Furnished Apartments Toronto

Corporate housing: Definitely not a hotel

Today Living Group corporate housing

People who travel a lot for work will tell you that no matter how great the bathroom is, or how comfortable the bed, staying in hotels all the time can leave you feeling drained and stressed out. A nice bathroom just can’t compensate for the feeling of being stuck in a small box of a room night after night, eating expensive (and not all that healthy) room service or takeout food.

Furnished corporate housing can help:

  • Typical suites offer much more space than standard hotel rooms, making travellers feel more like they’re staying in an apartment rather than an anonymous hotel room
  • Having a proper living area separate from the bedroom allows guests to relax in the evenings the way they might at home, giving them an opportunity to de-stress before going back to work the next day
  • Fully-equipped kitchens mean guests can prepare their own food. More importantly, it helps them stick to whatever schedule they might have at home (i.e. having a kale smoothie for breakfast or warm milk before bed), which can also contribute to less stress
  • Suites allow for spouses or even, in some cases, pets to accompany guests, which reduces the isolation and stress that many business travellers can feel when they’re on the road alone for long periods of time
  • Suites encourage travellers to ‘settle in’ more than in a hotel
  • Suites offer many of the same amenities of good hotels, like weekly or biweekly housekeeping, linen service and thoughtful design

It’s hard for business travellers to be their most productive if they’re feeling tired, stressed or missing the people and comforts of home. Furnished corporate housing is a great way to set your employees up for success by making them as comfortable as possible.

 

Corporate travel: How to look like the smartest HR Manager in town

Money saving tips for HR professionals

If you work in HR, you know that one of the biggest challenges in your job is convincing the rest of the organization that you can make a real contribution to the bottom line. Too often, HR is seen as a ‘cost center’ rather than a ‘revenue center’ – and that can mean the HR department isn’t taken as seriously as other departments, or given a seat at the strategic boardroom table.

So how can you look like you’re just as focused on the bottom line and making a contribution to the overall health of the organization? If your company spends money on corporate travel, try implementing these 5 money-saving strategies – and then make sure everyone knows just how much money you just added to the bottom line!

5 ways to save money on corporate travel

1. Establish well-defined policies. Too many companies just let employees ‘use their own good judgement’ when it comes to travel-related expenses. But without sufficient oversight, this can lead to $200 steak dinners and late-night raiding of expensive mini-bars. By establishing some clear guidelines (like specific per-diem amounts, expectations regarding taxis vs public transit, etc.), you can control costs without taking draconian measures.

2. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. With all the emphasis on bargain-hotel websites these days, you might be surprised to learn that the corporate sales departments of major hotel chains are more than willing to provide discounted rates even for mid-sized organizations. If your staff travels to a variety of cities throughout the year, one call to a hotel chain that serves the regions you travel to most often could save you 20% or more on annual hotel costs.

3. Consider corporate credit cards. Using corporate credit cards for travel expenses – either providing them to employees who travel or using them to book travel from head office – delivers three key benefits: First, they provide you with better annualized data on where you’re spending travel dollars, which can help you cut costs; second, they reduce the reliance on cumbersome expense forms (which some employees seem to take forever to submit); and with a little research, you can find one which provides cash back or other benefits that can further cut costs.

4. Talk to the purchasing department. Your purchasing department is experienced in researching and negotiating the best prices from all kinds of suppliers – they may be able to help you find additional ways to save money on travel costs, or even help you with some hard-nosed negotiation. What’s more, they may already be working with travel-related suppliers who are motivated to provide deeper discounts in exchange for the promise of exclusivity.

5. Investigate corporate housing. If you have multiple staff members visiting the same city several times during the year, or you often host visitors from offices in other cities, it might be time to consider furnished corporate housing. In Toronto, corporate housing can be half as expensive as hotels, while providing guests with the ability to make their own meals – which can put a stop to those $200 steak dinners!

SUITE SPOTLIGHT: Executive suites in ICE Condos

Furnished suites have never been this convenient

Today Living Group furnished suites

Corporate housing with style

The ICE Condominiums at 12 & 14 York Street, in the heart of Toronto’s downtown southcore. Steps from both the financial district and the Entertainment District, these 1 bedroom + den suites are stylish, fully equipped, and perfectly situated for extended stays.

Ice Condo – Pool

Details of these suites:

  • 1 bedroom + den (open concept)
  • Flatscreen tv, Blu-ray player and iPod docking station
  • Hardwood floors
  • Cable, local calling and wifi are all included
  • Ensuite laundry
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Bi-weekly housekeeping including hypoallergenic linens
  • Unbelievable amenities, including fitness centre, yoga studio, party rooms and indoor pool

And the ICE building also enjoys direct access to the Underground PATH system which means guests don’t even have to go outside to take advantage of a huge array of stores, services and restaurants.

