Real estate Canada  has been on a relentless rise for some time now, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is no exception. In fact, the GTA has seen some of the sharpest increases in rental prices in recent years, with the average monthly rent in purpose-built rental buildings surging to a record high of $3,002 in Q1 2023. Meanwhile, condo rentals averaged $2,741 per month in the same period. 

Strong population growth based on higher immigration influx and a strong job market across diverse economic sectors has driven rental demand. In addition, the Bank of Canada’s interest rate hikes have impacted affordability for many households, prompting a shift from homeownership to rental. Interest rates are now on hold, despite a limited housing inventory. 

Housing Market 

The Canadian housing market is experiencing a surge in activity as buyers re-enter a market with low inventory. This has led to homes selling faster than ever before. The average home price across Canada in March 2023 was $686,371, an increase of almost $75,000 since January 2023. This rise was driven mainly by substantial sales increases in the high-priced housing markets of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and B.C. Lower Mainland.  

Overall, the trend across Canada is an increase in home prices, albeit with some fluctuations in specific regions. As interest rates increase, houses become more challenging to buy, pushing more people to rent for longer.  

On the one hand, GTA is experiencing a decline in the selling price of homes. On the other hand, renting in the area is skyrocketing, reaching an all-time high in Q1 2023. In March 2023, the average selling price of a condo in the GTA was $703,566, down from the previous year. Similarly, the selling price of townhouses, semi-detached, and detached homes has decreased compared to last year. 

According to TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer, this price decrease can be attributed to lower borrowing costs. As buyers return to the market, the demand for homes is expected to increase, resulting in a potential price rise. 

How Do You Mitigate this Challenge? 

The surge in rental prices in the GTA has made finding affordable rental housing a challenge, particularly for new immigrants. For those looking for a more permanent housing solution, Toronto homes for sale may also be worth considering. 

However, there are still a few ways of facing the affordable housing challenge. 

One option is to consider smaller units such as bachelor or one-bedroom apartments. While these units may be less spacious, they can be more affordable, making them a good starting point for new immigrants still getting established in the area. 

It is also crucial for tenants to conduct thorough research on the rental market in the GTA. This can include looking at average rental prices in different neighbourhoods and researching the availability of government support programs for renters. 

Government support programs can be an excellent resource for new immigrants and students struggling to afford rental housing in the GTA. For example, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers several programs to help renters, including the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, which provides low-cost loans to developers of rental housing. 

In addition, a local real estate agent can provide valuable insight into the rental market in the GTA and can help new arrivals find suitable and affordable housing options. 

And Finally 

The government’s focus on increasing the supply of rental housing may lead to more construction projects and affordable rental units. Although rental prices across Canada are still growing, there is hope for improvement in the rental market as the government aims to address the rental housing shortage. 

Despite challenges in the rental market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), affordable housing options are still available. New immigrants and tenants must leverage available resources and proactively secure suitable rental housing.  

As always, consult a reputed real estate brokerage to help you get your desired home. 


Affordability: Rising rental prices have made it increasingly difficult for low-income individuals and families to find affordable housing in the GTA. Many people are spending a significant portion of their income on rent, leaving them with little disposable income for other necessities.

Limited supply: The GTA is experiencing a shortage of rental properties, which is driving up prices. The lack of available units is a result of various factors, including restrictive zoning laws, high development costs, and a lack of government incentives for developers to build rental housing.

Gentrification: As rental prices rise in popular neighborhoods, there is a risk of gentrification. This phenomenon can displace low-income residents from their homes, disrupt communities, and result in a lack of diversity in the area.


Increase affordable housing supply: One potential solution to rising rental prices is to increase the supply of affordable housing. Governments could offer incentives for developers to build rental housing or create public-private partnerships to build affordable housing. This would increase the number of available units and help to stabilize rental prices.

Rent control: Rent control is a policy that limits the amount that landlords can charge for rent. While it has some drawbacks, such as potentially reducing the incentive for landlords to invest in their properties, it can help to keep rental prices affordable for low-income renters.

Zoning reform: Zoning laws can be a barrier to building affordable housing. Reforms to zoning laws could allow for more density in certain areas, making it easier and more cost-effective to build rental properties.

Community land trusts: Community land trusts are nonprofit organizations that own land and lease it to residents at affordable rates. This model could be used to create affordable housing in areas where land prices are high.

Incentivize developers to build rental housing: Governments could offer tax incentives or reduce development fees for developers who build rental housing. This would encourage developers to build more rental properties, increasing the supply and potentially lowering rental prices.

Rising rental prices in the GTA present significant challenges for low-income renters. However, there are potential solutions that can help to address the problem, such as increasing the supply of affordable housing, implementing rent control, reforming zoning laws, and incentivizing developers to build rental housing. It will require a concerted effort from all levels of government and the private sector to make progress on this issue.

In conclusion, the rising rental prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) present several challenges for both renters and landlords. Renters may struggle to find affordable housing, while landlords may face difficulties in attracting and retaining tenants. However, there are several potential solutions to this issue, including building more affordable housing, increasing government funding for housing, implementing rent control measures, and encouraging alternative housing options such as co-living arrangements. By taking action to address the root causes of rising rental prices, we can create a more affordable and equitable housing market in the GTA.