The rent

What kind of pad can you get in this town for $1,000?

East End

It may be hard to convince west-enders to come over this way on a Friday night, and the boho factor is lower, but rising west-end prices downtown are changing that in a hurry.

East-end flats in the core tend to be less sketchy on the inside, and there are lots of deals from first-time homeowners looking to rent out basements. As well, you’ll probably be spared the garish tastes of your many predecessors à la west end and its oddball renos, although on the flip side staid white drywall may be no more appealing.

But $1,000 will still likely bring you a basement or bachelor in the downtown east side – maybe even a flat on the second floor if you’re extra-lucky. We’ve seen listings for $800 for a one at a Parliament and Bloor high-rise, while $900 can get you a shiny new bachelor at One Cole in the revamped Regent Park.

Look for bargains around Woodbine and Danforth, dubbed the Upper Beach by savvy landlords, or Little India. Scarborough’s the place for a wide range of $700 bachelors and $1,000 two-bedrooms.

West End

For a thou a month in the core, consider yourself in basement apartment territory. Don’t like living in a cave? Hmm. Maybe you want a bachelor? Hope you like parquet.

But the advantage on this side is that west-end downtown pads generally have more character. Hacked-up Edwardian mansions, once rooming houses and now student digs, abound.

And you’re bound to find design exotica: odds are that the last tenant had a penchant for obscene colour combinations and unusual stuff stuck to the walls. Chances are also pretty good that the appliances have heritage value.

Living anywhere near U of T, with its Gothic horizon, is totally a plus – though that might be balanced by the absence of a bathroom door.

The cheap-digs frontier pushes ever westward and northward. You can get a Parkdale one-bedroom in a high-rise for $800. High-rise two-bedrooms can be had for $800 in Etobicoke, and bachelors near York U for $700.

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