A Canadian landscaper has been jailed for life for the murder and sexual mutilation of eight men from Toronto's gay community whose bodies he dismembered and hid in planters.

Bruce McArthur, who admitted the killings last month, will be in his 90s before he is eligible for parole from eight concurrent 25-year sentences but Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon said he would likely never be released.

The 67-year-old killer sat quietly hunched over, hands folded in his lap, as a row of police detectives - who have described the investigation as Toronto's largest ever - watched from directly behind.

The judge said he noted that McArthur had shown no remorse for having preyed on vulnerable men on the margins of society, some of whom were struggling with drug addictions and their hidden sexuality.

When police stormed the killer's apartment in January 2018, they found a young man bound to a bed but unharmed who may well have become the ninth victim, the judge said.

The case, which saw dozens of properties where McArthur worked excavated, shocked all of Canada, especially the gay community.

Body parts of seven of the victims were found hidden inside large planters that McArthur stored at a client's home in midtown Toronto.

The remains of an eighth victim were later discovered in a ravine behind the property.

McArthur's victims were his former lover, two Afghan immigrants, two refugees from Sri Lanka and another from Iran, a Turkish national, and a homeless sex worker. All went missing between 2010 to 2017.

The court heard that McArthur strangled them and that the murders were "sexual in nature."