Where to Live

Canadian Living – planning your move to Canada, living to the fullest

How to find a place to live in Canada

When you first arrive in Canada, you will probably stay in a temporary home and will start looking for a permanent place to live. Canada has many different types of housing and a wide range of prices. Finding the right place will take some time and effort. Your first decision will be whether to rent a house or an apartment, or to buy a house.

Whether you rent or buy will depend on your personal finances and whether you already have a job in Canada. Most newcomers decide they should first rent a house or apartment. This gives them more time to save money to buy a house and to decide where they want to live.

Rental costs are different in every city. Housing is often less expensive outside the large cities. An immigrant-serving organization in the area where you plan to settle can help you find affordable housing.

If you are asked to sign a lease, and require help to understand it, contact one of the groups that help immigrants, or someone you know and trust who can help you. Once you sign the lease, it is a legal document, so it’s best to know to what you are agreeing before you sign it.

If you buy a house, unless you can pay the full price, you will need to get a long-term loan called a mortgage. Mortgage loans are provided by banks and other financial institutions. They decide whether the borrower has enough income, more assets than debts, and a good credit rating. Most will ask you to pay at least five percent of the cost of the house from your own money.