Here’s How Much it Costs to Live in Some of Mississauga’s Best Known Neighbourhoods


Published July 23, 2019 at 2:10 am


Mississauga boasts some decidedly desirable neighbourhoods that all have one thing in common: The average minimum wage worker can no longer live in one without help from a partner or roommate

A recently-released study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives indicates that minimum wage earners (such as Ontario residents who earn $14 an hour) absolutely cannot afford apartments in Canada’s major cities—Mississauga included.

The news, though concerning, does not come as a surprise. 

Over the past few years, the growing gap between wages and shelter costs has been dominating headlines and prompting serious discussions at all levels of government. People are struggling to survive in a city where a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,858 a month and a two-bedroom costs $2,260 and the situation—compounded by low inventory and ferocious competition between prospective tenants—does not appear to be improving (although Mississauga is working to implement a plan that will, ideally, spur the creation of more rental units). 

The new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30 per cent of one’s earnings.  

The study finds that across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40 an hour, or $20.20 an hour for an average one-bedroom. 

According to the study, the situation for minimum wage earners in Mississauga is dire despite the fact that the municipality’s Mississauga Centre neighbourhood is one of only three GTA neighbourhoods with over 10,000 apartments (other apartment-rich neighbourhoods include Downsview and Mount Pleasant West).

The study says the Mississauga Centre rental wage is $31 an hour, which means a full-time minimum-wage worker would need to clock over 80 hours a week to afford their rent. 

“In no GTA neighbourhood could a full-time minimum-wage worker find an affordable one- or two-bedroom apartment to rent,” the study says. 

So, how much does a resident need to make an hour to live in a specific neighbourhood? 

  • Port Credit: $28.13 an hour (or work 80 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment)
  • Clarkson/Lorne Park: $28.25 (or work 81 hours a week for a two-bedroom apartment)
  • Churchill Meadows–Erin Mills: $27.16 an hour (or work 78 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment)
  • Meadowvale: $34.21 an hour (or work 98 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment)
  • Mississauga Centre/Streetsville: $31 an hour (or work 80 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment)
  • Malton: $25.30 an hour (or work 72 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment)

In Ontario, minimum wage workers across the province would have to make $27.34 an hour to afford a two-bedroom unit (that’s almost double what they’re earning right now).  

To afford a unit in Ontario, lower-income earners would need to work 78 hours a week. 

So, where can minimum-wage earners get by? 

There are only 24 of 795 neighbourhoods (3 per cent) in Canada where a full-time minimum-wage worker can afford to rent an average two-bedroom apartment, and in only 70 neighbourhoods (9 per cent) 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. 

Outside of Sudbury and St. Catharines, affordable neighbourhoods are all located in smaller Quebec cities. Some of those cities include Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Trois-Rivieres.

Are you having trouble finding an apartment in one of Mississauga’s best-known neighbourhoods?

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