Most Affordable Cities in Ontario to Buy a Home

Most Affordable Cities in Ontario to Buy a Home

As inflation continues to impact residents throughout the province, Ontarians are making drastic changes to soften the blow to household budgets. Feeling the effects in nearly every category, many consider moving to cities where their dollars go much farther.

Despite whispers of rate increases ending, or even dipping, the heightened cost of living will likely impact households throughout the province for the foreseeable future.

Not all areas of Ontario have been affected equally though. While major cities such as Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga, Durham, and Burlington have taken the brunt of the soaring economic outlay, other areas have been able to maintain somewhat reasonable costs of living.

To find the most affordable cities in Ontario, there were 4 main factors assessed including: housing affordability, unemployment rate, population and average home price.

First, we sorted Ontario’s cities by home price to income ratio, using the median house price to the average gross household income. This tells how affordable the average home is to the average home income. We can determine how much of the home homeowners can afford, or if homeowners are being stretched too thin.

Next, we analysed the city’s economic strength. To do this, we considered the unemployment rate and the population size, since it can determine the economic status of a city and viability of employment if choosing to relocate.

Sorting the cities with the lowest unemployment rate, below 10% and then based on population. Here we ensured the list includes Ontario cities with a population of at least 30,000 to focus on the medium to large cities in our comprehensive list. The simple assumption is that the higher the population growth, the more employment opportunities the city offers.

As we have considered the home price to income ratio, unemployment and population, we then sorted the average home price from lowest to highest allowing for a complete list of the top 10 most affordable cities in Ontario.

most affordable cities in ontario

Sault Ste. Marie, located along the St. Mary’s River, takes the #1 spot for the most affordable cities in Ontario to buy a home.

saul sainte marie ontario

Sault Sainte Marie Real Estate

The majority of real estate options found in Sault Ste. Marie is a single-family detached home. There are, however, a selection of mid- and highrise condominium buildings dotted throughout the city.

Known For

Surrounded by two Great Lakes, Sault Ste. Marie is known for its strong connection to waterways, specifically the Sault Ste. Marie canal. At one time the world’s longest canal, it was also the first to operate using electricity and the last link in an all-Canadian navigational chain from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Superior.

Job Market

Major industries in Sault Ste. Marie includes steel production as the city is home to the second largest steel producer in Canada, Algoma Steel. Other private sector employers include Canada Bank Note, which despite being Ottawa-based, runs the province’s charitable bingo and gaming services out of its Sault Ste. Marie location. JD Aero Maintenance (servicing airlines from around the world) and Arauco N.A., formerly Flakeboard, a world-scale producer of composite wood products are also growing businesses.

In the public sector, the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation headquarters are located in the city, while additional government jobs can be found at:

  • Sault Area Hospital
  • Algoma District School Board
  • Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Forest Services
  • Algoma University

The likeliest reason “the Soo”, as it is affectionately referred to by locals, has been able to maintain its affordability is due to the significant population decline that was experienced over the last two decades. An improvement since the last census, 2016-2021 continued the downward trend, reporting a 1.8% decrease in population.

The effects of a migrating population can be seen in the city’s unemployment rates, which sat around 4.1% as of December 2022. This could potentially be seen as an indicator of a lack of available workers, however, since the population decline has been recovering in the last few years, this is a signal of the city's economic growth.

Living in Sault Sainte Marie

Sault Ste. Marie is a tight-knit community that enjoys its small-town atmosphere. Home to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, an OHL team, it takes attending one home game to witness the community pride firsthand.

Outdoor recreation areas such as Hiawatha Highlands, John Rowswell Hub Trail and during the warmer months, Pointe Des Chenes Beach, are popular options for residents looking to connect to nature.

livin gin saul sainte marie

Transportation

Getting around Sault Ste Marie is generally quick as the city holds the title of the second shortest city in Ontario for distance from home to work. Public transportation is provided by Sault Ste. Marie Transit Services provides seven major and two community bus routes. A fleet of 27 buses, 2 minibusses, and 11 para-buses cover just about all areas of the city. Biking and walking are popular modes of transportation during the warmer months, especially along the boardwalk, waterfront, and downtown district.

More extensive transportation is available through the Sault Ste. Marie Airport; an international airport with a variety of airlines including Air Canada, Porter, and Sunwing. The trans-Canada highway can be directly accessed from the city, connecting motor vehicle travellers to Toronto (7 hours), Ottawa (8.5 hours), Detroit (5 hours), and Chicago (7.5) hours.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Cedar Heights

A north-end neighbourhood, Cedar Heights consists of newer, single-family detached homes. Located near the intersection of Second Line East and the Trans Canada Highway, Cedar Heights draws buyers looking for a suburban setting that is ideally located within the city. Found throughout Cedar Heights are various parks (Erick Nystedt Park and Windsor Farm Park), as well as shopping areas (Walmart) and the local hospital.

Grandview Gardens

Lying to the east of the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club, Grandview Gardens also is a short distance from the St. Mary’s River. An established, single-family home neighbourhood, Grandview Gardens residents are located near Littner Park, Birchwood Park, and Grandview Elementary School.

Broadview

Broadview, another one of the city’s traditional, single-family home subdivisions, falls to the northwest of the downtown, close to Second Line West. The neighbourhood is home to the Northern Community Centre, Winfield Park, and Westwood Park.

Also found in Northern Ontario, the city of Thunder Bay, considered the gateway to the north, is another affordable option.

thunder bay ontario

Thunder Bay Real Estate

There are many housing varieties located within Thunder Bay, however, the predominant (approximately ⅔) of them are single-family detached homes that have at least 3 bedrooms. Condominium buildings (low, mid, and highrise) as well as attached townhomes are also available.

Known For

Thunder Bay, though home to many popular attractions, is widely known for its connection to Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete who, after having one leg amputated due to cancer, embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The Marathon of Hope, which began in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, came to an unfortunate end just outside of Thunder Bay. Unable to continue due to the spread of cancer, Fox still managed to raise awareness and has since been proudly considered a national hero. The Terry Fox Monument, created by sculptor Manfred Pervich, has become a popular tourist attraction, and a reminder of hope and resilience.

Job Market

Thunder Bay, despite having a reputation as a mining and forestry powerhouse, is a regional hub for health services in Northwestern Ontario. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is the largest employer in the city and is emerging as a leading destination for research, teaching, and health systems leadership.

Other major employers include Lakehead District School Board and Lakehead University, while the private sector’s largest businesses include Bombardier Transportation, Barrick Hemlo Gold Mine, and Resolute Forest Products. The unemployment rate, which currently sits at 4.2%, a negligible chance from January 2023 (-0.1%), has remained consistent.

Living in Thunder Bay

Lifelong and new residents all have the same opinion on life in Thunder Bay; laidback and connected to nature. Falling on the shores of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay boasts a blend of urban amenities and natural beauty. Outdoor recreation has been woven into the fabric of the city, and with its roughly 2,200 hours of sunlight a year, the idyllic weather draws residents outdoors to explore areas such as the Sleeping Giant, Lake Superior, or the Nor'wester Mountains.

living in thunder bay

Transportation

Thunder Bay Transit operates bus routes throughout the entirety of the city 7 days-a-week. A fleet of 49 low-floor model buses service roughly 9,000 riders daily and cover a geographical area of 256 sq km. The first transit agency in Ontario to be 100% accessible, Thunder Bay Transit is a primary mode of transportation for students attending Lakehead University or Confederation College.

Thunder Bay’s international airport is the fourth busiest airport in the province, serving over 800,000 passengers annually. Due to its arguably isolated location, many travellers opt to fly over the 500+ kilometres necessary to reach major cities such as Kenora, Winnipeg, Sault Ste Marie, or Toronto.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

River Terrace

Consisting of primarily single-family detached homes, River Terrace is a newer development that lies within the city’s north end. Ideally located near Lakehead University, as well as the Confederation College, it is also home to the Thunder Bay Country Club.

Grandview

A well-established and well-kept neighbourhood, Grandview is a suburban neighbourhood found in the north portion of Thunder Bay. Featuring mainly single-family homes, Grandview is desirable in large part for its walkability to nearby schools, Grandview Mall, Grandview Arena, and parks/recreation trails.

Parkdale

Parkdale is a large subdivision that has been steadily growing since the early 1990s, with the biggest building boom happening after the year 2000. Currently, in its seventh stage (approved in 2023), Parkdale Estates features spacious homes both attached and semi-detached. Its location on the south side of Thunder Bay, along with its proximity to the airport, amenities, and parks are some of the reasons for the neighbourhood's continued popularity.

Staying in the north, but heading slightly east, Timmins is another affordable option for buyers looking to stretch their dollar.

timmins ontario

Timmins Real Estate

Despite the CREA reporting that Timmins’ median sale price for a single detached home hit a year-over-year record (an increase of 9.4%), housing remains quite affordable sitting at $257,000. The large majority of homes within Timmins are single detached that feature 3 bedrooms and a garage and are resale properties vs. new-builds.

Known For

Though not born in Timmins, the city will take credit for being the stomping grounds of Canadian superstar, Shania Twain. While that might be enough for some, Timmins is also known as the “City with a Heart of Gold”. Residents will confirm the slogan refers to the friendly atmosphere, however, the other reason lies in the fact that the Timmins region has an extensive gold mining history from the Porcupine Gold Rush.

Job Market

A major city in Northern Ontario, Timmins has a strong and resilient economy. Out of the 5 largest cities in the area, Timmins features the youngest labour focus and the highest employment participation rate. This fact is reflected in the unemployment rate of just 3.1%; which is 52% lower than the national average of 6.4%.

