HELPING YOU FIND YOUR WAY HOMEWARD
SIZING/STYLE OF RENTAL ACCOMMODATION
There are many terms used to describe the various types and sizes of rental accommodation available in Toronto. While some are universal and self-explanatory, others are newly coined and uniquely regional. The following is a glossary of terms currently used in the Torontomarketplace that should help take some of the mystery out of your apartment search.
Bachelor apartments (also known as Studio apartments) are essentially a one-room living space with separate bath. The space serves as a bedroom, kitchen, dining room and living room. Occasionally, but not often, they will have a separate kitchen. The space may range from very small (big enough for a sofa bed and a desk) to very large (can accommodate a king-size bed and have a separate sitting area and dining area). The larger bachelor apartments tend to be in older, low-rise buildings. Bachelor apartments are typically the most affordable. This type of apartment is great for students and single people.
Junior one bedroom apartments a space that consists of a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom (the bedroom being quite small and fitting at best a twin-size bed and nothing else). It could also be an extra-large studio apartment that has an area sectioned off as a separate sleeping area or bedroom. These apartments are great for students as they offer the advantage of being cheaper than a one bedroom apartment yet still offer that separate bedroom space making the entire apartment feel larger.
One bedroom apartments are a space that consists of a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom equipped with a built in closet. Some one bedroom apartments have fully separate kitchens; some do not. These apartments vary dramatically in size. Some bedrooms can fit only a twin-size bed whereas others can accommodate a king-size bed and offer an additional sitting area. Typically, one bedroom apartments are meant for a single person or a couple.
One + Den apartments are most often found in condominium buildings. They might also be referred to as "one bedroom plus solarium" or “one plus one”. These apartments have an extra room which can be used as an office, living space or potentially a bedroom. The placement of the extra room will vary depending on the layout of the apartment itself so that will likely determine whether it can be used as an extra bedroom.
Two and Three bedroom apartments are the same as one bedroom apartments but with additional bedrooms. Bedroom sizes can still vary widely…from the smallest being suitable as a baby's room or small office to having a sprawling master bedroom suite. Three bedroom apartments are relatively rare in Toronto. Typically the price difference between a one bedroom and a two bedroom is not that large which will make it enticing to find a roommate to not only split the cost of rent, but all utilities and amenities.
Penthouse apartments are located on the top or top two floors of an apartment building or condominium (they will be designated as an upper or lower penthouse). They usually have large rooms, multiple bathrooms and multiple balconies and/or a roof top deck. Most are quite luxurious and expensive places to rent.
Lofts are apartments that do not typically have the finishes of a rental apartment or condominium apartment. “Hard lofts” are those apartment spaces created when an existing commercial building is converted into residential units. “Soft lofts” are newly-built but made to resemble hard lofts with the use of raw, unfinished surfaces. Lofts generally have very high ceilings, extra-large windows and exposed brick, plumbing pipes and columns. Some are entirely open spaces with few internal walls; others have been constructed to define one, two, or more bedrooms.
Upper- and Lower-level apartments are located in the rental houses where they have separated the house into individual apartments. Upper-level apartments will be the upper/above-ground sections of the house and lower-level apartments (also known as basement or garden apartments) are partially below ground level. These apartments will range in size depending on how the house has been divided up. While there are city by-laws and fire codes to ensure proper window size, ceiling height and such are in place to make basement apartments safer, they are not always made to code. To be sure, you should always view the apartment prior to signing a lease and ask the landlord if it meets specifications of the required codes. Since lower-level units are partially below ground level, they are typically the cheapest rental apartments available.
Live/work apartments are located in a specifically designed building or in a commercial building where some residential tenancy is accepted. A live/work space will have a larger work area along with a kitchen and full bathroom with shower.