When you first arrive in Canada, you will probably live in a temporary home for at least a few weeks. Once you get settled, you will want to find something more permanent.
Canada has many different types of housing. Prices vary considerably, depending on where you live, and whether you choose a house or an apartment.
Finding a place to live can take several weeks. There are three separate steps:
Deciding how much you can afford to pay, how many rooms you need and where you want to live.
Finding the apartment or house you want.
Completing the legal contract to rent or buy.
Types of Housing
There are many different types of housing available in Canada.
Room for rent: This is usually in a house or an apartment that is owned or rented by other people. Everyone shares the kitchen and bathrooms.
Bachelor or studio apartment: These are small apartments designed mainly for one person. They have one large room with a kitchen and a sleeping area, plus a separate bathroom.
Other apartments: Most other apartments have from one to three bedrooms. All will have a separate kitchen, a living room and a bathroom.
Duplex: This is a house divided into two separate apartments. It may be bought or rented.
Townhouse: This is a small house joined to other houses. It may be bought or rented.
Condominium: This is an apartment or a townhouse that is individually owned. Common areas are jointly owned. You will have to pay a monthly fee for maintenance, such as snow removal, grass cutting and repairs. You will have to pay property taxes.
Cost of Housing
The cost of housing varies widely. Prices depend on the location, age and condition of the apartment or house, and the local market. You can expect to pay from $350 a month for a room to $2,000 a month for a luxury apartment or a house. Housing is usually less expensive if it is outside a large city. Purchase prices for houses range considerably depending on the city, town or location where you buy.
One of the Best Places in the Worlds to Live
Canada has ranked as one of the top ten places to live in the world since 1994 according to the United Nations (UN) and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the UN survey Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system); and low crime and violence rates. In addition, Canada's largest cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have been recognized as world class cities in which to live and work, for their cleanliness and safety and for their cultural activities and attractive lifestyles.
High Standard of Living in Canada
Canadians enjoy a standard of living among the highest in the world. Almost 70 per cent of Canadians own their own homes, with a higher percentage owning durable goods, such as automobiles, refrigerators, washing machines, television, telephones and radios. Canada also has an extensive health care system and social security network.
Welcoming Environment in Canada
Canada has traditionally been a country of immigrants and has a policy of encouraging multicultural diversity. In this vibrant setting, different perspectives are respected and learning together is encouraged.
Almost all of the world's ethnic groups are represented in Canada. As a result, most ethnic foods and recreational activities associated with specific cultures are available in Canada. Clubs, informal clubs and associations representing a multitude of ethnic backgrounds are also easily accessible. International student advisors at schools can help students get in touch with such groups.
All major urban centres have a variety of shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, art galleries and museums. Canadian cities provide numerous parks, gardens and beaches for public use, as well as excellent sports and recreation facilities.