expensive housing Toronto

Housing in Toronto



awful inflation taking stock
rent vacancy get the feeling
option blast (2) on her way
rate location reasonable
urban matter (2) sit/sat/sat (2)
fantasy real estate cost/cost/cost
soar (2) for a while out of reach
decay dream (2) check out (2)
voice plumbing find/found/found
urine cover (2) considered
sublet caretaker spend/spent/spent (2)
fit excrement temporary
barely chief (2) take a break
skyline diversity demanding
average weak spot opportunity
afford high-rise grow/grew/grown
miss attainable human rights
condo strategy according to
access urgency social housing
look at downtown come across
unit point (2) under construction
crisis reputation overshadow
as well level (2) burn out (2)
focus draw (2) break/broke/broken (2)
expect freelance on top of (2)
tower full-time make up (2)
risk recognize lose/lost/lost
get out mindset make it (2)
chaos reflect (2) on the side (2)
cramp sacrifice tell/told/told
comfort struggle particularly
give up prosperity address (3)
due to move back determined
attitude amazing get to the point (2)






Sharma Ridge, House Hunter: This is one of the nicer rooms I’ve seen; I mean I looked at some real awful places. And it has a floor and a desk and it’s bed it’s lovely.”

Newscaster: You’re hearing Sharna Ridge there. She’s a young professional and a new arrival to Toronto taking stock of her rental options.

And if you get the feeling that those options aren’t great, check out the latest numbers from the CMHC: the average rent in Canada blasting upwards at twice the rate of inflation, now sitting at nine hundred and forty seven dollars a month.

But as with everything in real estate, location matters: this is what your average two-bedroom costs in Vancouver and Toronto. And rental vacancy rates in those two cities sit at about 1%.

In Alberta and Quebec, it’s a bit more reasonable, but in many urban centers this season isn’t even close to a renters market; that dream house has been soaring out of reach for a while. And now that nice apartment is starting to look like a fantasy too.

Jaclyn Hansen has more on the no vacancy reality.


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Seana Ridge, Potential Renter: “There’s a bit of a funny smell; is that decay or . . . ?”

That voice is 27 year old Seana Ridge. She thinks the smell is urine.

Seana Ridge, Potential Renter: “I was just asking about the smell. Is there a plumbing issue?”

The cost to live here: six-hundred-and-fifty dollars a month.

Ridge filmed this for us to show what it’s been like trying to find a room to rent.

Seana Ridge, Potential Renter: “One room I looked at was covered in bird excrement — and that was $800 a month and she wanted a caretaker for her bird as well.

At her temporary sublet, she showed us more.

Seana Ridge, Potential Renter: “So to have this room for $500; that is considered almost lucky.”
Reporter: “The bed barely fits.
Seana Ridge, Potential Renter: “Yeah. Do I want to live in a shoe box and just barely live at all really?”

Jennifer Keyes Matt, Former Toronto Chief City Planner: “Housing is becoming unattainable.”

As Toronto’s former chief city planner Jennifer Keyes Matt knows the city’s weak spots well. But also its powerful draws: jobs cultural opportunities, diversity and where it’s growing, like this neighborhood; there are more buildings going up here than in all of Boston.

Jennifer Keyes Matt, Former Toronto Chief City Planner: “But at the same time we’re not actually seeing those units becoming more and more affordable. We used to be that when we talked about affordable housing, we actually worried about social housing.

Really what we’re talking about today is people who are able to be fully employed, but are not able to afford housing we are missing an entire housing type in our city right now.

Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister: “Housing rights are human rights.”

The main focus of the government’s new ten-year national housing strategy is social housing. And that’s an important starting point, according to Kees Matt.

But she also wants to see faster access to more affordable rentals.

Jennifer Keyes Matt, Former Toronto Chief City Planner: “We cannot recognize the urgency of this situation enough.”

Downtown Toronto; it’s hard to go far without coming across a high-rise under construction or plans for more posted like this. But most of these buildings are condos, and the average unit costs more than half a million dollars, and rents for more than two thousand.

It’s not just Toronto that’s becoming less attainable — Vancouver’s reputation for its great quality of life is being overshadowed by its affordability crisis.

Jessica Barrett: “I honestly was sooooooo burnt out on every level by the time I left Vancouver that I needed to be with my family.

Jessica Barrett is taking a break here in Edmonton on her way to start a new life in Calgary. She spent 15 years in Vancouver, first as a student then as a journalist.

Jessica Barrett: “I would have to keep freelancing on the side on top of a very demanding full-time job just to make up, you know, the rent.”

Barrett wrote about a city at risk of losing its young vibrant professionals like her. But feeling defeated she left.

Jessica Barrett: “Are we really gonna be okay with a society in which anybody who has a young family or is a teacher or a social worker or a journalist or an artist can’t afford to live there, like you’re just gonna be okay with that.”

I tried to get like the pictures of the city tower, the skylines of Toronto, just because it reflects the “You’ve made it” mindset in the big city.”

Vivan Joseph is 24 years old. He’s optimistic that Toronto is still a city of possibilities.

Vivan Joseph: “I tell people the reason I want move to Toronto is because it’s the New York of Canada.”
Even though the first room for rent he could find . . .

Vivan Joseph: “It was was . . . what’s the word I’m looking for? it’s
probably like a chaos. I didn’t expect there to be around eight to ten people sitting in the one big house.”

His room is cramped and it smells of heavy smoke . . . someone else’s. Joseph wants to get out.

Vivan Joseph: “I’ve been telling my friends. ‘Hey, how is Toronto? Do you enjoy it?’ I was like, ‘Honestly all I’ve been doing is working, and looking at places. That’s all I’ve been doing. I miss Edmonton a lot more now because I left a lot of comforts to come to a city where I’m struggling.”

Jennifer Keyes Matt, Former Toronto Chief City Planner: The prosperity that we see as a country and in our cities is at risk if we do not address housing affordability, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto.

Seana Ridge, Potential Tenant: “I don’t want to go home because I’m homeless due to a housing crisis.

Vivan Joseph: “I’ll never say I’ll move back to Edmonton because I feel like I lost in Toronto. And I have this attitude like to never give up.”

Jessica Barrett: “I had an amazing life in Vancouver. And when it got to the point where I couldn’t have an amazing life there, I left.”

All determined to find a home, but only willing to sacrifice so much.


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1. In Toronto, are rents cheap, medium-priced or expensive? Is the occupancy rate high, medium or low? Is the vacancy rate high, medium or low?

2. Because rents are so high, the accommodations are always great and luxurious. True or false?

3. Has housing costs been increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

4. Housing is equally expensive throughout Canada. Is this right or wrong?

5. If rents in Toronto and Vancouver are so expensive, why do people migrate there and are reluctant to move out?

6. In big cities, is there a flurry of construction and building to alleviate the housing shortage?

7. The young people all have similar goals and agendas. Is this correct or incorrect? What are their future plans?


A. Are housing prices and rents in your city cheap, medium-priced or expensive?

B. Has the affordability of housing changed over the years? What are the factors?

C. I personally know people who are struggling. Yes or no?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Should governments and people do anything? What should people and governments do?

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