Housing and Shelter Costs

This factsheet looks at data released by Statistics Canada as part of the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). While the NHS response rate was lower compared to the 2001 and 2006 Census, home ownership ratesĀ  in 2011 are in line with trends previously observed.

Seven in Ten Ontarians Own their Home

  • According to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), the homeownership rate in Ontario was 71.4 per cent, up from 67.8 per cent in 2001 and higher than the national rate of 69.0 per cent.
  • Within Canada, homeownership was highest in Atlantic Canada, and lowest in the territories and Quebec.
  • The proportion of Ontario households that rent their home decreased from 32.2 in 2001 to 28.4 per cent in 2011.

Most Homeowners Live in Single-Detached Dwellings

  • Over half of Ontario households lived in single-detached dwellings in 2011 (55.6%), 26.4 per cent lived in apartment buildings, 17.7 per cent in single-attached structures (e.g. townhouse, duplex, row house) and 0.3 per cent in movable dwellings.
  • However, the type of dwelling was significantly different whether households were owning or renting their home.
  • Among homeowners, 72.8 per cent lived in single-detached houses, 17.5 per cent lived in single-attached dwellings, 9.3 per cent in apartments, and 0.4 per cent in movable structures.
  • Among renters, 69.4 per cent lived in apartments, 18.3 per cent in single-attached houses, 12.2 per cent in single-detached dwellings and 0.1 per cent in movable structures.

Majority of Homeowners Carry a Mortgage

  • Almost 60 per cent of homeowners in Ontario had a mortgage in 2011 (59.5%), while 40.5 per cent owned their home mortgage-free.
  • Among owners, 5.4 per cent reported that their dwelling was in need of major repairs.
  • Accommodations were deemed inadequate (not enough bedrooms) for 4.7 per cent of homeowner households.

One in Six Renters Receives a Subsidy

  • 16.5 per cent of Ontario renters lived in subsidized housing in 2011.
  • Among renters, 9.6 per cent declared that their dwelling was in need of major repairs.
  • Accommodations were deemed inadequate for 13.5 per cent of renter households.

Most Families Own their Home

  • Almost 80 per cent of Census family households owned their dwelling in 2011 (79.8%).
  • Couple families with children were most likely to be owners, at 85.0 per cent, while lone-parent families were least likely, at 57.6 per cent.
  • Lone-parent family households were also most likely to receive rental subsidy, at 10.6 per cent. Among lone-parent families who rented in 2011, more than one quarter lived in subsidized housing.
  • Multiple-family households had the highest propensity to be owners, at 86.5 per cent.
  • Only half of non-family households (e.g., persons living alone or with friends) owned their dwelling in 2011 (50.6%).

Most Newly Constructed Dwellings are Single-Detached

  • Just over half (51.9%) of all newly constructed dwellings over the 2006-11 period in Ontario were single-detached houses. This is lower than the share observed over the previous decade (58.0%), but in line with the historical average since 1961 (52.4%).
  • The proportion of apartment structures built over 2006-11 was higher than during the previous decade, at 25.2 per cent versus 16.7 per cent , but remained lower than the average since 1961 (28.3%).
  • The proportion of new single-attached structures declined slightly to 22.7 per cent, from 25.0 per cent over the previous decade, while remaining higher than the average of 18.9 per cent observed over the previous 50 years.

Record Share of New Condominium Dwellings

  • While the structural type of new dwellings was close to the long-term average composition, the share of new construction being built as condominiums hit a record 28.0 per cent over 2006-11, up from 20.9 per cent in the previous five years, and almost double the proportion observed since the early 1970s.
  • The share of Ontarians living in condominiums also hit a record 12.0 per cent in 2011. This was slightly lower than the national average of 12.1 per cent, as condominium living remained significantly more popular in British Columbia (22.5%) and Alberta (16%).
  • The lowest propensities to live in a condominium were found in Atlantic Canada, with Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Prince Edward Island recording less than 2 per cent of households living in condominiums.

Almost One in Five Toronto Households Live in a Condo

  • Among Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), Toronto had the highest proportion of households living in condominiums in Ontario at 18.7 per cent.
  • This was lower than in many Western Canada CMAs, with households living in condominiums accounting for 31.4 per cent of total in Vancouver, 23.7 per cent in Abbotsford-Mission, 20.7 per cent in Kelowna, 20.4 per cent in Calgary and 19.4 per cent in Edmonton. In Montreal, 13.2 per cent of households lived in condos.
  • In Ontario, other CMAs with relatively high shares of households living in condominiums included the Ontario part of Ottawa-Gatineau (14.4%), Hamilton (12.9%) and Guelph (12.8%). Thunder Bay (3.4%) and Greater Sudbury (1.4%) had the lowest shares.

One in Five Living in Condominiums is Renting

  • In Ontario, 23.3 per cent of condo dwellers were renting their unit in 2011. This was the lowest share among provinces, with a national average of 28.5 per cent.
  • Ontario CMAs had some of the lowest rates of condo rental in Canada, with Hamilton recording the lowest rate (15.9%) nationally. In Toronto, 22.7 per cent of condos were occupied by renters, compared to 26.7 per cent in Vancouver and 28.9 per cent in Montreal.
  • Condos built recently (2006-11) had a higher share of renters. In Toronto, 33.0 per cent of newer condos were occupied by renters, compared to 35.2 per cent in Vancouver.

Average Shelter Cost

  • Households in Ontario paid on average $1,181 in monthly shelter costs, higher than the national average of $1,050.
  • The average monthly shelter cost for tenant households was $926. Subsidized tenants paid on average $521, while non-subsidized tenants paid $1,005.
  • Owner households paid on average $1,284 in shelter costs. Those with a mortgage spent on average $1,742, while mortgage-free owners spent $609.
  • Residents of the Toronto ($1,366) and Barrie ($1,299) CMAs spent the most in Ontario on average in shelter costs. The lowest average shelter costs among Ontario CMAs were in Thunder Bay ($833) and Windsor ($927).

Many Households Spend More than 30 per cent of Income on Housing

  • 27.0 per cent of Ontario households paid more than 30 per cent of total household income toward shelter costs, slightly higher than the national average of 25.2 per cent. This proportion was lower for owner households (20.9%) than for renters (42.3%).

Contact Alex Munger (416) 325-0102

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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