“Sorry, it’s Rented.” Measuring Discrimination Against Newcomers in Toronto’s Rental Housing Market

This report from the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) explores the ways that “racialized” newcomers face discrimination in accessing housing in Toronto. It also makes several recommendations to address housing discrimination.


  1. The Government of Canada should develop new funding streams for programs to support newcomers so that settlement organizations and other civil society groups can better address the specific challenges newcomers face in securing housing.
  2. In many instances, a lack of Canadian credit history or guarantor are the basis upon which housing providers deny housing to newcomers. Knowing this, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada should establish no-fee guarantor services to support newcomers to access housing upon arrival in Canada.
  3. Initiatives to investigate the nature, scope, and impact of discriminatory housing practices against newcomers and other equity-deserving groups should be funded and undertaken across Ontario.
  4. The Government of Ontario should provide funding for studies, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission should work with housing organizations and advocates to further investigate these barriers and develop realistic and relevant solutions to ensure people have access to the housing they need.
  5. The Government of Ontario should establish a system for monitoring, investigating, and meaningfully enforcing Human Rights Code protections related to housing.
  6. The Government of Ontario should implement policies to preserve existing affordable housing stock that is at risk of being lost. These policies should include permitting localized rental replacement bylaws, and financing for municipal acquisition programs that convert at-risk privately owned affordable rental housing into non-profit housing.
  7. The Government of Ontario should work collaboratively with municipalities to encourage the development of non-profit and co-operative housing in order to provide more affordable housing options for lower-income households.
  8. The Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto should further develop, encourage, and promote education for tenants to learn about their legal rights and for housing providers to learn about their legal obligations.
  9. Multi-tenant (rooming) houses provide a deeply affordable housing option for newcomers who live on lower incomes. The City of Toronto should adopt a regulatory framework for multi-tenant houses that allows for the legal operation of this type of housing across the city.
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