• By Gaby
  • November 9, 2018

How to find a place to live in Canada

How to find a place to live in Canada

The tickets are ready, my planning is ready, but… Where will I stay? How to choose a home that is not so expensive and meets what I’m looking for in a place I barely know? These are some of the questions we usually ask before we take the flight and begin our adventure in a new country. Finding a place depends on many factors such as budget, location, amenities and preferences.

Arrival to Canada

For newcomers in Canada, it is advisable to stay in a furnished hotel or apartment that you can rent for a few days or weeks, preferably in the center of the city, to make it easier to carry out the initial steps of your placement and housing search. Also, during this time you will be able to get to know the neighborhood and make a better decision when choosing a place to stay for a long period.

Accommodation Options

1) Staying in a “HomeStay”: Many schools offer this option, which consists of living with a host family temporarily. Besides the accommodation, you may include meals, accounts with internet and other facilities depending on the host family. It is one of the best ways to get to know a new culture, since you can ask your family for the best places to go or visit in the city.

2) Rent a room, apartment or basement: It is a good option to find a place where you can have more independence. You can find options that suit what you are looking for in:       

  • Searching pages: Whether it’s a room, apartment or basement, you can search for it in Kijiji and Craiglist.
  • Airbnb: Another reliable page is Airbnb, where you can find places to stay from one day to the time allowed by the owner.
  • Groups on Facebook: In these groups, you will find tips from other students who are going through the same situation, you can often find other groups of people from your country – so      you can share experiences and make new friends.

Always ask for photos and detailed information of the place in which you are interested. Ask about the neighborhood and transportation to make sure it is close to your school or workplace.

Duration and Cost

In most places, landlords ask you for at least one year of rent. Also, during that time, you can build a good credit history that allows you to negotiate the mortgage in better terms if you are interested in buying a property.

The cost per housing (rent or buy) varies for many reasons:

  • According to the size of the house or apartment;
  • According to the city where the property or urbanization is located within;
  • Due to the proximity of public services such as transportation, schools, shopping centers and others;
  • And, of course, by the supply and demand of the real estate market.

The average value of a small apartment ranges from $ 800 CAD to $ 1200 CAD, and a single room from $ 550 CAD to $ 800 CAD approximately (depending on the city and neighborhood where you decide to live).

You can search for more information o prices and cost of living on Transferwise Blog

Requirements for Leasing

Take into account that when renting a place, it is most likely that the landlord asks you for the following:

  • Job contract;
  • Letters of recommendation from previous landlords;
  • References;
  • Proof of funds: either credit verification or proof that you have enough money to pay the rent;
  • Insurance deposit;
  • Some owners require payment in advance 3 months or 6 months of rent.

Landlords are not allowed to ask for personal information such as religion or ethnicity of the applicant. In Canada, there are laws that penalize the discrimination of an application for rent (or purchase) for reasons of race, nationality, religion, sex, age or physical disability. Therefore, you have the right to choose any type of home, in any area.

Rental Contracts

In general, most rental contracts include:

  • The names and contact information of the landlord and tenant.
  • The address of the house or apartment that is being leased.
  • Monthly rent amount, with or without services such as parking, cable TV, Internet or other services. There are some places that offer heating included.
  • The date on which the rent must be paid (for example, the first day of each month) as well as the maximum amount that the rent could increase in the future.
  • The duration of the rent, that is, one year or a month-to-month contract.
  • The conditions to terminate or cancel the lease, or to transfer the lease to another tenant, in case you want to leave the house before the expiration of the contract.
  • Any other restriction, such as smoking or having pets.

Always keep in mind that to make an important decision as the search for a place to live takes time and it is better to know all the options available before, and then not regret.

If you are looking for a place at the moment, Norteway team send you luck and find what you are looking for!


If you would like to come to study, work, live, travel to Canada, contact us today.

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