Private employers found in Timmins align with the city’s history and are all in the mining industry. Newmont Goldcorp, Glencore Canada - Kidd Operations, and Lakeshore Gold take the top 3 spots. Public employers include Timmins & District Hospital, The City of Timmins and area school boards, and Northern College.

Living in Timmins

Living in Timmins offers the feel of an urban lifestyle that is often found in large southern Ontario cities without overpopulation. Residents of Timmins can reach amenities within a short commute, despite the spaciousness (2,961 sq. km) of its geographical area. Recreation is an important aspect of life, which can be found both outdoors and indoors. Natural areas such as Kettle Lakes Provincial Park, Hersey Lake Conservation Area, and the dozens of lakes and trails make outdoor options plentiful. Indoors, several state-of-the-art sports facilities such as Timmins Regional Athletics and Soccer Complex and Confederation Multi Sports Facility both feature extensive programs.

living in timmins

Transportation

Timmins Transit services the city 7 days a week with its 25-bus fleet. For riders unable to use regular transit services, there is also an on-demand option that transports travellers door-to-door. The downtown district is considered somewhat walkable, however the majority of residents opt for personal or public transportation. In the winter months, the over 400 kms of well-kept snowmobiling trails offer an alternative transportation method.

Timmins Victor M. Power Airport serves passengers looking to travel throughout Canada. While there are no international flights directly from Timmins, travellers can connect to Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Montreal, and several other Canadian cities.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

South Porcupine

Though locals refer to the area as simply the “South End”, it is part of the greater Timmins’ eastside. Once a township of its own, it later became amalgamated with the city. As its name suggests the community is located on the shores of Porcupine Lake, and has recently been referred to as “SoPo”.

Kamiskotia

Sharing its name with the Kamiskotia Ski Resort, the neighbourhood, which lies Northeast of Highway 101, is a mixture of residential homes, cottages, and lakeside cabins. Outdoor enthusiasts and avid skiers/snowboarders generally opt for the area as lengthy winters keep them enjoying the slopes for months.

Melrose Gardens

Melrose Gardens, a large suburban neighbourhood north of downtown Timmins, is popular due to its proximity to local amenities. Parks such as Bozzer Park, Lonergan Park, Denise Park, and various trails are found in the community. The mainly residential area is also home to W. Earle Miller Public School, Ecole Catholique Don-Bosco, and near Timmins High and Vocational School.

Sudbury, which is officially the City of Greater Sudbury, has had steady population growth since 2001, which in part may be due to its continued affordability.

sudbury ontario

Sudbury Real Estate

Sudbury has a wide variety of real estate styles which include single-family, townhomes, and condominiums. Both the south side and downtown districts contain the largest concentration of townhomes, apartments, and high-rise condominiums. The west and east sides of Sudbury are majority single-family detached homes, with the newer houses (post-1990s) being found in the east.

Known For

The Sudbury Basin, which is the world’s third-largest caret, has put the city on the map. And, due to its rich history, which is still being written to this day, in mining, Sudbury could be considered the hard rock mining capital of the world.

Job Market

Following the pattern of the previously listed cities, Sudbury is dominated by mining and mining-related industries. The city is home to over 345 mining supply and service companies, the largest of which is Vale. The pattern continues with subsequent top employers being in the private sector; Health Sciences North, Sudbury Tax Services Office, and City of Greater Sudbury.

The unemployment rate for Greater Sudbury has been somewhat unpredictable as of late, however, when considering the long-run average, it continues to trend in a positive direction. January 2024’s rate of 6.3% may only be a slight dip from the previous month (-0.1%), it is worth noting that between October and December of 2023, Sudbury added over 1,000 part-time and full-time jobs.

Living in Sudbury

Sudbury is a welcoming community with a bright future. Staying true to its roots, the economy relies heavily on its mining industry while simultaneously becoming a regional shopping destination, continuously attracting new businesses. As one of only 11 cities across the country to be participating in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, Sudbury features extensive support resources for skilled foreign workers looking for smaller communities.

Nature is woven into the fabric of daily life for residents of Sudbury, which is surrounded by over 300 freshwater lakes. Ramsey Lake is a fan favourite, with smaller areas such as Minnow Lake and Moonlight Beach not far behind.

living in sudbury

Transportation

GOVA, previously called Greater Sudbury Transit, is Northern Ontario’s largest network covering 41 routes throughout the city and surrounding areas. Offering several high-frequency bus lines along arterial routes, the reorganised routes addressed the city’s need for efficient travel.

The Greater Sudbury Airport is one of Northern Ontario’s busiest and provides flights to Toronto, North Bay, Kapuskasing, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Ottawa. The Trans-Canada Highway also can connect travellers with Toronto (390 km) and Sault Ste. Marie (290 km).

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

New Sudbury

Found in the catchment area of Lasalle Boulevard and Barry Downe Road, New Sudbury is a predominantly residential neighbourhood with a slight commercial presence. Mostly single-family detached homes that were constructed between the 50’s and 90’s are found in the desirable community, which is also home to the New Sudbury Centre, Northern Ontario’s largest shopping Mall. Other features include Adanac Ski Hill, Rotary Park, and Timberwolf Golf Course.

