Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada. Photo KnowInsiders

Check out the Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada in a new report on rental markets across Canada.

The ranking, which was generated by using data from January 2021 to November 2021, compares the prices of one and two bedroom rental units in various cities.

Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada

(Ranked By Zumper)


2. Toronto

3. Barrie

4. Kelowna

5. Victoria

1 Bedroom

2 Bedrooms




M/M %

Y/Y %


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What Are The Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada?


Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
Photo Financial Times

Vancouver renters continue to pay the highest prices in the country, according to the latest report done for

The city ranks ahead of 35 others, with a one-bedroom home costing an average of $2,167. That’s ahead of Toronto, where the price is $1,989. Vancouver rates also have the dubious distintion of seeing one of the highest year-over-year increase, up 15 per cent from August of 2020.

The average rent for a two-bedroom was just over $3,000 — up more than 12 per cent from the same time in 2020.

“The rental market continued its upward trend on a national basis in August as some normalcy returns to the country. With elementary schools opening in September, there was strong rent growth for single-family properties again in August. Toronto and Vancouver are experiencing huge rental demand, especially for higher-end condos,” Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting, says.

“Heading into the latter half of the year, rents are expected to continue to rise as university and college classes resume and as office towers re-open with a partial return to normalcy for many industries that require in-person employment.”

Who are Canada's renters?

According to a report provided to Narcity by that looks at rental prices, there has been a decline in the number of young people who are renting a place to live in Canada since January 2021.

So far this year, 29% of renters were under 25 years old in January, 28% in February and 27% in March.

The 25 to 34 age group accounted for 45% of tenants in January and February and then 46% in March.

People between the ages of 35 and 44 made up 15% in January and 16% in both February and March.

When it comes to the older age groups, 7% of renters were between 45 and 54 years old and 4% were older than 55 in all three months.


Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
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Toronto, ON ranked as the second priciest with one-bedroom rent climbing 1.7% to $1,800, while two-bedrooms dropped 0.4% to $2,250. Notably, on a year-over-year basis, two-bedroom rent is down over 15%.

Toronto’s one-bedroom rentals increased 1.7% to $1,800, while two-bedrooms dropped 0.4% to $2,250. Notably, on a year-over-year basis, two-bedroom rent is down more than 15%.

Though Toronto experienced some monthly growth, it is still the only city in the report with double-digit year-over-year declines. The majority of the rest of the Canadian cities experienced growing rents since this time last year, according to Zumper.

When to Look for a Rental

Most Toronto rentals come on the market two months before they are available for rent (e.g. – an apartment will be advertised April 1st and be vacant June 1st). If you aren’t ready to move for six months, you won’t likely have any options to look at.

When renting in Toronto, you have three main options:

  1. Apartment Buildings – Owned and managed by one company (versus a bunch of individual owners), apartment buildings aren’t as numerous as you might think in downtown Toronto. While there haven’t been very many new apartment buildings built in the last few decades, we’ve seen an increase in dedicated rental buildings under construction. There are still some quality (albeit older) buildings out there that periodically have vacancies.
  2. Houses – With more and more people wanting to live downtown, many Toronto home-owners have converted part of their home into an apartment (or two). While many of these are basement apartments, some houses have been converted into several apartments. The biggest advantage of renting a house is the opportunity to live in a residential neighbourhood, often with private outdoor space and sometimes even parking!
  3. Condos – It’s easy to see that Toronto has a lot of condos, and many of them are owned by investors who rent them out. Renting a condo allows you to take advantage of some of the city’s best locations, and many of them have amenities like gyms, pools, concierge services and party rooms, and they’re usually close to TTC transit. If you decide to rent a condo, you’ll be renting directly from the suite owner, but will be required to abide by the condominium’s rules.
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Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
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The City of Barrie remains in the top three most expensive Canadian cities to rent housing.

According to, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Barrie has gone up nearly five per cent to an average of $1,720.

A two-bedroom in the city fell slightly to $1,830, down 1.1 per cent.

Within this city, rent has climbed 10.3 per cent over the last year.

