- Highest average rents are found by Union Station in Downtown Toronto – $1,900 for an unfurnished 1 bedroom and $2,600 for an unfurnished 2 bedroom unit.
- The difference between the highest and lowest rent for an unfurnished 1 bedroom near transit is $800.
- The difference between the highest and lowest rent for an unfurnished 2 bedroom near transit is $1,200.
Downtown Toronto’s rental rates are consistently some of the highest in Canada and are considerably higher than those even within the Greater Toronto Area. Many are taking a closer look at properties further away from the downtown core but still close to transit. According to Moovit’s Global Public Transit Report 2022, the average distance a person travels during an average commute trip (one way) in Toronto was 8.8 km – the longest average commute in the country.
Our assessment compares one-bedroom and two-bedroom unfurnished rentals along the GTA’s GO train transit lines, revealing that unsurprisingly, some of the greatest value for renters is found at the end of long train rides. We chose the GO train for the purpose of this article, as it serves a broader area than other lines and gives us a better idea of price ranges.
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Rental Trends along transit lines in the GTA
As seen in the graphs below for one-bedroom and two-bedroom unfurnished units in the GTA, rental rates near stations of city centres, colleges and affluent suburbs are notably higher when compared to other stations in the area.
All of the lines originate at Union Station in Downtown Toronto, which has the highest rental rates at $1,900 for an unfurnished one-bedroom and $2,600 for an unfurnished two-bedroom unit. Generally speaking, rent drops significantly as you head west, east and north out of Toronto’s downtown core.
University of Toronto, Canada’s largest university, has a downtown campus as well as campuses in Scarborough to the east and Mississauga to the west, ensuring strong demand for rental housing across the region.
One-bedroom, unfurnished GTA rentals near transit stops
The most expensive stations for unfurnished, 1 bedroom listings, not surprisingly, are in Downtown Toronto.
- The average difference between the most expensive stations (Union Station – $2,250) and the least expensive (Niagara Falls- $1,250) is $1000.
- Rentals near the Downtown Toronto stations – Union, Exhibition, Oriole, Kipling, Bloor and Danforth – have an average 1 bedroom rent price ranging from $1,650 – $1,900.
- Prices drop the most abruptly when heading west on the Kitchener-bound line. Properties in Weston are fetching, on average, $1,400, but rise again just one stop away at Etobicoke North ($1,800), then dropping off abruptly again before spiking in Brampton at $1,400 – a 48-minute ride from Downtown.
- The lowest rents are outside the GTA in Niagara Falls ($1,100) and St. Catharines (also $1,100) but the commute time is considerable – about 2 hours to downtown. Commute times may outweigh the cost savings for those who commute on a regular basis, which is of course less common at present. Moovit’s report shows that the percentage of Toronto commuters with a long commute trip (one way) of 2 hours and longer rose from 4.7% in 2019 to 6.65% in 2020.
Two-bedroom, unfurnished GTA rentals near transit stops
The most expensive stations for unfurnished, two-bedroom listings to live nearby are in Downtown Toronto as well.
- The gap between the most expensive and least expensive stops is even wider at $1,200 (comparing Downtown Toronto $2,600 and St. Catharines’ $1,400)
- On average, two-bedroom, unfurnished rentals fall around the $2,000/month mark – give or take $100-200.
For a more thorough overview of rental rates throughout the GTA, be sure to take a look at our latest Rent Reports.
Rentals near transit in the GTA
Let’s now break down the GO Train’s different transit lines to get a better sense of which has the cheapest rental rates on average, and how far along each line you’ll have to go to find great deals for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
Rentals near Milton Line transit stops
Heading west along the Milton Line, renters see some relief the further away the line extends.
- At the Meadowvale stop, approximately 50 minutes from Union Station, average 1 bedroom rental costs $2,600 and a 2 bedroom, $1,900.
Rentals near Kitchener Line transit stops
Heading West out of Toronto, the Kitchener Line terminates in Kitchener, Ontario – a nearly two-hour train ride away but an affordable option nonetheless, often including more spacious rentals than can be found elsewhere in the GTA.
- The first significant break in rent is apparent in Weston where 1 bedroom rents average $1,400 and 2 bedroom rents average $1,900.
- At the end of the line in Kitchener, the average 1 bedroom rent is $1,200 and 2 bedroom rentals are $1,600.
- Kitchener’s sister city is Waterloo which is home to Wilfred Laurier University, University of Waterloo and numerous tech companies ensuring strong rental demand.
Rentals near Lakeshore West Line transit stops
The Lakeshore West Line heads southwest out of Toronto along Lake Ontario terminating in Niagara Falls – a full 2 hours away by train.
- Port Credit and Oakville are beautiful suburbs situated along the lake with average 1 bedroom rents of $1,700 and 2 bedroom rents around the $1,900 mark. They are a 25-35 minute train ride away from Union Station.
- West Harbour and Hamilton stops are about 70 minutes from downtown. Hamilton is home to McMaster University and significant industry. One bedroom rents around here are $1,300 while 2 bedrooms are $1,750.
Rentals near Barrie Line transit stops
Heading North towards Barrie, this GO train line includes the York University stop which has an average 1 bedroom rent of $1,650 and 2 bedroom rent of $1,900. This area is a 24-minute train ride from Downtown.
- The neighbouring Downsview Park area is another affordable option, one stop closer, at just 20 minutes from downtown. An average 1 bedroom near this stop is $1,750 while a 2 bedroom is only slightly more at $2,100.
- Rentals near Rutherford and Maple are second highest on this line after Union and Downsview Park at $1,700 for a 1 bedroom and $2,400 for a 2 bedroom. The commute time is 35 minutes to Union Station.
- Rentals at the end of this line by the Allandale Waterfront stop are $1,600 for a 1 bedroom and $1,700 for a 2 bedroom. Your commute time will be 105 minutes from Allandale to Union.
Rentals near Richmond Hill Line transit stops
The Richmond Line services Toronto’s nearby northern suburbs.
- The line terminates in Richmond Hill where 1 bedrooms average $1,650 and 2 bedrooms average $2,200.
- The lowest rents on this line can be found near Old Cummer station, which is situated between North York and Markham. The average rent for a 1 bedroom here is $1,600, while 2 bedrooms average at $1,950.
- Richmond Hill is adjacent to Markham which is home to many large corporate head offices like IBM, Oracle, Johnson & Johnson etc. ensuring a reliable tenant pool.
Rentals near Lakeshore East Line transit stops
Heading out of Toronto, eastward along the edge of Lake Ontario, this line services the suburbs of Scarborough, Pickering and Ajax and terminates in Oshawa, 50 minutes away from Union station.
- The Danforth is a desirable Toronto neighbourhood just east of the city centre. Rents here are still relatively high at $1,650 for a 1 bedroom and $2,100 for a 2 bedroom.
- Scarborough offers a variety of accommodation ranging from compact high-rise apartment units to luxurious waterfront homes. The average 1 bedroom rent here is $1,600 and 2 bedroom rent is $1,900.
- University of Toronto has a campus in Scarborough so student accommodation is vital to the area.
Rentals near Stouffville Line transit stops
The Stouffville line heads north out of Toronto also stopping in The Danforth and Scarborough but ending in Stouffville.
- Rents are most affordable near the Miliken stop which is only 31 minutes from downtown Toronto. One bedrooms are $1,600 and 2 bedrooms are $1,800.
- Mount Joy, by comparison, is a pricier suburb on this line with 1 bedroom rents at $1,750 and 2 bedroom rents at $2,200.
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