The average sale price for New Sudbury homes is on par with the average cost for single-family detached throughout the city. Though higher than Greater Sudbury as a whole, the approximate average of $695K is in line with similar areas.

Minnow Lake

A well-established residential area, Minnow Lake is aptly named for the small lake it surrounds. A mix of single-family and small multi-family homes make up the majority of real estate offerings with a handful of commercial businesses dotted throughout. Found in Minnow Lake are the Sudbury Curling Club, Civic Memorial Centre, Carmichael Arena, and three elementary schools: Adamsdale Public, Ecole St-Pierre, and Pius XII Catholic School. A popular neighbourhood feature is the trails that surround Minnow Lake and make their way through Oak Forest and Blueberry Hill.

There is a wide variety of price points for Minnow Lake as both modest starter homes and luxury mansions can be found here. As a rule of thumb, the closer homes get to the water, the higher the price tag. With the majority of homes falling between $200K and $700K, it is not uncommon to find million- or multi-million dollar homes for sale in the neighbourhood.

South End

Sudbury’s South End, which encompasses the neighbourhoods such as Moonglo, Lockerby, Lo-Ellen, and Robinson has been developed around the area known as Four Corners. A mix of established and newly developing residential communities, along with commercial districts, South End is one of Sudbury’s fastest-growing areas.

Homes for sale in the South End community are generally single-family, however, there are a few multi-family dwellings interspersed as well. On average, the price of South End homes is $870,971K, which is a slight decrease from last month’s average, $877,756.

Located along Lake Nipissing in Northern Ontario, North Bay is the seat of Nipissing District. A popular stop for many cottage-goers, North Bay is often referred to as the “Gateway of the North.”

north bay ontario

North Bay Real Estate

North Bay, recognized as one of Canada’s top 20 investment destinations, experienced a slight dip in home sales in January 2024, with transactions trailing 6.7% and 16.4% below the five- and ten-year averages. However, the North Bay real estate market saw a surge in new listings, marking a 38% increase from January 2023 with 69 new residential properties hitting the market. Properties for sale include single-family homes, condos, and vacant land, presenting diverse investment opportunities in the region.

Known For

North Bay holds a reputation for its high quality of living and scenic surroundings. Situated between two expansive lakes, the city boasts abundant forests, winding rivers, and even a waterfall, contributing to its picturesque appeal. Notable parks like Thomson Park, Lee Park, and Champlain Park offer serene green spaces where residents can explore nature’s beauty. For a more active lifestyle, locals can find a place at the Steve Omischl Sports Fields Complex.

Job Market

The North Bay job market exhibits a steady state, with an unemployment rate of 5.6%. Approximately 52.5% of the population is actively engaged in the labour force and the economy is comprised of several factors, including advanced manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, education, health sciences, information communication technology, and mining supply and service. Other industries, such as construction, film and television, forestry, public administration, and trade and commerce also contribute to the region’s economic vitality.

Living in North Bay

Living in North Bay offers residents a blend of natural beauty and urban convenience. The area boasts fresh air, abundant clean water, ample green space, and an overall high quality of life. Despite its low-density living, North Bay provides all the urban services of a large city, ensuring access to essential amenities and services. Lake Nipissing, recognized as Canada’s top ice fishing destination for 2023, adds to the allure of the city, offering recreational opportunities year-round. Nipissing University brings in a youthful demographic and the proximity to Toronto and Ottawa allows North Bay accessibility to major urban centres while maintaining its distinct character and lifestyle.

living in north bay ontario

Transportation

Featuring 9 routes that service all areas of North Bay, North Bay Transit operates 7 days a week. There are 13 non-accessible, 12 accessible, and 7 para-buses available for riders. The heart of the city is considered walkable by residents, however, suburban areas rely on personal vehicles or public transportation.

Jack Garland Airport, the largest airport north of Toronto, offers travel options to various points via Air Canada or Bearskin Airlines. Daily flights connect travellers to Toronto, Sudbury, and other Northern Ontario cities.

North Bay lies roughly 350 kilometres from both Toronto and Ottawa, where smaller cities such as Huntsville (111 km), Sudbury (118 km), and Pembroke (189km) are closer by.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Airport Hill

Boasting spectacular views of the surrounding area, including the picturesque Lake Nipissing, Airport Hill is easily one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in North Bay. Homes in this community are characterised by their spacious and luxurious designs, many including unbeatable waterfront views. Airport Hill also features a collection of exceptional schools, making it an attractive option for families seeking both stunning scenery and quality education.

Birch Haven

The majority of homes in Birch Haven are single-family properties featuring spacious yards that line the tree-filled streets. Situated near the scenic shores of Trout Lake, Birch Haven provides easy access to outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and leisurely walks along the waterfront. This proximity to nature makes Birch Haven an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a balance between urban convenience and natural beauty.

