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Hey friends! 

I wanted to start a thread about the rental markets across Canada.  As we start to think about our rank order list, especially for applicants applying to some of the more rural areas, it might be an important consideration! 

Please feel free to add in your province/area (or other regions you're familiar with) and any insight you might have re: housing options, affordability, etc. :) 

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8 minutes ago, premed7373 said:

Rental market in Halifax is fair.  Average rent for a 1-bedroom is ~$1500, but the market is becoming increasingly saturated with the skyrocketing house prices over the past year. In rural NS, rental availability is pretty limited. 

Cost of living in terms of food, gas, etc. is reasonable, but 15% sales tax sucks lol. 

If you're willing to go a bit further from the school, rent is pretty decent. 3+ bedrooms for less than $2000. Perfect if you want to share with other students.

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Places like prairies/ rural areas will have much cheaper rent.  Toronto and Vancouver are brutal.  Halifax somewhere in between but definitely climbing and high taxes.
 

To be honest, unless there was literally no rentals in a region, or if you’re in a unique tough financial situation, I would personally think that rent during residency is kind of a drop in the bucket lol.  Pick a place you fit in, will thrive in, and will ultimately get you where you want in your career. 
 

Just my 2 cents, but I realize everyone is different!

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Yeah obviously V/T are going to be insane vs like NOSM or Winnipeg. That being said unless you have dependants, I wouldn't base my rank order list the very small differences in income between provinces or somewhat larger disparities in cost of living, compared to the importance of the program itself and the opportunities. Resident salary is basically the median household income for both V/T according to google, and while you might have to defer paying your loans, and may be less likely to be able to lease a nice car or a place with a pool, you can find something decent that won't put you underwater. And in general you may find it worth the cost and enjoy living in Montreal vs Saskatoon, hence why the prices are higher in the first place.

Now in terms of practising on the other hand, that's a whole other ball game.

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6 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Yeah obviously V/T are going to be insane vs like NOSM or Winnipeg. That being said unless you have dependants, I wouldn't base my rank order list the very small differences in income between provinces or somewhat larger disparities in cost of living, compared to the importance of the program itself and the opportunities. Resident salary is basically the median household income for both V/T according to google, and while you might have to defer paying your loans, and may be less likely to be able to lease a nice car or a place with a pool, you can find something decent that won't put you underwater. And in general you may find it worth the cost and enjoy living in Montreal vs Saskatoon, hence why the prices are higher in the first place.

Now in terms of practising on the other hand, that's a whole other ball game.

I'm less worried about rental costs, and more worried about rental availability.  With the late Match Day this year, there isn't a ton of time to find somewhere to live before July 1. Do programs typically have support to help residents find housing in areas with limited rental availability? 

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The Ottawa market has been heating up recently, more so for buying than renting. Rentals average about 1400$ for a 1 bedroom right now, but there is decent availability! My sister found a nice apartment last June in about a month, and availability has gone up since then. Electricity in my apartment averages about 30$ during the winter (I have heat included in my rent) and about 130$ in the summer (gotta pay for my personal AC!). 

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20 hours ago, Butterfly_ said:

Vancouver rental market is brutal.  Average rent for 1-bedroom apartment is ~$1900 CAD. Cost of living for food and gas ($1.40+/L) also very high. 

Although I totally agree that the Vancouver market is brutal, I just want to jump in here to provide a bit of perspective. How much rent you pay is really going to depend on where you want to live and how nice/new of a building you want to live in. There are a good number of older units in Fairview and Mt. Pleasant (close to VGH) that range from $1300-1600. You can also likely find a good place for under the average in Kitsilano and the West End if you hunt around a bit.

Just did a quick Craigslist search, and found a large 1-br basement suite for $1300, literally one block away from VGH.

If you want to live in Yaletown though - yeah you're going to have to pay for it. But a lot of the neighborhoods I listed above have lots of great character themselves.

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1 hour ago, MrWesting said:

Although I totally agree that the Vancouver market is brutal, I just want to jump in here to provide a bit of perspective. How much rent you pay is really going to depend on where you want to live and how nice/new of a building you want to live in. There are a good number of older units in Fairview and Mt. Pleasant (close to VGH) that range from $1300-1600. You can also likely find a good place for under the average in Kitsilano and the West End if you hunt around a bit.

Just did a quick Craigslist search, and found a large 1-br basement suite for $1300, literally one block away from VGH.

If you want to live in Yaletown though - yeah you're going to have to pay for it. But a lot of the neighborhoods I listed above have lots of great character themselves.

Agreed - the analyses that are most often published about average rents in Vancouver are usually based on data sites like padmapper and Craigslist, which skew towards postings from condo owners who are more likely to 1) be renting out newer units, and 2) are more stubborn about getting a high rent because they have absurd mortgage costs to cover. There are definitely good deals to be had, especially if you’re willing to live in a dedicated rental building or basement suite. Qualities of rentals obvious can vary a lot. But I know quite a few people who live in very nice, well maintained older walk-ups/small towers throughout Kitsilano, Fairview, North East Van and the West End whose management companies/owners only list on their company website, or don’t even bother to list online at all and just use newspaper classifieds or a sign out front or word of mouth! Rents have even been coming down on a lot of older one bedrooms with the pandemic rush of people trading up to get more space. Although admittedly finding some of these deals is a lot tougher when you’re moving from out of town. 

