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Young Canadians Face the Worst Housing Crisis as Recession Fears Grow  

Canada Housing Crisis

At a time when the Canadian economy on the verge of recession is eroding the paychecks and the mental wellbeing of Canadians, the future prospects for Canadian youth is as unclear as ever.

With a looming recession, Canadians are grappling with a brutal housing market and soaring costs of living that are unsustainable for those earning worker wages. Canadian youth are outmatched trying to compete in a market with the odds heavily stacked against them.
The Bank of Canada recently raised its key interest rate to 3.75 percent, a .5 percent increase, and signaled that more rate hikes are likely as the bank scrambles to control the rising 6.9 percent inflation. According to its latest Monetary Policy Report, Canada could witness a recession in the first half of 2023.
As of Oct. 1st, Ontario’s general minimum wage increased by 50 cents to a rate of $15.50 per hour. Six other provinces also raised the minimum wage as costs of living in the country are soaring and Canadians are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.
Despite the wage increase, Toronto residents argue that the minimum wage should be $20 or more to offset the cost of living increases.

As it stands, the minimum wage is not sufficient to cover the average expenses of a Toronto resident. The cost of living in Toronto has skyrocketed due to rising rents, interest rates, and grocery costs. In addition, the inflation has made it all but impossible to maintain a middle class lifestyle.
According to a July 2022 Canadian Rent Report, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto reached $2100 this summer and the average rent in the city is up 24 percent this year alone. According to a report by, average rent in the city jumped by 24 percent this year. This has made Toronto the second most expensive city in Canada, with Vancouver being the first.
The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index for 2022 concluded that Toronto has the greatest housing bubble risk in the world. The report attributes the rising cost of housing, which are at their highest rate in five years, to be caused by a housing frenzy that began in 2019 when mortgage interest rates fell dramatically.
Young Canadians and students have been the hardest hit considering that their expenses include college tuition, housing, and living necessities, and that they are typically earning low wages that have not increased along with inflation.

Josh Gopaul, a student at the University of Waterloo and resident of Toronto, said to TMJ News that it has been difficult to manage budgets for daily expenses.

“Living expenses, things like gym memberships, food, in addition to the insanely high rent prices when wages aren’t increasing either is getting more challenging by day,” he said.
Real estate investors have pressured landlords to implement high price thresholds and are also wary of renting to the financially struggling Canadian youth out of fears that they will not be timely with their rent. Landlords who are willing to rent will generally require upfront rent payments which is untenable for many. Students struggle to be seen as desirable renters because most of them lack financial stability.
These financial stressors are taking a toll on young Canadians’ mental health. A June 2022 survey of 2,000 Canadians by Leger revealed that 45% of participants between ages 18 and 34 reported that their financial stress is so severe that it’s affecting their mental health.
This stress is even more pronounced in those with disabilities, students from low income families, and international students who both pay higher tuition and often support their families back home.

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  • Sarah Katib

    Sarah Katib is a multi-platform journalist who specializes in writing and research on international affairs, contemporary social issues, and Muslim identity in the West.

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