Downtown

Downtown North Bay presents a diverse array of housing options, ranging from unique homes brimming with charm to modern condos. Prospective residents can explore both single-family houses and condos, providing flexibility in housing choices. Those seeking an apartment can find suitable options within the Downtown area as well. The main draw to this desirable neighbourhood is the convenient access to many walkable amenities.

As the southernmost city in Canada, situated across the Detroit River, Windsor serves as a vital border crossing point between Canada and the United States. The city offers a range of attractions, including parks, museums, waterfronts, and cultural events, making it an engaging tourist destination and a dynamic place to live for its residents.

windsor ontario

Windsor Real Estate

In Windsor’s real estate market, the average monthly sales price stood at $514,495 as of December 2023. This figure marked a slight decrease of nearly $15,000 compared to the previous month However, it remained notably higher than the average recorded price of $473,642 in December 2022. The market encompasses a variety of property types, including single-family homes, condos, and multi-family units, offering plenty of options to prospective buyers and investors.

Known For

Windsor holds a lively reputation, anchored by its exciting casino scene, annual fireworks display, and the celebrated Bluesfest Windsor music festival. The city embraces the holiday spirit with various Christmas events, including bustling markets and a joyous Santa Claus parade.

Job Market

As of January 2024, Windsor’s unemployment rate stood at 7.2%, a decrease of 0.7% since December 2023. The city serves as a major contributor to Canada’s automotive industry. Windsor’s cultural diversity enriches its job market, fostering a dynamic and inclusive work environment. The city is also emerging as a prominent green energy manufacturing centre, reflecting its commitment to sustainable practices and contributing to job growth.

Living in Windsor

The strategic positioning directly across the Detroit River in Michigan offers a unique living experience. This prime location provides residents with access to numerous opportunities in both Canada and the U.S. Windsor boasts a low cost of living coupled with diverse job opportunities, perfect for professionals and families alike. The University of Windsor prides itself on excellent educational and cultural offerings, providing a vibrant and enriching living environment for all residents.

living in windsor ontario

Transportation

Featuring a reliable public transportation system, many residents of Windsor can quickly make their way around the city without a car. Transit Windsor boasts a fully accessible, 117-bus fleet that covers nearly every area of the city 7 days a week.

While Windsor is home to the Windsor International Airport, the majority of air travellers will opt to head across the board to the Detroit-Metro Airport as rates are often considerably lower. With dozens of shuttle services that frequently travel between Windsor and the Detroit Airport, it is no more difficult to venture state-side for your air travel needs.

Windsor is ideally located in Southwestern Ontario and near the 401, the province's most travelled major highway. The city is approximately 190 kms or 2 hours from London and under 370 kms or 4 hours from Toronto. Being a border town, Windsor is well-connected and well-serviced by bus and shuttle services.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Roseland

Most known for housing the Roseland Golf and Curling Club, Roseland is a popular destination for sports enthusiasts. The housing landscape predominantly consists of single-family detached houses. These homes range from about $400,000 to $800,000 with some of the larger, more luxurious listings topping $1 million or more.

Riverside

Riverside is a quaint neighbourhood nestled on the southern banks of the Detroit River in Windsor. The neighbourhood boasts the Prado Place Heritage Conservation District, renowned for its beautiful collection of Victorian-style cottages, adding a touch of historic charm to the area. The housing market in Riverside offers affordable options, with two- to four-bedroom homes typically ranging from $350,000 to $650,000.

South Windsor

Located just north of Roseland, conveniently situated near the junction of 401 and E.C., South Windsor is a dynamic neighbourhood ideal for commuters. Known for its affordability, South Windsor real estate primarily consists of modest townhomes and single-family houses. These properties average between $200,000 to $700,000, catering to a diverse range of budgets.

The largest city along Lake Huron, Sarnia, Ontario is a border town that provides a reasonable cost of living along with an exceptionally convenient location. There is a range of amenities and access points to larger areas that are a major draw for buyers wanting to be near necessities but retain affordability.

sarnia ontario

Sarnia Real Estate

As of January 2024, the average price of a home within the Sarnia-Lambton was $509,082, a 4.4% increase from the same time last year. A large volume of homes for sale in Sarnia are modest, single- family detached properties with a variety of multi-family, townhome and condominium options.

Known For

At the convergence of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, Sarnia has long been known for its traditional petro chemical Industry. Having been dubbed Ontario’s “Blue Coast'', the area is also hailed for having some of the province’s nicest beaches.

Job Market

As mentioned, much of Sarnia’s economic landscape is deeply rooted in fuel due to its proximity to Petrolia and Oil Springs, both of which have been commercially drilled since the 1860s. Today, the economy remains somewhat dependent on this key sector, however, the emergence of additional industries such as bio-based manufacturing and research.

Some of the largest employers in Sarnia’s public sector include Bluewater Health, Lambton Kent School Board, and Lambton College. As far as the private sector is concerned, major employers are Arlanxeo, Imperial Oil, NOVA Chemicals and SNC-Lavalin.

