Life, Culture and Travels from the perspective of a Cuban
Back to Toronto in 2013
Categories: TorontoNTERO

It looks that we will be staying in Toronto at least until springtime. The family needs us around for a while so we have decided to find a short-term rental in the downtown area, preferably by the subway line and ideally in the Annex neighbourhood.

Nowadays, Toronto is not a cheap city in any way. Maybe it was always the case and I pay more attention to it now, after spending some time abroad (?). As soon as I got here I noticed that the monthly metropass price has increased notably. Even the VIP metropass that I used to order at my workplace for $97.00 CAN, back in Aug/2011 has increased to $113.00 CAN.

For a city as big as Toronto, having a poor metro line system makes things worse. You have to depend on the bus service and streetcars and freeze your backside out in the cold during the cold months if you are not walking distance from a subway station. Therefore, living near the subway lines becomes even more of a luxury. Use Google for an image on the Toronto subway map. I am not lying.

I am surprised to see the prices for one – bedroom apartments uptown and in the north of the city. Sometimes they reach the $2,000 CAN a month. Really? I am talking about locations where people drive everywhere and the closest distance to anything “social” is a couple of kms. A marble countertop will not change the fact that I will be living far and isolated from the centre.

The city is just too expensive for what it has to offer. I love Toronto, it has been my home for several years, but the more I visit other places the farther I get from wanting to move back here permanently. I find incredible that a studio in Montmartre, Paris, two blocks away from three metro stations is 600 euros a month and I have to pay a $1000 for a dark basement apartment in the Danforth.

I know I may be a special study case for some because I cannot stand the winter and/or the suburbs but I am not looking for anything upscale and spacious just a clean and decent place to stay for a couple of months. I love downtown, where every place is a few steps away. During winter I can still see pedestrians running errands when it is -10 degrees and my walk to the subway is only a couple of minutes.

A friend is also looking into moving closer to the downtown area and has told me that for a year-contract rental the prices for 1 bedroom apartments are around $1400. I may be wrong, but my experience is telling me that the rent price in Toronto has increased about 20-25% in the last six years. (?)

Put simply, we have to be ready to empty our pockets in the TDot. Rent and transportation are more expensive and even talking about it over a pint will now cost you more.

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