It's no secret that, when you live in Montreal, the neighbourhood you live in will have a HUGE impact on how much you pay for rent. From the swanky apartments downtown to the low-rises in Rosemont, prices for apartments vary greatly.

Of course, high rent prices can have some really negative effects on people who work minimum wage jobs. A new report by the Canadian Center for Alternative Policy seeks to highlight the problem of unaffordable housing in Canada.

In their words, the report "maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings. 

Housing is considered affordable when you spend 30% or less of your monthly salary on rent: in some cities, many spend well over 50% of their salary on housing. This issue is especially salient in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

In Montreal, the average "rental wage" is $16 an hour, so people working at the current minimum wage would need to work 56 hours a week to afford housing.

This number really varies depending on the neighbourhood, however. In central boroughs like Ville Marie, this rental wage jumps up to $35 an hour, whereas the rental wage in Saint-Léonard is $13.68.


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The following map gives you an idea of how much each borough costs in Montreal:

Here's a breakdown of the rental wage in some of Montreal's more well-known boroughs:

  • Ville-Marie: $35/hour.

  • Plateau: $21.49/hour.

  • Outremont: $26.15/hour.

  • Côte-des-Neiges: $19.54/hour.

  • Notre-Dame-de-Grace: $18.63/hour.

  • Lachine: $13.89/hour.

  • Saint Laurent: $17.11/hour.

  • Rosemont: $14.72/hour.

  • Montréal-Nord:$12.86/hour.

  • Côte-Saint-Luc/Montréal West: $24.83/hour.

On average, the rental wage in Canada is $22/hour for a 2-bedroom and $20/hour for a one-bedroom.

Researchers actually found out that, in Toronto, you would need to make a minimum salary of $34 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom. At the current minimum wage rate, workers would have to work 96 hours every week to afford such housing.

Vancouver is even worse: the "rental wage," is $35/hour, which means that right now workers who are paid minimum wage would need to work 112 hours every week.

In fact, "there are no neighbourhoods in Canada’s biggest cities (Greater Toronto Area and Metro Vancouver) where a full-time minimum-wage worker could afford either a modest one- or two-bedroom apartment."

You can read the full report, as well as browse an interactive map, here.

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