The unemployment rate in Sarnia and area as of January 2024 was 6.2% which is on par with the province as a whole. While there is some concern as to the reasoning behind the consistently-higher-than-average unemployment rate, it is a dip from its peak in June 2020, and also is lower than that of the long-running average.

Living in Sarnia

Sarnia, despite seeing its share of troubles in the past, is quickly becoming a city on the rise. The investment into infrastructure and community resources will continue to draw residents and new businesses to the area. There is a tight-knit atmosphere felt throughout the city, one that is fiercely defended by long term residents. Proud fans consistently pack the seats at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, cheering on OHL team; The Sarnia Sting. The summer brings new energy each year as visitors from all over look to enjoy a day at the beach, routinely renting cottages, shopping throughout the downtown and dining in the many delicious restaurants.

living in sarnia ontario

Transportation

Getting around Sarnia is relatively easy with or without a personal vehicle. The city has a public transportation system that consists of 25 buses and 6 Care-A-Van vehicles. Service is provided 6 days a week with various routes that reach all areas of Sarina and Point Edwards. The downtown and waterfront areas are somewhat walkable with plenty of public parking options.

A key reason that Sarnia remains a desirable city to call home is its proximity to the U.S./Canada border as well as major highways. Sarnia is located 112 kms down the 402 from London, Ontario. It is also roughly 66 kms from Chatham-Kent and just over 200 kms from Lansing, Michigan.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Oakwood Corners

Oakwood Corners is a desirable residential subdivision that is located close to Lake Huron and north of Lambton College. The area is next to the Blackwell Trails Park, which is one of the city’s popular recreation areas filled with nature trails and open greenspace. Real estate is primarily detached single family homes that is interspersed with parks (Connaught Park, Vye Park, and Aspen Park) as well as schools (Lakeroad Public School, Gregory Hogan School and Cathcart Boulevard Public School).

Woodrowe Shores

Another coveted north end neighbourhood is Woodrowe Shores. Falling beside Canatara Beach and Park, the community enjoys easy access to the shores of Lake Huron as well as Lake Chipican. Again, the most prevalent real estate offers in this suburban community are single family homes. There are a mixture of stores, schools and restaurants found in the southeast portion, while the majority is strictly residential.

Brights Grove

Brights Grove is a cottage-esque community that is a few minutes east of Sarnia proper. Surrounded by the shores of Lake Huron, the Huron Oaks Golf Club and the Dennis Rupert Nature Preserve, Brights Grove draws in both full time residents and cottage owners alike. There are a number of amenities located within Brights Grove which include the Brights Grove Library, Brights Grove Public School and more. Both cottages and newly built homes can be found throughout the community.

#8 London #8 London

London, situated in southwestern Ontario, is located just north of Lake Erie and the U.S. border. Renowned for its scenic charm, the city is home to a vibrant city centre adorned with numerous parks and greenways that line the Thames River.

london ontario

London Real Estate

The London housing market predominantly revolves around single-family homes, which are the most sought-after type of housing. In December 2023, there were 248 single-family homes sold, reflecting a steady demand in the market. However, the city also offers a variety of real estate options, including brand-new condo apartments and emerging townhome communities. As of January 2024, the average cost of housing in London stands at $704,716. This pricing trend suggests a balance between affordability and the value of properties in the area.

Known For

Affectionately dubbed “The Forest City,” London is recognized for its lush greenery and vibrant community. With a population nearing 500,000 and a modest growth rate of 0.77%, London thrives as a dynamic urban centre. The city is renowned for its excellence in education and healthcare, hosting prestigious institutions like Western University and Fanshawe College. London is also known for its rich cultural scene, with a strong emphasis on arts, music, and sports, and is home to the largest sports-entertainment centre in Southwestern Ontario—Budweiser Gardens.

Job Market

London’s unemployment rate has seen a steady decrease over the last few months—December’s rate was 5.6% while November’s sat at 5.8%, according to Statistics Canada. This trend suggests a steady demand for labour within the city. London’s employment landscape is diverse, with key sectors including medical research, manufacturing, and technology playing pivotal roles in driving economic growth. Most notable is the London Health Sciences Centre, standing as the city’s largest employer, offering more than 15,000 job opportunities.

Living in London

Living in London offers a mix of urban amenities and natural surroundings. The city boasts green spaces, exceptional dining options, and access to sports and entertainment venues. There’s a strong sense of community, with attractions like Covent Garden Market and Springbank Park, the city’s largest park, creating ample opportunity for socialising and local events.

living in london ontario

Transportation

The Forest City features efficient public transportation that is operated by the London Transit Commission. 106 routes stretch to all areas of London, some of which are express which makes commutes even faster.

