another 2 cents for 'dropped out of skool' (outta Hogtown)
Build some equity - stop making landlords rich & start looking after yourselves by securing a home base. I was in my early 30s, earning $12K a year, when I started studying how native Canadians manage to become middle class & secure. I read Garth Turner, who had a column in the TO Scum paper, & bought his book on investing. The dude is still giving free financial advice online in a blog I discovered tonight when I couldn't remember his first name ; )- I mortgaged myself to the hilt to buy a semi in a rough part of TO, took in a selection of roomies over the 4 years I lived there, fixed the shack up, & sold it in the boom of the late 1980s for triple what I'd paid.
Then I moved out of TO, which I loved & still miss but I do manage to visit time to time. I haven't had a mortgage in over a quarter century since. Not having a mortgage has freed me to follow my life's artistic passions (5 or 6 legit books published) and to also pursue careers and credentials in several varied & interesting occupations (chef's papers, real estate license, provincial library management certificate plus lots of free time to read, write & explore nature in rural Ontario).
Sadly, beautiful & multicultural as TO is, it can be a trap for younger people like you & your friends. Our Canadian tax system is structured so you don't pay tax on any profit made when you sell your primary residence. Buying an affordable house is by far the best investment you can make for your futures. Tough it out for a few years building your initial equity in a smaller center like Pborough or Bville (Hamilton is already too popular & publicized), & then sell to get the equity for your own houses. Or become an investor and buy multi residences like triplexes. A friend from a very poor family did this, & he now has a net worth in the multi millions.
Me, I'm happy to have lived rent & mortgage free for over 25 years, my little house has doubled rather than tripled like my lucky TO starter, but I figure I've saved spending at least $60 or $70K in rent or mortgage payments each decade by cashing out of the TO boom & buying a smaller (but far nicer house).
Good luck to you ; )- and consider buying and/or reading Garth Turner's financial advice