While there’s been plenty of talk about Toronto’s hot and expensive resale market, let’s not forget about the dire conditions of the local rental market — often pricey, competitive and in short supply.

For years now, the city has been gripped by a rental affordability crisis, which saw the average monthly price of a one-bedroom apartment rise over $2,300 in February 2020, according to data from Rentals.ca. As Canada’s vacancy rates dropped to their lowest level since 2002 in 2019, 2.2 percent nationally, Toronto’s rental vacancies climbed slightly from 1.1 percent to 1.5 percent. While these prospects sound grim for the future of the city’s rental market, relief could be on the way.

In January, Toronto-based real estate consultancy, Urbanation, reported a 43 percent increase in rental development approval submissions in 2019, totaling 57,197 new rental units that could be delivered by the end of the year. Noted as the highest level of rental development in the last five years, the spike was associated with the provincial Progressive Conservative government’s decision to scrap rent control measures on newly built or occupied rental units in November 2018.

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If you’re hoping to sign on a new apartment this year, some of these purpose-built rental projects across Toronto may be what you’re looking for. All of these developments are in registration and are expected to reach construction completion this year.

1. E18HTEEN Luxury Rental Apartments

Developer: KG Group
Location: Sherwood Park
Completion: Winter/Spring

This 35-storey rental highrise is an eight-minute walk from one of Toronto’s busiest intersections, Yonge and Eglinton. Restaurants, retailers and entertainment options are right on your doorstep, including the Yonge Eglinton Centre, and there’s easy access to the local TTC subway station. If you don’t feel like leaving home, this community comes outfitted with plenty of amenities to keep you busy, such as the fireplace lounge, yoga studio, pool and in-house bistro.

2. Two Avenue Road Luxury Residences

Developer: Oxford Properties
Location: Yorkville
Completion: Fall/Winter

Luxury rentals in the heart of Toronto’s high-end shopping destination call for only the finest finishes. Residences in this 65-unit collection feature hardwood flooring, quartz countertops and smart thermostats. Next door, the soon-to-be newly renovated Park Hyatt Toronto Hotel will share access to their fitness centre and 8,000-square-foot spa with rental residents, who can also make use of Two Avenue Road’s outdoor terrace and private event space with a professional kitchen.

3. The Livmore High Park

Developer: GWL Realty Advisors
Location: High Park
Completion: Summer

The sister project to the first location at Bay and Gerrard streets, The Livmore High Park is just north of the city’s sprawling 161-hectare public greenspace.

Encompassing over 22,000 square feet of amenities, this highrise will include a private pool, children’s playroom and Zen lounge. Hop on the nearby subway and travel a couple of stops eastbound to access a ton of service and shopping options at Dundas and Bloor Streets, like the LCBO, Loblaws, FreshCo and the local GO Train station.

4. Pivot Apartments

Developer: RioCan Living and Rhapsody Property Management Services
Location: North York
Completion: Fall/Winter

This future 36-storey building will connect right into the Yonge Sheppard Centre, a 300,000-square-foot mall that’s home to a Longo’s, LA Fitness and Cactus Club location, as well as other retailers. Future residents will be walking distance to parks, school and restaurants, including Mel Lastman Square and the Meridian Arts Centre.

5. Preeminent Lakeshore

Developer: Preeminent Developments Inc.
Location: New Toronto
Completion: Fall/Winter

Rental units aren’t just exclusive to condos. A few minutes’ walk from the waterfront on Lake Shore Boulevard West, Preeminent Lakeshore, a 19-unit rental townhome community, is expected to be complete by December 2020.

These one- to four-bedroom modern residences come with the conveniences of air conditioning, in-suite laundry, and locker and parking availability. Fast-food options and handy services are located a little way’s west, with retail amenities like Shoppers Drug Mart, the LCBO, McDonald’s and PetValu.

Developments featured in this article

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