The 10 Canadian Cities with the Cheapest Rents

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As summer 2024 approaches, which mid-sized Canadian cities feature the cheapest rent prices for immigrants to Canada and international students?

Finding cheap and affordable rental housing is perhaps the major challenge facing immigrants in Canada. 

Tracking down that first place to rent is an increasingly large part of the settlement process (in addition to finding a job) when choosing a city to call home.

As a recent survey of renters showed, price increasingly matters to newcomers and domestic Canadians.


The survey discovered that 69 percent of respondents cited the unaffordability of rentals in their region as their reason for moving. Also, 19 percent of survey participants indicated interest in moving to a new (cheaper) city.

Part of the challenge for newcomers is that rent prices across Canada continue to rise, although more slowly now, particularly in the popular gateway cities of Toronto/GTA and  Vancouver/GVA.

Also, vacancy rates in most cities are still at historic lows (around 1.5 percent).

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According to the most recent report from and Urbanation, in April of 2024, most major markets across Canada saw annual rent increases, which led to an average national high of $2,188 per month.

Nationally, average asking rents rose 0.3 percent month-over-month in April.

Newcomers will continue to drive rental demand 

Canada's Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced late last year that the country will welcome 485,000 newcomers in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.


Canada is still home to a record number of international students and temporary workers (although the rules for the number of students and temporary workers being admitted have been tightened).  

RELATED STORY: Our latest Housing Newsletter for Newcomers to Canada and International Students

So, where should newcomers and students settle and rent?

Western Canada still has the cheapest rents

Again, in April, cities with the cheapest rents were in Western Canada. 

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Five of the 10 cheapest mid-sized cities are in the western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Windsor is the cheapest place to rent in Ontario's popular mid-sized cities ($1,553 for a one-bedroom), followed closely by Niagara Falls, another city on the U.S.-Canada border, where you'll pay $1,546.

RELATED STORY: Our latest Housing Newsletter for Newcomers to Canada and International Students

As for the most expensive cities for rent, according to the report for April, seven of the top 10 most expensive Canadian cities for rent prices are found in Ontario and almost all in the GTA. 



Here are the seven Canadian cities with the cheapest rents, according to

1 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The province's largest city, home to the University of Saskatchewan, is where a one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,215.

Located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon is a multicultural city affectionately known as the City of Bridges. 

 A two-bedroom in Saskatoon costs an average of $1,417 a month. That's down 0.8 percent from March.

The 10 Canadian mid-sized cities with the cheapest rents in April (


2 - Regina, Saskatchewan

In Regina, the province's second-largest city in the heart of the Prairies, a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,251 monthly. That's down -1.3 percent from March. A two-bedroom apartment costs $1,466, down -0.7 month-over-month.


3 - Lethbridge, Alberta 

Located close to the Rocky Mountains, Lethbridge is in the south-central region of Alberta. It is known for its warm summers and mild winters

Lethbridge is in a prime location in southern Alberta, close to the U.S. border

Due to its location, Lethbridge is a major hub for transportation and business in southern Alberta. The city is about a two-hour drive south of Calgary and just over one hour north of the United States border into Montana.

A one-bedroom apartment in Lethbridge currently rents for $1,289, up slightly from March. A two-bedroom is $1,490, also up slightly.

4 - Quebec City, Quebec

According to, at No. 4, Quebec City, the capital of La Belle Province, in April, offered a one-bedroom apartment for $1,294 and a two-bedroom apartment for $1,679. 

5 - Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and the second-largest city in the province after Calgary. Rich in Alberta's massive oil, gas, and oil sand reserves, Edmonton is called the “Oil Capital of Canada.”  It's also home to the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, currently playing in the Stanley Cup finals against the Florida Panthers.

A one-bedroom rents for $1,353 (up 1.1 percent from March), while a two-bedroom rents for $1,665 (up 0.7 percent). 

6 - Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Known as the “Gateway to the West,” Winnipeg is Manitoba's capital and the province's largest city. It is located in the eastern part of the Canadian Prairies in Western Canada. 

Originally a trading post for Indigenous people before the arrival of European settlers, The 'Peg is a railway and transportation hub with a diversified economy. Winnipeg became home to thousands of newcomers and is known as a multicultural city (Canada's sixth largest).

A one-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg, home to the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League, costs $1,380 (up 1.1 percent from March). A two-bedroom apartment rents for $1,766, up 1.5 percent.

The Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League play in one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada


7 - Windsor, Ontario 

located in Southwestern Ontario on the United States border with Detroit, Michigan, Windsor is known as the “Automotive Capital of Canada.” A rich agricultural region in Essex County also surrounds the city. Windsor is Canada's southernmost city and is undergoing an economic resurgence.  Rent for a one-bedroom is $1,546, and $1,885 for a two-bedroom. 

8 - Niagara Falls, Ontario 

This city is known as a world-famous tourist destination. It also features some of the best housing deals in the province and is within commuting distance of Hamilton and the GTA. It's also across the Niagara River from New York State (and Buffalo, N.Y.). A one-bedroom rents for $1,554; a two-bedroom for $1,960

9 - Laval, Quebec

Situated in the southwest of the province, north of Montreal, Laval is the largest suburb of Montreal and the third-largest city in the province after Montreal and Quebec City. A one-bedroom apartment in Laval costs $1,601, and a two-bedroom apartment costs $2043. 



10 - St. Catharines, Ontario

Located right beside the City of Niagara Falls in one of Canada's most famous wine-growing regions, St. Catharines is home to Brock University, the Welland Canal (connecting Lakes Erie and Ontario) and within commuting distance of Hamilton and the GTA. 

According to, a one-bedroom is $1,663, while a two-bedroom is $1,936.

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In the future, Canada's continuing ambitious immigration targets and the flow of refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan (and perhaps Gaza and Israel) are expected to have a significant impact on rental markets and prices.

Interest rate cuts may affect rent prices

Earlier this year, Sean Hildebrand of Urbanation predicted that 2024 will "be a slower year for rent increases, particularly in the more expensive markets."

So far, that's proving accurate, as rent price increases have stalled in Toronto and Vancouver.

RELATED STORY: Why immigrants to Canada need two career plans

Hildebrand also predicted that if inflation continues to slow down this year and the Bank of Canada begins cutting its interest policy rate (a cut is now expected as early as June or July), the pressures on rent prices could ease, with more Canadians moving into homeownership.

According to Daniel Aizikov of Rentsync, while the 2024 rental market started strong, demand fell in April following a month of strong growth.

In Rentsync's National Demand Rental Report, Aizikov said he expects rental activity to be slower in the coming months. Also, this year's summer renting season will likely be depressed relative to the previous two years.

Experts say slower population growth and the creation of more rental housing may help slow rents even further. 

Canada's most expensive cities for rents

The most expensive Canadian cities for rent prices in April 2024 (

And what are the top three most expensive places to rent in Canada? Vancouver is No. 1, at $2,646  a month for a one-bedroom; Burnaby, B.C. is No. 2, at $2,553 a month, and Toronto is No. 3, at $2,459 monthly.  

Immigrants and international students may want to head to the Prairies or southwestern Ontario for those cheap rents. 

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Steve Tustin is the Editor for Rentals for Newcomers and a contributing editor for Prepare for Canada. He is also the former managing editor of and a former senior editor at the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

*No AI-generated content was used in the writing of this story, and all sources are cited and credited where possible.

© Rentals for Newcomers 2024