How to Find Your Dream Home When You Immigrate to Canada

Immigrating to Canada is a big step and finding a new home is arguably just so. Deciding whether to rent or buy when looking for accommodation in Canada is never an easy feat. But before you can answer this question, you will need to answer a few others first.

Whether you rent or buy when you move to Canada will depend not only on your income but your personal needs too as well as where you decide to settle down in Canada.

Certain cities, although extremely popular among immigrants, can be quite expensive such as Toronto and Vancouver, while smaller towns are both extremely affordable and have all the amenities of Canadian city centres. At the same time, you may also find some affordable homes in areas where your job is unfortunately not in demand, which could cause problems when you’re looking to land your dream job in Canada or at least one that has potential for growth in your industry. So let's take a closer look at which option will be best suited to your needs: buying or renting accommodation in Canada.

Should I Rent or Buy Accommodation When I Immigrate to Canada?

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Knowing where you want to build your new home in Canada, even when you have yet to experience what Canadian life is like is extremely difficult. Although certain procedures may differ the questions you should be asking yourself remain the same:

  • Is it better to live in a big city or a small city?
  • Will I find a job that will cover housing costs?
  • Is this the best place to raise a family?
  • What is my most affordable option: rent or buy?
  • How much space do I need?

1. Big City vs Small City Life

There is a common misconception that in order to find a good job and have a high quality of life you need to live and work in one of Canada’s main cities such as Vancouver or Toronto but this is simply not true. Canada is the second-largest country in the world, with over 11 provinces and territories to choose from. Each province is unique in what they offer when it comes to culture and attractions but will have the same accessibility to healthcare, education and job opportunities in smaller towns as you would in urban hubs, more likely at a more affordable price. The trick is to find the right place for you to build your dream home so before you go signing on the dotted line be sure to do some research on your Canadian destination of choice when deciding between big city and small city life in Canada.

2. Jobs in Canada

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Another good place to start when immigrating to Canada is to choose a province or territory where your job is in great demand in Canada. Remember that occupation in demand lists are province and territory-specific, which means that each province or territory has its own labour shortages that must be met and if you choose to relocate to a place in Canada where our expertise is needed, the chances of you finding a job as well as finding success in your visa application are instantly increased. For example, nurses are in high demand in provinces like Nova Scotia whereas tech professionals and those in management roles would have a better chance of finding job opportunities in British Columbia or Ontario. For more information on the top jobs in Canada in 2020, visit our blog here.

3. Family Life

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If you are planning to raise a family in Canada then Ontario, Alberta or Manitoba may just be the place for you to move to Canada. Below are our top 5 family-friendly Canadian cities for 2020 to consider based on job opportunities, affordable housing and daycare, safety and more:

  • Ottawa, Ontario - Best Education Opportunities
  • Guelph, Ontario - Highest Employment Rate
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador - Coastal small-town living
  • Calgary, Alberta - Highest Family Earning Potential
  • Brandon, Manitoba -Most Affordable Prices of Homes

For more information on what you can expect for your child’s education, visit our blog here.

For more information on Canadian healthcare coverage for you and your family, visit our blog here.

4. How Much Space Do I Need?

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Canada has various kinds of accommodation options, including Condos (Condominiums), Single/Semi-detached houses, Townhouses as well as Semi-detached houses.

  • Condo - unit in a larger building;
  • Single/Detached houses - a house on its own land that doesn't share walls with surrounding properties;
  • Semi-detached houses - a home on its own land that shares a wall with another property;
  • Townhouse - a house attached to other properties on either side; or
  • Semi-detached houses - one building that has been separated into more than one unit.

Whichever type of property you decide on will depend on whether you will be immigrating to Canada alone, with your partner or as a family. It’s important to be both realistic when it comes to how much space you really need as well as how much you can afford based on your income. Be sure to factor in hidden costs such as your deposit, land survey, various taxes and fees as well as home insurance and moving costs.

5. Affordability: Rent or Buy?

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According to, the average price to buy a home in Canada in 2020, is around $531,000. This does, of course, depend on where you intend to live and work when you immigrate to Canada.

Renting is no different, for example, a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary, Alberta may cost you $1,130 per month, whereas the same could cost around $950 per month in Edmonton, Alberta.

