Canada’s cheapest and most expensive cities to rent in

An infographic showing the cheapest and most expensive cities to rent in Canada. Rentseeker

Toronto and Vancouver. Neither city is an easy place in which to buy a home. But Canadians could do worse when it comes to the cost of renting — not much worse, though.

Toronto today is seeing its worst affordability levels since 1990, according to a report released by RBC on Thursday.

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Home ownership costs as a share of household income hit 64.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The trend comes amid skyrocketing home prices that saw the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) reach $875,983 last month, a jump of 27.7 per cent from the same month in the previous year, according to stats provided by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

READ MORE: Looking for an affordable home? You may want to buy in Calgary

Meanwhile, housing affordability improved in Vancouver for the first time in nearly three years in the West Coast city, RBC said.

Housing costs there made up 84.8 per cent of household incomes — eight months after the city registered the worst affordability ever recorded anywhere in Canada, according to the bank.

A scenic view from the South side of Vancouver’s False Creek waterway taking in the shoreline seawall, East end of Granville Island and the North shoreline\’s high-rise condominium towers, Vancouver, B.C., March 27, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

Living isn’t easy in either city; there’s no question.

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But data compiled by Rentseeker shows that neither can quite hold a candle to at least two other cities that top the price of rent in every housing category.

The real estate listings site released an infographic on Tuesday that shows the top 10 most and least expensive cities to rent an apartment across Canada.

(Click the graphic below to enlarge)

Rentseeker drew up in the infographic by combining data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) fall Rental Market Survey and information gleaned through its own website.

It shows that Yellowknife, N.W.T. — a city that doesn’t appear in RBC’s affordability index — is the most expensive place to rent, with bachelor apartments going for an average of $1,159 per month.

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It’s followed by Wood Buffalo, Alta., a municipality that includes the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray. There, a bachelor apartment can go for as much as $1,070.

READ MORE: 12 of Canada’s 15 most expensive homes for sale are in Metro Vancouver

In Vancouver, a bachelor apartment can be rented for $1,013, according to CMHC data. In Toronto, it’s $957.

Neither Vancouver nor Toronto rank near the top of any type of housing when it comes to the cost of renting.

They rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in rankings of three-bedroom homes.

Steam rises from Lake Ontario in front of the skyline during extreme cold weather in Toronto on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
Steam rises from Lake Ontario in front of the skyline during extreme cold weather in Toronto on Saturday, February 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Of course, it’s one thing to be able to afford an apartment; it’s quite another to find one.

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And that’s a challenge in a place like Vancouver, where the aggregated apartment vacancy rate was 0.7 per cent in the Rental Market Survey.

It’s less of a challenge in Toronto, where it was 2.8 per cent.

READ MORE: Here’s what $500K homes look like in 14 Canadian cities

But Rentseeker didn’t just account for the most expensive places to rent. It also listed the cheapest.

Out of the 10 cheapest cities to rent an apartment in Canada, eight are located in Quebec.

The very cheapest in Shawinigan, where a bachelor condo can cost you as little as $344 per month.

Check out the infographic above and see how your city stacks up.

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