When I found myself hunting for an apartment for the third time in 18 months, an uncomfortable feeling of weariness started to seep into my bones.

Brian Jackson, journalist

Brian Jackson

Looking for a place to live is daunting in a place like Toronto, where the competition amongst renters is fierce. One must avoid slum lords, master a knowledge of tenant rights, make cold calls, and prepare to hand over more personal information than your mother knows about you to a complete stranger. But instead of succumbing to apartment hunt exhaustion, I decided to give it a Web 2.0 punch and make finding the perfect place to live nearly automatic.

When you need to find nearly anything these days, you turn to Google. So it’s no surprise I employed this search giant’s myriad services to help find a new apartment. Take Google Reader and add several custom, search-based RSS feeds, a shared Google Document, and a Google Maps mash-up on the side – you’ve got a perfect recipe for a successful apartment hunt.

I started by hitting Craigslist and conducting a search for an apartment in the area I wanted. Most people know they can type in a neighbourhood or street name to filter down the results, but few know you can combine these searches into one feed. Say you want to see all apartments listed along one specific street, and also all apartments described as being located in a neighbourhood. Just type both names into the