Toronto’s Rental Landscape: How Immigrants Struggle to Find Suitable Homes

Before the pandemic, when the housing market in Toronto was still very accommodating to immigrants and international students, finding a long-term home was not a difficult task. However, regarding right now with lots of setbacks because of virtually all sectoral inflations, it is now challenging to find accommodations that suit the needs of immigrants and students at an affordable price. According to Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada statistics, in 2022 alone, Canada welcomed around 437,000 immigrants from around the world. This is a positive figure, which encourages the equity, diversity and inclusion in this country, but it creates some pressures in housing puzzles in a row, especially megacities like Toronto.

There are several setbacks that new immigrants face when they arrive in Toronto, including but not limited to:

Lack of Credit History:

It is very bureaucratic and discriminatory for the landlord to ask newcomers the Canadian credit score or its history for the fear of proof that immigrants cannot afford the rent in the longer terms. Many immigrants and international students may not have an established credit history just yet, which is the common reason some landlords may reject the renting application. Without a credit history, landlords may be hesitant to rent to them, or require a higher deposit.

Lack of Rental History:

New immigrants cannot obtain a rental history in Canada right away when they first arrive. It is totally impossible, yet this is part of the requirement lists from some landlords. To get permitted to rent, some landlords require references from previous rental places, which excludes the chances of international students and immigrants finding decent accommodation.

Lack of Procedure Knowledge:

Most of newcomers are not aware of their subjected obligation under Ontario Landlord and Tenancy Act, which somehow may cause them to bypass the law accidentally or be taken advantage of by the landlords. That is why newcomers should be aware of this Act before entering any tenancy agreement and considering rental options.

Limited Budget:

Inflation and high housing prices make it challenging for students to find affordable housing close to their campuses, especially for those whose campuses are located in downtown Toronto. Legal barriers also prevent many students from working full-time, further worsening their savings.

Language and Cultural Barrier:

Communication with landlords and property managers can be difficult or feeling the sense of offensiveness due to misunderstandings and confusions. Translation apps like Google Translate can help alleviate some of the awkwardness, but not all.Top of Form


Unfortunately, some landlords may discriminate against immigrants based on their nationality, ethnicity and other factors due to their counter beliefs about immigrants or cultural difference. This discrimination can make it even more difficult to find suitable housing.

Visa and Immigration Status:

Some landlords may request to show the proof of legal residency or a visa before renting to immigrants or international students, which hinders them to secure a home in the middle of waiting for the immigration bureau to finalize the process.

What Toronto Furnished Living could do to address these problems:

As a temporary rental business, we strive to assist immigrants and newcomers by offering flexible rental terms and affordable options that fit within their budget. We aim to create a welcoming environment with non-discrimination policies.

Additionally, we can provide rental agreements upon request for immigration and tax purposes. Whether our tenants stay with us for a minimum of 30 nights or more than a year, we are happy to provide rental references to support them in finding their next place to stay. This can help our tenants establish their rental history and make the process of finding a new home easier.