condo rentals

5 insider tips that'll help you get a fantastic new apartment

What the pros look for when assessing a new rental home

Tips from the insiders for finding a great apartment

It’s funny: Most of us, when we transition into adulthood – or at least sometime during our 20s – seem to get all kinds of advice about things like how to buy a new car, how to get our careers started, even what to look for in a potential life partner.

But we get a lot less advice about how to choose the right rental apartment, even though a person’s home is, in many ways, every bit as important as their career or their car – and definitely has the potential to make day-to-day life almost as unhappy as choosing the wrong life partner.

In a city like Toronto, where high real estate costs mean more and more of us are choosing to live in rental condos well into our 30s and 40s, choosing the right unit becomes even more important. We all want to find an apartment that will allow us to settle in and feel at home, even if it’s ‘only’ a rental.

5 secrets the pros use to find great places

You know what it’s like when you’re hunting for a condo to rent: You do some research online, look at a lot of pictures, and then line up a bunch of viewings one afternoon. They all look pretty good – but how can you tell which will let you feel like you’re ‘home’, and which have issues that’ll drive you crazy once you’ve been living there a month or two?

Here’s how the pros separate the good suites from the great ones.

  1. Research the landlord.  Most experienced tenants will tell you that in the long run, a condo that’s handled by a property management firm tends to be a better option: Good property management companies tend to have specific responsibilities and are invested in maintaining high standards, they are fully compliant with relevant legislation, and in many cases they’re well-known in the condo building. Renting directly from the owner doesn’t have to be problematic – but it’s worth Googling your potential landlord’s name before you sign a lease agreement.
  2. Look under all the sinks. The cupboards under the kitchen and bathroom sinks tend to be places where plumbing damage or bug infestations will be most evident. Taking a couple of minutes to quickly open the cabinets can help ensure you don’t end up with a unit which has bugs, water damage, or mold problems that could cause problems once you’ve moved in.
  3. Are the floor tiles straight and plumb? Good contractors often say that builders who can’t lay tile in a straight line probably don’t know how to install a toilet or wire a socket. Sloppy floor tiles in the kitchen, hall or bathroom can be an indication of cheap or shoddy construction that otherwise isn’t evident.
  4. Make a call on your cellphone – and walk around the whole unit while you talk.  There is nothing more frustrating than moving into a unit, only to find that you have a mobile phone dead zone in the living room or bedroom. A quick phone call to check reception can rule this out.
  5. Ask to speak with the current tenant. The current tenant is your best source of ‘real’ information about what it’s like to live in your unit on a day-to-day basis: Are the neighbours helpful? Are the walls soundproof? Are the common areas well-maintained and safe? Are the utility bills reasonable? These are the kinds of little things that can make a huge difference to your quality of life. (If you’re not able to speak to the current tenant, consider approaching another resident in the lobby, either during your viewing or on another occasion. You might be surprised to find just how helpful an existing tenant is willing to be.)

Of course, you should combine these ‘insider’ tips with our previous advice on how to make apartment hunting in Toronto easier.

Good luck – and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more about renting condos in Toronto and the GTA!

 

 

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: 1br + den for rent in gorgeous Aquaview building

Today Living Group condo for rent

Super-convenient Lakeshore living just steps from the lake

Welcome to our one bedroom + den condo for rent in the desirable Aquaview building.

Details of this suite:

  • Available immediately
  • 1 bedroom + den
  • Open concept layout has been fully renovated
  • Granite countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances and hardwood laminate throughout
  • Parking for one car included
  • Locker also included
  • Excellent access to transit (including GOTransit)
  • Gym/exercise room
  • Pool
  • Rooftop deck
  • Party room and meeting rooms available
  • Visitor parking
  • 24-hour concierge

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

Have you seen our referral program, lately?

Earn great rewards just by telling people about us!

Toronto corporate housing provider TLG

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past two decades of Today Living Group, it’s that the key to business success is great word of mouth from your clients, tenants, guests, suppliers – and just about anyone else you come across in your day-to-day activities. We’ve grown a lot in the past few years, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

That’s why we’ve always had a fantastic referral program.

