One of the most populous areas of Canada, Southern Ontario is home to Ottawa, Canada's capital city, and Toronto, the largest city in Canada. Southern Ontario residents enjoy a wide range of amenities, from thriving industry to world-class universities. However, urban living can be pricey compared with other regions of Canada. The average home price in Toronto as of September 2009 was $407,000 compared with the Canadian average of $332,000 for that same month. But you can still find budget-friendly areas in this popular region.
Located across the border from Detroit, Windsor is one of the most affordable places to live in Southern Ontario and in all of Canada. Offering more than 100 miles of shoreline thanks to Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, Windsor has plenty of waterfront properties available at prices half of what a comparable property would be in Toronto. Off the water, the average price of a detached, single-family home is about $150,000, according to 2008 Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) figures.
The Chatham-Kent metropolitan area has some of the lowest home prices in the province. According to 2008 MPAC figures, the average home price in Chatham is about $142,000, but several smaller communities in the area offer even more inexpensive housing. With a diverse economic profile, Chatham-Kent offers a wide range of jobs in industries ranging from agriculture to automobiles.
Known as the Sunshine City, Orilla sits between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. A passageway to lake country known for its provincial look, Orilla has a thriving manufacturing and commercial sectors. According to MPAC's 2008 housing figures, the average single-family home in Orilla is about $219,000, which is relatively low, especially when compared to Toronto, which is located about an hour to the south.
Situated in central Ontario, the bustling metropolis of Peterborough offers affordable urban living. Featuring average home prices about half the price of nearby Toronto as of 2008, Peterborough is an attractive bedroom community for Toronto workers hoping to save on housing. But Peterborough has plenty of commercial opportunities of its own, with major outposts for General Electric, Minute Maid and Quaker Oats. Peterborough is also home to an active cultural scene with plenty of theaters, museums and festivals.
If you like big-city excitement but not the big-city prices, consider the town of North Glengarry. Located about an hour's drive from both Montreal and Ottawa, North Glengarry offers quick access to cosmopolitan amenities for an average home price of about $147,000, according to 2008 MPAC figures. In addition, this town of about 10,000 provides a quiet, peaceful atmosphere amid the area's charming, historic digs.