Canada has a strong economy and fared well in the economic downturn. Employment levels are high and our low annual inflation rate means that you and your family can enjoy a low cost of living. Your monthly expenses depend on many things, such as your city, housing type, where you shop, your lifestyle and more.
It is not easy to provide a specific monthly expense for you and your family. Living expenses vary from city to city in Canada. Some household spending surveys estimate that the average family will spend C$66,000 – C$88,000 per year depending on family size. When looking at monthly expenses, you’ll want to budget carefully. A budget allows you to manage your money, planning your expenses from month to month and helps you to live within your financial means.
Where should I live in Ontario
This is a very important decision. Where you live will affect your entire experience of moving to Canada. You need to make an informed decision about where to live in Ontario. It is a good idea to know what a particular community can offer you and what you can offer it. You might choose a community for many different reasons. Here are just a few things to consider:
- Size and cultural makeup of the local population
- Urban or rural
- Job opportunities
- Social and recreational activities
- Services for newcomers
- Public transportation/mobility
Some websites have useful information about communities in Ontario. Many of these sites are created and maintained by municipal/city governments. Here are some useful links:
- Cities and Towns – Certain cities have developed websites for newcomers who are already living there or who are thinking of moving there.
- Municipal websites – Information about communities to see if you want to live there.
- Statistical community profiles – Statistics Canada has a statistical profile of all communities in Canada from the 2006 Census data. It has information such as population size, the average number of people living in a home, and languages spoken.
- Services Near Me – Go to “Search by Region” and select a region or city to find some basic information, such as geography, population, percentage of immigrants, and useful links.
For More Information
- Canada’s Best Places to Live – MoneySense magazine analyzes data for 100+ communities to discover the very best places to live in Canada. This is updated once a year.
- Child-Friendly Neighbourhoods – Information about how to choose a healthy neighbourhood for children.
- Settling in Canada – Profiles of some of Canada’s major cities and regions.
- Navut – A website that provides information on neighbourhoods in Toronto and Ottawa.
Renting an apartment in Ontario
The cost of renting a home depends on the size (number of bedrooms) and neighbourhood where it is located, and the age and condition of the apartment or house. Prices vary from city to city and from year to year. Generally, smaller cities have lower rental costs than larger cities.
For local rental market information, please contact your local CMHC branch. You can also find rental properties through our “How can I look for rental housing?” article. If you would like more information about rental pricing and trends, you can also call a housing help centre or community agency, or search in the Services Near Me section by using the words “housing assistance” in your area.
Find housing before your arrival
Finding a place to live before you’ve even arrived in Canada will not be easy, but it is not impossible. It is important to keep in mind that what you might consider adequate accommodation in your country of origin might be very different here. There are a number of ways to start looking for housing before you arrive. Since places can be quite different from how they look in pictures, it is recommended to see the place in person before you make the final decision to rent or buy it.
- Send a family member ahead of time
If possible, a family member could arrive 1 – 2 weeks before the rest of your family. This person could stay in a hotel or hostel for that short period and find appropriate accommodation for the rest of your family. Once here, they could access the services listed below, especially settlement agencies.
- Housing help centres
Housing help centres help people find affordable housing. Usually, it is free to use this service.
- Settlement agencies
Settlement agencies provide services to newcomers, including help with finding housing, employment, and access to any other service or information you need to get settled.
- Classified Advertisements
Websites like Craigslist and Kijiji, as well as, local newspapers usually have advertisements for house renting and buying. Landlords usually place their ads 1 – 2 months before they want someone to move into their property. It’s not a good idea to rent a place without seeing it first in person. However, visiting these ads will give you an idea about price and availability.
- Real Estate Rental Services
Also known as Property Rental Management or Rental Locators. Although they usually work with landlords, some of these companies help tenants find housing. There is usually a fee for this service.
- Rental Listing Websites
- There are many websites that list rentals. For examples of these websites, see the How can I look for rental housing article.
Budgeting the monthly living expenses for a family of 3
Your monthly expenses depend on many things, such as your city, housing type, where you shop, your lifestyle and more. It is not easy to provide a specific monthly expense for you and your family. Living expenses vary from city to city in Canada. Some household spending surveys estimate that the average family will spend C$66,000 – C$88,000 per year depending on family size.
Different stores charge different prices for food, clothing, and other things you need to live. You may want to ask your relatives, friends, or coworkers where they shop for good prices. There are also special services or stores in many communities where you can find items for free or a low price.
When looking at monthly expenses, you’ll want to budget carefully. A budget allows you to manage your money, planning your expenses from month to month and helps you to live within your financial means.