Looking for Housing

The following table shows the average cost for different sized apartments in Peterborough in 2013.  Housing costs may be higher than these averages since many places do not include utilities in the rent.

Average Market Rents Peterborough 2013


Average Rent



1 bdrm


2 bdrm


3 bdrm


CMHC (2013)

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing is affordable if a household pays 30 percent or less of their gross income on shelter costs.  According to the CMHC recommendations, a person making $8/hour working 40 hours per week earns $1280 gross income and can afford to pay $384/month in rent.  A person must earn over $2300 gross each month to afford a one-bedroom in Peterborough.  If you are receiving social assistance you are entitled to a maximum shelter allowance of $376 from 
Ontario Works or $479 from Ontario Disability Support Program.

If your housing costs are more than your shelter allowance, you will have to use part of your basic needs allowance to pay these costs.  If your housing costs are less than your maximum shelter allowance, you will only receive the amount you need for your rent and utilities.  Over half of all tenants in Peterborough pay more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities.  Many people working for lower wages or living on social assistance pay over 50% of their income.

If you are on a fixed or lower income, you may not be able to find housing that is truly affordable unless you are able to move into a rent-geared-to-income (subsidized) housing.  Go to our Affordable Housing page to see the options available and make an application to Housing Access Peterborough (HAP) or one of the other affordable housing providers.

In the meantime, know how much you can spend when you are looking for market rentals.  Download the budget sheet and use it to figure out your total income from all sources and your expenses for needs other than housing.  Look at your net (take-home) income and figure out how much you can afford to pay for housing.

When you are looking for a place, find out the total housing costs before deciding to take it.  Ask the landlord if there are parking or other fees on top of the rent, and call the utility companies to check on the average cost per month.  For a list of local utility companies, go to our  Local Services page. One way to cut costs is to rent a room or share an apartment.  However, your rights may change depending on the situation (e.g. if you are sharing a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord or a member of the landlord's family).  If you plan to rent a room or share an apartment, look at CLEO's Sharing Rental Housing.  This web tool helps you figure out which laws apply to your situation and what your rights and responsibilities are.

If your income is low, you may find that you don't have enough income to cover all your expenses after you pay for your housing.  No matter how well you budget, if the income isn't there to cover the basics you may run into trouble.  You will find information on Emergency Assistance and food programs, food banks and and places for used clothing and furniture in the Local Services section.  You can also find contacts for local organizations that are advocating for affordable housing and an end to poverty. 


Landlords cannot refuse to rent to you based on the following reasons:
  • Race, colour, ethnic background, or birthplace
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Having children or being pregnant
  • Being on social assistance
If you think you have been discriminated against when looking for housing, contact the Ontario Human Rights Commission to make a complaint.  You can also contact the Peterborough Community Legal Centre or the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation for legal advice about discrimination.

Contact the 
Peterborough Community Legal Centre or go to CLEO, or ACTO for more information on tenant rights and responsibilities.