Looking for a new place to live in Vancouver? Good news we have for you is that’s not a completely abysmal venture. Surprisingly enough, Vancouver rent rates have actually stabilized in the past couple of months, with Toronto suburbs now surpassing Vancouver's top spot in Canada’s rent prices.1 But, while prices might not worry us as much as we expected, precious space within these condos is still priced at a premium. Based on your budget for rent, here’s how many square feet you can expect to get in Vancouver right now:
$1,500 Gets You 375 ft²
Okay so technically this isn't exactly downtown, but turns out, a budget of $1,500 can’t get you right downtown. Instead, what $1,500 in Vancouver can get you is a space equivalent to the size of a school bus.2 Located at Heather Street & West 22nd Avenue, this furnished 375 ft² basement apartment has a bathroom, onsite laundry, utilities and internet included, kitchen appliances, and a dining table that folds out right at your bedside. While it might be a bit small, it’s situated in the beautiful homey neighbourhood of Douglas Park, only a 4 block walk from the King Edward Skytrain Station, giving you relatively quick access to the YVR airport and Waterfront Station Downtown. And there's also the Heather St North/South bike path that provides another easy and pleasant route downtown through the Vancouver bike path system.
$2,000 Gets You 635 ft²
A sweet deal, priced at 11% below the median average, this $2,000 a month apartment can give you a bit more room with 653 ft². While it's a bit further east than the downtown core, located at 150 East Cordova Street, this 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom place comes furnished, with a selection of pieces that match the look and feel of the loft-style building. And, drumroll...11 foot high ceilings. While the unit comes with laundry, appliances and utilities, the building amenities are even better. From a bike room, rooftop patio with an eating area, this building might just make us want to move in tomorrow. Plus, it’s located in the Gastown heritage district, with easy walking to the Waterfront, Railtown, Chinatown and Downtown and close to tons of cool restaurants, cafes, bars, vintage clothing shops, and grocery stores!
But, let’s put this in perspective: 600 – 640 ft² is the same size as the average 3-car garage. And, we’re not talking about a garage with a man-station, storage area, and space for garbage cans. We are talking about a very basic 3-car garage, one with room for 3 cars and enough space to walk around them.3
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Around $2,500 Gets You 654 ft²
Located at 1133 Hornby Street, this condo of 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and a huge bonus of an additional den area goes for $2,480 a month. The perks: rent includes the price of hot water, gas, a parking spot, and appliances. The Drawback: while this increased rent does correlate to some increased square footage at 654 ft², it’s not a whole lot more than option #1 which is a whole $1,000 a month cheaper and only 100 ft² smaller.
$3,000 Gets You 800 ft²
Over on 66 W Cordova St you can snag a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit that's 14% below the median price for 2 bedroom apartments right now in Downtown Vancouver. For the biggest increase in space relevant to price we could find, this place gives you a comfortable 800 ft² with an additional bedroom for $3,000 a month in rent. Some other perks include laundry, Juliette balcony, parking, a roof-top patio with 360-degree mountain and ocean views, outdoor BBQ area, gym, bike room and lounge with wifi access. Upside: it’s located in the heart of Gastown, steps from restaurants, shops, bars and downtown. Downside: utilities and cable are not included and there's a move in fee of $200. Perspective: 800 ft² is equivalent to the average size of a classroom. While bigger than the previous options, a large chunk of this space is going to the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathroom.4
About $3,500 Gets You 840 ft²
Over on 1238 Burrard St a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment sits awaiting a new tenant. For $3,600 a month you can upgrade to a space of a whole 840 ft².
The unit: boasts to have laundry, a parking spot, a gas fireplace, and comes fully furnished, pre-stocked with “everything you could need” such as utensils, linens, and even a phone charger ready at each queen beside. The building: boasts to have a full gym, sauna, party room, and outdoor garden. Okay fine, we’re impressed! Situated on the corner of Burrard and David, this pad is right on the border of Yaletown, the West End, and the Beach District, only 3 blocks away from Sunset Beach. This is right on bus routes, a quick walk from the Skytrain, and surrounded by shops and restaurants.
$4,000 Gets You 1,105 ft²
Finally a place with enough elbow room we can actually get excited about. But it comes at a cost that most of us likely can’t afford. For a monthly rent of $4000, the Vancouver real estate market will give you over 1,000 ft². This particular listing is a two story townhouse with 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 1 half bathroom, and a whole extra den room. Additional amenities include onsite kitchen appliances and kitchenware, AC and heating, monthly housekeeping (wow!), laundry, a storage room (bigger wow!), and an underground parking spot, with a fitness room, swimming pool, and entertainment room in the building. It’s located at 1707 Ontario Street in Vancouver’s picturesque waterside Olympic Village, just on the edge of the downtown core. Only 4 blocks away from the Olympic Station Canada Line, you get the best of both worlds with a quick commute downtown and the quiet, scenic neighbourhood! Plus there are a ton of shops just steps away.
The Bottom Line
Renting in Vancouver isn’t as bad as we thought it might be. The only problem is that, despite pretty large increases in rent, square footage does not drastically increase along with what you're paying for. No matter what you're willing to spend, you might just not be getting the space you need. But, if you find an offsite storage solution to house all your seasonal, sentimental, or rarely used items, you're golden. Second Closet is a valet storage company that picks up, stores, and delivers your stuff back to you when you need it. And, it fits perfectly into your monthly budget. Starting at only $3 a month, you can offload items your limited square foot apartment just isn’t giving you space for.
2. Platinum Properties, A Guide To Square Footage W/ Real Life Examples
3. Platinum Properties, A Guide To Square Footage W/ Real Life Examples
4. Platinum Properties, Real Life Examples of Square Footage Made Easy – 2.0