.

Amenities in St. Lawrence

The St. Lawrence Market is your one-stop shop for everything – not just food! Here, you’ll find the very best local produce, artisan goods, local food vendors, and so much more.

Browse verified listings in St. Lawrence


Cabbagetown South

Cabbagetown is fast becoming one of Downtown Toronto’s most desirable up-and-coming areas for renters of all walks of life – from working professionals wishing to walk to work, to students who love its comparatively cheap rent prices and easy access. For Toronto Metropolitan University students in particular, Cabbagetown South is a dream for those seeking a relatively inexpensive home off-campus that’s just minutes from campus. Known as a historically working-class neighbourhood, Cabbagetown has blossomed into one of the city’s most convenient places to live located just east of the downtown core.

Types of accommodation in Cabbagetown South

Cabbagetown has become a hub for new development since the 1970s, and students will find a wide swathe of low- and high-rise condo buildings across the neighbourhood from varying eras of the area’s development.

Average rent in Cabbagetown South

  • Studio apartment — $1,413
  • One-bedroom apartment — $1,999
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,449
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,750

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Cabbagetown South

Estimated commute to campus: 10-20 minutes

Cabbagetown’s revitalization has made it one of the most convenient areas of town for getting just about anywhere. For Toronto Metropolitan University students living off-campus in the neighbourhood, it’s only about a five-minute commute to campus via the 505 bus, or you can opt to walk and it’ll only take about 15-20 minutes at most.

Amenities in Cabbagetown South

Aside from being just minutes from Toronto’s downtown core and shopping districts, Cabbagetown South is a renowned artists’ hub with all sorts of trendy restaurants, galleries, and venue spaces nearby.

Browse verified listings in Cabbagetown South


Renting tips: how to find & secure off-campus housing


How to avoid rental scams in Toronto

Rental scams are a danger every Toronto Metropolitan University student living off-campus should be aware of. These costly scams range from fake profiles, to ploys to steal personal information or cash deposits, and cost renters millions each year. The best way to protect yourself is by knowing your rights and choosing trusted rental platforms that manually verify both landlords and listings. Here are a few of the most common scams to look out for:

  • Scam #1 Rent is too low
    If the rental rate seems shockingly below the rental average for the city, it could be a fake listing.
  • Scam #2 Urgent cash demand
    Renters don’t have to pay for anything until a lease is signed. So, if someone’s pressuring you to send cash now, don’t do it.
  • Scam #3 Too much info
    Until you’re 100% ready to move forward with a lease, you’re not obligated to share your bank account or SIN number.
  • Scam #4 Not enough details
    While some smaller landlords may withhold unit numbers for privacy, you should know the exact address of the unit you’re looking at. without that info, it could be a scam.

Pro tip: rent from ID-verified landlords on liv.rent to avoid scams.


Be smart with your rental search

  • Tip #1 Know your needs
    Make a list of your priorities – pricing, location, amenities, lease duration, pet policy, etc. Then, use liv.rent filters to narrow your search. 
  • Tip #2 Do your research
    Find out the average rent in your target area. It’ll arm you with the necessary info to negotiate terms & rates.
  • Tip #3 Google the property
    See if there are any complaints online regarding building management, maintenance, noise, neighbourhood, etc.
  • Tip #4 Video tours first
    If possible, view video tours first. Then, narrow down your selection and book viewings only for places you’re seriously considering. 

Tips to improve your search

  • Tip #1 Don’t be afraid to check
    Have the landlord to demonstrate that all appliances are working – run faucets, check thermostats, flush toilets, turn on stoves, etc. Also, check that cellphone reception is adequate & verify connectivity.
  • Tip #2 View in daylight
    Viewing a home in daylight will give you a better sense of the living space.
  • Tip #3 Prepare questions
    And ask the hard questions (e.g. how much interest have you had for this unit) to uncover info not in the listing.

Stand out when you apply for your rental

Completing your liv.rent profile, or renter’s resume, is the easiest way to stand out. You can also go the extra mile and pre-submit your application before your viewing if you’re pretty sure you want to rent the unit. By introducing yourself upfront, it shows that you’re serious about the unit – leaving a strong impression on your landlord.

Pro tip: on liv.rent, we use Trust Score to rate renters trustworthiness and credibility — it’s free for students to get theirs with their profile!

Another way to stand out is by using your renter’s story in your renter’s resume to give landlords more information about your credit score. As students may not have strong credit histories yet, use this space to provide more context to a landlord to help them trust you.


How to secure a rental before arriving in Canada

International students can find and rent their off-campus Toronto Metropolitan University home from abroad, before even setting foot in the country. When you sign up on liv.rent, as part of your profile you can select:

  • “I don’t live in Canada.”
  • and, “I’m a first-time renter.”

These profile options give landlords the full picture of you as a renter. It streamlines the rental process and makes it easy to understand why references or a previous Canadian address may appear to be “missing” from your application.

Watch now: How To Rent In Canada


Toronto Metropolitan University off-campus housing resources

Here are some resources that can help you navigate off-campus housing at TMU:

Use liv.rent to find your off-campus apartment for Toronto Metropolitan University — helping you save time, stay organized, and stay safe. Our trusted rental platform is perfect for students, no matter which campus you’re studying at.


Additional off-campus resources for students


FAQ: Toronto Metropolitan University off-campus housing

Where do most Ryerson (Toronto Metropolitan University) students live?

Aside from the on-campus residences at Toronto Metropolitan University, many students – particularly upper-year students – opt to live off-campus. Each of the neighbourhoods in this guide is home to many TMU students and should provide a good idea of where you can find your classmates.

Does Ryerson University (Toronto Metropolitan University) have a residence?

TMU does allow students to apply for residence, although it’s not guaranteed – even for first-year students. Priority is given to first-year students though, and those who live the furthest from Downtown Toronto.

Is residence guaranteed at Ryerson (Toronto Metropolitan University)?

No. As per the above answer, priority is given to first-year students who apply for residence, and those with addresses furthest away from the campus.

How much is residence in Ryerson (Toronto Metropolitan University)?

Living in residence at TMU costs approximately $7,500 to $13,000 per school year, plus the price of a meal plan. This is typically paid in installments due every two to three months. Costs vary based on a variety of factors, so it’s important to always consult the latest information from Toronto Metropolitan University.



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Greg Park, B.A.

Creative Content Writer at liv.rent

Greg Park is a Creative Content Writer here at liv.rent who shares insights and news with our community of landlords and tenants. [Read Full Bio]

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