Vacancy Rate (Seniors Rental Market)


The vacancy rates of seniors rental market housing for both standard and non-standard housing.

The vacancy rate is defined as units that were unoccupied and available to rent but no lease was signed yet.

Methods and Limitations:

CMHC conducts the annual Seniors’ Housing Survey in February. This survey became national in scope in 2009, covering all centres in the 10 provinces. Both private and non-profit residences are included in the survey universe.

To be eligible for inclusion in the survey results, a residence must:

  • have at least 1 unit that is not subsidized (in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario)
  • have been in operation for at least 1 year (for example, it must have started operation before January 2012 to be included in the 2013 survey)
  • have at least 10 rental units (in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies) or 5 rental units (in the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia)
  • offer an on-site meal plan
  • not mandate high levels of health care (defined as 1.5 hours or more of care per day) to all of its residents; nursing homes and long-term care homes are examples of residences that were not included in the survey
  • offer rental units; life lease units and owner-occupied units are excluded from this survey
  • have at least 50% of its residents who are 65 years of age or older

The Seniors’ Housing Survey is a census and not a sample survey — all seniors’ residences in Canada that meet the criteria are part of this survey. The survey universe in Quebec may include private residences that don’t meet the conditions for obtaining a certificate of compliance.

Survey data were obtained through a combination of telephone interviews and fax and e-mail responses from the residence owner, manager or administrator. Survey results reflect market conditions at the time of the survey. Survey results have been weighted to adjust for non-responses, in order to ensure that they are reflective of the universe. The level of statistical reliability is noted in the tables below.

The statistics published include residences that have been in operation for at least 1 year. Information on new market supply has been excluded from the results.

The survey looks at two types of spaces: standard and non-standard. Standard spaces, also referred to as independent living, are those occupied by a resident paying market rent and who does not receive 1.5 or more hours of care per day. Residents living in a non-standard space receive at least 1.5 hours of high-level care per day. Examples of conditions that could require high-level care include Alzheimer’s, dementia and reduced mobility. Respite and non-market spaces are also non-standard.


Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, Housing Market Information Portal

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 2021. Housing Market Information Portal: Seniors Methodology 


Vacancy Rate (Seniors Rental Market) in the Sustainable Development Goals

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11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.

However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.