Apartment vacancy rates in 35 major centres fell slightly in October, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says.

The average rate across the 35 locations slipped to 2.2 per cent from 2.6 per cent in the same period a year earlier.

Cities with the highest rents*

  • Vancouver: $1,237
  • Toronto: $1,149
  • Ottawa: $1,086
  • Calgary: $1,084
  • Victoria: $1,045
  • Edmonton: $1,034
  • Barrie, Ont.: $1,001

(*Average 2-bedroom, incl. new and used)


CMHC said a slight uptick in employment among those aged 15 to 24 likely increased demand, while at the same time there was a slightly lower supply of newly-constructed apartments.

"Demand for rental condominium apartments remained strong," CMHC’s deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge said, "with the vacancy rate for such units falling in most of Canada's largest urban centres, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver."

The provinces with the lowest vacancy rates were Manitoba, at one per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador at 1.3 per cent and Saskatchewan at 1.9 per cent. New Brunswick had the highest, at 4.8 per cent.

The average rent nationally for a two-bedroom apartment was $883, compared with $860 in October 2010.

The major centres with the lowest vacancy rates were Regina, at 0.6 per cent, Winnipeg and two Ontario cities, Kingston and Guelph, at 1.1 per cent and St. John's, at 1.3 per cent.

The highest vacancy rates were in Windsor, Ont., at 8.1 per cent, Abbotsford, B.C., at 6.7 per cent, and Saint John at 5.9 per cent.