If you live in Barrie, we have bad news. You likely spend a higher percentage of your income on shelter than any other city in Canada.
This might come as a surprise to people who live in Toronto or Vancouver, where high housing prices are an everyday topic of conversation. But according to data from Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey, an ordinary Torontonian household can expect to spend about 20.55 per cent of their income on housing, putting it in fourth place nationwide.
In Vancouver, an ordinary household spends about 20.12 per cent of its income on shelter, which puts it in tenth place. In Barrie, households spend about 21.76 per cent of their income on shelter.
But at an individual household level, the numbers tell another story: Of Canadians spending at least half their income on shelter, four out of the top five cities are in British Colombia.
Vancouver tops that list: Almost one in five households spend at least half their income on shelter costs. Following it are Squamish, Toronto, Kelowna and Victoria.
And the city with the highest median shelter costs?
Fort McMurray and the surrounding Wood Buffalo area in the corner of northeast Alberta. The median cost for housing in the booming oilsands hub is in first place, by a long shot, at $2,392 a month. But the high median monthly income in the area, $15,148 – also the highest in Canada, helps to offset that cost.
Global News calculated these figures using median income data and median shelter costs from the National Household Survey.
Explore the numbers in the table below. Click column headings to sort cities by highest or lowest income or shelter costs.
On the other side of the scale, Quebeckers seem to spend less of their hard-earned dollars on a place to sleep: Baie-Comeau residents spend the smallest percentage of their income on housing, at 11.69 per cent. Other small Quebec towns tend to have low shelter costs relative to income, as well.
The map below shows how much of their income people spend on shelter across Canada. Perhaps not surprisingly, the percentage is higher in larger urban areas, as many southern Ontarians can attest.
Use the drop-down menu below the map to see more detailed information on shelter costs in a particular city.