Students In Canada Are Paying More For Rent Than Anyone Else & Ouch, The Figures Hurt

Almost half of them have student debt, too.

Students in front of a university. Right: Student accommodation.
Associate Editor

Students in front of a university. Right: Student accommodation.

It's not easy being a student in Canada.

Apart from studies and extracurricular activities, issues like inflation, student debt and changing vaccine and mask guidelines are all things to keep in mind.

If that wasn't enough, increasing rent prices in Canada are another rising concern.

According to a new survey conducted by Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE), a Québec non-profit, Canadian students are spending 25% more on rent than the general population.

The study, which included insight from 18,000 students across the country, found that the median rent Canadian students paid in 2021 was $1,250 per month.

Meanwhile, according to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the median rent for the same year was significantly lower at $1,000.

It means students are paying, on average, more than they should be when it comes to housing.

This is all the more tragic when you consider that 62% of Canada's students have an income of $20,000 or less per year.

So, it's almost not surprising that a whopping 72% say they have to keep more than 30% of their income aside for rent.

The research also points out that almost half of these students have debt related to their studies and 77% do not receive any financial assistance from their parents.

To make matters worse, students in Canada are forking out for properties that aren't up to standard. As many as 43% say they live in an apartment in need of repair, while one in five say they don't feel safe in their rented accommodation.

These issues are compounded in regions with higher rent, such as the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver, where the median rent costs are an eye-watering $1,800.

This lack of affordable housing is "forcing students to rent apartments which exceed their ability to pay," according to Laurent Levesque, executive director of UTILE.

"This drastically increases student debt and threatens accessibility to higher education," he says.

These issues also affects other homeowners, too. Specifically, families trying to find affordable homes in Canada with multiple bedrooms, as these are the apartments students are turning to due to lack of other options.

The situation might just get worse in the coming months too. Canada is currently implementing new measures to welcome international students back, which may just put additional pressure on an already inflated rental market.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.