The overall cost of living still can be brutal though. I paid 1.55/L for gas the other day <_<

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7 hours ago, RepresentativeSalad said:

I'm less worried about rental costs, and more worried about rental availability.

Rental availability has actually improved from a renter's standpoint, with the pandemic and people not needing to go into work.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rental-vacancies-up-vancouver-1.5891926

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Actually I think rents in places like Winnipeg are quite expensive considering what the property actually costs. In places like Toronto you have 1800 rents while it would cost 1300 in Winnipeg. However, the same condo would be three times cheaper in price in Winnipeg. It definitely makes the rent vs buy decision more interesting and worthwhile when you can get a 200k condo easily in Winnipeg.

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6 hours ago, Davinci said:

I guess it depends on how one uses the lump sum if they rent instead of buy tho. If they dont do anything with the lump sum, then buying is probably better than renting. But if they invest the lump sum in the stock market or something, then renting might be the more attractive option.

Speculating in the stock market at this time is a fool's errand. :(

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1 hour ago, Bambi said:

Speculating in the stock market at this time is a fool's errand. :(

Not speculating. Invest early and invest often is what is said. Putting a lump sum into etf's in your TFSA instead of into a house early in your career would be considered a wise choice by many. You can't play the market and you shouldn't. Invest and forget.

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4 minutes ago, Bambi said:

I agree with what you say, although the issue of timing is another matter. Buying at the high or near high is just not smart. When the market declines, buying on weakness, investing for the long term is fine. 

Yes, exactly. You never know if this is the all time high or a low. What looks to be a high could plummet tomorrow or it could sky rocket. So you should invest when you are able, instead of trying to time the market.

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Anyone else with pets/kids etc feeling increasingly terrified about where they might end up matching? I have a dog who would go absolutely bananas if I lived in an apartment (not to mention how much more difficult it is to find pet friendly places), I'm actually not sure what I would do if I ended up matching to Vancouver or Toronto. Easy to talk about not factoring housing into your rank list too much when you're single and can live in a 1 bedroom apartment :wacko:

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22 minutes ago, birdy21 said:

Anyone else with pets/kids etc feeling increasingly terrified about where they might end up matching? I have a dog who would go absolutely bananas if I lived in an apartment (not to mention how much more difficult it is to find pet friendly places), I'm actually not sure what I would do if I ended up matching to Vancouver or Toronto. Easy to talk about not factoring housing into your rank list too much when you're single and can live in a 1 bedroom apartment :wacko:

Yes, I have a dog and two turtles. Renting is going to be a headache. Luckily, Ontario has laws that prevent landlords from prohibiting pets. However, other provinces like BC and Alberta can prohibit pets, so it’s going to be harder to find pet friendly rentals there.

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On 3/19/2021 at 1:48 PM, birdy21 said:

Anyone else with pets/kids etc feeling increasingly terrified about where they might end up matching? I have a dog who would go absolutely bananas if I lived in an apartment (not to mention how much more difficult it is to find pet friendly places), I'm actually not sure what I would do if I ended up matching to Vancouver or Toronto. Easy to talk about not factoring housing into your rank list too much when you're single and can live in a 1 bedroom apartment :wacko:

I am also really struggling with this. My family consists of myself, wife and pet with a baby on the way. Vancouver is one of my top choices for my discipline due to program and family supports in the Lower Mainland, but I would obviously prefer to live somewhere that is an easy bike to VGH. Doing early searches it is difficult to find a 2 bedroom, pet friendly place for less than 2500-3000 and this is absolutely insane to me. This alone has me greatly rethinking my ROL and whether this is worth it to consider Vancouver. So you are not alone in not fitting into the 1 bedroom apartment mold.

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19 hours ago, DrJ2727 said:

I am also really struggling with this. My family consists of myself, wife and pet with a baby on the way. Vancouver is one of my top choices for my discipline due to program and family supports in the Lower Mainland, but I would obviously prefer to live somewhere that is an easy bike to VGH. Doing early searches it is difficult to find a 2 bedroom, pet friendly place for less than 2500-3000 and this is absolutely insane to me. This alone has me greatly rethinking my ROL and whether this is worth it to consider Vancouver. So you are not alone in not fitting into the 1 bedroom apartment mold.

Unfortunately BC allows pet restrictions so the venn diagram of

  • Nice/safe place
  • pet friendly
  • 2 bedroom
  • within easy biking to VGH
  • Less than 2800

Is going to be pretty low. If you drop one or especially two of those criteria it's doable.

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5 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Unfortunately BC allows pet restrictions so the venn diagram of

  • Nice/safe place
  • pet friendly
  • 2 bedroom
  • within easy biking to VGH
  • Less than 2800

Is going to be pretty low. If you drop one or especially two of those criteria it's doable.

Thanks for the insight. Definitely makes decision making a bit more complex as we sort out priorities.

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