Ajax, Whitby among the most expensive places to rent or own


Published January 10, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Owning a home in Canada has always been a more expensive proposition than renting, what with mortgage payments, property taxes and the responsibility for the maintenance of your investment.

The gap is narrowing as rent costs have grown three times faster than home ownership costs this past decade – perhaps more proof that home ownership is becoming increasingly out of reach for many Canadians – but the gap still exists. According to statistic compiled by Point2, Canadian homeowners, in fact, spend 24 per cent or almost $300 more than renters on monthly shelter costs.

Combined with soaring inflation driving up the cost of living, renters are re-thinking housing expenses as they cut costs where they can.

Some cities, of course, pay more than others and if you’re looking for bargains on housing – owning or renting – southern Ontario is not where you want to look, with Ajax and Whitby in Durham being among the most expensive places to rest your head in the country. Ontario boasts the most expensive housing costs – the top seven communities for housing costs and the top six for renters – with homeowners in nine cities and renters in three more paying more than $2,000 a month for shelter.

Three towns – Oakville, Vaughan and Milton – are the only places in the country where all residents spend more than $2,000 on shelter costs.

Ajax slotted in at #6 on the home ownership list at $2,126, with Whitby in at #9 at $2,048 per month. Oakville ($2,384) led the way, followed by Richmond Hill, Brampton, Milton and Vaughan. Markham was #7 and Toronto came in at #10 at $2,038 per month. The only non-Ontario city on the list was Vancouver at #9.

For renters it was just Richmond at #7 and Vancouver at #9 that broke Ontario’s stranglehold on the most expensive places to live list. Oakville took the # 1 spot on this list at $2,146 per month, followed by Vaughan, Milton, Richmond Hill and Burlington, with Ajax ($1,662) in the eight spot and Mississauga rounding out the top ten.

Whitby scored the 15th-highest average rent cost at $1,536 per month.

Conversely, Quebec communities have by far the cheapest housing costs. The four most inexpensive home ownership costs (led by Trois-Rivieres (at just $976 per month) and seven of the cheapest eight towns are all in la belle province.

For renters, the ten most affordable community list was almost a Quebec sweep, with only St. John’s, NFLD at #9 cracking the list. Trois-Rivieres was in the top spot here as well, with average rents just $676 per month – three times the rents paid in Oakville.


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