May 22 17

Relax with a Staycation

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Relax-with-a-Staycation

That week off work that you’ve been looking forward to is finally almost here. And with so many options of what to do on your vacation, it can be enough added stress just thinking about it. So why not recharge your batteries this time with a staycation instead? You’ll be surprised how relaxing and rewarding it can truly be. Here we give you some reasons why a staycation can be just what you need for your next holiday:

Save Money

When you take a staycation, you can save your hard-earned money that you would’ve otherwise spent on a pricey trip. You can avoid spending money on flights, hotel bookings, rental cars, gas money, and other transportation costs.

Less Stress

You won’t have to worry about all the pressing details that come with trip planning when you choose a staycation. You can skip the drama of packing bags, running through airports, lost luggage, and the dreaded airport customs and security lines.

Discover New Areas

You now have the time to see all the hidden gems you’ve always wanted to visit right here in Toronto. Plus, you’ll also have the time to go back and explore all those favourite places that you love but never have time to visit when you’re working. Be a tourist in your own city: visit the ROM, tour Ontario Science Centre, climb the CN Tower, take in a Jays game, or head up to Wonderland.

Really Relax

Nothing is quite as soothing as the comfort of your own home and bed. When you stay at home, you can really put your feet up and relax. And you won’t have the pressure to squeeze in hours of activities to get your money’s worth. You can go with the flow or schedule as you need to. Plus, you don’t have to worry about an uncomfortable hotel bed or noisy neighbours.

Support Local Businesses

All the money you otherwise would have been spending in another location will instead go directly into local businesses. You’ll not only be helping your neighbours out, but also your local economy.

More Time

Travelling can really take up a lot of your time. Getting to the airport, waiting for your flight and the act of flying, all dips heavily into your vacation time. If you stay home, you can enjoy much more holiday time and less travel time.

A staycation in your Toronto rental has lots of benefits that make it an excellent choice for your week off work. And most importantly, it can really revive that love of where you live and bring your family closer together. So why not save some money and stress this year and take a much-needed vacation at home?

Mar 20 17

Is it Time to Downsize to a Rental Property?

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There are plenty of great reasons to downsize from your family home to a smaller property, especially when the kids finally move out and you have lots of extra room that’s not being used. And with the baby boomers coming closer to retirement, we’ll be seeing more Torontonians seeking out apartment living. Are you ready to downsize to a rental property? Let’s find out if it’s time for you to make the change.

Retirement

If you are getting ready for retirement and looking to cut back your expenses for more financial flexibility, it may be time to downsize. With today’s “sellers’ market,” it is practically a guarantee that you’ll be able to sell your house and move comfortably into a rental with plenty of extra cash to play with. Plus, downsizing to a rental property will also help to significantly reduce or even eliminate most of the costs. Wouldn’t it be nice to say goodbye to property taxes for good?

Tired of the Upkeep

Let’s face it – owning a home can be exhausting. Cleaning, maintenance, repairs, yard work – the list is endless. If you have reached the stage where you’re ready to stop spending countless money and hours working on your house, then it’s time to rent.

Apartment living typically includes the on-site maintenance included in your monthly costs, so you’ll never have to lift a finger when it comes to landscaping or repairs. You can finally throw out that lawn mower and shovel once and for all.

Empty Nesting

What is worse than having rooms to clean that no one ever uses? Paying for the empty rooms – that’s what! You may not realize it but those rooms are costing you more money than you can imagine. Heating and cooling costs plus property taxes are merely going down the drain. It may be time to move into a smaller, more affordable area, where you can happily utilize every square inch.

Convenience

As you get older, getting around also becomes harder. Your stairs become a challenge, and the walk or drive to the store becomes a hazard. Moving into an apartment building or a one-story bungalow can make all the difference. Many rental properties are also conveniently located within minutes from amenities, while some may also be attached to the building, such as a grocery store or pharmacy. Getting your chores done can be as simple as going down the elevator.

If you feel that you relate to each of these points, then it is probably the right time to start considering selling your home and making the move into a rental.

Mar 6 17

Are You Ready to Move in Together?