If you’re in Toronto for 30+ days and need a furnished suite that will feel like home – but with a few extra perks – this is the place for you. Click here for more details.

Insurance after disaster: 5 tips for managing the process

Tips for coping after a disaster

Knowing how to get through the process will help you get back on track faster

Few things are more difficult than a major disaster that makes your house uninhabitable, even for a short time.  But the more you know about how to navigate the insurance process, the faster you and your family can move on.  Over the years, we’ve worked with lots of insurance companies.  Here’s what they’ve told us about how to cope most effectively following a house-related disaster.

  1. Get in touch with your rep or insurance company immediately.  Your first call should be to your insurance representative or broker, especially if you don’t have immediate access to your insurance paperwork.  Failing that, call your insurance company directly – most have 24-hour claims services.  The sooner you notify your insurance company, the sooner the recovery process can start.
  2. Establish a temporary home base. Many insurance policies provide for alternate accommodation in the event that your home is temporarily uninhabitable.  Arranging for short-term housing – and knowing you’ll have somewhere to sleep tonight – will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on next steps. (That’s where Today Living Group can help – we can provide furnished accommodation on short notice, and we have lots of experience arranging housing for insurance claims.)
  3. Check your property. As soon as it is safely possible, do a full, thorough inspection of your home, both inside and out.  Look in basements, attics, behind appliances, in corners – anywhere water might have spread or smoke may have penetrated.  It’s a good idea to do this with a friend or relative, and to document your findings both in written notes and with detailed photographs.
  4. Don’t let anxiety make you feel rushed. When you’re feeling ‘displaced’, there can be a tendency to just say ‘yes’ to everything the insurance company says because you just want the whole thing to be over and to get back to a feeling of normalcy.  But in the long run, taking a deep breath and taking the time to consider your options will leave you with better results and feeling more in control of the process.
  5. Double-check the repair/restoration companies offered. In the case of water or smoke damage, your insurance company may offer to provide a particular restoration or repair company (sometimes in exchange for waiving the deductible or other consideration).  Before agreeing, do a little research and make sure the companies suggested are as good as those you might select yourself.

No one wants to see their home suffer a major catastrophe.  But it’s always better to be prepared than to simply hope it doesn’t happen.

Divorce sucks. Everyone can use a little help through it.

Today Living Group Divorce Angels

When we talk about our executive suites and corporate housing, we tend to focus on the positive: The professionals who have been seconded to Toronto for a few months for a fantastic career opportunity; the families who take a suite for a month or two to be closer to relatives in the summer; the companies who keep a suite on-call downtown for corporate events. All that stuff sounds great.

But the truth is there’s another group of clients we don’t talk about very often: Recently separated or divorced parents, who need a transitional space.

No one likes to talk about divorce. Sure, most of us don’t judge our friends or family members for splitting up with their spouse any more, but the subject is still uncomfortable. Divorcing people may feel shame that they weren’t able to keep their marriage together; their still-married friends may be hesitant to raise the issue in case divorce is somehow contagious.

That doesn’t change the fact that divorce is tough for everyone involved.

One of the hardest parts is finding a new place to live. When people split up, usually at least one of them wants or needs to leave the home they shared, but it can be hard to find a suitable place on short notice.  It can be particularly difficult for parents with young children: You want to see your kids as much as possible, but that’s not always convenient in a hotel and it’s hard to have your children for the weekend if you’re living in a half-furnished 1-bedroom apartment.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Divorce Angels.

Divorce Angels is a Canadian-based divorce support network, designed to help recently separated or divorcing people “get off the couch and believing in themselves”. They offer  resources, advice and referrals for people who are actively navigating the process of splitting from a spouse.

We thought this was a great idea, so when they approached us about becoming one of their short-term accommodation partners, we were happy to join.  All their partners are fully vetted and screened for suitability – this isn’t a paid-for advertisement thinly disguised as a partnership. When you sign up, you’re given referrals to partners based on your specific needs.

For us it was a no-brainer: We know how stressful it can be to try to maintain your normal routine when you don’t have a home to feel settled in. And we think it’s especially important to ensure that all parents have a comfortable, safe space in which to spend time with their kids during a separation or divorce.

Yes, divorce sucks, for just about everyone involved. We’d really like to make it a little easier for you.

Check out Divorce Angels for more information. Book your stay through them and receive a 5% discount on every 60-day stay.

