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It may be cheaper to stay in a hotel for a month than rent an apartment in Toronto

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While the thought of staying in a hotel for a month might sound like an expensive proposition, it may actually be cheaper than paying rent in Toronto.

Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites, located just off the DVP at Eglinton Avenue East in North York, is offering up rooms for $2,000 – roughly $600 less than the average one-bedroom rent in Toronto in October.

"There is no credit checks. There is no nothing. You come in, you pay today, You pay a $500 (refundable) deposit,” Kevin Porter, the hotel’s general manager, told CTV News Toronto in an interview Thursday.

The room itself is simple: there’s a bed, a bathroom, a microwave, and a fridge. There’s no kitchen, but access to the gym and the indoor and outdoor pools is included. Free Wi-Fi, parking, and cable are as well.

Porter said 60 of his 350 rooms are set aside for this offer, which he has been running since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“Right now, I've got about 18 of those occupied," Porter said, adding that some residents have been living there for years.

Kevin Porter, General Manager of Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites, speaks to CTV News Toronto on Nov. 30, 2023.

While the deal may make sense to some people, Wayne Smith, a hospitality and tourism professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, said it does present some risk for both the tenant and the business.

“You're not signing leases in the same way,” he said in an interview with CTV News Toronto. “But it's also a risk for the hotel because, once again, chances are you're not doing the same vetting a landlord would."

In Ajax today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with renters in the Greater Toronto Area and discussed the need for affordable housing across the county while acknowledging there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution for renters.

According to a report released earlier this month by Rentals.ca and Urbanation, the average asking rent for a unit in Toronto dropped year-over-year by 0.8 per cent to $2,908 in October.

That drop marked the first annual rent decrease seen in the city since August of 2021, according to the report.

However, the data shows Toronto remains the second-most expensive city in Canada to rent an apartment unit, behind Vancouver.

Porter says the monthly rate at his hotel has increased from $1,800 to $2,000, but he has promised to keep it the lowest in the city.

With files from Allison Hurst

Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites is seen here.

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