For Newcomers: How to Find a Place to Live in Toronto

By Ella Bergquist July 29, 2020 4 min. read
Find a Place in Toronto

Are you either looking to immigrate to Toronto or are new to Toronto and want to find a place to call home? Toronto has a reputation of having high rent prices but whether you’re looking for a luxury residence or somewhere to lay your head, there are many resources to help you find that place.

How to Find Property Listings in Toronto From Another Country

Thankfully, there are so many online resources for foreigners to look at potential homes when they’re not in Toronto. Whether you’re looking to rent or own the following resources will allow you to search for properties within your budget:

Dash Property Management

Discover DASH’s rentals and buy opportunities in Toronto. Check out their condos, houses and townhouses for rent and for sale in Toronto.

Rentals.ca

Toronto Apartments, Condos and Houses for Rent

Zillow

Browse listings, connect with an agent, explore mortgage options, and more on Zillow.

Find more information on Settling in Ontario.

Guide to Toronto Neighborhoods for Newcomers

For immigrants arriving in Toronto or looking for a neighborhood they will feel most comfortable in we have compiled a few neighborhoods that are popular among newcomers.

The Danforth (Greektown)

The Danforth area or other known as Greektown started out as a quiet community for Greek immigrants in the early 1900s. The neighborhood has since become a big hub for restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

Chinatown

Formerly, a Jewish district, Toronto’s present-day Chinatown is filled with vibrant Chinese culture. This area filled with Chinese fonts, street signs, and shops as well as amazing bakeries and barbecues! While the neighborhood is primarily Chinese populated there are also several Korean, Japanese and Vietnam restaurants.

College Street West (Little Italy)

Little Street, or College Street West, is known for the many Italian Canadian restaurants and businesses. Although Italian is the primary culture within this district there is also a significant amount of Latin and Portuguese communities in the area. This area is filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping!

Gerrard India Bazaar (Little India/Little Pakistan)

Little India is located along the portion of Gerrard Street and is filled with mainly South Asian marketplaces. Little India and Little Pakistan consist of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Sri Lanki restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and shopping.

Koreatown

Toronto’s Koreatown is one of the strongest Korean communities in North America! Located along the Bloor Street there is a cluster of Korean businesses and restaurants. If you’re looking for the best bibimbap in North America, this is the place to go!

Roncesvalles (Little Poland)

The Roncesvalles area is known as the center of Polish community due to the amount of prominent Polish institutions. There is a significant rumber of Polish-speaking restaurants, bars, and shops located on Roncesvalles Avenue. Many old industrial buildings turned into apartments, lofts, bars, and restaurant are scattered throughout this area.

The Junction (Little Malta)

Located around several railways there was a significant number of Malta immigrants settling in this area in the early 1920s. Many of the Maltese Community has spread out into Mississauga there are still several Maltese businesses and families residing in this area.

Portugal Village (Little Portugal)

Located west of downtown in the “Old” City of Toronto lays Little Portugal. This area is predominantly a residential area but holds several Portuguese stores. This is also a great area for many mid-century homes for sale!

Church and Wellesley (Gayborhood)

This is an LGBTQ friendly neighborhood located in Toronto. Although Toronto is in general very accepting of the LGBTQ community this neighborhood has several community centers, bars, restaurants, and stores targeted towards the acceptance of same sex relationships.

Kensington Market

Kensington Market is a multicultural neighborhood located in Old Toronto. This area is home to many eclectic shops, cafes, and restaurants. There is a significant amount of rental homes in this area. In 2011, it as reported that 59% of homeowners in Kensington Market were renting their homes out.

Toronto Neighborhoods for International Students

University of Toronto

The surrounding off-campus housing for the University of Toronto can vary in many different communities but the two most popular ones are The Annex and Yorkville. Both the Annex and Yorkville are filled with libraries, cafes, practical shopping, restaurants and bars.

Ryerson University

Ryeron University is located within the Yonge-Dongas Square which is close to Downtown Toronto. This area is filled with high rise apartments which are filled with young adults and college students.

York University

The location of York University is a bit farther from the busy traffic of inner Toronto and a bit more on the outskirts. This can be a benefit for those international students looking to live off campus. Being just outside the inner city can allow for more affordable housing.

Find more information on becoming an International Student in Canada.

Tips for Immigrants to Get a Home in Toronto

Seek Professional Help

Finding a real estate professional can save you time, money, and effort in the long run. They will be able to search and narrow down properties that you will love!

Needs and Wants List

Write down a list of what you exactly need and things you want. Be open to compromising things you want for things you need when you see properties in person or online.

Improve Credit Score

Before applying for a rental property or a mortgage you will need to establish a credit score. Many countries will share credit scores but some will not so you will need to start applying for credit cards, open a bank account, etc.