Toronto is a lovely place to live, but it’s also widely expensive. This has been a concern for many people who want to enjoy the benefits of living in the city but cannot afford the high cost. The alternative is to live near the city. So, what are the cheapest places to live near Toronto?
The most affordable places to live near Toronto include West Humber-Clairville, Rexdale-Kipling, Bendale, Ease Danforth, Guildwood, Pickering, Ajax, and Rockcliffe-Smythe. What all these places have in common is their relatively cheaper rents compared to what you’ll get in the main parts of Toronto.
Finding an affordable place in Toronto is tricky, which is why the suburbs or even closer towns are worth considering. However, due to the expansion of the city, most of the places that were once suburbs are not core parts of Toronto. Here, we look at the cheapest places to live near Toronto.
1. West Humber-Clairville
This neighbourhood is on the northwest side of Toronto and is quite popular for its cultural diversity. However, it is home to many people whose first language isn’t English, showing a high population of immigrants. There are more than 50 green spaces here, which means residents can spend lots of time enjoying nature. Popular green spots include the Disco Yard and Claireville Conservation Area.
West Humber-Clairville is more of a residential community with several detached homes. It’s relatively quiet. Major landmarks here include BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto Hindu temple, Etobicoke General Hospital, Woodbine Centre and Racetrack, and Humber College’s North Campus.
Like the area above, this neighbourhood is also in Etobicoke. However, the Rexdale part is close enough to West Humber-Clairville for residents to access the several amenities and facilities available in the area. Average rent is usually between $1,600 to $2,300, depending on the number of bedrooms. While this might seem high in other cities, it’s relatively cheap for Toronto.
This community is in Scarborough, which used to be a former suburb of Toronto before amalgamation in 1998. Bendale is in the center of this suburb, Which means access to various options. GoTransit, TTC, and the freeway are very accessible. Entertainment-wise, the community is close to the Scarborough Town Centre mall, so there are tons of shopping options, clinics, parks, and other amenities. Students also reside in this area, showing that it’s affordable for staying near Toronto. The average monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment is $1500, while a 3-bedroom is $2,400. Of course, you can still get cheaper if you do your research and you’re not in a rush to find an apartment.
4. East Danforth
Toronto has a lot of cultural spots ranging from Chinatown to Roncy, which is largely a polish community. The Danforth area is the Greektown, and the Eastside is the place to look forward to. Rent is quite affordable due to the ageing population, gradually being replaced by younger families. The average rent for a 1-bedroom here is around $1,500, but as of December 2021, 3-bedrooms apartments are quite expensive. Around 60% of the apartments here go for between $1,550 to $2,500.
Residents usually move here for affordable housing only to discover the diverse and delicious food options. With several restaurants, grocers, bars, and bakeries here, you’re never out of options.
This neighbourhood is next to the Scarborough Bluffs, one of the most scenic spots in the city. From the bluffs, residents can view Lake Ontario, and there are lots of parks, walking trails, and the Bluffers Park beach here. As well, the Guildwood Village shopping center has most of the amenities you need while you’re in the city.
It gets better because there are various educational institutions in this neighbourhood. Thus, any family looking for a place to settle down in Toronto can consider this area. Young professionals and students also live here as it’s close to the University of Toronto Scarborough, and that Guildwood GO station connects the area to the city center. About 65% of homes in this area have a rent range of between $1250 – $2,500.
If you want to live in a city outside Toronto but still close enough to make Toronto accessible, you might consider Pickering. It’s on the East of Toronto, and several people who work in Toronto live here. Of course, accommodation is expensive, but not up to the Toronto standard. Only around 25% of homes here cost between $1,000 – $2,300 while almost 70% costs between $2,300 to $3,500. The drive from Pickering to Toronto is less than 40 minutes, and there are multiple transportation options for residents. So, people can live in Pickering while working in Toronto.
Another city that’s near Toronto is Ajax. The town has over 120,000 residents and is named after HMS Ajax, the Royal Navy Cruiser that served during World War II. It’s around 35 minutes from downtown Toronto, which means it’s close to several parts of the city. The average rent is between $1,624 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,735 for a three-bedroom apartment. Note that this is only based on the available listings, and homes might cost more. However, regardless of the price, it’s still cheaper than Toronto.
The city is more of a residential area with its history and heritage. But the proximity to Toronto means it has become a satellite town of sorts to the city. There are several public transit options for getting from here to Toronto.
This neighborhood is in the York area of Toronto and about 15 kilometers from the city center. York used to be a suburb of the city before the massive development made it a core part of Toronto itself. Rockcliffe-Smythe is a family-friendly community with large houses with wide yards and parking spaces. Its ravine system also means there is lots of greenery around, something you’d enjoy if you’re looking for a quiet and serene area. The cost of rent here has increased significantly over the past year, but there are still some affordable options in the area.
Living in Toronto means you’re prepared to shell out a substantial portion of your income on accommodation. But it doesn’t always have to be so. There are still places where you don’t have to pay $3k to $4k before you can get a good apartment.