As rents in Toronto continue to rise, first-year students feel ‘insecure’ in the fall of 2022 housing plans

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By Katarina Zeni

With rental rates in downtown Toronto continuing to skyrocket and school year leases coming to an end, freshman Ryerson students are struggling to find places to live ahead of the fall semester of 2022.

While the unemployment rate continues to rise, the cost of living in Toronto is also continuing to rise, making it harder for students to find affordable housing, Ryerson Off-Campus Housing said in an email to The eye opener.

“The average monthly rent is now more than $ 1,800 for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto and more than $ 2,600 for a two-bedroom,” the email said.

First-year criminology student Carly Oliva said she has found that Toronto’s rental costs are hugely expensive. “Finding an apartment can be a really stressful process and a lot of people are looking around at the same time,” she said.

First-year students told The eye that they have started searching for places to stay for the next academic year, but most options have been disappointing as their budgets range between $ 1,200 and $ 1,600 per year. month.

Sofia Stadler, a first-year professional communications student, and Claire Desormeaux, a first-year business management student, currently live together in the Avant Toronto student complex north of Kerr Hall. Stadler and Desormeaux said they each pay $ 1,375 a month in rent.

The rent covers the furnished 575 square meter two bedroom apartment, utilities, a patio, laundry on site and facilities such as a communal kitchen, living room, studio and games rooms.

“Most of the other places are $ 200 to $ 300 higher without utilities, and they come unfurnished,” Desormeaux said.

Stadler and Desormeaux said that if they had the opportunity to remove the economy, they would both live alone because they like having their own space. “I’m an independent person and I focus better on my own, so it would be nice to live alone and get the social pressure removed,” Stadler said.

Oliva and her roommate Markéta Frýzková each live in a 108-square-foot room – or about two and a half king-size beds – in their four-bedroom apartment in the Daphne Cockwell Complex (DCC) residential building on Church Street. The apartment, which comes with two bathrooms, a lounge and an area to prepare snacks, costs them $ 1,700 a month from September to April, plus an additional $ 4,000 to $ 6,000 for the mandatory meal plan.

Students at DCC have the option between two weekly meal plans: a $ 4,384 plan that gives them access to the dining room five days a week, or a $ 5,949 plan that gives them access throughout the week.

Frýzková, a first-year journalism student who moved to Toronto from the Czech Republic, hopes to stay in her sophomore year, but said it is unlikely because of Ryerson’s policies. “Ryerson has a rule that first-year students come first in res, so it’s hard to get in as a second-year student,” Frýzková said. “It’s basically impossible.”

Although the school prioritizes first-year students, Ryerson Off-Campus Housing offers a detailed step-by-step housing search guide through its website, which uses a free list engine.

“Students can begin the process by determining their needs with a reasonable budget,” said Ryerson Off-Campus Housing.

The guide also includes tips for setting up a view of potential living space, understanding tenant rights and assisting with rental applications, according to a presentation linked to on the Ryerson Off-Campus Housing website.

Stadler and Desormeaux said they have not reached out to anyone for help yet, but plan to talk to family and friends who live in Toronto and use online rental sites, in addition to Ryerson’s proposals for off-campus housing.

Reuben Labovitz, a sales representative for Fox Marine real estate in Toronto, also said that it is a good method to search for rentals online. According to Labovitz, rents in Toronto have been steadily rising over the past 10 years.

“Every year it rises,” Labovitz said. “Whether it’s $ 50 or $ 100 a year, and then $ 50 or $ 100 the next year, over the course of two years, it could potentially be a 10 or 20 percent increase in the value of the leased property.”

Given the cost, demand, and availability of living space in downtown Toronto, students said they have backup plans in place if they can not find an affordable living space before their second year begins.

Desormeaux said she plans to apply for rent at the last minute and hope for the best. “It’s basically [saying]’I’m moving in now if you let me sign the lease now.’ ‘Oliva’s plans include looking for roommates online.’ It’s my last resort apart from finding a place on my own, but with the cost I feel it is not even possible. “

Stadler’s backup plans include staying in her two-bedroom Avant Toronto student apartment, though she said she’s not entirely sure if her space will be saved or what the timeline will be when it comes to signing another lease .

“I think you could say my second plan is to live at home and commute, but that’s not ideal because I would spend two and a half hours commuting back and forth.”

Frýzková also intends to stay in a student housing off-campus, but other than that, she said she is unsure what the future will bring.

“It’s something that stays in the back of my mind because I do not know what will happen next year,” Frýzková said. “There’s definitely some kind of uncertainty.”

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