Rental Wage in Canada

Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings. 

  • Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one bedroom. 

  • There are only 24 of 795 neighbourhoods (3%) in Canada where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford to rent an average two-bedroom apartment, and in only 70 neighbourhoods (9%) can they afford a one bedroom. One in four Canadians earn within $3 of their province’s minimum wage.

  • There are no neighbourhoods in Canada’s biggest cities (Greater Toronto Area and Metro Vancouver) where a full-time minimum wage worker could afford either a modest one- or two-bedroom apartment

The report recommends increasing the amount of affordable housing units as the best way to address rental affordability. 

Wondering about the rental affordability where you live? Our interactive map provides a detailed breakdown of the rental wage in 795 neighbourhoods, with a calculation of how many hours a minimum-wage worker would have to work in order to live in each of these neighbourhoods. 

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