If you’re a real estate professional, a property owner, an investor or anyone else who knows someone who’s looking to get more out of their Toronto condo investment, give them our name. If they become a client of Today Living Group, you’ll earn fantastic rewards!

 

TLG referral program

(Want to refer someone? Email maryc@todaylivinggroup.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP.)

 

BRAND NEW: 1 br suite for rent in Leaside's Scenic III

Fantastic location with unbelievable views

Condo for rent in Scenic III in Leaside, Toronto

Brand new with great amenities

This spacious, bright one-bedroom suite at the super-hot Scenic III building is perfectly located in the desirable Leaside neighbourhood.

Some of the features of this suite:

  • All new – never lived in
  • Laminate flooring and ceramic tile throughout
  • 9-foot ceilings
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Granite countertops
  • Parking is included
  • Walking distance to all kinds of shops, supermarkets and restaurants
  • Amenities include gym, pool, party room, recreation room, media/cinema space, and guest suites for overnight visitors

Want more information?

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: 1 bedroom at the Grand Residences in Mississauga

You really, really can’t beat this location

1 bedroom condo for rent at Grand REsidences of Parkside

Who says you can’t walk to everything in Mississauga?

This fantastic one-bedroom condo for rent in the Grand Residences of Parkside are steps from Square One and all kinds of other shops, services and offices. Between the location and the 10-foot ceilings and dark wood floors, you really can’t beat this suite.

You can enjoy the sunrise first thing in the morning from your beautiful balcony, and beautiful scenic view.  Parking and locker are included,  hydro is extra.  Call to book your exclusive tour.

Features

Located in the midst of all conveniences, restaurants, entertainment, library, gym, City Hall & plenty of shopping at Square One. Within walking distance to the Bus and easy access to Hwys.

Amenities

Amenities included are the gym/exercise room, party room, guest suites, pool, media room/cinema and meeting rooms. Security is on site 24/7.

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: A suite that'll brighten your life

A 2-bedroom corner suite that couldn’t be brighter

Today Living Group 2 bedroom condo for rent

Details of this suite:

  • Perfectly located in downtown Toronto at 110 Charles Street
  • 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom
  • 800 square feet
  • Corner unit with views of the city
  • Designer kitchen
  • Fitness centre
  • Recreation centre including billiards room
  • A lobby that will impress your friends
  • Guest suites for overnight stays

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: Glamorous 1-bedroom in the L Building

You can’t find a better location for work and play.

TLG - St. Lawrence Market & Financial District

If you’ve been wondering how you can have it all, this may be the answer. Gorgeous like-new one-bedroom suite in the spectacular L building. During the week, you can walk or TTC it to work. On the weekends, the Esplanade, St Lawrence Market and Harbourfront are just steps away.

Details of this suite:

  • 510 square feet
  • 1 bedroom
  • High floor with floor-to-ceiling windows – the view can not be beat
  • Super-sleek kitchen
  • Hardwood floors
  • Ensuite laundry
  • Building amenities include spa lounge, fitness center, party rooms and more!
  • $2075/month makes this a great value for downtown

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

Apartment living: How to do it better

Just because you rent doesn’t mean it can’t be homey

Tips and tricks for making a rental apartment a home

 

As housing prices in the GTA continue to rise, more and more of us are living in rental homes longer. In Toronto, that often means living in a condo suite. And while newer condos often have plenty of amenities like great appliances, hardwood floors, fitness centers and meeting rooms, the truth is that they can sometimes feel a bit small and sterile – not exactly the ‘sanctuary’ all the home decorating magazines promise.

But it doesn’t have that way!

9 tips for turning your rental condo into a real home

1.  Don’t think of it as ‘just a temporary place’.
Sure, your life will probably eventually change and you’ll need or buy a new place, but most people end up staying in a rental home at least 3+ years. So stop thinking of your apartment as just a pitstop on the way to the rest of your life, and start thinking of how to make the most of the time you have there.

