pro athletes rent toronto

It's getting too expensive for even pro athletes to live in Toronto

The average one-bedroom rental apartment in Toronto will now cost you $2,044 per month — a high price tag that is now even causing problems for… professional athletes?

Though pro sports are typically associated with staggeringly-high salaries, this isn't quite the case in the Canadian Football League (CFL), where athletes rake in much less than in other leagues, putting the Toronto Argonauts at what team GM Mike 'Pinball' Clemons calls "a competitive disadvantage."

In a report from the Toronto Sun, Clemons spoke of how Toronto's soaring real estate market has become "a trouble spot for us," and that the team is "restless" and seeking some form of acknowledgement from the league of this location-specific challenge.

High real estate prices, specifically one-bedroom rentals, are likely of no concern to most pro athletes. But the CFL, with a pitifully-low $5.3 million salary cap imposed on teams, is really on the margins of what can be considered professional sports in terms of revenue — a statement that likely angers many outside the Toronto area.

But before you lunge at the keyboard in defence of the CFL, please, just hear me out.

NHL teams are permitted to spend $81.5 million USD, NBA teams $112.4 million, and the MLB doesn't even impose a salary cap, allowing limitless spending.

If you combined the salary cap of all nine CFL teams, the league-wide $47.7 million CAD price tag would still be much more than even the Leafs or Raptors can spend on their rosters.

Even the highest-paid players in the CFL are making less than $200,000 per season, and that's in Canadian dollars. Wild-eyed ace Max Scherzer of the MLB's New York Mets will make $43.3 million USD this year.

That single-player, one-year salary is more than enough to pay out all CFL contracts for a year once converted to Canuck bucks.

For a more local comparison, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reportedly just signed a one-year contract extension worth US$7.9 million, or $9.8 million served up in our colourful polymer bills. He'll be making 1.84 times the Toronto Argos' full-team salary cap.

This isn't a knock on the fierce and dedicated fanbases of CFL teams or the league's entertainment value, nor is it a smug dismissal of leagues that don't play in the States.

So please, don't @ me with that Toronto vs. CFL narrative. If anything, these players deserve to earn a heck of a lot more for their skills and commitment to a punishing sport.

Lead photo by

Worrawat Engchuan


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