Tips on Finding an Apartment in Toronto and Vancouver

ILAC Teacher Erin Casper offers some great advice on how to find a place to live in Canada.

One of the most exciting and stressful times is finding a new apartment. Whether you are a first time renter or have been living away from your parents for a while, finding the right apartment, in the right location, at the right price, can be a tedious and time-consuming process. I’ve just had the pleasure of finding an apartment for the first time. Although the process was long, it was quite rewarding when I was able to find a lovely apartment at the right price. I learned a lot about my experience and I thought I could help you navigate through this process a little more easily with some advice.

1. Finding an apartment is like finding a job. You need to look every day, twice a day. New apartments become available all the time and they are taken just as quickly as they are posted. So be diligent and keep your eyes open.

2. Be patient. Unless you are in a rush and you need to find an apartment immediately, try to be patient and think positively. It gets frustrating when you start visiting numerous apartments and none of them are what you want. But don’t give up because when you do find the right place, it’s such a great feeling. It took me two months to find my apartment and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

3. There are many websites that can help you to find the perfect apartment. Some of my favourites are Craigslist http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/apa/, Kijiji http://toronto.kijiji.ca/f-real-estate-apartments-condos-W0QQCatIdZ37, View it http://viewit.ca/ and Got to Rent http://www.gottarent.com/on/toronto/. If you are only in Toronto for a short period of time, I recommend Craigslist and Kijiji. Both websites have apartments that are available for sublet. (If you are in Vancouver, just change “Toronto” to “Vancouver” on each website.)

4.  Besides looking on the Internet, a great way to find apartments is to walk around Toronto. If there is a specific area you want to live in, I suggest walking around that neighbourhood and looking for rent signs. Some of the best apartments are not posted online. Therefore, you can find a great apartment at a great price, just by looking.

5. Ask friends or family. I ended up finding my apartment through a colleague at work. He saw a rent sign in his building and told me about it. I went to visit the apartment the same day and knew immediately the apartment was the right choice for me. I even posted my status on facebook. I had tons of friends messaging me and letting me know about other apartments for rent. You never know who might be able to help, so let people know you are looking.

Hopefully these tips will make the experience of looking for an apartment a little more enjoyable. This is a great time to rent, since there is more availability in the warmer months. Happy hunting!

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