How do people afford to live in Toronto?

I’ve been here since February 2018, and in my opinion it’s a matter of what “living in Toronto” means for you. You can afford to live here, if you’re not in the “downtown core.” Construction in etobicoke

The vast majority of people outside of the small “downtown core” aren’t yuppies, who are pretty much concentrated in the downtown core of Toronto. As someone who is not a yuppie, I have no idea why people would want to live here. Everything is vastly overpriced, not just the rents, and you don’t even have decent grocery stores outside areas where families live. The downtown core is woefully under-served by schools, parks and libraries and alarmingly over-saturated with bad restaurants and expensive watering holes. The streets are crowded with cars (mostly Uber drivers), making biking a dangerous adventure. The TTC is unreliable and out of date, so you’re going to just end up taking an Uber most of the time. The streets are also pretty sketchy after dark, given that many addicts and mentally ill who don’t get proper treatment end up on the streets in the big cities. The rents are, of course, infamously high, and your landlords are likely very intelligent suburbanites or foreigners who’ve bought your matchbox condo as an investment and are making an astronomical fortune each month through you. The new buildings are also unbelievably bad constructions (ask the concierges about how often the elevators break down or how many floods there are in the building). So yes, for all this magnificence, you’d need a six-figure salary that you’d make burning your candle at both ends, working 60 to 70 hours (as another respondent wrote). Mind, you’d be spending most of that money in and around your home on relatively short-lived pleasures.

Now, there are other areas of Toronto that don’t usually fall into the popular imagination of the city. As close as twenty minutes from Bloor-Yonge by subway, you have neighborhoods that have virtually everything the downtown core lacks, and for much cheaper. So when you think Toronto, don’t just think of King Street. Think of Greektown, think of Little Portugal, think of Etobicoke and think of Scarborough. That’s where a lot of people live, and there’s a good reason people there don’t want “urban renewal”: we don’t want to go the way of Downtown Toronto. We still have to work in this city, whether we want to or not, and since many of us can’t afford to buy cars to take us out to the small towns yet, we have to live here too. We afford to live here by working hard, budgeting and sacrificing. Construction in etobicoke

My advice for newcomers to Canada: come to the big cities to get your feet wet, but don’t stay here. Move out of this over-priced hell as soon as you can get yourself a car. A longer commute (if your job demands it) is a good trade-off for peace of mind, clean air, open spaces, a solid community to live in and raise your children among and savings for your retirement. You didn’t come to Canada to live in wage slavery, so don’t fall into the trap.

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