The ongoing discourse around rental housing, propelled by a chorus of professional experts, policymakers, and advocates, happens in response to past choices, from rent control measures to the imperative of rental replacement, the risk-averse structure construction is financed today, and of course, the recent announcement by the federal government of GST rebate for new purpose-built rental.

How can we get more rental units built

These policies, once claimed to protect tenants, have since evolved into a topic of debate, but the narrative today extends beyond historical precedents. The urgency of today’s housing crisis, coupled with lessons drawn from Toronto’s rental history, demands a true mutual effort. It requires collaborative engagements between governmental bodies, private sectors, and community stakeholders to bridge the gaps between policy, and affordability. The question is: Is this where we are heading?


End of WW2: the then-mayor posted a notice advising the public to not move to Toronto; the city would not assume any responsibility, 1944

Industry leaders highlight the urgency of expediting housing projects by simplifying bureaucratic procedures, enabling faster development while reducing administrative bottlenecks, and change of zoning, all of these are measures we can take to see more units getting built and unlock substantial potential for investment in rental developments.

Social Stigma when it Comes to Renting

Beyond the policy debates, a cultural narrative exists—one that casts a shadow (pun intended) on the rental experience, particularly for families, therefore, the urgency for rental housing solutions becomes not just an economic or policy imperative but a societal one. Families navigating the rental market face challenges beyond financial constraints. Cultural perceptions reinforce the notion that stability and security come solely with homeownership, inadvertently stigmatizing those who choose or need to rent.

The proposals advocating for streamlined approvals and reduced taxes, need to intersect with the cultural shift we need as a society. If we want to ease the burden of housing scarcity and affordability, we need to also seek to rewrite the narrative surrounding rentals.

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