Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The Overhead: Evictions

Read more articles by

Spacing and the Balanced Supply of Housing research node proudly present The Overhead: Understanding Canada’s Affordable Housing Crisis, a special podcast series.


Evictions can completely upend your life. At best, you have to begin the search for a new home in an increasingly expensive and competitive housing market. At worst, you can’t find an affordable replacement. It’s a scary situation, even in the best circumstances.

In this episode, we get into why evictions happen, how frequently, tenant rights, and “bad faith” evictions.

First, we speak to Adam Mongrain, director of housing policy with the Quebec advocacy group Vivre en Ville about an online rental registry, which would provide renters and governments about changes in rental prices, and prevent unfair price hikes:

If we’re going to be in the housing market, then we should apply rules and conditions that make sure that market works out to the interest of the consumer, and having all the information available so that you know what the fair price is for what you’re about to buy or rent is a key component of making sure that the market is working properly.

Julie Mah is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, who has done a lot of work on gentrification and urban displacement, and tells us about how that can cause evictions:

I’m creating a neighbourhood change map, so I’m looking at what has happened in terms of neighbourhood change over time, from 2001 to 2021 in the city, then seeing how that relates to evictions.

Finally, Alexandra Flynn, associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law talks about the high eviction rate in B.C. municipalities, changes to the provinces “Residential Tenancy Act,” the housing as a human right, including for those living in encampments:

The federal government passed a piece of legislation called ‘The National Housing Strategy Act,’ which was passed in 2019… That piece of legislation has a lot of potential to shape where we see obligations of governments. If it extended to the municipal scale, municipalities couldn’t just rely on bylaws, they would have to figure out a different way of ensuring that people had basic rights to housing.

Why do evictions happen, and what can we do to prevent them? We get into it.

Listen here for The Overhead: