The 3 Pillars of Off-Campus Living

It’s been two months since I moved into my student house, leaving behind the comfort of residence, and experiencing a whole new type of downtown living! I couldn’t be happier with my situation, which took months and months of searching and coordinating with my roommates until we finally settled on the right place.  Trying to find an apartment or a house in Toronto that accommodates all your needs can be challenging, but I promise you it can be done! It might take a lot of browsing, but the good thing is there’s tons and tons of options. So, I’d thought I’d share a few key lessons to keep in mind when the time comes to say goodbye to rez or your parents house. Here’s what I picked up!

Choose your roommates wisely

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You may end up living with friends you’ve made in rez, in your program, or out of school. But unlike residence, you’ll be able to choose exactly who you want to spend 8 months of the year with, so take the time to consider who you’ll be compatible with, and if you have the same interests in mind when looking for a place. Hopefully you’ve already learned about the challenges of sharing a living space and how different personalities can butt heads. Surrounding yourself with the right people can make a huge difference in your university experience, so don’t take it lightly.

Make a list of your priorities

Finding a place to live becomes increasingly more complicated when you’re making the choice with several other people. The most important thing I learned from this process was being clear with my future housemates about what features were most important to me, like proximity to campus, safety of the neighbourhood, price, etc. You definitely can’t assume your group is all on the same page, and I can’t express how helpful it is to have a sit down discussion to get it all out in the open! That way, you can figure out what needs to be comprised on, and what common interests are valued. Then, when you start looking at different options, there will be no surprises.

Thoroughly research every option before signing a lease

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It took my roommates and me a long time to pick our place because we wanted to make sure we were getting the best deal, and the extra time it took was definitely worth it. Ryerson students have the freedom to choose from a wide array of housing options. You could choose something smaller, close to downtown, and more expensive, or go with something further away that’s cheaper. It’s up to you. The urgency to sign a lease in Toronto is different than other university towns. There’s always places becoming available, right up until September. So take your time to make a well-informed decision!

For a better idea of what type of housing is offered around Ryerson, you can check out https://www.places4students.com/Places/School.aspx?SchoolID=D7s59ZrRIds=.

And if you’re living in residence and want more information on finding a place, look out for onsite staff offering workshops and personal support to help you through the process. Most importantly, try not to stress, you’ll get through it!

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