How much money do you need to make to buy a home in these Canadian cities?

Buying a place to call your own is a goal many Canadians have, but it’s an aspiration escaping the middle class thanks to prices that continue to soar. An average home in Vancouver will set you back almost one million dollars according to real estate marking company RentSeeker, which analyzed housing prices across the country in 2015. Their data shows that a family needs to make $120,297 a year to afford the $909,293 price tag. British Columbia is the most expensive province with an average home price of $667,480.

Toronto and Ontario aren’t far behind. The average price across the province is $471,654. In Toronto you’ll have to shell out $641,617 to buy a home, and that will require annual earnings of $87,407 according to RentSeeker. This helpful conversion tool converts annual salaries to hourly rates.

The cheapest city in Canada was Trois Rivieres, Que., the country’s oldest industrial city with a tiny population of only 48,285. The average price for a home there is only $162,313, and you need to make a meager $28,515 a year to afford it.

To afford a home in Trois Rivieres, Que., you need to make around $13.75 per hour.

The cheapest city in Ontario is Windsor, with an average home price ringing in at just under two hundred thousand dollars ($198,113). “Factors that have impacted home prices in Canada over the past decade include a strong economy, low interest rates and favourable mortgage insurance rules,” according to Priced Out, a study conducted by RBC and the Pembina Institute which examined housing trends across the country.

These factors have increased the demand for homes and driven up prices across Canada, including in the GTA.

Demand points to Vancouver and Toronto as the hottest destinations in Canada – with a high quality of life and natural beauty to boast as assets. But foreign investment is also driving up the price by eroding the supply of housing available for Canadians living in those cities. British Columbia recently introduced a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax to curb escalating costs – a move Toronto is watching closely.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver home sales dropped 75% after foreign buyer tax announced: realtor

Average rental prices across the country echo the lows and highs of home prices, with Vancouver and Toronto once again leading the pack. A recent study by Urbanation found that the average rent for a condominium unit in Toronto was almost $2,000 a month.
“There’s virtually no vacancy in the marketplace,” said Vice President Shaun Hildebrand. A decrease in the supply of rental units is one of the factors driving up price. The trend is a troubling one for the city’s Housing Advocate, Ana Bailao. “You lose the opportunity to attract a lot of investment that wants to come to our city,” she said.

Companies start looking at our city as a place that’s too expensive for their workers to work, too expensive to attract human capital.

Taking a closer look at Toronto, property management company Sky View Suites compiled data on the average sale price of homes near TTC subway stations. The analysis took into account values of detached homes and condominiums with three or more bedrooms from June 2015 to June 2016.

Homes near York Mills, Castle Frank and Summerhill stations had the highest values, while those near Warden, Kennedy and Victoria Park stations – all in the city’s east end – had the lowest. Generally speaking, proximity to transit hubs is known to have a positive impact on property values.

Shootings in Toronto up 38% from last year

A young, pregnant mother gunned down while waiting in a vehicle and a targeted midtown hit in what’s considered an “upscale” neighbourhood have punctuated what many residents have suspected: gun violence is up. Now data from the Toronto Police backs the assertion.
As of June 6, 2016 there have been 238 shootings, 66 more than the same time last year. The figure represents gun violence both with and without injury, but in all four measured categories the numbers are up relative to 2015. The sharpest spike is seen where the status of injury is unknown: a 283.3% increase from 18 to 69. Shootings involving death are up 122.2% (from nine to 20) year-to-date.

Amid the spray of bullets police and politicians find themselves under fire from the public to curb the gun violence. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti proposed a gun amnesty/buyback program that would allow residents to turn in their weapons for grocery vouchers without fear of prosecution.

READ MORE: Mayor John Tory asks federal government to tighten US-Canada border to stop the flow of illegal guns

The head of the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee, Cesar Palacio, wants the province to suspend the liquor licenses of businesses where illegal gun activity has become a chronic problem – effectively shutting them down by targeting a lucrative source of revenue. His motion passed with unanimous support from Council and includes “proactive enforcement measures” that Canada’s restaurant association fears would unfairly target some businesses.

“If someone is shot in a car you can’t say the car is the problem. It’s the situation,” protested James Rilett, Vice-President of Ontario operations.

And as the season shifts and temperatures rise, so too the sense of fear among some residents that this summer could mirror the violence in 2005, infamously dubbed the “Summer of the Gun.” But crime experts say it’s still too early to predict whether that pattern will play out. The recent media spotlight has focused police efforts and resources, and politicians of all three levels of government seem determined to collaborate on a solution.

These are the “worst” landlords and buildings in Toronto

Common areas cluttered with filth and debris, units with broken appliances and suffocating from poor ventilation, these are just some of the complaints plaguing buildings across Toronto. Recently LandlordWatch.com took stock of the deplorable conditions and assembled a list of the “100 worst landlords in the city”, along with the buildings they manage.
 
The data was culled from complaint-driven Municipal Licensing and Standards inspections. “We didn’t see too much seasonality, there are complaints going on throughout the year,” said Yale Fox, creator of the website.

They’re slightly more skewed to heat, mold, bed bugs and roaches.

So far in 2016 the apartments at 104 – 105 West Lodge Avenue, owned by the Bnai Fishel Corporation, have been hit with the most violations: 119. But the worst building since 2014 is the 15-story apartment at 500 Dawes Rd. Inside common areas were soiled with mold and flooring in some of the units was breaking apart like puzzle pieces.

Landlord Carolyn Goodman is known to the local city councillor who’s been urging residents to lodge complaints about their living conditions. Goodman did not respond to numerous requests for comment. “We are pushing virtually every day to keep on top of her and the state of this building,” said councillor Janet Davis.

We should not have to do this as a city.

Many of the run-down, broken buildings are clustered in the downtown core and the east end; but it’s believed there are many more tenants suffering in silence elsewhere. “We only have data from wards of proactive city councilors who push the city to investigate buildings,” said Natalie Hundt, with ACORN Institute Canada.

But when it comes to landlords, as opposed to buildings, the worst in the city, is the city. Toronto Community Housing (TCH) was hit with 452 violations since 2014. The TCH, however, is the largest landlord in Canada. Having the highest number of complaints in aggregate isn’t unusual by virtue of that fact. “TCH has 2,100 buildings, just under 60,000 units, 50 million square feet of residential space, and most of our buildings are over 50 years old,” said spokesperson Lisa Murray. Rounding out the top five are Havcare Investments Inc. (174 violations), Bnai Fishel Corporation (170 violations), Arsandco Investments (145 violations) and Q REIT SUB LP (134 violations).

Relief may soon be coming for tenants living with substandard conditions. Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee recently pushed ahead a preliminary licensing framework that would force landlords to comply with bylaws or have their licenses revoked.

“We need to look at more tools that can provide more teeth and enforcement to make these landlords comply,” said Councillor Janet Davis. Backers of the move say they have a broad base of support at city council and are hopeful that licensing landlords will address the pattern of neglect in many of these buildings.