Winnipeg among the least expensive cities for renters, report says

Following two months of decline, the average monthly rental rate in Canada increased 4% in  May, according to the June national rent report produced by and Bullpen Research & Consulting.

Of the 34 Canadian cities listed in the report, Winnipeg was one of the least expensive, placing 4th least expensive for a one-bedroom (avg. monthly rent $1,057) and 5th least expensive for a two-bedroom (avg. monthly rent $1,255).

Rents and demand for rental housing should continue to increase as the national unemployment rate is still declining and the mortgage stress test remains an obstacle for first-time home buyers.

Toronto continues to lead the list for the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home at $2,231 and took over the top spot from Vancouver for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,735.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the average rental rate increased slightly from $2,520 per month to $2,523 per month.

Quebec City has the lowest average monthly rent on the list with a one-bedroom going for $837 and a two-bedroom at $1,006.

Average rental rates in Ontario continue to outpace the other major provinces in Canada, as it costs a tenant about $600 more per month to live in a rental apartment in Ontario than in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Quebec.

Other takeaways from the June national rent report include:

  • Several Ontario developers are looking to Montreal for their next project as rental rates continue to trend upward, especially in the downtown core.
  • Mississauga is one of the most active markets on, ranking eighth in total listings in Canada, accounting for 3.3% of the national market.
  • Average and median rental rates per square foot for apartments in Manitoba and Quebec have declined since Q4-2018 while increasing slightly in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In Ontario, rental apartment asking rents per square foot over the last three months has increased 7% from the fourth quarter to $2.54 per square foot. Rents per foot in British Columbia have increased 14% over the same period to $2.29 per square foot.
  • Halifax is by far the most popular or in-demand municipality as ranked by pageviews per listing, with a whopping 85 pageviews for every unit listed on the site. Ottawa is a distant second with 60 and Victoria, BC is third at 47.

“Rental rates continue to increase in all major markets outside the prairie provinces,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “Solid job growth and immigration continue to fuel housing demand, while the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions remains firm on its continued support for the mortgage stress test, which has prevented many prospective homebuyers from affording an entry-level home.”

The National Rent Report charts and analyzes national, provincial and municipal monthly rental rates and market trends across all listings on for Canada.

The numbers show vacated properties that better reflect current values. The figures better represent the actual rents a potential tenant would encounter when seeking to rent an apartment.