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Toronto
  • $875   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1615   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2405   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of  Canada)

Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
bike theft, rush hour on the highway
museums, public botanical gardens, large downtown parks, public transit, pedestrian friendly, local professional sports teams, skating trail 6
future fancy housewives, stop signs are just suggestions, expressway meets parking lot, forever under construction, guy selling fake gucci on the stairs, cherry blossoms sometimes, NYC teleportation station, nudists, a lighthouse surrounded by beer bottles, increasingly pretentious, where Drake is actually from, rich yuppie parents with strollers, locals getting high outside because it is legal, and rich gays are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Toronto roommate rundown:

Haters say Toronto is just a wannabe NYC. And "wannabe" could be ironic. Many Torontonians do pretend to be New Yorkers, this is true.

But it's generally for movies and TV? American cinematographers love to shoot in Toronto while pretending to be somewhere in America, because Toronto's generally cheaper and usually cleaner.

So Torontonians do pretend to be New Yorkers! Just mostly when Americans pay them.

It's not realistic most are "wannabes" other ways either. Most see Toronto as similar in some important ways, different in others. And while NYC will always have its own historical place, Toronto often ranks higher.

Both metro areas enjoy the widest variety of entertainment in the largest number of languages, including who's watching with you. About half of Torontonians were born outside Canada. While most speak English as well, Toronto speaks over 150 languages.

As home to one of the continent's largest Chinatowns, one not bad Little Italy, and a Koreatown, the cuisine is on point too. You and your roommates could also visit Greektown, Portugal Village, Little India, and Little Tibet. Dining options range from highbrow to lower brow to the "street meat" carts lining downtown, offering mix and match sausages with toppings to match. Farmers' markets are all over too, and fusion food tends to rule. Don't miss the local roti (flatbread filled with curry or jerk chicken), Jamaican patties (pastries filled with ground beef), or Portuguese custard tarts.

And you're probably grabbing your roti on your way to a massive music festival or major public gathering. Downtown is almost always going gala for something! If you like cultural events and are willing to walk around, enlightening entertainment for free or cheap awaits you every weekend.

Some is showcased around all the rivers and streams and parks and walking trails. Torontonians love their large downtown parks with recreational walkways traversing the ravines and valleys, including their nature preserves and greenhouses.

A park is also the entrance to City Hall! There's public ice skating . . . and a skating trail!

The crime rate is generally very low, especially for a city this large. It's mostly violent crime that's low, as Toronto's known for their low homicide rate, longstanding.

(Car and bike theft are on trend, however, similar to NYC. There's not a large city on this list where property crime is never an issue . . . including Toronto. But it's fairly safe overall.)

Similar to NYC, Toronto is a central transit hub. There's a lot of public transportation going on . . . but in Toronto most residents departing downtown are still driving away.

Toronto's street grid is covered in bus routes, streetcars, and subway rail, making it pretty easy to move around downtown without a car, as many do . . . until they leave their neighborhood. Toronto residents who live farther out often drive, and it's usually pretty easy. Paying too much for parking will probably stress you out about Toronto's downtown much more than driving away from it . . .

. . . as long as you avoid the highways during rush hours. Also never trust Toronto to drive through sleet.

Like NYC, Toronto sports the highest cost of living for its country . . . but that's still cheaper than NYC, so a little financially friendlier? Making Toronto a lot like NYC culturally, but cleaner and cheaper with less crime?

If Toronto's "wannabe NYC," it's its own distinct version, where you could live for less.

So who wants to be who again now? ;)

The rest of the Toronto roommate lowdown:

  • capital of the province of Ontario, on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario
  • largest city in Canada, with approximately 15% of the entire country's citizens - about 2.5 million in the city, about 6.4 million in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Summers are warm and humid, winters are cold, but extreme storms are rare, with very little snow . . . maybe enough to slow things down for a day or two. Toronto enjoys all four seasons; it gets hot and cold, just less dramatically than the rest of Canada, as nearby water protects it from the rest of the continent's weather.
  • home to many public hospitals, including Mount Sinai Hospital, North York General Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, The Scarborough Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • very large number of popular professional sports teams, including: Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Marlies (AHL), Toronto Rock (NLL) and the Toronto Wolfpack (NARL)
  • home of the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of all of Canada's five largest banks, plus other corporations including tech incubation hubs, tourism, and both medical and financial services
  • home to Toronto Metropolitan University, Ontario Institute, University of Toronto, Seneca College, Humber College, and York University



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Toronto's:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario: Largest art gallery in Canada.
  • Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art: Devoted entirely to ceramics, thousands of works from all over the world.
  • Royal Ontario Museum: Largest museum in Canada showing art, world culture, and natural history.
  • Textile Museum of Canada: "We are the only museum in Canada dedicated to exploring the human experience through textiles." They've got > 15,000 of them, from 200 regions, spanning 2000 years.
  • Toronto Zoo: Canada's largest zoo, over 5000 animals, over 450 species
  • Rouge National Urban Park: Largest urban park in North America, around the mouth of Rouge River in Toronto.
  • Toronto Botanical Gardens: 17 award-winning city-themed tiny gardens within this larger one, plus studies of local seasonal blooms. Open from dawn till dusk and admission is free.


Here's the city of Toronto's official .ca for Discovery Tours, which you and your roommates can print or save to explore, complete with walk details, from neighborhoods to nature.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.