Top 10 Most Affordable Cities For Rent In Canada

Last updated: November 2022

It’s no secret that Canada’s housing market is a bit wild, and the rental market is no exception. In fact, while the price to buy a home is actually falling, rental prices are going up—but some parts of the country are cheaper than others. 

  • The average rent in Canada is $2,043, according to the most recent data from

  • But rents in the most expensive markets (like Vancouver and Toronto) were as high as $2,500+ for 1 bedrooms.

To help you find somewhere relatively affordable to live, we’ve compiled the 10 most affordable cities (with populations greater than 100,000) to rent a home in (ranked by highest to lowest rent for an average 1 bedroom) along with some of the local attractions of each town.

10. Calgary

By the numbers:

  • Population: 1,305,550
  • 1 bed: $1629 (+2% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1895 (+0.3% since last month)

The largest city in Alberta, Calgary has stayed relatively affordable compared to the rest of the country. Part of this is due to a downturn in the energy sector, which is an important part of the local economy. 

But don’t let the cheaper prices fool you: Calgary is a great place to call home and was recently ranked the third-most livable city in the world by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit (tied with Zurich, Switzerland).

What’s to love: Everyone knows the Calgary Stampede, but there’s more to the city than the annual party. Prince’s Island Park and the Bow River are natural gems in the heart of the city and you can drive to some of the most beautiful parts of the country (like Banff and the Rocky Mountains) in a couple hours.

9. Gatineau

By the numbers:

  • Population: 276,245
  • 1 bed: $1561 (+2.1% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1840 (+0.3% since last month)

Take a quick walk across the river from Ottawa and you’ll be in Gatineau, Ottawa’s cheaper (and, some would argue, cooler) Quebec cousin. While housing costs in Ottawa have gone up quickly in the past 5-10 years, Gatineau hasn’t quite caught up yet and still offers some good deals.

What’s to love: Not only does Gatineau offer lower rents than Ottawa, it also has some great restaurants and is a short drive or bike ride from destinations like Gatineau Park or charming towns like Chelsea and Wakefield. Plus, you’re right across the river from Ottawa, so you can enjoy the benefits of that city without the price tag.

8. Montreal

By the numbers:

  • Population: 3,675,219
  • 1 bed: $1532 (+0.5% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1969 (+1.3% since last month) 

We don’t need to tell you about Montreal. You already know the deal. The city’s large stock of multi-unit rental buildings (those 3-5 story apartments you see everywhere) has made it one of the few Canadian cities without a real housing shortage (though prices have risen in recent years). 

What’s to love: It’s one of the country’s largest and most vibrant cities. Tons of culture, great places to eat and drink, walkable, and a pretty good transit system (we know locals complain but it’s all relative!). Rough winters, but its proximity to some of the best available skiing east of Alberta makes up for it.

7. Kingston 

By the numbers:

  • Population: 127,943
  • 1 bed: $1467
  • 2 bed: $2111

Kingston may feel on the smaller side if you’re coming from a bigger city, but it’s got a lot going for it. It’s a university town, so there’s plenty of smaller rentals to be found (though you might find yourself near some rowdier neighbours). It’s also only 90 minutes from Ottawa (without traffic) or 3.5 to Toronto. 

What’s to love: If you’re on the younger side, the presence of Queen’s and St. Lawrence College means there are lots of amenities geared towards you, but Kingston also has a nice downtown and plenty of waterfront to enjoy.

6. Laval 

By the numbers:

  • Population: 422,993
  • 1 bed: $1362 (+4.7% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1834 (+1.0% since last month)

Laval is Montreal’s largest suburb, about a 45-minute drive from the heart of the city depending on traffic (or an hour by public transit, though you’ll have to do some transfers). It has plenty of rental options, including detached homes (something that might be a bit tougher to find in Montreal).

What’s to love: Laval definitely has a suburban feel, but it’s affordable and convenient. Lots of people choose to raise families in Laval for just this reason, and if you want to get away from the bustle of Montreal (and save some cash at the same time) then Laval might be the place for you.

5. Windsor

By the numbers:

  • Population: 306,519
  • 1 bed: $1283
  • 2 bed: $1694

Windsor is right across the border from Detroit and used to be a major manufacturing centre for the country. Unfortunately, (much like Detroit) many of those jobs have disappeared and the city has suffered for it. The cost of living is, however, significantly lower than in other cities in Ontario, and that includes housing. 

What’s to love: Aside from the more affordable lifestyle, Windsor does have a warm climate (with mild winters) and a growing food (and wine) scene. It’s also next to Detroit, which gives you access to big city amenities (like big concerts) and a US airport (which makes flying anywhere in the States far cheaper).

4. Winnipeg 

By the numbers:

  • Population: 758,515
  • 1 bed: $1185 (+1.8% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1562 (+2.7% since last month)

Sure, Winnipeg may have chilly winters, but if you don't mind the cold, the affordable cost of living may make it the perfect place for you.

The city is famously known for inspiring the beloved character, Winnie-the-Pooh, who developed its namesake from a real-life Canadian bear, Winnipeg (Winnie for short).

And if that fun fact doesn't draw you in, you might also be surprised to learn that Winnipeg is the Slurpee capital of the world. The party doesn't have to stop just because it's -40°.

What's to love: Winnipeg has thriving art, culture, and food scene—something that surprises many people who are new to the city. Winnipeggers enjoy roaming around The Forks (a must-see destination for all foodies), and the Assiniboine Park (home to a zoo, conservatory outdoor theatre, and more).

3. Edmonton

By the numbers:

  • Population: 1,151,635
  • 1 bed: $1073 (+0.2% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1362 (+0.5% since last month)

Many people describe Edmonton as a small city that grew into a big one—it still has a small town vibe but lots of big city amenities. It also boasts the most affordable housing markets of any city its size in the country. While prices seemingly everywhere else took off during the pandemic, Edmonton stayed relatively even-keeled. 

What’s to love: There’s lots of green space and the beautiful River Valley to enjoy, along with a vibrant arts scene (the Edmonton Fringe Festival is the largest in North America). As the centre of government in Alberta, there’s also a steady supply of good public service jobs.

2. Regina

By the numbers:

  • Population: 224,996
  • 1 bed: $1010 (-2.5% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1232 (-0.8% since last month)

Rents in Regina used to be even lower, but Saskatchewan hasn’t been spared by the past few years of price hikes and supply is now tighter than it used to be in the city. Locals note that the lowest prices will usually be found in the North Central area, but it’s a less desirable part of the city.

What’s to love: Of the two largest cities in Saskatchewan, Regina is known as a sleepier, government town. The plus side of that is less bustle, faster commutes, and steady public service jobs to go around. If you’re looking for that pace of life, Regina could be a good (and affordable) option for you. And if you’re a football fan, it’s home to the CFL’s Roughriders.

1. Saskatoon 

By the numbers:

  • Population: 264,637
  • 1 bed: $980 (-0.8% since last month)
  • 2 bed: $1215 (+5.5% since last month)

Rounding out our list is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, currently the most affordable place (with more than 200,000 people) to rent in the country. The winters may be cold and long, but if you’re looking for the rare combo of a small-town feel, vibrant downtown, and cheap housing, it may be worth bundling up for Saskatoon.

What’s to love: Saskatoon is a city filled with hidden gems, including top-notch restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. During the warmer months, the city is host to music festivals and markets, and you can find nice river walks along the Meewasin Trail.

This article was last updated in October 2022 and pricing data was sourced from the rent report.