CANADA HOUSING CRISIS: Toronto Landlord Offers TENT In Living Room For $950 Per Month

Natasha Biase

A Toronto landlord is raising concerns after listing a tent in his living room for $950 per month. The tent was offered through Facebook Marketplace by Fahad Omar, and is being marketed as being placed in an “extra large living room.”

According to the listing details, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment the tent is contained within is located in Toronto’s west end in the neighborhood of Parkdale and is available for move-in on May 1. 

“Fresh and amazing new offer! Tent for rent in [an] extra large living room. Exclusive privacy from other roommates. The tent is a strong, brand new and king size tent with sleeping bags included,” reads the rental detail, adding that the rental includes one shared bathroom, access to a shared kitchen and in-unit laundry.

Despite the bizarre nature of the listing, the tent rental comes with several shocking conditions, including a credit check and background check, a minimum of two references, and first and last month’s rent. Additionally, potential tenants are required to rent the tent in the shared unit for one year minimum.

Although the unfurnished listing doesn’t specify how many tenants live in the one-bedroom apartment, Omar suggests the unit is perfect for students or singles and promises the other roommates are “hard-working, clean, quiet, social professionals and students.”

News of Omar’s unconventional rental listing shocked many on X, who were confused as to why someone would pay to pitch a tent in someone’s apartment when they could do the same thing for free at a local park.

“This is literally just paying to be homeless in someone else’s living room,” wrote one user by the handle @alexcheetah.

Others blamed Canada’s current housing crisis for the uptick in strange rental units popping up on classified sites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace.

“Someone in Toronto is renting out a tent in their living room for $950/month. No, this [is] not satire. This is the new reality in Canada,” wrote journalist Riley Donovan.

Many commentators online are also noting that increasingly bizarre rentals are popping up as Canada’s housing crisis continues to escalate. In the past few months, multiple controversial listings in Ontario have sparked discussion on social media, with landlords offering less-than-ideal accommodations with expensive or demanding stipulations. 

The vast majority of the landlords offering the often-illegal leases appear to be foreign-born.

As previously reported by The Publica, a now-deleted Kijiji listing in the Innisfil area similarly sparked outrage for establishing a private homeless encampment for $500 per person.

“We are welcoming people who are living in their tents … to set up on our cottage property in the town of Innisfil, Ontario. [It is] private property,” read the listing, which came with a shared kitchen and access to electricity.

Although the rental did not specify if the $500 rental rate was per month or a one-time fee, the landlord, who describes herself as the “Asian Goddess of Beauty and Wellness,” required potential tenants to provide their full name, email address, phone number and city of origin. Additionally, the landlord asked that future tenants be signed up to receive Ontario Works Welfare, which provides residents in need with financial assistance for food, housing, and health benefits.

Countless ads have also emerged on Facebook Marketplace offering Indian-only rentals in blatant violation of provincial and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Despite the illegal nature of these ads, the listings often explicitly state that only applicants of Indian descent will be considered. In some cases, specific regions of India and dietary restrictions are noted.

One room rental in Markham, Ontario specifically sought “Gujaratis” who were “vegetarian.” Others have said they are reserved for Hindus, Punjabis, or place extreme restrictions on “non-vegetarians” who are prohibited from entering the home.

In some other more disturbing cases, Indian-origin landlords have listed shared rooms specifically seeking females who were expected to do the household cooking and cleaning.

Despite the governing Liberal Party’s express interest in importing more newcomers to Canada, many economic experts have slammed the country’s rate of growth as unsustainable for the housing and labor market.

In a report released last Thursday, Andrew Grantham, an executive director at CIBC Economics, said that population growth has “spiraled” out of control” since 2023.

“Population growth led by non-permanent residents initially helped to fill elevated job vacancies coming out of the pandemic, but the surge since mid-2022 has also resulted in housing shortages and rent price inflation,” he said in the report. 

Grantham estimates that since 2019, Canada’s population growth has risen by around 1.1 million, or 35%, more than housing availability could accommodate.

He added that the increase “has eclipsed labour force needs” by between 200,000-700,000, or between 5 and 20%.

Share this Article


Leave a Reply

Latest News