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Whether you and your partner have been dating for years, or even if it was love at first sight and it’s been only been a month, how can you tell if moving in to a Toronto apartment together is the right next move to make? The length of the relationship isn’t always a telltale sign – some couples simply click right from the start, whereas others might require much more time and space before ever considering such a big step. But sharing a home together is a big step, and it’s one that can greatly impact your life, so it’s important to really take the time to consider this next step carefully. Here are some telltale signs that will help you determine if you’re ready.

You Really Like One Another

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but we all experience the “honeymoon phase” and whether it’s been long-term or short, you must actually like the qualities and personality of the person that you are with. Love can often blind us to the reality of our differences, so ensure that you really know the person behind those “honeymoon” goggles. When you both support and accept each other for who you are, you should feel confident in taking that next step.

You’re on the Same Page

Before even considering taking the big leap of sharing an address, you first must be confident that you’re on the same page. This means that when it comes to your relationship, you’ve both had some good conversations about what your goals and expectations are. This could include conversations about marriage and children, for example, and whether this is the mutual goal for you both. Realizing that you and your partner are on very different paths is never a good situation to be in once you’ve moved in together.

You’ve Endured a Serious Fight

Enduring a serious fight is a must before living together. Having an argument allows you to see another side of the person you are with. And being able to argue in a healthy and respectful manner is essential for a relationship to succeed.  Problem-solving is a skill that must be mastered before you can be deemed as ready.

You’ve Talked About Finances

Finances are one of the major obstacles that can really make or break a relationship, and it’s one of the most common reasons why relationships fail after couples move in together. Money matters and feeling comfortable about talking about finances is important. You should have discussions about bills, joint accounts, and what role each of you will play in contributing to the overall financial situation.

Moving in together and sharing a home is a big deal. It affects your entire life, so always take careful consideration before making that commitment. And before you decide to go ahead with it, make sure that you feel confident in relating to each of these factors. They can help highlight whether you’re ready or not.

Feb 27 17

Places to go Ice Skating Outdoors in Toronto

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Places-to-go-Ice-Skating-Outdoors-in-Toronto

Skating is one of the ultimate ways we as Canadians love to enjoy and embrace the cold winter months. It gets us outdoors and allows us to stay active while having some fun. This winter, head outside, lace up your skates with the family and try out some of these great outdoor skating rinks throughout Toronto.

Nathan Phillips Square

The skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square is located in the heart of the city. It’s right downtown in front of City Hall at the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street. During the winter months, the square is bustling with energy, from light displays, live entertainment, and firework shows, depending on when you time your skating adventure. (Usually around last weekend of November is when the excitement and light display kicks off).

You can bring the kids, rent out some skates if need be, and take in the bustling city vibe while enjoying one of the best spots in the city.

The Harbourfront Centre

If you’re interested in stepping away from the downtown core, you can head south towards the Harbourfront. Here, each winter you will find another popular spot for many Torontonians and visitors to take in the lakefront and city skyline. There’s also a DJ spinning some great tunes most weekends if you feel like trying your hand at dancing while you glide across the ice.

Withrow Park

For a calmer environment that isn’t so busy and amidst the city spotlight, you can head over to the Danforth. Here you can find Withrow Park where a smaller community rink is located. It’s also commonly used for teams to compete on, but is a great location since it’s steps away from the subway, along with quaint coffee shops that you can pop into afterward for some hot chocolate.

Christie Pits Rink

On the west side of the city, Christie Pits boasts a larger rink that is popular for local residents to enjoy. You can often find local hockey teams throwing down a game as families and onlookers watch nearby. So be sure to check out the schedules before heading here.

There’s never a shortage of places to enjoy some time on the ice. Toronto has a wide variety of rinks dotted throughout each and every neighbourhood. And no matter what type of vibe and backdrop you’re in the mood for, you can certainly find it throughout the city. Winter recreation is just one more item on a long list that makes Toronto one of the best places in the world to live. Find your Toronto rental home now!

Nov 30 16

How to Be a Good Neighbour

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how-to-be-a-good-neighbour

If you’ve ever experienced living in an apartment building or condo, chances are that you know just how important good relations with your neighbours can be. You want to be able to come home at the end of the day, put up your feet and relax without having to endure hours of raging parties or thumping music. And with the right strategies, you can develop good relations with your neighbours where you keep an eye out for each other, fetch mail when someone’s out of town, and lend each other spices when you run out.