2.  Find out exactly what you can change (and what you can’t).
Check your lease agreement or speak to your landlord/property manager and find out exactly how much ‘customization’ you can put into your home. Are you allowed to paint the walls? Add light fixtures? Change kitchen hardware? Keep in mind that most landlords tend to be supportive of updates if they have some confidence that you’re not going to paint the walls black and change all the fixtures to pewter skull heads – they may even offer to help.

3.  Start with curtains.
Today Living tips for rental condos

It’s likely that your apartment came with some kind of window blinds that are doing an okay job of keeping out the sunlight and peeping Toms, but the truth is that nothing will transform your space like properly-hung curtains. They can disguise weird windows, make the ceiling seem higher, and make a bedroom way more cozy and quiet at night. Best of all, they’re removable, so you can take them with you when you go.

4.  Put something interesting on the walls. 
Whether you prefer a big art print, a gallery of personal photos, or floating shelves, you might be surprised to discover just how much more stylish and homey your place will feel when you get rid of the plain walls and make them a little more personalized and interesting. The right wall decor can also bounce light, make ceilings seem larger, and act as dividers in spaces like living/dining areas. And don’t forget that framed wall mirrors can give the illusion of space and light.

5.  Invest in the right furniture. 
Getting the most out of modern condos depends on having a few perfectly-sized and perfectly-functional pieces: Shelving that can be used for entertainment and storage; dining tables that can also function as workspaces or games tables; ottomans for both storage and seating. The good news is that companies like Wayfair (and even the downtown locations of stores like The Brick) now offer compact, well-designed, reasonably-priced furniture designed specifically for city condos where every piece has to work hard.

6.  Adjust the lighting.
The right lighting can make almost any space seem more luxurious, cozy and comfortable (think about the spaces you love the most – chances are that ‘lighting’ is one of the main reasons you like them). The good news is that you don’t have to be an electrician to improve the lighting in your rental home. You can speak to your landlord about replacing unpleasant overhead fixtures, but if you can’t change those, don’t worry. With the right combination of floor and table lamps, you won’t even have to turn the overhead lights on. (In kitchens and bathrooms, you can make the overhead lighting more appealing by trying different types of lightbulb – it’s amazing how a soft pink light tone can make mornings so much better than that harsh white LED the place came with.)

7.  Create an entry area.
A small hall table (or a narrow floating shelf if there’s no floor space) just inside the front door, with a mirror and a couple of hooks for keys or hats, will instantly make your rental home seem larger and function as a kind of transition space that will keep footwear and other clutter out of the main living area. And the interior designer types are right: These ‘transition spaces’ actually work really well in helping your mind shift from ‘being out’ to ‘being home’.

8.  Use the building facilities.
In our experience, the people who are most happy in their rental condo suites are the ones who actually use all those facilities that the condos promote: The gym, the spa area, the bike storage, the meeting rooms, the party rooms, etc. Why? Because it makes them feel like they have access to the whole building, rather than being stuck in a ‘box’ in their unit. Just going from your suite to the gym every day can make you feel like part of a larger community.

9.  Get to know your neighbours.
One of the very best ways to feel at home – in any dwelling, anywhere – is to be on at least chatting terms with the people who live around you. Sure, you all work a lot and have busy lives, but there’s no substitute for being greeted by familiar people when you get in the elevator. And knowing that you could have coffee with the guy down the hall or go for brunch with the girl on the floor below is a fantastic way to feel like you belong in a place. How do you get to know neighbours in a big city like Toronto? Just as you would anywhere else: Be friendly, say hello, and don’t be afraid to say “Hey, I’m getting coffee next door – want to come?”

 

Thinking of making a move to a new rental home? Get in touch – we’d be happy to help.
Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228

 

9 ways to make finding a new apartment in Toronto easier

tips for finding a great rental condo in Toronto

 

Finding a rental condo in Toronto

While you may be looking forward to your new rental home in Toronto (because Toronto has a lot to offer), you probably aren’t looking forward to actually looking for that new home. It’s time-consuming, it’s stressful, and it can involve more dead-ends than you’d hoped.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! A little preparation means you can narrow down your choices in advance, which means you have a better chance of finding your new dream apartment in less time (really).

