There is no doubt that Ontario is huge! It’s the second largest province and the most populous province in Canada. If you’re living out of the province and looking to move to Ontario, know the best places to live. Below is a list of potential communities, towns, and cities to move to in Ontario.
We know you’re looking, but are you looking for a retirement property? A new home for a new family, or are you looking for something close to post-secondary? Do you want to get away from it all, or do you want to be close to everything? There are many considerations in finding a new community to settle in, so knowing what you need helps you understand what Ontario property best suits you. For example, if you’re looking for a retirement property, you could consider Collingwood. 30% of Collingwood’s residents are over 65, with the median age just under 50. It’s a tourist destination and home to Wasaga Beach and Blue Mountain Resort. Whether your retirement is full of rest or adventure, Collingwood can provide both.
Cobourg is a tourist destination that has less than 20,000 permanent residents. With low crime and unemployment rates, it’s a great place to live with a new family.
In the Tri-City-Guelph Metropolitan Area, there are three large post-secondary schools (not to mention the smaller ones): the University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier, and the University of Guelph.
Living closer to the metropolitan cores like Toronto will ensure you’re close to all the action, and you only have to drive 90 minutes to two hours to be in cottage country, away from the action.
Checking out a potential city’s job opportunity is our second tip in finding the best places to live in Ontario. As of March 2022, the unemployment rate in Ontario fell to 5.3%, a two-year low. Employment increased by 0.5%. Sudbury and Peterborough, respectively, have the lowest unemployment rate in Ontario, reported by the Peterborough Examiner in May.
You could be a social butterfly or engage in various recreational activities. No matter how you spend your spare time, it’s our next tip in finding the best places to live in Ontario. We already mentioned that Collingwood has the Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario’s only year-round mountain resort. There’s skiing, snowboarding, hiking, spas, shopping, and some of the best restaurants. If outdoor activities like hunting and fishing are more attractive, then explore the towns and cities of Northern Ontario. The Algoma district stretches from Sault Ste. Marie goes north to include Nagagamisis Provincial Park and boasts catches like brook trout, salmon, walleye, and northern pike. The big game includes moose, deer, and black bear.
It’s probably no surprise that ice hockey is the most popular sport in Ontario. For families with aspiring hockey players, finding a city or town with great programs aiming to farm to the more significant leagues might be top of mind. The Ontario Hockey League comprises 20 teams, 17 of which are in Ontario, including Hamilton and Kingston in the East, Mississauga and St. Catharines in Central Ontario, Kitchener and London in the Midwest, and Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor in the West.
Most towns and cities of any size will have social clubs that include Lions and Lionesses, Boy Scouts, and Girl Guides, but cities like Toronto also have some top-notch social and private clubs to take your social activities to the next level. Join a yacht club that provides space for tennis, squash, pickleball, badminton, or the Soho House Toronto, which was established for local artists, actors, and other creatives to have a community.
Ontario has the highest number of foreign-born residents at 29% of the total population. Between 2021 and 2020, the number of immigrants to Ontario doubled. Finding a city that is great for newcomers is our next tip. Most of the best cities for newcomers are part of the GTA — the Greater Toronto Area. Cities like Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughn, and Oakville are cultural hotspots with a lot of diversity. To the east, a recommended city is Kingston due to its bike lanes, transit accessibility, and the programs offered by KCHC-Immigrant Services Kingston and Area. London has very low crime rates and settlement agencies, including London-Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership, The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, and LUSO Community Services, just to name a few.
Public Transportation Accessibility
Speaking of public transportation, that is our next tip in finding the best places to live in Ontario. Ontario has a lot of land, and because of that, a lot of cities were built out before they started building up. For people who don’t have vehicles, or regular access to vehicles, finding the freedom of mobility throughout the city they live in is essential. Not only was Toronto named the best city in Ontario for public transportation, but it was named the best city in Canada for public transportation. Toronto uses the Toronto Transit Commission, often called the TTC, and the train, which allows people in the bedroom communities to make their way into Toronto. As part of the TTC system, Toronto also has streetcars; its system has nine routes and carries 250,000 passengers daily.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t add the weather as our last tip in finding the best places to live in Ontario. We know that Canada is often the stereotypical arctic of North America. Still, Ontario’s climate varies, thanks in part to its large landmass and the Great Lakes all around the province.
If you’re looking for warmth, Hamilton is number one when listing the warmest climate in Ontario, but Toronto isn’t too far behind. If you’re looking for a snowy city, Barrie – almost 2 hours away from Toronto — typically sees the most snowfall in the province. Oshawa, a town an hour east of Toronto, sees the least amount of snow.
There you have it! Every home buyer is unique; what one buyer may like in a city, another buyer may want to avoid. Luckily, with the size of Ontario and all it has to offer, there’s bound to be something here for everyone!