The Six's Rental Market By The Numbers

by Heather McDowell on 26 Oct 2022

With the Bank of Canada increasing the interest rates twice since July of this year and many speculating another interest rate hike in October, the higher borrowing costs are making some people stop pouring over the properties listed and re-examining the rental market for housing.

In this article, we'll note the upward trend of demand for rental of Canadian properties, actual rental market prices both in downtown Toronto city core and Greater Toronto Area this year compared to last year, the vacancy rate, market rent by bedroom type, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units and other rental accommodation types such as single detached houses, Semi-detached houses, versus condominium apartments.

Laying the Foundation (pardon the pun!)

A recent report regarding rental data from rentals .ca looked at the actual market for median rent or average price rental rates.

The real estate report tells us that the average one-bedroom rent Toronto unit for the month of September was $2,329, a 3.2 per cent increase month over month and a whopping increase of 17.1 per cent year over year.

The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the City of Toronto rose to $3,266 in September 2022. While the rental home prices for a one-bedroom unit may feel as sky high as the CN Tower, turn your mind to the west coast!

Here's Looking at You, Vancouver.

Rent in Toronto may be an easier pill to swallow when you read that one-bedroom data shows last month's per-unit housing rate in Vancouver comes in higher than expected at $2,574.

The report found two-bedroom units in the Vancouver city centre rent for about $3,694 per month, a gain of 21.4 per cent over the average rental price this past year. British Columbia landlords are celebrating that the average rental housing listings are garnering such high rates.

Bullpen Research and Consulting Inc. took to their Twitter feed to retweet the @RE_marketwatch real estate data on the cheapest and most expensive monthly rentals prices for apartments in the Toronto housing market.

Average Rent in the City

Data collected in the report found studio units in the Kensington-Chinatown market will cost $1,390 in average rent. A one-bedroom in the O'Connor- Parkview area will average about $1,473 for those units. The Bullpen Research and Consulting September 28th post shows a two-bedroom and three-bedroom unit in the same market rents for $2,001 and $2,477 per month respectively.

The Wednesday post doesn't differentiate between rental prices of listings for units of apartments versus condos. We suspect that when factoring in condo fees, the real estate price data for apartments would come in slightly lower than its condo cousin's rents.

Additional Living Expenses to Consider

Above and beyond the average condominium apartment rents or average monthly apartment rents, you may also wish to consider additional living expense costs at the municipal level. As mentioned before, whether owning or renting the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) urges you to factor in the condo fees.

In terms of utility fees, a two-person family should estimate at least $166 in monthly utility costs and $75 on average per month for wifi, perhaps more if you factor in the rental of a modem. If you plan on having a cell phone (relying on carrier pigeons is so 2016!) you should add $101 to your monthly budget.

Eating is Underrated

Another major monthly expense above the average rent is the monthly grocery cost. Hot tip: Eating out is convenient and super accessible in Toronto, but it sure is an expensive habit to get into each month and is likely not sustainable on a monthly basis.

The average Torontonian should allow for at least $388.12 monthly for groceries (and yes, ensure you include the cent amount on your excel spreadsheet for the sake of accuracy).

Pros and Cons of Living in Toronto

One of the major benefits (and ways to save) of living in Toronto is not needing a car in favour of riding the Red Rocket, otherwise known as the Toronto Transit Commission's transit system or as those in Toronto call it, the TTC.

Toronto has seen population growth accelerated in recent years; noted, "The current metro area population of Toronto in 2022 is 6,313,000, a 0.93 percent year over year increase." so if you like room to sprawl out, maybe reconsider your pending move to downtown Toronto.

Another con about the Six is its traffic congestion. This is not a very car-friendly city, and the drivers aren't exactly friendly or patient with one another either.

Having said that, the TTC will take you from the most easterly point of the Rougemont area nearly Pickering, to as far north as Vaughan, as far west as Mississauga, and any further south and you'd be in the drink. If you find public transit too, well public, hire a taxi or an uber.

Post-Secondary Pursuits

Arguably, there's no city in the world better suited to post-secondary pursuits. Post-secondary education is a cinch in downtown Toronto with York University, the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU or Toronto Met (formerly Ryerson University), Tyndale University and Yorkville University, and the university that holds a special place in my heart, the University of Toronto.

In terms of colleges, there are lots to choose from as well: Centennial College, George Brown College, Seneca College, and Humber College.

These are Just a Few of my Favourite Things

My two favourite things about Toronto have one root cause-multiculturalism.

Former Mayor and Bad Boy, Mel Lastman, called Toronto "the most multicultural city in the world". Well, I'm not sure if the stats deny or affirm that statement, but I can say that no matter the time of day, there is always something to do in Toronto.

There is always an adventure to be had. Whether you want to get your inner lumberjack on by skating in Nathan Phillips Square or taking in Winterfest is up to you.

If you want to go get your culture on by taking in the National Ballet or the Toronto Symphony, or you want to shop at the Eaton's Centre or Kensington Market or take in a fantastic cultural festival like Caribana, or Pride.

If you want to laugh until your belly hurts at Just for Laughs Toronto, the only limitation is your imagination (or perhaps your budget-Toronto is not the most pocketbook-friendly city in the world).

The OMG of T.O.

The second thing that makes Toronto absolutely epic, and it too comes from our multiculturalism, is the food. OMG, the food.

Again, no matter the date or time, if you want it, Toronto has it for you! If you want classic street meat, The Six has your number, you want shawarma to bring you to tears, the T-Dot provides it.

If you want bagels that would make Montreal jealous, look no further, if you want Bollywood-inspired tacos, Korean BBQ or kimchi to die for, T.O. delivers (literally Uber eats, Skip the Dishes, etc.)

In Conclusion

Toronto is definitely not the cheapest city in terms of average monthly rent nor cost of living in general, but in all of the cities that I have travelled to, Toronto has something uniquely well Torontonian, it has this kinetic, almost pulsating energy to suit any pace or taste. If it's an experience you want, Toronto is the place to be!

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