Should I rent an apartment or a house?

In Toronto, deciding between renting an apartment and a house is usually based on your budget and which neighbourhood you’re eyeing up for your future home. That’s because some frankly have no houses and others frankly have no apartments.

If you find yourself considering a neighbourhood where houses and apartments are available for approximately the same price, here are a few pros and cons for each that you’ll want to think about before deciding on your next rental.


(we’re referring to condo-style apartments )


  • It might have amenities like a pool, gym, sauna, underground parking or outdoor patio, which is great for parties.
  • They’re often closer to downtown. Hello, shorter commute!
  • They’re smaller than houses, usually. Hello, less cleaning!
  • You might get great views in a high-rise building.
  • New apartment/condo buildings are well sound-proofed so you don’t have to hear your neighbours’ parties or sexual escapades.
  • They might be overseen by property management companies. This can be a pro or a con, depending on the company. It can mean a clean, orderly, well-managed building with ridiculous, restrictive rules.


  • They often have very little storage, from smaller kitchens to nonexistant closets to miniscule out-of-unit storage lockers.
  • Ugh.
  • Walk-ups. Even more ugh.
  • Old apartments can have thin walls, so you’ll be subjected to a lot of the noise coming from your neighbours’ units and from outside.


(we’re referring to whole houses and houses divided into apartments)


  • Houses come with a back yard or at least a back deck or patio.
  • They tend to be bigger.
  • They’ll likely have more bedrooms and more storage space.
  • They’re often in the quieter parts of town, on side streets rather than major roads.
  • They’re usually owned and managed by private owners, which can be a pro if the owner’s awesome and a con if he or she isn’t.


  • That yard, deck or patio might be shared.
  • That means outdoor parking in the winter (if there’s no garage) and shovelling snow.
  • Some of Toronto’s houses for rent are old buildings that are drafty in winter and hot in the summer, and might require a lot of repairs.

What factors do you consider when deciding whether to rent a condo or a house?

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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