Below we take a comparative look at renting versus buying real estate in Canada's most popular cities:

Rent vs Buying in Canada in 2020
CityRent(1 bedroom unit)Buy/1 bedroom unit per m2)
1. Toronto, Ontario$2,350$10,999
2. Vancouver, British Columbia$2,200$12,895
3. Burnaby, British Columbia$1,750$8,167
4. Montreal, Quebec City$1,530$5,620
5. Victoria, British Columbia$1,520$6,670
6. Ottawa, Ontario$1,400$4,706
7. Barrie, Ontario$1,390$3,875
8. Kelowna, British Columbia$1,350$3,909
9. Kitchener, Ontario$1,310$4,935
10. Guelph, Ontario$1,300$3,616

It’s no surprise that some of the most affordable properties can be located in smaller cities in Canada. For example, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Thunder Bay, Ontario could cost you around $139,450 compared to a 4 bedroom home which comes with a price tag of around about $354,450. In comparison, a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto, Ontario could set you back by roughly $346,000 compared to a 4 bedroom home which could round up to approximately $821,950. To put things into perspective, you could own a beautiful 4 bedroom home in Thunder Bay, which is well below the national average, for the price of a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto, where the cost of living is also exceptionally higher.

With regards to the cost of living, some of the most affordable Canadian cities to live in can be found in Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. As a single person, your monthly expenses could average anywhere between $1,962 and $2,462 whereas a family-of-four budget averages between $4,140 and $4,653 per month.

When it comes to affordability and choosing between renting and buying its important to decide how long you plan to live in your new home. Is it an investment for the future or is it something temporary while you find your feet and test the waters to see if you've found the best place to settle down? Either way, it's important to know what your options are as well as your requirements, especially in terms of rental. To be able to rent in Canada you will need:

  • Employer letter with salary details
  • Bank statements showing sufficient funds
  • References from previous landlords (be sure to get this in writing and have contactable references noted before you immigrate to Canada)

There are both long and short term rental options available however it's important to remember that short term rentals can be more expensive in the long run.

Take a look at some of these affordable places to live in Canada in 2020 to help you make the best choice for you and your family to relocate to.

How Do I Immigrate to Canada?

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There are various Canadian immigration options to immigrate to Canada, including Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs as well as pilots aimed at moving to smaller communities in Canada such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. Eligibility for these programs and systems depend on factors such as your age, qualifications, whether or not you have a valid job offer in Canada, your language skills as well as your ability to settle down in a Canada. Below are the top 2 ways to immigrate to Canada in 2020.

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is aimed at helping highly skilled workers immigrate to Canada in as little as 6 months. To apply for a visa through Express Entry you will need an online profile, containing all of the details mentioned above. You will then be entered into draw pools every 2 weeks where you will be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If you are among the highest-scoring applicants, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program is dedicated to those who may not qualify for Express Entry but have a valid job offer of at least 1 year in Canada. Although you will need to choose which province you would like to move to in Canada and remain there for the period of your job offer, by expressing interest in a specific province, the government may just pick your profile straight from the draw pool if you apply for your Canadian visa through an Express Entry-linked Provincial immigration stream. If you are selected you will receive the ever-coveted provincial nomination, which is worth 600 extra points, which basically all but guarantees that you will receive an ITA.

These are just 2 of the 80 different immigration options available to you as a skilled or semi-skilled foreign worker who is looking to start a new life in one of the most dynamic countries in the world. For more information on how to immigrate to Canada in 2020 visit our blog here.

Are you interested in making a change but aren’t sure where to begin? Simply click the link below to apply for a full eligibility evaluation and speak to an accredited and government regulated consultant today!

We Can Help Make Your Canadian Dream a Reality

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Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be a bit tedious, with a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, we wouldn’t blame you if you felt apathetic about getting started on your application to move to Canada. But that's what we’re here for. At, we take the hassle out of planning to relocate abroad. Our accredited RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are ready to evaluate your eligibility, review all documentation and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC not only gives you the best possible chance of success in the visa application process but will make it both simple and stress-free.

We handle the paperwork while you choose your dream home in Canada. All you have to do is complete our online form and we’ll take care of the rest. It's just that simple.

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