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Toronto - Accommodation & Property

Newspapers, estate agents and the internet are the typical sources available to expatriates for finding accommodation in Toronto.

Since Toronto's population is largely an immigrant one, most of the residential neighbourhoods have a fairly mixed population. Nevertheless, concentration of some communities is visible on Gerrard Street where the Indian Bazar is located; on College Street where there is domination of Italian shops and cafes; at the Portugal Village where the Portuguese stick together; at Little Poland where East Europeans congregate, at Chinatown; and at Koreatown where immigrants from China and Korea get together.

Capital values and rentals for apartments in Toronto are rather steep, and vary with the location. The landlords urgency to lease his apartment also often dictates the rental values in the city.

Forest Hill is one of the premium neighbourhoods in Toronto where a one bedroom apartment could cost as much as $250,000. The Waterfront is Toronto's fastest growing areas where hectic construction is directed towards high-rise condominiums, parks and promenades

Toronto's lakeshore has seen the coming up of well planned condominiums on old railway land on Spadina Avenue with large areas dedicated to green spaces. Rates for a single bedroom apartment are in the range of $2200 to $2450. Similarly, the industrial area of St Lawrence Market has shed its dull landscape to acquire a trendy faade with some busy shopping areas and landmark buildings.

Bay Street, Toronto's financial hub has also seen a spurt in residential properties in the last decade in the luxury category. Meanwhile, King West in central Toronto sports townhouses fashioned on Victorian lines complemented by fine support facilities in the neighbourhood, as well as condominiums on its north side. It is one of Toronto's busiest areas.

Yonge and Eglington in north Toronto, popular with the younger crowd have also been swamped by high-rise residential blocks and townhouses. The rent for a 4-5 bedroom bungalow would be around $ 1,500 to $1,800 per month. South Etobicoke also sports a more contemporary look with a choice of nightclubs and restaurants supporting neighbouring offices, condominiums and row houses.

Residents in Toronto are covered by the City of Toronto Act, 2006 which entails property owners to pay Property Tax, Municipal Land Transfer Tax and the Personal Vehicle Ownership Tax. The Municipal Land Transfer Tax is ONLY paid when you sell a property, and the Personal Vehicle Ownership Tax is a yearly flat rate of $60 for any non commercial vehicle that is registered to an address in the city of Toronto. In addition, each car in Ontario is subject to a Ontario annual fee of $74 for a licence plate validation tag, which expires on the vehicle owner's birthday. For further details, refer to

As for domestic help in Toronto, professional housekeeping services can be contacted for a range of services. There are also a number of agencies who offer domestic help for residents in Toronto a search on the internet throws up a series of such firms.

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