No matter what your lifestyle may entail, being a good neighbour is important. It not only benefits your neighbours, but can put yourself in a good position should you ever end up in need of a lending hand or two. So whether you’ve just moved into your very first apartment, or are a veteran of Toronto apartment living, here’s how you can become a good (or better) neighbour.

Late Night Noise

Sure, it may be easy to develop an attitude that makes you feel like “It’s my home and I should be able to do as I please!” But you’ll soon realize how being considerate of others will get you so much further in life. Be respectful of the fact that there’s just a partition of drywall or concrete that cannot fully filter sound from the other side. Whether it’s a late night flick, or a rowdy game of D&D, keep the volume down.

Pet Banter

Living with a dog can be the best roommate you’ve ever had. But all of that puppy love and barking can be like a form of incessant torture for your neighbours. Allowing your dog to run around late at night and bark is simply not fair to others around you. So if you have a furry loved one, be courteous about it and have them properly trained.

Pounding Feet

As much as we may take into consideration our neighbours beside us, it’s also important to consider those below us. Believe it or not, that ceiling (and your floor) often has very little to buffer out sound as well. So when you decide to re-arrange your furniture at four in the morning, just think about how much you would appreciate those banging footsteps and vibrations through your bedroom ceiling when trying to sleep.

Living in an apartment can be an amazing experience when you’re a good neighbour– you get to meet new people, and embrace the independence and convenience. But it’s important to be respectful and remind yourself that your actions matter to those around you.

Sep 19 16

Get Active, Toronto!

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A man bikes on a city street

There are endless benefits to living in an apartment in Toronto! You can have great city views, have access to amazing attractions at your doorstep, and you get to be involved in the excitement and culture of this world-class city each and every day. Apartment dwelling means you don’t have a yard to keep or three storeys of house to constantly keep clean, so what do you get to do in all your spare time? Get out and get active in Toronto!

City Exercise

Living in an apartment gives you the ability to turn almost anything into your own private gym. Take the stairs in your apartment building, for instance, no really… take the stairs! Walk up however many floors you need to reach your floor and if you feel compelled to, keep on walking. Treat your stairwell like your own personal gym that has no business hours and no line up for the decent machines. Walking just ten flights of stairs every day gets your body working and can help keep your heart healthy.

Early Exit from Transportation

If you love walking but don’t have a ton of time during the day to squeeze in exercise, try getting off your bus or subway stop a few stops earlier than your destination. Adding a few blocks of walking to your daily routine is an easy and efficient way to get some extra heart-pumping exercise. If you do this on your way to and from work the steps will add up quicker than you think and suddenly you’ve reached your 10,000 steps/day goal.

Workday Workout

Do you feel tired and drained sitting at your desk? Do you lose all motivation and focus in the afternoon? Get moving. Get up at least once an hour to stretch and limber up your body. Instead of sitting in the lunch room flipping through Instagram on your lunch break, go for a quick walk outside. The fresh air will do you good, and the break from screens will help you recentre and refocus for the afternoon ahead.

Biking

Many apartments in Toronto have places to store a bicycle, whether it be on a balcony or in a private bike storage room. Bike riding is not only an excellent mode of transportation in a city so gridlocked with cars, but it’s also an efficient form of exercise. Ever see those delivery guys biking around the city? Notice how in shape they look? Take your bike out for a ride on a regular basis, whether you’re commuting, running errands, or going for a leisurely Sunday ride on the abundance of paths in the city.

Yoga

If you live in an apartment in Toronto you likely don’t have space to have all your friends over for a big yoga session. But another perk of living in Toronto is that there are plenty of outdoor yoga classes just waiting for you to come and join. Get active with your friends or meet some new ones along the way. However you feel like practicing your yoga, your body will thank you for it.

Take advantage of what the great city of Toronto has to offer and get out and get active this fall!

Don’t miss out on your next great apartment! Start the hunt now and view our listings.

Sep 12 16

Fund Your Retirement with Rental Income

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A person adds a coin to their piggy bank

Investing in a rental property can be a low-risk, high-reward way to secure income for your golden years. It seems simple enough: purchase a property, rent it out, collect income—but every investment strategy has its pros and cons. If you’re considering jumping on the property bandwagon to fund your retirement, here’s what you should know first:

Pros of Owning an Income Property:

  • Generates monthly income
  • Tax advantages
  • Can earn more each year by raising rent

The first advantage of owning an income property is implied in the name: it generates income for you on a monthly basis. Anything left after expenses goes into your pocket every month. Depending on the rental value of your property and how many units you own, this could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars of additional income each month. As you pay down the mortgage, the money in your pocket only increases each month.

