What is the Cost of Utilities in Toronto?
Finding a great apartment in a neighborhood that works for you in Toronto can be a brain cracking experience, not so much because of scarcity, but quite the contrary, which is due to the amazing breadth and scope of neighborhoods to choose from.
Now that you have settled on an apartment that suits you, the other concern is whether you also took time to think on the average cost of utilities in Toronto that you might have to contend with.
Although the question demands some thought, it is nothing that you should lose sleep over. Generally, the cost of utilities in Ontario’s capital is affordable in comparison to the United States and most European countries.
Knowing what to expect in terms of the cost of utility in Toronto simply serves to prepare you so you can plan your finances a little bit better and also query when your utility bills look off, usually on the higher side.
Also, general information on the cost of utility in Toronto for a typical rental will help you ask your landlord pertinent questions regarding utilities.
To begin with, let’s look at gross lease and net lease and their relation to the cost of utilizes in Toronto.
Gross Lease Vs Net Lease
In some cases, you and your landlord may agree on a gross lease. This may mean that you pay a flat rent rate that covers rent, standard utilities, and day-to-day expenses. The landlord would then take care of items such as property tax, insurance, and maintenance of the property.
You and your landlord may also opt for Net lease. In this case, there would be three options to choose from:
- Single net lease – Under this option, you are expected to pay rent and property tax
- Double net lease – As a tenant, you will absorb the cost of rent, property tax, and home insurance
- Triple net lease – In this case, you would be obligated to take care of the rent, property tax, insurance, and maintenance cost of the unit you occupy.
In either case, the agreement that you reach with your landlord does affect how much you pay in terms of utilities. In the end, understanding this will help you see which agreement would be best suited for you in controlling how much you use and pay in respect to your utilities.
Average Cost of Utilities in Toronto
To answer this question, let’s begin by listing and defining what standard utilities are in a typical Toronto rental. Here are the standard utilities:
- Repair and maintenance
- Gardening and snow removal
Others which are optional will include
- Cable TV
Electricity or Hydro
If you have moved to Toronto from another Canadian city or territory, you are likely to notice the sharp upward surge in cost when your next electricity bill comes around.
This is because the cost of electricity in Toronto tends to be higher in comparison to other Canadian provinces. The different cost of electricity is predicated by the fact that the service providers are different across various provinces and also, how far the generation source is from the household.
Other factors that affect the cost of electricity in Toronto include population density and type of energy source.
Toronto utilizes electricity generated by Toronto Hydro which is currently the second largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada.
A household whose monthly consumption is 1000 kWh in Montreal will likely pay about CAD $ 85 while a household in Toronto with the same consumption will pay about CAD $ 202.
If you are renting a three-bedroom house in Toronto, you can expect to pay a monthly electric bill of between CAD$125 and $200
Water, Sewage and Garbage Collection
These three bills can be paid monthly or three times a year. For all the three bills combined, you can expect to pay between CAD$ 600 and CAD$ 750 per annum.
However, it is important to know that the amount arrived at is dependent on your usage whereas the garbage collection bill is dependent on the size of waste bin you use.
Repair and Maintenance
Repair and maintenance of your rental unit can be anything like:
- Servicing the furnace
- Gutter cleaning
- Roof repair where applicable
- Duct cleaning
It is not quite easy to put a figure to maintenance cost as it is dependent on the landlord and the lease agreement that you both arrived at. Usually, landlords will estimate it to be between 1-3 percent of your annual rent.
The monthly gas bill for a Toronto household on average will be between CAD$125 and CAD$150
Gardening/ Snow Removal
Depending on the unit you are renting, whether a standalone or a rental an apartment building, the needs may vary slightly.
The former can involve an agreement where taking care of your lawn and shoveling snow becomes your responsibility or the landlord can take it up at a fee.
In the case of an apartment building, this is less of a problem as the landlord is likely to take this up because the lawn and parking fall under a common area for all those residing in the apartment building.
In such a case, the landlord will outsource a company to provide such a service and make sure the driveways and parking lots are clear so residents can access those areas with ease.
It is in the landlord’s interest to provide this service lest he/she experiences a mass migration of tenants to a more forward-thinking apartment building that has such services. The cost of this service in Toronto can be to the tune of CAD$ 500 per year.
This is an optional service that you as a tenant can choose to have or not to have. But given the way business is conducted and the information is relayed today, it seems awfully improbable that one can make do without cable TV or internet services.
If you would like to watch movies and sports, a Cable TV package will set you back about CAD $100 per month.
As of 2016, it was mandatory for cable TV service providers in Toronto to provide an affordable package that costs no more than CAD$25 excluding equipment rental. Some common cable TV service providers include Tellus, Novus, Shaw, and Rogers
Internet cost is dependent on how heavy your usage is and equipment cost as well. Given the cut-throat competition, service providers are clamoring to woo new subscribers.
As such, you are likely to get a good deal as a newcomer and save on quite a bit by comparing and contrasting several service providers and their internet packages to find one that is best suited for you.
Internet Service providers include Rogers, Bell, Acanac, and Fido just to name few.
There are numerous service providers that offer home phone services in Toronto. They include Bell, Rogers, and Tellus just to name a few. The cost per month differs greatly based on your needs and the package that you opt for.
Some of these service providers can provide all three services from cable TV, internet, a and home phone.
You as the tenant has the ability to keep your utility costs as low as possible but only if you know what to expect and how to strike the best deals possible. Go ahead and negotiate a lease contract with your landlord to determine what your cable TV, internet and phone needs are and then choose the best possible deals.
Maintaining best practices with your use of electricity and water will also go a long way in helping you save a sizeable chunk of cash at the end of a given year by keeping your average utility costs in Toronto low.