International students, new to Toronto for school?

Manilla Blog
3 min readApr 30, 2023
Courtesy of Freepik

As an international student coming to school in Toronto for the first time, finding affordable accommodation can be daunting. Toronto is known for its high cost of living, and the rental market can be competitive. However, with a little research and some tips, you can find a comfortable and affordable place to call home.

  1. Start early

It’s essential to start your search for affordable accommodation early. Don’t wait until the last minute to start looking for a place to live. Ideally, you should start your search at least three to six months before your move-in date. This will give you enough time to research different neighbourhoods and rental properties, as well as negotiate rental rates with landlords.

2. Use online resources

The internet is a great resource for finding affordable accommodation in Toronto. There are several online platforms such as Kijiji, Craigslist, and PadMapper, which can help you find apartments, condos, or rooms for rent in your budget. You can also use Facebook groups or other social media platforms to connect with other students looking for roommates.

3. Consider sharing accommodations

Sharing accommodation is a great way to reduce your living expenses. You can split the cost of rent, utilities, and other household expenses with one or more roommates. You can find roommates through online resources, or your school may have a housing board or program to connect you with other students looking for roommates.

4. Look for off-campus housing

Living off-campus can be significantly cheaper than living on campus. Many schools have off-campus housing listings or partnerships with local landlords. These partnerships can give you access to affordable housing options that may not be available to the general public. Check with your school’s housing office to see if they offer this service.

5. Consider transportation costs

When looking for affordable accommodation, consider the cost of transportation. Toronto has an extensive public transit system, but living closer to campus may be more expensive. However, living further away from campus may result in higher transportation costs. Consider the cost of transportation when calculating the total cost of living in a particular location.

6. Negotiate rental rates

Don’t be afraid to negotiate rental rates with landlords. If you find a place you like, but the rent is too high, try negotiating with the landlord. You may be able to lower the rent or negotiate other terms, such as including utilities or internet in the rent. Be prepared to provide references or a co-signer to reassure the landlord that you will be a responsible tenant.

In conclusion, finding affordable accommodation in Toronto as an international student can be challenging, but not impossible. By starting your search early, using online resources, considering sharing accommodation, looking for off-campus housing, factoring in transportation costs, and negotiating rental rates, you can find a comfortable and affordable place to call home while you pursue your studies in Toronto.

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Manilla Blog

Manilla is a payment app that connects students with their families abroad.