In this post (a follow-up to my post dated November 4, 2020), I use housing data from the Census and CMHC to separate rentals into purpose-built and non-purpose-built for the GTA’s major cities, adding owner-occupied units. The number of non-purpose-built rentals by type is calculated by subtracting purpose-built rentals from total rentals. The charts below show the results.
The most obvious observation is that in each city except Toronto owner-occupied detached houses are the single biggest component of total housing units. Purpose-built and non-purpose-built rentals, where they exist in significant amounts, are concentrated in multi-unit buildings (i.e. apartment buildings and condo buildings), although a small amount of all housing types are non-purpose-built rentals. In Toronto, of course, owner-occupied and rented units in multi-unit buildings (i.e. condo buildings) are a huge part of the city’s overall housing supply. In Vaughan, there are almost no purpose-built rentals but several thousand non-purpose-built rentals, indicating a pool of renters exists which could be served by purpose-built rentals if someone were to build them.
The second observation is that renters don’t have much choice. Renters in Toronto, Mississauga, and Burlington have few choices if they don’t want to rent an apartment or condo unit in a multi-unit building, while in the other seven cities, renters don’t even have apartments as a housing option. Obviously, I’m exaggerating to make a point, but I’m certain that if more houses or townhouses were available to rent they’d be welcomed by renters everywhere in the GTA.