All Housing stories

Canadian rental listings are really something else

Two years ago, $2,000 could get you a long way in Canada’s major cities: We’re talking floor-to-ceiling windows, indoor swimming pools, and desirable downtown locations… these days, it’s all about staircase living and shared bedrooms. So, what happened?

Per CTV, the increasingly limited housing supply across the country is causing both developers and tenants to try and make the most of their space. All of it. But some of the arrangements are so unconventional that they’re starting to draw backlash online.

One neat trick to build more apartments

Alongside milk, bread, and prescription drugs, new apartment buildings are now GST-free. 

What happened: The federal government announced an immediate removal of the federal GST on the construction of new rental apartments—a move Ottawa urged provinces to follow.

One million residents short of estimates

If your top skills include “counting, like, really high” then boy, does the government have a job for you. 

What happened: A report published yesterday by CIBC economist Benjamin Tal found that there are around one million more non-permanent residents (NPRs) in Canada—including international students—than government estimates would lead home builders to believe.

Beat the high rent with an apartment swap

Montréal is famous for its bagels, poutine, and… apartment swaps? 

Driving the news: As Montréal’s annual rent growth outpaces most of the country, some residents are swapping apartments to lock in leases below market value. Trading leases instead of shopping on the open real estate market is one creative way to keep prices at bay.

A Montréal housing bylaw falls short

In today’s episode of ‘Canadian housing gone wrong’: A 2021 Montréal bylaw meant to lead to the construction of over 1,200 new social housing units has produced zero. 

What happened: The idea of the bylaw is to force developers to contribute to the city’s affordable housing supply by creating housing themselves, giving up a property to the city, or offering a financial contribution. Every developer has chosen the option to pay up.

Solving the student housing crunch

With rents hitting record highs and the school year incoming, start-ups are helping students find rooms where they can live, study, and hang posters of Quentin Tarantino movies. 

Driving the news: A new crop of companies is providing housing for students by pairing them with the growing number of Canadians with spare bedrooms, per The Globe and Mail.  

Vancouver proposes new zoning laws

Much like baggy clothes and country music, zoning laws are having a moment. 

What happened: Vancouver city council is voting on a policy that would allow developers to build up to six units on just over half of land reserved for single-detached housing. If approved, the policy could come into force by January. 

Wanted: Construction workers

Hey, want to build houses? Asking for our friends in the construction industry.
Driving the news:
As one-fifth of Canada’s construction workforce nears retirement age, the industry faces a severe labour crunch as it struggles to recruit new builders. 

First Nations are building homes we desperately need

We don’t need to tell you Canada needs a lot more homes (around 3.5 million more by 2030 if you ask the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation), and there’s no shortage of people talking about the problem. 

But the Squamish First Nation in B.C. is actually doing something to fix it.

Catch up: Along with the 6,000-apartment Senakw development in Vancouver it announced last year, the Squamish are planning to develop more of their 350 acres of reserve land, over half of which is in Metro Vancouver.

Construction costs are sky-high

The cost of raising a roof is going through the roof. 

Driving the news: The average cost of building a home or apartment complex in 11 major Canadian cities was up 54% in the first three months of 2023 compared with the same timespan in 2019, per The Globe and Mail.