Construction work in Toronto, Canada
Construction work in Toronto, Canada. (Photo credit: Scott Webb)

Like many renters in Toronto, Paula Alexis spends the majority of her monthly income on rent each month. 

Alexis, who works at a non-profit and rents a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto, has little left over for discretionary spending or savings after this one expense. 

“I budget really, really hard,” she says. “And sometimes I cross my fingers and swipe the card anyway.”

Alexis says many of her friends have already left the city or moved back in with their parents because of high rents. And those who do live in the city often have near nothing left over to spend on get-togethers.

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Hadassah Alencar is a bilingual journalist based near Montreal. She recently completed the journalism program at Concordia University, where she worked as a teaching assistant and became editor-in-chief...