Toronto's Cost Of Living For Young People Soars By $400 A Month: Analysis

Daniel Tencer
Bill shock: The cost of living is rising rapidly for young people in Toronto, according to data from LowestRates.ca.

If you're a young person living in Toronto, you'll need to have scored a raise of some $5,000 in the past year just to keep up with the rising cost of living.

A new survey finds it costs a single young person living in the city $400 more per month to cover the basics compared to a year ago, mostly because of the meteoric increase in rental housing costs.

Analysts at rate comparison site LowestRates.ca calculated the average costs of "the basics of a modern life" in Toronto, including housing, transportation, groceries, phone and internet and entertainment. The survey looked at the cost of rental housing, not the costs of home ownership.

It found that it takes $2,740 per month to cover those costs on average, up from $2,350 in the same survey a year earlier.

"You'll need to be making at least $40,583 before tax (or $32,885 after tax) to make ends meet in Toronto," LowestRates.ca said on its blog. A year earlier, it was around $35,000 before taxes.

The numbers suggest that the city's minimum wage earners still fall short of the basics of life, even with the large hikes the province is implementing this year and next. Once the minimum wage rises to $15 per hour, full-time workers will make $31,200 before taxes, or some $9,000 less than LowestRates' estimate of the basic cost of living.

The survey found that the vast majority of the increase — about $300 per month — came from increased housing costs.

While some other items increased in price, such as entertainment (up $30 a month to $354), some items actually decreased in price. Monthly grocery bills fell about $16 per month to around $283, while phone and internet costs are down about $12 a month, to around $127. That's largely thanks to the new competitive prices for wireless that the big telecoms have been offering, LowestRates says.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:


But rising housing costs overshadow all that. According to a survey from rental site Padmapper, one-bedroom apartments in Toronto, including rental condos, jumped by 15.4 per cent over the past year, to an average of $2,020.

"The huge year over year rental growth is mostly due to the fact that the demand for rental units in (Toronto) is far outpacing the current supply," Padmapper spokesperson Crystal Chen told HuffPost Canada last month.

"Until there are new units built to meet this ever growing desire to live in Toronto, not much relief will come in the near future."

Vancouver still pricer than Toronto .. for now

LowestRates.ca also provided HuffPost Canada with estimates for Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. Not surprisingly, Vancouver is still more more expensive than Toronto when it comes to covering the basics of life.

But that might not last. Padmapper's data shows that Toronto rental rates have now exceeded Vancouver's. If that trend persists, Toronto could soon take the crown as Canada's priciest city to live in.

Here's the breakdown among Canada's four largest metro areas:

Also on HuffPost: