Rental markets across major Canadian cities may be on an upswing, but landlords are still using incentives and promotions to entice the very best renters to their buildings.

During the pandemic, demand for rental units in Canada's major cities plummeted, and with it, rent prices. In an attempt to sway renters towards signing with them, many landlords took to offering free months of rent, thousands of dollars in gift cards, free parking, and even free phones. And according to a new report from, incentives haven't gone away -- at least not entirely.

From Montreal to Toronto to Calgary to Vancouver, there are still promotions to be found, albeit less creative ones than were seen during the initial lockdown. The majority now involve one or two months free rent, gift cards, cash bonuses, or free cable or Internet service.


Renters in Toronto still have an abundance of rental-incentive-offering buildings to choose from. Most are offering a month or two of free rent, but that doesn't mean those are the only options out there.

Renters who sign a one-year lease agreement at 11-25 Ordnance Street can get one month of free rent, a one-year membership to Altea Active (an 89,000-sq-ft fitness club in the bottom of the building), plus a $1,000 signing bonus on select units.

At 699 Eglinton Avenue West, tenants will get a $2,500 Visa gift card when they move in. And at 15 Dundonald Street, 433 Jarvis Street, and 90 Eastdale Avenue, they're offering up one month of free rent. At 730 Dovercourt Road, renters get one month free, plus a $100 food delivery gift card.


In Montreal, incentives can largely be found in older buildings or newly renovated units, the report says. Similar to Toronto, they're largely for free rent, with 3555 Chemin de la Cote-des-Neiges, 1212 Avenue des Pins Ouest, and 25 Avenue des Pins Ouest all offering one month free. Signing a lease for a unit inside 1682 Lincoln Avenue or 4820 Chemin de la Cote Sainte Catherine will get you two months free.

A less exciting, albeit still helpful, promotion of a $100 laundry gift card can be found at 1650-1670 Rue Deguire. And at 981 Gulf Place, they're offering a $500 move-in bonus on select suites.


Incentives are a bit harder to come across in the west coast city, found, with its higher average rents and low vacancy rate. Even in the height of the pandemic, rental incentives were hard to come by. But they're not non-existent.

Buildings like 825 East 8th Avenue, 1255 Pendrell Street, and 1668 Davie Street are offering one month of free rent. And the Davie Street building comes with an added $250 signing bonus. Meanwhile at 4188 Yew Street, renters can get half a month free on one-year leases or a full month free on two-year leases.

Units at 3370 Dewdney Trunk Road and 1022 Nelson Street will get you utility-centric incentives, with the former offering free TELUS service for one year and a free $100 Compass card, and the latter providing 25% off TELUS Optik TV and internet.


Calgary is flush with rental incentives across both new and old buildings, especially if you're a student, senior, military member, or first responder. This abundance is thanks in large part to the high vacancy rate in the city -- something that will likely stick around for the long term, says.

At 2905 Unwin Road NW, L208-1919 University Drive NW, and 2010 Ulster Road NW, you can get up to one month free plus a $200 Energy Savings Credit, and exclusive rates on TELUS Optik TV and internet. Students also get a $300 move-in bonus. And at 2416 16th Avenue NW, you get one month free and a $250 bonus when you refer a friend.

But perhaps the best deal can be found at 661 7th Avenue SE where renters can get two months of free rent plus one year of free heated parking.


With an even higher vacancy rate than Calgary (and even cheaper rent prices) rental incentives aren't hard to come by in Edmonton. Some buildings like Oliver Place at 10130 117 Street NW offer a standard two months free, but others get a little more creative.

At 10142 111 Street, they're offering free TELUS TV and internet for one year, plus a $600 Amazon gift card. And at 11808 100th Avenue, you can get one month free, one year free TV and internet, a $600 Amazon gift card, and a reduced damage deposit.

Over at 10639 112 Street NW, you can choose your promotion: either half off your first month's rent or $30 off every month.