Minimum Wage Not Enough To Pay Rent

A new report finds someone earning minimum wage would only be able to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment in nine per cent of 795 neighbourhoods in Canadian cities in the study. The analysis from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is raising questions about a promised federal rent supplement for low-income renters. The authors say the move may help in the short term, but is unlikely to allow to close the affordability gap.


The CCPA has calculated the rental wage—the hourly wage needed to rent an average two-bedroom apartment (the most common type) without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings. They then put that information in an online interactive map. In it you can search through various cities and see the minimum hourly wage required or the number of hours that would need to be worked per week at the current minimum wage.


The report found three key factors:

  • Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one bedroom.

  • There are only 24 of 795 neighbourhoods (3%) in Canada where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford to rent an average two-bedroom apartment, and in only 70 neighbourhoods (9%) can they afford a one bedroom. One in four Canadians earn within $3 of their province’s minimum wage.

  • There are no neighbourhoods in Canada’s biggest cities (Greater Toronto Area and Metro Vancouver) where a full-time minimum wage worker could afford either a modest one- or two-bedroom apartment


When it comes to Brantford they state that a person would need to earn between $16.04 and $23.23 an hour or work up to 66 hours a week at the current minimum wage just to be able to pay rent on a 2-bedroom apartment. You can find the information here.

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