Looking for the cheapest place to live in Ontario, Canada? Then you might want to consider moving to Windsor, London, Barrie or a small town like Amherstburg. Any of these places can be a good choice, depending on what you're looking for. Take into account your career goals, housing needs and lifestyle goals before making a decision.
Windsor Offers Affordable Housing
Windsor, the "Pizza Capital of Canada," is well-known for its amazing food and culture. It also offers plenty of opportunities for students and young professionals, especially those looking to work in the automotive, tourism or manufacturing industries. The city is home to Stellantis (formerly Chrysler Canada), Ford Motor Company, Vistaprint, Sutherland Group Canada and other top employers. Plus, it has a beautiful beach, parks, nature reserves and world-class golf courses, such as the famous Roseland Golf & Curling Club.
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Surprisingly, this is one of the most affordable cities in Southern Ontario. The average house price in March 2021 was $531,000, reports Windsor Star. The second most affordable city is London. Other cheap housing cities include Barrie, Kanata and Guelph. As far as rent goes, you can expect to pay around $1,130 for a one-bedroom apartment or $1,420 for two bedrooms.
Windsor residents may qualify for subsidized housing, rent assistance or housing benefits. The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB), for example, is paid to low-income individuals or families living in rental units. You can also contact Housing Information Services, a nonprofit organization committed to helping people find affordable housing. Its services are free of charge. With some luck, it's possible to find a single-family home for $200,000 or less.
Consider Also: Housing Grants for the Disabled in Ontario
Study in London, Ontario
If you're a student looking for the cheapest place to live in Ontario, choose a city that offers opportunities for professional growth. London, for example, is home to the University of Western Ontario, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions worldwide. Students have access to over 400 undergraduate programs and 88 graduate programs in art history, criminal science, computer science, economics, business, nursing and other fields. Other popular options are King's University College, Fanshawe College and Westervelt College.
London is also a good choice for those seeking a career in healthcare, education, medical research or information technology. Depending on your professional background, you could work for a multinational corporation like 3M, General Motors, Ford or McCormick Canada. London Health Sciences Centre, the largest employer in Ontario, has nearly 15,000 permanent employees, interns and volunteers. If you're passionate about technology, you may find work at Big Viking Games, Diply or Digital Extremes.
If you plan to buy a house in London, expect to pay at least $578,000, according to Windsor Star. The average monthly rent, on the other hand, is around $1,120. The cheapest option would be a studio apartment, which costs approximately $770 per month. Some areas, such as Hamilton Road, Argyle and Oakridge, tend to have lower housing prices, so you may want to check them out.
Consider Also: CMHC & RRAP Grants
Small Towns Stretch Small Budgets
Both Windsor and London are relatively large cities, and the prices reflect that. If you're on a tight budget, consider moving outside the city; Amherstburg, for example, is about 25 minutes away from Windsor. With its fully accessible recreational complex, award-winning wineries and beautiful shoreline, it might be one of the best small towns in Ontario to retire. Plus, it was named the safest community in Canada. Bayfield, Creemore, Fergus, Elora and Kleinburg are all excellent choices for those who enjoy small-town living.
- Windsor Star: Windsor Has Ontario's Most Affordable Housing, Even With Soaring Prices
- Windsor Star: Windsor Area Experiencing Largest Yearly Rental Increases in Canada
- Housing Information Services: Services
- University of Western Ontario: Facts & Figures 2019-2020
- London Health Sciences Centre: LHSC and Its People
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Even With the Highest Apartment Vacancy Rate Since 2012, Rent in London, Ont. Keeps Rising
- Town of Amherstburg: Quality of Life