Studio rents in Toronto rise with Regent’s Park listing
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Piece: Regent Park
X factor: For those living in the brand new rental building at 25 Nicholas Avenue, there are several amenities, including coworking spaces, an outdoor terrace, and a fitness room. Steps from the EVOLV building are the athletic fields of Regent’s Park, and the neighborhood aquatic center is one block away.
Residents here are just south of Dundas Street East, with restaurants, cafes, shops, and greenery nearby. Plus, the Distillery District is a 15-minute walk away, and reaching Riverdale Park East will take less than 20 minutes on foot. Trams to the north and south of the building facilitate travel to the rest of the city.
In what was once the largest social housing neighborhood in Canada, how did one-for-one unit fetch this searing price? We spoke with our expert, real estate agent Othneil Litchmorefor insight.
Why was the price like this?
This 360-square-foot studio apartment includes a dishwasher and washing and drying machines, plus city and park views, as listed on Rentals.ca. The only service included in the rental price is heating.
At $2,025, the purpose-built rental unit is more expensive than other similarly sized homes in Regent Park, where studio apartments have been rented for $1,820 on average since May, Litchmore said, and the lowest option that was rented at that time was $1,675. .
But what’s more, even compared to all of Toronto, this device is still more expensive. Citywide, the average monthly price to rent a studio is $1,895 in June, up 25% from the same time last year. according to a recent report by a market research firm.
“The rental market is on fire right now,” Litchmore said.
With the building only opening in 2021, it’s likely anyone moving in now would be the first or second tenant to live in the unit, he added.
“That’s what they’re trying to get across to you – the location and the finishes, the relative novelty,” Litchmore said.
To see a unit in Regent Park listed so high above market price could be particularly shocking given the controversy surrounding revitalization and gentrification in the area.
Since 2005, when the Revitalization Project began to make Regent Park a “mixed-income” neighborhood, housing had to be market priced, affordable or subsidized.
Before the shiny new builds, Regent Park was all subsidized housing (the rent for which was 30% of a household’s monthly income). Over time, it faced government neglect, lack of community services, and crime. Either way, it was a tight-knit community that many called home.
Private developers have replaced the old rent-geared-to-income housing with a percentage of new to date and have built market-priced condos, rental apartments and townhouses on Toronto Community Housing property. In particular, some residents spoke of their personal difficulties with temporary relocation throughout the process, and shifting power, as middle-class residents moved into the neighborhood.
In the EVOLV building, some units have been designated “affordable” as part of a non-profit partnershipwith 34 of 347 units designated for single mothers and renting at 80% of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s average market rent.
Any other tips for those looking for places like this?
As for pricing, Litchmore recommends people looking to rent simply look in their favorite Toronto neighborhoods because looking in mixed-income neighborhoods won’t guarantee a more affordable price, he said.
“I think when they charge you market rent, they charge you market rent,” he said.
“I don’t know if there’s any benefit to going into these revamped places…because it’s still like a money-making venture,” Litchmore added. “You’re not even going to get a deal or anything.”