“Another month where Barrie’s housing crisis is out of control and we still haven’t seen the levels of government with the powers to address the crisis step up to the plate,” Ward 2 Coun. Keenan Aylwin said. “There are deep systemic issues in the way that we treat housing in Canada. Housing is treated as a method of wealth creation and not as a human right. Real-estate investment trusts and housing speculators are eating up much of our housing stock, making affordable rents and home ownership out of reach for many. Housing should be for people, not for profit.”All three levels of government need to make “massive investments” in co-op, social and non-profit housing. Stronger rent control and protection against eviction is needed, as is new provincially-mandated legal tools for municipalities to compel builders to include deeply affordable units in their developments, he said.

READ MORE: Most Expensive And Cheapest Places For Property Rents In The UK

4. Kelowna

Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
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Kelowna was ranked as the fourth most expensive rental market in the nation last month with the prices of one and two bedrooms settling at medians of $1,610 and $2,180, according to data released by Zumper, an online rental company that connects renters and landlords.

The report analyzed hundreds of thousands of listings last month to examine median rent prices across the 23 largest cities in the country.

The price of two bedrooms in Kelowna is up 24.6% since this time last year, according to the company.

Kelowna moved up a spot since August to become the fourth most expensive rental market with one-bedroom rent increasing 0.6% and two-bedrooms jumping 4.8%.

What are the benefits of renting property in Kelowna?

There are plenty of benefits to renting property in Kelowna. In fact, many people consider it as one of the most desirable places to live in the entire province!

Steady Population Growth – Kelowna has been experiencing steady population growth for the better part of a decade. Since 2011, the population has grown by approximately 22,000 to a total population of 142,146. When thinking about purchasing real estate it is important to understand the growing trend.

Major City – Kelowna is the economic powerhouse of the Okanagan and a truly metropolitan region. Nearby smaller communities rely on Kelowna as a major provider of big city amenities such as shopping, the hospital, the airport, and the University. The population of Kelowna is quite small compared to the economic output produced each year.

Amazing Weather – This city is known for having excellent weather conditions throughout the year. With warm summers with low humidity and relatively mild winters compared to other parts of Canada. Temperatures in Kelowna can range from 25 to 33 Celsius in the summers and as low as -1 to 5 C in the winter months.

Tourism Economy – Kelowna is home to one of the largest lakes in British Columbia and the tourism economy is flourishing thanks to all of the outdoor activities, shopping, restaurants, and wineries. The city of Kelowna is often recognized as one of the best destinations to visit in BC.


Top 5 Most Expensive Cities For Renters In Canada
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According to the report, the average cost of a 1 bedroom rental in Victoria in 2021 is $1,863/month. This is up 8.6% since October 2021 and a staggering 19.4% in the last year since October 2020.

The average for a one bedroom in Canadian cities is $1,516 per month.

For a two bedroom rental, Victoria’s average price is $2,432 per month, up 1.6% from October 2021 and 18.2% since October 2020.

According to the report, the average for a two bedroom across in Canada is $1,869.

Victoria falls fifth in the list of thirty five cities included on the National rent ranking, coming in behind Burlington, Oakville, Toronto and Vancouver which tops the list.

Tips To Find A House in Victoria:

Pick the Right Time to Look

Not now, but right now. The vacancy rate has recently dropped to one of the lowest in Canada at 0.5%. Many rentals available in September are not posted until later in the summer. That doesn’t mean quality rentals aren’t posted, but the few that are going quickly. Get up early and make it the first thing you do. Locking down that dream location that much earlier can take off months of stress down the road. Early bird gets the worm, and also the nice apartment.

Study the Location

Spending time in the neighbourhood, while not possible for some, can be critical to knowing if an area fits your needs. Resources like Google Maps can be used to figure out the commute. Change it to times when you would be working to figure out what the traffic and time would look like. Figure out its proximity to local places, and spend some time walking around and taking in the culture. Whether it’s Fernwood or Downtown, just perusing local businesses is a deceptively simple way to feel out a location.

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