Montreal was particularly affected by the trend, with the rent for a two-bedroom dwelling in the market’s primary downtown being 69.9% higher compared to the rate for the CMA overall. Other markets with similarly large disparities in two-bedroom rental costs were Vancouver (50.1%) and Toronto (32.2%).
“Downtown households are most likely to be spending more than 30% of their income on shelter costs, for both owners and renters,” StatCan added. “In 33 of the 42 primary downtowns in Canada’s large urban centres, the unaffordable housing rate for renters was higher than the national average in 2021.”
Approximately half of renter residents in the downtown areas of Kingston (50.4%), Barrie (50.0%), Halifax (47.7%), and Peterborough (47.2%) were found to be living in unaffordable housing.
Toronto (45.2%), Vancouver (44.8%), and Montreal (44.2%) also posted elevated unaffordability rates in 2021, StatCan said.