This additional income can be used to fund your retirement, or it can be used for anything you choose: paying for children’s education, buying a boat, vacations, or reinvesting in other property.

Aside from the fact that it can generate additional income for you each month, one of the other advantageous aspects of owning property for rental purposes is that you can increase the rental fees each year. So even if it’s generating a smaller amount that you anticipated at the beginning, it can grow each and every year to keep pace with or exceed cost of living increases.

When it comes to taxes, you can deduct most of the expenses associated with your rental property from the income you generate, lowering the amount of tax you’ll have to pay.

Cons of Owning an Income Property:

  • Finding Tenants and Stable income
  • Expense and Repairs
  • Non-Liquid Asset

Of course, every investment has its downside. For properties, the most obvious is that they are expensive, not only to purchase, but to maintain as well. It’s not always easy to scrape together enough for a down payment, never mind the higher down payment requirements that come with owning an investment property. Generally speaking, lenders in Canada require investors to front a minimum 20% down payment for non-owner occupied investment properties.

If you live in an area where finding reliable, stable tenants is difficult, it can cause your plan to fail, drastically. Any vacancies cause lost income, and undesirable tenants can cause higher maintenance expenses.

Solution:

Make the most of your investment property by working with a Toronto property management company. From choosing the right property to finding the right tenants to conducting routine maintenance, Simplified Rentals will handle each and every step of the way in order to ensure your retirement is well funded and set for smooth sailing.

 

 

 

Sep 8 16

Neighbourhood Profile: Little Italy (College Street)

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The 'College Fruit & Flower' Market in Little Italy, Toronto

Pizza, pasta, and gelato: the three main staples that make this charming neighbourhood a great place to call casa mia. But beyond the delicious food, this area, also known as College Street West, has so much to offer. It’s one of the most vibrant areas of Toronto, where by day, trattorias and cafes are filled with patrons, and by night the city life is electric yet comforting. It’s no surprise how this hot spot has become one of the most sought after places to live for Torontonians.

The Location

You can find this neighbourhood located on College Street, bordered by Ossington Avenue and Bathurst Street and extending up to Bloor Street West. The location has much to do with how this area came be known as one of the most diverse in the city. It’s conveniently nestled near the University of Toronto’s main campus, along with Kensington Market, Christie Pitts, Bloordale Village, Dufferin Grove, and Trinity Bellwoods Park, just to name a few. It is one of the core neighbourhoods in Toronto that give this great city such an eclectic and vibrant reputation.

The Homes

Dotted throughout the neighbouring streets, you won’t find too many condos dominating the view (at least for now). Here, the essence of Little Italy lies in the history of not only the tradizionale Italian ristoranti, but also in the homes as well. Take a walk along the tree-lined streets and you’ll find row houses and Victorian homes, many more than a century old.

The Lifestyle

Sure, the neighbourhood has a strong presence of great trattorias and home-style Italian eats, but it’s not all pizza and pasta. Here you’ll also find a strong presence of Latin and Portuguese-Canadians as well, with community events, bakeries, and markets.

Little Italy also embodies that European charm – the bustling streets with cafés filled with espresso-sipping customers and a clubbing scene where many 20-something year olds flock to at night. All the while, it stays true to the core of its roots that date back to the 1800s when this neighbourhood was first formed, and that’s family.

This area is renowned for the family-oriented lifestyle, where you can find generation of families living side-by-side, and new, young families just settling in.

So if you have yet to stroll along the streets of Little Italy, do yourself a favour and make it a priority. Ask any Torontonian and they’ll gladly tell you just how many of the great qualities this city has to offer can be found right here in Little Italy.

Simplified Rentals is the place to find the best rentals in Little Italy and other happening neighbourhoods in the GTA.

Aug 22 16

Your Guide to Toronto Universities

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Old buildings on the University of Toronto campus in the fall

The city of Toronto is an eclectic and invigorating place. Known as a miniature version of New York, this city has so much to offer, and that includes great academic institutions. From universities and colleges to professional training opportunities, there’s an abundance of top tier places for you to choose from that will delight your inner academic. Here’s a quick guide to some of the best places for you to consider for living and learning in Toronto.

