Some places in Canada keep getting more expensive to live in, especially when it comes to housing. To make matters worse, how much Canadians spend on rent is nearing the unaffordable level in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, people in those provinces spend the highest portion of their income on rent.
The Canadian Rental Housing Index has a new tool that allows Canadians to explore information about rental housing and its affordability across the country.
You can filter all the information by different areas like federal electoral districts, provinces and territories, regions or municipalities.
The Canadian average of the portion of income spent on rent and utilities is 23 percent. Most provinces come in at that percentage or just slightly under and all the territories come in under the national average by a lot.
According to the index, "housing is typically considered affordable if a household spends less than 30 percent of its before-tax income on rent plus utilities."
In Ontario, the average amount of income spent on rent and utilities is 25 percent. That being said, almost half of Ontarians spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities.
Nova Scotia is only slightly behind Ontario with people there spending 24 percent of their income on rent and utilities though the average cost of rent in the province is only $909.
Across the country, fewer people rent than they own but still, renting is bordering on unaffordable on average in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Other provinces could also get to that level and the national average is far too close to that unaffordable 30 percent for comfort.
B.C. comes in right at the national average with 23 percent and all of the other provinces hover at 23 or just below that.
People in Nunavut come in significantly under the national average when it comes to how much of their income is spent on rent and utilities with only nine percent.
The Northwest Territories and Yukon are slightly higher than that but still lower than the national average with 15 and 19 percent, respectively.
While people from Ontario and Nova Scotia spend the highest percentage of their income on rent and utilities, the highest average price for rent plus utilities in the country is in Alberta followed closely by B.C.
The national average is $1,002 and Alberta tops that with $1,279 as the average cost of rent and utilities. In B.C. it's $1,148.
For those with lower incomes, almost all of Canada is severely unaffordable meaning that people spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent and utilities. The only exception to that is in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.