Here’s what to do:

Our top 9 tips for making apartment-hunting less painful:

  1. Take some time to think it through. Sounds obvious, right?  But many people, when they realize they have to find a new place, get overwhelmed and start to panic – and then either waste a lot of time looking in the wrong places or end up in a new place that doesn’t really work for them. Making time to think about what you need, where you need to be, and talking it over with whoever you plan to live with will save you a lot of time, and heartache, in the long run.
  2. Get your financial ducks in order. Most landlords are going to require a credit report, a letter from an employer, possibly a reference from a previous landlord, and first and last month’s rent. You’ll be in a better position to negotiate or move quickly on a suite you love if you have all these things in order before you start looking at potential new homes. (If this is your first rental, or you have a less-than-stellar credit history, you may want to consider lining up a lease co-signer as well.)
  3. Make a list of your must-haves – and write it down. It’s almost impossible to narrow down your search if you aren’t really sure what you really want – and what you could live without. Do you need easy access to public transit, or on-site parking? Could you live without a bathtub if the neighbourhood was really fantastic? Would you trade a small kitchen for a huge bedroom? The more you know about what – exactly – you’re looking for, the easier it’ll be to find it.
  4. Set a budget and don’t be tempted by some dream penthouse condo. The truth is that rents in Toronto tend to be high enough without you starting to contemplate whether you really could afford that super-deluxe condo if you just ate ramen noodles all month. There are plenty of great places out there at lots of price points, so set a budget you can live with and stick to it. No one can eat ramen noodles all the time.
  5. Be realistic. Like most big cities, Toronto has perennially-expensive neighbourhoods (Yorkville); super-hot neighbourhoods (the Junction); and up-and-coming neighbourhoods (East Danforth). Knowing which is which will keep you from wasting time chasing a bargain that just doesn’t exist.
  6. Consider working with a professional. Sure, sites like Craigslist or Casalova can be good sources of rentals, but they require a lot of searching, constant vigilance, and (often) a lot of dead ends. You might want to consider working with a local property management professional who can do a better job of ‘matching’ you to suites that meet your needs – and who can handle some or all of the paperwork for you.
  7. Don’t be rushed. It’s true that the Toronto real estate market is hot right now, and that goes for rental properties as well. But that doesn’t mean you have to pull out your chequebook and start signing leases 5 minutes after you tour a property. A landlord who pressures you to ‘act now’ may have something to hide – and may be lying about all those other potential tenants who are lining up to take the place if you don’t.
  8. Do your legwork…and your homework. Every property manager and real estate agent will tell you that it’s crucial to ‘walk the neighbourhood’ before you make a decision to live somewhere long-term. Even the most beautiful suite can be rendered unlivable if it turns out to be right behind a fire station whose sirens keep you up all night, every night.But you should also spend some time with Google, checking out your potential landlord and building for red flags, such as bed bug infestations, news coverage of poor maintenance or treatment of tenants, negative reviews on Facebook or elsewhere, etc.
  9. Trust your gut. Sometimes, when you walk into a rental condo, you just know it’s the right place for you – maybe something about the light, or the architecture, or the layout immediately appeals to you. On the other hand, you may get an immediate ‘bad vibe’ from a place or a potential landlord. Listen to your gut feelings. If you’ve done your homework – especially #1-5, above – your gut is probably steering you in the right direction.

Good luck with your search – and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help finding a new place in Toronto!

 

Gorgeous 1-bed+den condo for rent in Yorkville

Your heart is in Yorkville. Now your home can be there, too.

TLG - condo for rent - Yorkville

This is a fantastic 700sq.ft, unfurnished suite in one of the best condo buildings Yorkville has to offer. Close to everything, from shopping to TTC to work to restaurants, this is  a great opportunity to live in one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

Details of this suite:

  • Available immediately
  • 9-foot ceilings mean you won’t feel like you’re ‘living in a box’
  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances
  • 2 bathrooms!
  • Parking for one car included
  • Locker included

For more details about this suite, click here.

To arrange to view this suite, contact Mary Casey at maryc@todaylivinggroup.com or call us at 416.213.8881 x228