Student Learning

University of Toronto

First and foremost is U of T. It’s one of the leading institutions in all of Canada, and one of the world’s top research universities. Spread across three different campuses, this university offers you three very different neighbourhoods to live and learn in – downtown Toronto, Mississauga, and Scarborough. However, the downtown St. George campus is the most renowned as it is truly set within the central buzz of this great city. It’s the perfect place to learn if you’re searching for that vibrant student life.

Ryerson University

This urban university is also based in the heart of the city and is your go-to institution for innovation and entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on career-focused education. It’s one of the leading facilities for adult learning at their G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. It also boasts a leading reputation in media and marketing.

York University

Spread across two main campuses, York University is the 2nd largest university in all of Canada. Its main campus is home to one of the oldest, largest, and most distinguished laws schools in all of Canada – the Osgoode Law School, along with the Schulich School of Business, which has been rated as the top business school in Canada by the Economist, Forbes, and CNN Expansion.

With the main Keele campus tucked away from the core of the city, it’s perfect for students looking for a more calm, self-contained university that has everything you need, including residences, a shopping mall, prime athletic facilities, and just about anything else you could think of within walking distance.

Student Living

With urban educational institutions located in and around the core of downtown Toronto, there’s an abundance of apartments that you can find within walking distance, or that require just a quick ride on the TTC.

But one of the best methods for finding the right apartment for you is by taking a visit to the city initially to scope out potential areas for you to live. Figure out your budget, narrow down your scope, ask around at local cafes, and take a look at online Toronto apartment listings.

You’ll be surprised how much easier it can be to find that perfect place for student life when you do a bit of research beforehand, and simply ask around from fellow students. Toronto’s a big, vibrant city, so when you do find that perfect place to live away from home, just be careful – you might not want to leave.

Aug 15 16

Neighbourhood Profile: Danforth/Greektown

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Storefronts on Danforth Avenue

Step onto the Danforth and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into the heart of an eclectic European community. Danforth – also known as the heart of Greektown – is a neighbourhood in Toronto that sets itself apart from any other in the city. Laced with patios, parks, and schools, along with the largest stretch of restaurants in the city – it’s no wonder this community is one of the most desirable in all of Toronto. If you’ve yet to experience the vibe of the Danforth, here’s a little taste of what you can expect:

The Location

Although Danforth Avenue stretches vastly through the city, it’s the stretch from approximately Donlands Avenue to Broadview where you will find the heart of the Danforth and Greektown. This quaint community is located right along the Bloor-Danforth subway line. That means whether it’s downtown, the Beaches, Scarborough or the west end that you need to get to, you can hop on the subway or take your car and be just about anywhere in the span of 10-30 minutes.

The Food and Shops

Take a stroll along the Danforth and you’ll find countless wonders to taste – from a variety of Mediterranean flavours to Asian, Italian, or Indian – you name it, they’ve got it. Not to mention the cafés, bistros, bars and boutiques – this community is one that has truly managed to maintain the charm of independently owned businesses of every kind. For this reason, you will find places to shop and eat here that you simply can’t find anywhere else.

The Green Space

Hop on the streetcar or simply take a walk five minutes south along Broadview Avenue and you’ll witness one of the best views of the city – we’re talking postcard worthy. Riverdale Park is a massive green space that peaks well above the neighbouring Don Valley, with a beautiful backdrop of the city skyline. So between the giant hills, baseball diamonds, waterpark, and skating rinks – you’ll find people and families frolicking throughout this park at all times of year.

And if biking is your thing, you can head down along the Pan Am Path through the Don Valley and enjoy some of the most extensive trails that stretch through the city.

This neighbourhood isn’t your go-to place for a raging club-scene, or rowdy bars. Although the demographic is very diverse, this is the place to be when you’re looking to enjoy a few drinks and live music, bask in the sunshine on a patio, or dive into a delicious meal with the family. The vibe here is slow-paced and easy-going – it’s one that truly makes you feel like you’ve taken a few steps back from the big city, all the while having the magnificent skyline in sight. Visit the Danforth and experience what so many love about this community.

View our listings to get a sneak peek at what apartments, condos, homes, and commercial properties we have available for rent in Danforth/Greektown!