While some housing needs and wants are pretty universal, like low crime rates and accessibility, students have a special need for their temporary homes. The reality of living in Toronto is you’re going to have to make sacrifices, especially when you’re on a tight budget.
If you’re looking to move off campus to university or college, you’re going to want to look for a place with affordable rent, has good transit, has a variety of entertainment options, is safe and is close to your campus. You’ll also need to consider whether you want to live alone or with roommates and what you can afford.
Depending on where your school is, you’ll get different things at your price point, and regardless of where you plan to live, there will be sacrifices to make. For example, if you’re not living downtown, you probably won’t have as many options for things to do, but you’ll save some money on rent. If you are living downtown, you’ll be spending more on your rent for less and it will be louder and busier (which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for).
There are lots of universities and colleges spread out across the entire city. That being said here are some of the more popular student friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto:
If your school is Downtown
- The Annex, which is more expensive than most of your other options.
- Dufferin Grove is an eclectic neighbourhood with average rent prices.
- Kensington Market is no longer an almost exclusively student neighbourhood, but is still diverse, eclectic and reasonably priced.
- The Garden District is an area in the city where you may not be able to split your rent with a bunch of roommates. This is probably more ideal for students looking to live alone or with one or two roommates.
- Seaton Village is a close-knit, largely family neighbourhood, which has a little less in the way of entertainment than other downtown neighbourhoods.
- Baldwin Village, which is known for the number of restaurants, bars and cafes available continues to be relatively reasonably priced.
If Your School is in Etobicoke
- Kingsview Village– The Westway, which is more expensive than most neighbourhoods in this area is filled with greenspaces but is limited in terms of entertainment.
- Clairville, which is a largely industrial area, is very close to the Humber College North Campus and the University of Guelph-Humber, but it is not a particularly exciting area in terms of entertainment.
- Smithfield/ Mount Olive- Silverstone-Jamestown is a relatively quiet neighbourhood but has a reputation for being unsafe. It is extremely close to Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber and has relatively good transit.
- New Toronto is a lakefront neighbourhood with quick access to the Humber College Lakeshore campus.
- Long Branch is a lakefront community, with lots of greenspace but with limited entertainment options.
If Your School is in Scarborough
- Morningside is an outdoor-oriented neighbourhood close to Scarborough university and college campuses but has limited transit.
- Bendale is primarily a residential neighbourhood with a diverse group of people.
- Agincourt/Malvern is a very diverse neighbourhood, and in recent years, has become better served by the TTC.
Keep in mind that Scarborough is often less exciting than much of the rest of the city, but it is also much less expensive than most of the rest of the city.
If Your School is in the North End
- York University Heights is the area surrounding York University’s Keele campus, so it seems like an obvious choice, but it is restricted in terms of public transit.
- Bathurst Manor is a quiet neighbourhood, made up largely of subdivisions is relatively well served by public transit, including busses and Downsview subway station.
- Hillcrest Village has a variety of homes and home types. It is closer to the downtown core, but it is also further from campuses in the north end of the city.
- L’Amoreaux there are all kinds of homes in L’Amoreaux which means whether you want to live alone or with roommates there are going to be housing options.
- Don Valley Village is a low to middle income neighbourhood, and being close to one of the Seneca College campuses, it is convenient for students and also has the advantage of having the Fairview Mall to provide some entertainment options.