People paying a mortgage in Canada’s major cities aren’t the only ones feeling the heat from hot housing markets: many renters are struggling as well.

Data released yesterday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows the national average cost of rent is up and the national vacancy rate has plummeted.

That’s forcing some renters in cities with ultra-low vacancy rates to consider whether the payoffs of living in a big city are worth the cost, both financially and in terms of quality of life.

Sharna Ridge, 27, recently moved to Toronto from the United Kingdom on a two-year visa. She found a job within four days and a short-term sublet through a Facebook group.

Ridge describes the search for a longer-term rental as horrific.

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