It has long been difficult to obtain detailed information on the residential living conditions of the student population. Existing rental market data (produced by the CMHC) does not identify student households, while Statistics Canada’s demographics provide few details on residential situations. UTILE is the only organization in Canada to have documented the realities of student tenants, thus providing an unprecedented portrait of the post-secondary housing landscape.
The FLASH 2021 is the first Canada-wide edition of the survey conducted by UTILE.
Facilitated by 71 partnerships with universities and student organizations across the country, UTILE was able to survey nearly one million students in all of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.
Research and thematic reports can be found in the News section of our website, as they are published.
Nearly 220,000 of these renters lived in conventional apartments on the private market, i.e. outside of a university residence.
The first edition of the PHARE (la Prospection des habitudes et aspirations résidentielles étudiantes) survey was conducted in 2014. Initiated by UTILE, the survey collected 11,000 responses across four university campuses and led to several research projects.
A second edition took place in 2017, collecting over 17,000 responses across Quebec. The resulting research has been cited in media outlets in many regions, in briefs produced by student societies, and used in a study funded by the Société d'habitation du Québec, among others.
Given the impact of the data, the partners agreed to maintain a three-year cycle for the university survey. In 2019, UTILE coordinated the first PHARE survey at the college level.
61 % of students are renters.
43 % of students rent on the private market.
10 % of students reside in university residences.
68% of student renters in the Greater Toronto Area have debt related to education.
61% of student renters in the Greater Toronto Area make less than $20 000 per year.
93% of student renters in the Greater Toronto Area allocate more than 30% of their annual income towards rent.
321 519 student renters
225 672 student renters on the private market
52 884 student renters in university residences
General population (CMHC, 2020): $1 484 per month
Students: $1 822 per month
3,4a in 2020 (1,5a in 2019)