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How did Toronto’s housing crisis get this bad?

The CN Tower stands between a couple of condo towers in downtown Toronto, Ontario on Saturday, August 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Don Denton

The average Toronto condo rents for $2,385/month. The city’s vacancy rate of 0.5 percent is at a historic low. Apartment viewings attract hundreds of people. A recent affordable housing lottery featured almost 4,000 entrants for just 75 units. Would-be tenants are prepared to do just about anything to secure a roof over their heads, and they don’t have many rights when they’re asked for multiple months of rent in advance or told to fill out elaborate personality questionnaires.

There are thousands of people living on the streets, in shelters or simply couch-surfing in the city right now. This is the story of how things got this bad, what’s happening on Toronto streets right now, what options the city has to try and bring some sanity back to the market and, most importantly, what happens to a city when people who have income just above the poverty line are utterly priced out of the market. Where do those people go? We’ll show you how it went wrong, from policies that don’t protect tenants to what an apartment search looks like on the ground.

THE BIG STORY PODCAST GUESTS: Emily Mathieu, Toronto Star; Tamara Khandaker, VICE News

Today’s Podcast – Inside Toronto’s housing crisis


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