For travel outside of the city, the London International Airport flies to both Canadian (Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Halifax, etc.) and US (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, etc.) cities. Via Rail is another popular option and is often used as a means of transportation to Toronto.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Sunningdale

Characterised by its elegance and charm, Sunningdale stands as one of the city’s premier neighbourhoods. The community primarily consists of single-detached homes, showcasing a blend of old estate homes and newer residential properties. On the north end of the neighbourhood is the esteemed Sunningdale Golf and Country Club, a private club providing residents with exclusive access to recreational facilities and lush greenery.

Old North

The Old North neighbourhood offers London residents a prime location, providing the convenience of Downtown living coupled with the allure of century-old homes. Situated just north of Downtown and bordered by the Thames River and Adelaide Street, Old North boasts a unique architectural landscape. Alongside the century homes sit newer residential developments, creating a mix of housing options for residents.

Oakridge

Oakridge features a residential landscape featuring mainly single-detached houses alongside a mix of townhomes and apartments. This diverse housing stock caters to various lifestyles and preferences, offering options for families, individuals, and couples alike. With its close proximity to excellent schooling options, Oakridge is a family-oriented neighbourhood. The area is also filled with an abundance of amenities geared towards all ages as well as plenty of green space, including parks and recreational areas, enhancing the quality of life in the community.

Kingston, situated on the shores of Lake Ontario where the Cataraqui and St. Lawrence rivers converge, is a prominent Canadian city renowned for its rich history and architectural heritage. Referred to as the “Limestone City,” Kingston is home to a collection of 19th-century structures, including the Kingston City Hall, overlooking the lake.

kingston ontario

Kingston Real Estate

The Kingston real estate market offers a compelling opportunity for homebuyers seeking affordability compared to major cities like Toronto or Vancouver. With relatively lower prices, it presents an attractive option for investment, potentially yielding higher returns. In January 2024, the average cost of a home was $564,404, a decrease of 6.3% from the previous year. However, there has been a substantial gain of 32.2% compared to January 2023, signifying notable market growth.

Known For

Kingston is known for its preservation of historic buildings that reflect Canada’s evolution. On top of the beautiful heritage sites and unique architecture, the city features North America’s top freshwater sailing harbour, having hosted the 1976 Olympic sailing events. With institutions like Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston also cultivates the most Ph.D. graduates per capita, contributing to its reputation for having Canada’s “smartest” workforce.

Job Market

Kington’s job market is characterised by a significant presence in the public sector, particularly in government, education, and healthcare. Major employers include Queen’s University, Canadian Forces Base Kingston, and Kingston Health Sciences Centre. In the private sector, manufacturing, insurance, and food services are prominent industries. As of January 2024, the city’s unemployment rate stood at 6.3%, marking a slight increase of 0.3% from the previous month.

Living in Kingston

Kingston residents can enjoy a unique mixture of history, culture, and natural beauty. As one of Canada’s oldest cities, it’s known for its rich heritage and vibrant Downtown core filled with independent shops and top-notch restaurants. Locals have access to beautiful parks and trails steeped in history, including Lake Ontario Park, McBurney Park, Skeleton Park, and Churchill Park. Kingston’s lively atmosphere is enhanced by its year-round festivals and events. From Canada Day festivities featuring live music, fireworks, and delectable food to various cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening in this exciting city.

living in kingston ontario

Transportation

Servicing the urban areas of the city, Kingston Transit is a fast and reliable means to travel from various points to the downtown district. Covering 28 routes, the fleet of 53 buses also, under contract, services the neighbouring community of Amherstview.

While Kingston is home to the Kingston Airport, it does not currently offer passenger flights. Alternative options for air travellers would be the Ottawa International Airport located about 2 hours north of Kingston. ‘A Via Rail train station is located in Kingston and provides rail service to Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. Or, for those who prefer to drive, Toronto can be reached in roughly 260km (2 hr 43 min), Ottawa in 195 km (2 hr), or Montreal in 288 km (3 hr).

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Kingston East

Kingston East is a serene and charming neighbourhood known for its peaceful atmosphere. It offers a mix of residential and commercial properties. The neighbourhood is home to the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston, a significant contributor to local employment opportunities.

The Portsmouth Village

Situated on the western edge of Kingston, the Portsmouth Village boasts a coastal charm due to its waterfront location. Its proximity to Lake Ontario and the historic Portsmouth Olympic Harbour adds to the neighbourhood’s desirability, offering residents stunning views and recreational opportunities. The community’s maritime atmosphere and scenic surroundings make it an appealing place to live for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and historical significance.

The Sydenham Ward

Sydenham Ward is a tranquil neighbourhood found just north of Downtown Kingston. It offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city centre, characterised by a close-knit community atmosphere. The area is renowned for its historic residential charm, featuring tree-lined streets and Victorian-era homes that add to its picturesque appeal.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, is situated at the iconic Niagara Falls, connected to the United States by the Rainbow Bridge. It’s ideally positioned within Southern Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region, a vibrant economic and cultural hub. The city’s breathtaking natural attraction as well as its strategic location makes it a prime destination for tourists as well as residents, offering views of the falls and easy access to nearby attractions and amenities.

nigara falls ontario

Niagara Falls Real Estate

Niagara’s real estate market experienced notable activity in January 2024, with 387 homes sold through the MLS System of the Niagara Association of REALTORS (NAR). This represented a significant 19.1% increase compared to January 2023. However, home sales for the month were 12.8% below the five-year average and 9.8% below the ten-year average, indicating some fluctuations in market trends. The city’s real estate landscape comprises a diverse range of property types including townhomes, bungalows, fully detached traditional homes, low-rise condos, and apartments.

