This is the big question that comes up regularly. So I'm going to put in order of preference the different housing sites you can place your trust in.
Les groupes Facebook:
Kijiji : it's a very good place to find a roommate/rental, it's a bit like the Bon Coin in France.
Roomgo : It's the equivalent of Appartager in France, but the activity is much lower than Kijiji.
On some sites, you will hear about Craiglist, I personally think that this site should be banned because of the many scams and dubious ads on this site.
Where to stay?
If you are looking for something in Toronto, life is more animated on King/Queen Street rather on the West side, but everything is relatively accessible once you are in Toronto (inner ring).
If you are looking for the cheapest I would advise you to take a place outside of Toronto even in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), but keep in mind that you will have to add the cost of transportation every month (as well as time) if you go downtown regularly.
What types of housing?
Condominiums: also called condos in the ads, these are buildings where there are usually basement units with common access to a laundry room, a gym... to which the residents have access
The 1 Bedroom : It is an apartment with 2 rooms : a living room/kitchen and a bedroom.
The 1 Bedroom + Den: This is an apartment with a bedroom and a Den (a room that is slightly smaller than a bedroom). It is common for the Den to be arranged as a bedroom but have the disadvantage of not having a window. In some ads they are marked as 1 + 1.
Basement: This is a basement of a house converted into an apartment, usually without windows to the outside. When visiting this type of accommodation, always check the ventilation of the apartment, the bathroom and the insulation (this could have radical consequences in the future, especially in winter).
The Bachelor : It is the equivalent of a studio in France, the bedroom, the living room and the kitchen are one and the same room.
What is the price?
For downtown Toronto, it is possible to find roommates on the east/west side between $700 and $1100 per month if you are lucky. But if you are looking in the downtown area you can easily reach $1500 / $1800 per month. These prices are constantly increasing due to the number of newcomers that arrive each year.
NB: With Covid, it is now possible to find roommates between 800 and 1000 and 1 bedroom apartments from 1300 in the city center.
The differences with France;
Here we don't ask for a deposit check, this practice is becoming more and more common, so be careful to have an official certificate when you pay a deposit
We always pay the first and the last rent in a rental, that is to say 2 months of rent to pay at once
Here the rental (shared or not) is a commitment, when you are engaged in a "lease" the notice does not exist. However it is common and easy to have someone take over the lease.
Before choosing where you want to take an accommodation: take the time to discover Toronto by yourself by taking an Airbnb, hostel for several weeks, this gives you time and avoids you to make bad decisions.
The most important thing for you is to choose a place that you like the most, taking into account that if you take an accommodation farther away, you will have to take into account the public transportation costs amounting to $150 per month. Here is a map to help you understand the areas mentioned in the ads you will find.
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