How to Hack the Market

Sensible solutions to crazy real estate


Finding affordable, centrally located, passably hygienic accommodations in Toronto can feel impossible. Houses are laughably expensive; condos are cramped; spacious, non-grimy rentals are rare. For some, the solution is to book it to the suburbs and never look back. But there’s another option: get creative. The Torontonians in the pages ahead—students, young professionals, first-time buyers, empty nesters, retirees and more—all found ways to live well within their respective budgets. The lesson: in these times of low vacancy rates, sky-high prices and dashed dreams, there is hope.


Seven Ways to Hack the Market


Part 1: The Skinny Dippers
Three buyers who scored narrow plots of prime real estate and found a way to make it work


Part 2: The Co-owners
These couples couldn’t afford much individually, so they pooled their resources and nabbed a gem in the Annex


Part 3: The First-Timers
Two young professionals needed a bit of help to buy a condo. Then they found Options for Homes, a non-profit that provides no-interest loans


Part 4: Microsize Me
A condo building that offers tiny living without the claustrophobia


Part 5: Young at Heart
Empty nesters who need help around the house; cash-strapped college kids who need cheap lodging. The solution: HomeShare


Part 6: The Year of Living Nomadically
My relationship had gone to ashes, my apartment to my ex, and I was broke. My salvation? Serial house-sitting


Part 7: All in the Family
This Toronto builder is designing homes for multiples generations, each in their own space, all under one roof


This package originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $29.95 a year, click here.