Welcome to Toronto, Fellows!

We want to make your move as easy and seamless as possible.

To that end, helping you is what we do.

To better assist you, we have compiled a list of useful information to help you before you arrive, and once you are here to help you get settled in.


Thinking of relocating to Toronto? You found the right place! At Shirriff Wells, we take pride in helping you through the entire process of buying and selling to find your dream home.

When you’re searching for a condo, apartment, or house to lease, there is no cost to you for our assistance. That’s because as realtors, we are working on your behalf under a term called “Buyer Agency,” to work with brokerages who are representing landlords with properties looking for tenants. That means you can work with us for free to help you find the best property for you to lease.

Lisa Shirriff and Andrew Wells
Toronto's downtown skyline.

The Benefits

  • Renting or Buying
    We’ll walk you through the entire process step by step. We are experts in the Toronto real estate market to help you choose the perfect neighbourhood for your lifestyle.
  • Finance Specialists
    We have a list of 5 trusted mortgage advisors who handle all aspects of financing to make your transition much easier.
  • Law Expertise
    We also have 3 trusted law services we recommend who handle all aspects of real estate transactions.
  • The Team
    Access to a team of Real Estate experts who work together for you. Have a question about the Toronto housing market? Feel free to reach out!

Check out our testimonials page for current and past client reviews to ensure you’re working with the best real estate team in Toronto. We look forward to helping you make Toronto your new home.

Lisa Shirriff ready to help relocate people to Toronto.


Prior to arrival, we need to assess your requirements. To make the process easier, we have included an initial contact form on this website. Your information will be kept confidential, and will not be shared with any third parties. Alternative, please contact Lisa Shirriff directly by any of the following means:

Basic requirements

Landlords will typically ask for the following information:

  • Signed employment contract by the hospital/university that confirms your placement and provides proof of income.
  • You will need to fill out a rental application (available for download here).
  • A deposit for first and last months rent, which is payable via bank draft or wire transfer.

If you would like to have a property secured for you prior to your arrival, we can preview properties with video tours upon request.

The real estate market in Toronto moves very quickly. Due to high demand and low vacancy rates, typically properties do not remain on the market for very long. Accordingly, please be prepared to move quickly when you select a property of interest.

Couple packing to relocate to Toronto.
Working with a Realtor

Working with a Realtor

To explain how we will work on your behalf, the Ontario Real Estate Association provides a brochure that details different types of Agency Relationships. We will review our terms of service with you, and explain how we will be working on your behalf. We will represent you as our clients, and we have a fiduciary duty to protect your interests. Providing this helpful brochure is a requirement for our industry, and we are happy to explain how the process works so you are fully informed and comfortable with the process.

Standard Forms and Your Lease Agreement

Standard Forms and Your Lease Agreement

We will draft your lease documents, review market values for the property you are interested in, and negotiate your lease. Ontario is implementing a standardized lease form that will be used for all rental agreements effective May 1st, 2018. We will explain the contents of the lease, and answer any questions you may have about your rights and responsibilities.



In addition to your supporting documentation and deposit, the landlords will likely require some or all of the utilities to be paid by you for the duration of your stay. These can include heat, hydro (electricity), water, and telephone/cable television/internet. We will review the required utilities and costing on a case-by-case basis with you.



The landlord will also require you to obtain a standard Tenant’s liability insurance policy of no less than $1 million CDN (and sometimes the requirement will increase to $2 million CDN).

Key Deposit

Key Deposit

Some landlords request a refundable key deposit. This is legal, and costs can vary from $150 to $300 depending on the building and the landlord.


Elevator Booking

Typically condo buildings require a refundable $500 deposit to book an elevator.

A furnished apartment for rent in Toronto.

Sourcing your property

Our goal is to find you the best property to meet your needs, in a reasonable amount of time, and within your budget.

To better serve you, our initial contact will ask for your arrival date, budget, size of unit (1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, bachelor etc.), preferred location, and review any additional requirements that you have.

Furnished vs Unfurnished

Furnished vs Unfurnished

Please let us know if you prefer a furnished or unfurnished unit.

Notable items

  • A standard lease in Toronto will have a term of 1 year. After the first year, your lease automatically transitions to a month-to-month lease. Your landlord can only increase the rent after a 1 year period, must give you a minimum of 90 days’ notice of the rental increase, and cannot exceed the government-mandated rental increase guidelines.
  • When you are ready to end your lease, you must give a minimum of 60 days notice prior to the 1st day of the calendar month. For example, if you gave notice of your intention to terminate the lease on June 1st, you would have to provide written information of your intention to vacate no later than March 31st, 2018. If you waited until April 1st, the Landlord could require you to pay an additional month’s rent.

If you have any questions about the lease or your interactions with the landlord, please always feel free to contact us to receive professional advice regarding your rental.


TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OURConcierge services

Settling into Toronto

Once you have arrived, we have created a list of resources and points of interest to help you get settled in. This list is by no means exhaustive – if you ever have questions about getting around the city, or access to services, events, or anything else related to Toronto, please always feel free to drop us a line! We have helped thousands of people just like you with their relocations, and we are happy to be here as an ongoing resource for you.

Getting to know your way around

Toronto is easily accessible via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Public Transit is plentiful, and you can traverse the City via Subway, Streetcar, Bus, and Light Rail Transit. For more information, please visit www.TTC.ca. For general information about the City of Toronto, please visit www.Toronto.ca (the official website of the City of Toronto) and also visit www.SeeTorontoNow.com (the official website of Tourism Toronto).

Once you have established your address, you can open up a local bank account. Canada has five major banks, in addition to a number of smaller lending institutions.

Shirriff Wells team standing outside glass building in Toronto
St. Lawerence Market in Toronto

Nearby Amenities


Whole Foods


Shoppers Drug Mart


TORONTOHospital Locations

Click each hospital pin to get information about that hospital location. Zoom in and out on the right-hand side.

Toronto General Hospital

200 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

St. Joseph's Health Centre

30 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M6R 1B5

The Hospital for Sick Children

555 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8

Mount Sinai Hospital

600 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

Sunnybrook Hospital

97 Hargrave Lane, Toronto, ON M4N 0A4

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

St. Michael's Hospital

36 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

610 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 2C1

Humber River Hospital

1235 Wilson Ave, North York, ON M3M 0B2

HELPING YOU IS WHAT WE DOContact us to get started today

Office: 416-495-2746 | Fax: 416-496-2144