In today’s pandemic world, a home office is no longer a luxury. But rather, something essential for the millions of Canadians who are working remotely. And post-COVID-19, many businesses will offer flexible working arrangements long-term...especially knowing it can be done. That’s why now, more than ever before -- you may feel a spare room is crucial, so you can separate workspace from living space.

Although Toronto rent prices are inching upwards after historic lows, it’s still possible to find a 1-bedroom condo with a den for relatively cheap. And if you want to live in the heart of the city, there are still many affordable units downtown.

So here’s a list of 1+1s in Toronto’s most central neighbourhoods that you could have all to yourself for just $1,600 a month.

251 Jarvis Street, Unit 839

Rent: $1,600/month | Major intersection: Dundas & Jarvis

251 Jarvis St Toronto

251 Jarvis St Toronto

This rental unit just south of Cabbagetown offers a functional layout that’s not only spacious, but also practical. The den is the size of a formal room, providing ample space for a desk, floor lamp and even a bookcase. After a hard day at ‘the office’ -- retreat to the bedroom, featuring a large wall-to-wall window. But not before spending some time in the open-concept living area, which includes a modernized kitchen and stainless steel appliances. There’s also a well-sized balcony with eastern views of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Strata.ca realtor, Manisha Rastogi, notes that the Dundas Square Gardens Condos were only completed in 2020.

“With occupancy set for July 15th, you could be the first-ever to call this place ‘home’. Aside from a gym and recreation room, this complex also offers a rooftop deck and guest suites,” she says.

711 Bay Street, Unit 1321

Rent: $1,600/month | Major intersection: Bay & Gerrard

711 Bay St Toronto

711 Bay St Toronto

We love this cute condo in the Bay St. Corridor not only because it offers a good-sized layout, but because utilities are also included. And that makes $1,600 a month even more of a steal. But Strata.ca agent Francisco Hiebert thinks its prime location is really what sweetens the deal.

“Because of its proximity to the Financial District and Ryerson University, this bright, sun-filled unit is perfect for both students and working professionals. Regardless of what your situation ends up being post-pandemic, you just can’t beat this location,” says Hiebert.

This unit is definitely a bit dated. But if you’re less fussed about modern finishes and are looking for good value, this is certainly worth consideration. The galley-style kitchen features a cut-out overlooking the living room, plus a den separated by clear glass sliding doors. The spacious bedroom has a good-sized closet and adjoining bathroom. No need to run downstairs for laundry, either. This 1+1 has a washer and dryer tucked away nicely just off the foyer.

22 Leader Lane, Unit 501

Rent: $1,600/month | Major intersection: King & Church

22 Leader Lane

This 1+1 rental offers a chance to live inside the historic King Edward Private Residences. The hotel condominium has hosted a long list of celebrities. including The Beatles, Ernest Hemingway, and Britney Spears. Even if you're not a stargazer, at just $1,600 a month...hey, why not?

The unit features a functional kitchen, hardwood flooring, and a good-sized den that can be converted into a home office. The actual building offers a gym, sauna and 24-hour concierge. But according to Victoria D'Ilario, a realtor at Strata.ca, the real perks come with living in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.

“Once pandemic restrictions are lifted, you’ll get to connect with the great things this area has to offer. From all the theatres, trendy restaurants, and fresh grocery options…renting at the King Edward allows you to experience what true downtown living is all about,” she says.

A quick note about the view; there is none. The majority of condos at the King Edward look out to a brick wall. Still though, cheap rent means you may be able to save enough to upgrade to a better view in the future!

12 York Street, Unit 2606

Rent: $1,625/month | Major intersection: York & Bremner

12 York St Downtown Toronto

12 York St Downtown Toronto

If you’ve got an extra 25 bucks to spare per month (that’s just a few less trips to Starbucks), then this rental at the Ice Condos is for you. But don’t be discouraged by the design taste of the current tenant. It’s still possible to turn this 1+1 into a well-furnished space.

This unit not only has room for a home office, but it also offers a great outdoor area for those much-needed breaks. Walk out to a fabulous balcony for refreshing views of the CN Tower, and even the lake! Work-from-home is a breeze when you can prepare lunch each day in your own kitchen with granite countertops and built-in appliances. And of course, the sleeping area is separate from your working space with a well-sized bedroom off to the corner.

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