Known For

Niagara is known for its stunning beauty and significance as a vital hydroelectric power source. The city is intricately connected to the U.S. side of the falls through various bridges like Rainbow, Whirlpool, and Queenston-Lewiston bridges. It holds the title of being home to the most powerful waterfall globally, with an impressive flow rate exceeding 168,000 cubic metres per minute. The Falls at Niagara have a rich history dating back 12,000 years when melting glaciers resulted in the formation of vast fresh-water lakes, shaping the iconic landscape of today.

Job Market

Diverse job opportunities await individuals seeking employment or looking to establish their own business in Niagara. The region is known for its robust manufacturing, agri-business, and tourism industries. There are increasing employment prospects in emerging sectors such as construction, technology, and innovation. Among the largest employers in Niagara are Niagara Health with 6,770 employees, the District School Board of Niagara with 6,160 employees, Brock University with 5,750 employees, and Algoma Central Corporation with 2,098 employees.

Living in Niagara Falls

Living in Niagara Falls offers a sought-after lifestyle in a region characterised by its diverse amenities and attractions. With a population estimated just below 100,000 residents, Niagara boasts a strong education system, a vibrant cultural scene, and abundant recreational opportunities. The area’s proximity to major Canadian cities like Toronto (67 km away) and Hamilton (64 km away) adds to its allure.

living in niagara falls

Transportation

Niagara Region Transit is the city’s public transportation system that services both the downtown district as well as surrounding suburban areas. The agency also services nearby communities of Welland, St. Catherines, and Thorold. For quick trips to major attractions, WEGO is a state-of-the-art bus network that travels between popular accommodations and attractions.

There is no airport offering passenger flights within Niagara, however, nearby the Buffalo International Airport is a popular choice. Offering up to 100 nonstop flights per day to 31 airport destinations, the Buffalo airport is just past the border. Alternative options include Toronto Pearson International Airport which can be reached in roughly 1 hour and 15 mins.

Top 3 Neighbourhoods

Beaverdams

Beaverdams is a well-established neighbourhood nestled in Niagara, characterised by newer homes catering to various housing needs. The area predominantly features single-family dwellings, alongside condos and co-op housing. Residents of Beaverdams can take advantage of convenient access to educational facilities, with a total of five elementary schools within reach. The neighbourhood also hosts two secondary schools, further enhancing the educational opportunities for families in the area.

Mount Carmel

Situated in the northwest end of Niagara Falls, Mount Carmel is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its captivating ravine views and tranquil ambiance. Many of the homes in the area were built twenty years ago, offering several established residences featuring scenic surroundings. Recently, Mount Carmel has seen an expansion in housing options with the addition of newer condos and townhouses. Residents of Mount Carmel are privileged to enjoy the natural beauty of Shriner’s Creek and the adjacent Shriner’s Woodlot Park, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and activities.

Calaguiro Estates

Calaguiro Estates epitomises luxury living with its expansive lots and opulent properties. Tucked between the General Brock Parkway (405) and the Queen Elizabeth Way, this exclusive neighbourhood offers residents easy access to major routes in and out of the city. Meticulously manicured lawns and upscale residences make up the elegant and prestigious reputation of Calaguiro Estates. Spacious lots provide ample privacy and tranquillity, creating an idyllic retreat for homeowners seeking a lavish lifestyle.

While the cost of living is on the rise in Ontario, and Canada, it is important to note how interest rates can affect home affordability.

As the topic of interest rates continues to make headlines in Canada, affordable housing opportunities are still obtainable in Ontario. If one is able to position themselves at a lower rate, you may reduce your risk against mortgage interest rates increasing. The latest Bank of Canada rate announcement will take place on March 6th 2024. Most predictions indicate the rate will be held again at 5.00%. There is a small chance we could see the first 0.25% rate cut at this announcement, while some predictions also look at a full 1% cut in 2024. With signs of economic slowdown, predictions indicate a rate decrease is more likely in mid-late 2024.

With the interest rate predictions ahead, affordable housing opportunities continue to exist and potentially expand in Ontario. Moving to a city with more affordable housing can help you take advantage of these lower costs, and better position yourself for interest changes while having the potential for more disposable income.

Team ViewHomes.ca is an experienced and professional real estate team that can help you buy or sell your home! Our expert agents work diligently to get you the best deal on the market, using the latest technologies and tools at our disposal. With many years of experience in the local market, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. Contact us today to get started!

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