 

You bought – or are building – the house of your dreams. What happens when there’s a 3-month delay?

What do you do when you have construction delays

 

It happens more often than you think: You buy a new-build house or condo, and do your research. The builder is reputable with a track record of delivering projects on-time and on-budget. But then something happens – a colder-than-usual winter that prevents work, a transportation strike in the US that causes a shortage of materials, a subcontractor disaster – and suddenly the move-in date for your new home is 3 months later than you anticipated.

Which is a bit of a problem, since you’ve given notice to your landlord or have sold your existing home and have a hard-and-fast closing date. You have no family nearby and none of your friends really want you and your toddler crashing on their couch for 12 weeks.

What do you do?

This is the kind of situation that furnished apartments are designed to solve.

A furnished corporate apartment or suite can be rented on a month-to-month basis without a big commitment (in case the builder can’t be specific about a move-in date), and in most cases, extending your stay is as easy as making a phone call.

Another advantage is that when your new home is finally ready, you don’t have to rush in – you can spend another week or two at the suite while you move in, paint, decorate and unpack in your new place. Instead of sleeping amidst the chaos, you can return to a like-home environment until your new place is perfect.

Not buying a new home, just doing a big renovation of your current one? A furnished apartment can be a perfect solution to the month or two that your kitchen and electrical systems are out of order.

Don’t forget, it’s a lot easier to be productive at work if you get a decent meal in the evening and a good night’s sleep – a furnished apartment could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your sanity during times of big moves and renovations.

BRAND-NEW PROPERTY: 155 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto

Beautiful suites in the former Toronto Four Seasons Hotel

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Just in time for the celebrity-watching glamour of TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival), we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added furnished one-bedroom suites to our roster of executive suites, and unfurnished two-bedroom rental suites in the prestigious Yorkville Plaza building at 155 Yorkville, the site of the former Four Seasons Hotel.

This is a fantastic mid-town location, steps from high-end shopping (Tiffany, Cartier, Holt Renfrew), fabulous restaurants (Sotto Sotto, One, Café Boulud), and some of the best cultural attractions in the city (the Royal Ontario Museum, the Bata Shoe Museum).

The suites at 155 Yorkville are all brand-new, with 8’ ceiling heights, floor-to-ceiling windows, and in-suite washer and dryer.  Kitchens are sleek and modern, featuring Miele appliances built-in with custom cabinetry surrounds.  Bathrooms have soaker tubs, stone counters, and porcelain floors.

(And with the Park Hyatt, the Hazelton and the Windsor Arms hotel all within a few moments’ walk, this is an excellent location from which to celebrity-watch – and not just during TIFF.  In Yorkville, you never know who you might run into, having brunch on a Sunday morning.)

But don’t take our word for it – watch our virtual tour:

For more information, see our detailed listing here.

 

The Luxurious Suites at Maple Leaf Square

Sometimes the toughest thing about being away from home is not having all the comforts, familiarity, and convenience of your neighborhood. At home, when you’re out of milk and eggs, you know exactly where to go to stock up on your staples.

For whatever reason you may have to be in Toronto on an extended stay, you can still feel at home thanks to Today Living Group. Maple Leaf Square is in the heart of the city adjacent to the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs & Toronto Raptors.

Today Living Group offers affordable, stylish and fully furnished high-end apartments that exude privacy, luxurious comfort and relaxation at Maple Leaf Square. Suites boast an average of 15 modern, tasteful furniture items and fully equipped kitchens including utensils. Tenants have 24-hour state-of-the art security and exercise facility access. One of the best features is living on your own schedule. Housekeeping won’t be knocking on your door.

Maple Leaf Square is in the central hub of Toronto’s financial and entertainment district. Residents quickly realize every conceivable convenience is within a short walking distance: transit, the waterfront, restaurants, sports and entertainment, shopping, and of course, business possibilities.

Many familiar shops and lounges such as Longos Supermarket, Frozen Yogurt, e11even Restaurant, Corks Beer & Wine Bar, and Real Sports Bar are located within the Maple Leaf Square building, which also connects to Toronto’s PATH system. This 29 km shopping and services network lets pedestrians walk underground through a mall-like atmosphere to just about any major downtown intersection or destination including the Air Canada Centre, Eaton Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, and Union Station. The CN Tower is a block away.

So don’t stay cooped up in a hotel. Work uninterrupted with your feet up as you empty your inbox. Unwind with colleagues after work before heading to the hockey game. Feel at home away from home as you work and play on your terms. While out in the neighbourhood, you might just bump shoulders with a member of Hollywood royalty. Yes, Toronto is like that, and we love it.