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Housing in Canada

Canada offers many different types of housing and a wide range of prices. Finding the right place for you and your family to live will take some effort.

In Canada there are differences in housing types, largely because of different climate conditions. Prices are different. They depend on local and employent conditions and the number of houses and apartments available. Land costs in big cities are high. For that reason, there are usually many apartment buildings in big cities. Apartments can be ideal for people who cannot afford to buy a house.

Types of housing

  • Apartments
  • Rooming house
  • Semi-detached or duplex
  • Single-room occupancy
  • Detached

Housing Customs

  • Canadians take care of their houses and gardens.
  • Most Canadians want to eventually buy a home. When Canadians grow older, they often sell their houses and use the money from the sale to buy an apartment.
  • Canadians do not expect people to visit without invitation.


In Canada you can rent a place to live on month-month basis, or rent for one or two years. There are different types of living places for rent. Following are the different types of rental accommodation you will find in most Canadian cities and towns.
  • Co-operative housing - It is a type of subsidized housing. rent for about half the units is what the tenant can afford to pay. Rent for the other units is market or near-market rate.
  • Public Housing - This usually refers to houses or apartments the provincial government built and manages through a local housing authority. Public housing sets rent on what the tenant can afford. To get public housing you must be at least 16 years old and a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.
  • Shared housing - Shared housing can be an apartment or house that share with another person or another family.
  • Special needs housing - It is a type of shared housing. Specially designed and built for people with special medical and physical needs.
  • Subsidized housing - You pay less rent for subsidized housing that you do for completely owned rental housing. This includes public housing, non-profit housing and co-operative housing.

The Housing market

Finding a place to rent

There are many ways to find an apartment or a house to rent. Canada may have workers who will help you find a place to live. Workers can help you find a place to stay until you find an apartment or house. If you are having difficulty finding a permanent place to live, consider a room that rents by the week or a month.

Paying the rent

Rent is usually payable on the first day of each month. Some landlords may ask for postdated cheques. A postdated cheque cannot be cahed until the date shown on it. If you pay your rent in cash, make sure you get a receipt for the full amount. You can also pay your rent by certified cheque. It is a cheque that a bank guarantees it will cash. Many landlords expect a certified cheque for the first and last months' rent.


Location is important. A good location demands high rent, though prestige is usually a factor as well. You probably won't find an apartment or house within comfortable walking distance of work or shopping. Make it easy on yourself as possible. Walk around the area you like with a map. You may see a sign in a window advertising an apartment for rent.

Once you decided on location, you have to decide what type of home you can afford. A single family detached house is usually the most expensive choice. Semi-detached, duplex, townhouse and apartment condominiums are usually less expensive.

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