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Two minimum wages are not enough to cover the rent in Toronto.

A new report on rental costs in Canada paints a bleak picture of affordability in most cities across the country, including Toronto, where two full-time minimum-wage workers do not earn enough to reasonably afford a one-bedroom apartment.

The report, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, calculated a "rental wage," which is the hourly wage required to afford rent while working 40 hours per week and using 30 percent of gross income on housing.


"The rental wage is significantly higher than the minimum wage in all provinces. Even in the three provinces with the highest minimum wage in Canada (B.C., Ontario, and Alberta), there is a deficit between what minimum wage workers earn and the rent they have to pay, on average," the report states.


In all cities across the country, except for three located in Quebec, the rental wage for a one-bedroom apartment exceeds the minimum wage.

Vancouver and Toronto face the worst scenario: even two full-time minimum wage workers cannot afford a one-bedroom unit without spending more than 30 percent of their combined income on housing, according to the report.


In Toronto, the report indicates that the rental wage for a one-bedroom apartment is $33.62, more than double the province's minimum wage of $15.50. For a two-bedroom unit, the rental wage in Toronto is $40.03.


"The discrepancy between the rental wage and the minimum wage is such that in most Canadian cities, it is highly unlikely for people earning the minimum wage to escape the basic need for housing. They are likely to be spending too much on rent, living in units that are too small, or in many cases, both," the report states.


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