Finding Houses for Rent: New Residents in Canada

As a new immigrant, you can use the guide below to find houses for rent in Canada.

New immigrants in Canada have problems finding houses for rent. It is always hard to find a place to stay when you move to a new environment. As such, most newcomers in Canada also encounter this problem.

However, you can avoid this problem by preparing ahead of time to find a place to stay. As with any international travel, newcomers can book a place once they arrive in Canada.

There are plenty of options available including a hotel, hostel, or an apartment, condo or house. This can serve any new immigrant for at least the first few days or weeks of arrival. Then, the immigrant can make arrangements for houses for rent. 

Normally, the time frame for finding houses for rent depends on many things. First of all, the vacancy rate, secondly, the demand-supply rate. Sometimes, it can also depend on the city you are moving to.

In addition to that, you may find it difficult to find houses in big cities like Toronto. One of the major reasons for this is related to both credit history and employment proof. In contrast, you can easily get accommodations in smaller cities.  

Houses for Rent in Canada

When looking out for houses for rent in Canada, you have to bear two things in mind. Number one is whether to search on your own. The next is whether to use a realtor or a real estate agent.

On the one hand, if you decide to look for houses for rent, you can do it in two ways: online or offline.

Doing it online means visiting many sites online including: explore sites ViewIt and This will give you an option on how to know houses for rent in different neighborhoods in Canada.

In addition to the above-mentioned sites, you can also visit the following sites for better options: Craigslist, Kijiji, Zumper, and Padmapper.

Moreover, you can also use some provincial options like Home Zone on Facebook (for Toronto and GTA listings) and Winnipeg Rental Network (for Winnipeg listings). These are really good.

If you don’t want to go through the stress of looking for a house yourself, you can hire the services of a realtor/real estate agent. There are many realtors and real estate agencies that can assist you in finding a place. However, you must be ready to pay the agent fee.

Some good agencies you can trust include:

  • ViewIt

In each of the sites, you see the name and contact of the realtor to reach out to.

Cheap Houses You Can Rent In Canada

Canada has been a friendly country that makes provisions for cheap houses for rent. So, if you want to rent a house, you can try any of the following types of houses for a cheap rate.


An apartment in Canada can vary from walk-ip units on low-rise houses to units in buildings where you need an elevator to use. There are many features included in an apartment including:

  • a single onsite washer
  • dryer to full laundry rooms
  • common rooms
  • fitness facilities.

Condominium (condo)

Another good house for rent in Canada is condos. Condos are units are similar to suites or a flat in a high-rise apartment building. However, in a Condo, residents share certain amenities including:

  • a gym
  • swimming pool
  • party room

All these are normally located in the building.

Rooming house

According to CMHC, a rooming house is a house that has rooms for rent.  Thus, individuals can rent rooms there. In a rooming house, all the residents share a common kitchen, bathroom and living room.


If you are looking for houses for rent in Canada, you can also try houses.

According to CMHC standards, a house includes townhouses, duplexes, semi-detached, and single-detached houses. In a house, you may find about two or three separate apartments.  While one is on top of another, the other may be downstairs.

Meanwhile, a house may be divided into two units. This is called a duplex. Also, a house may be divided into three and it is called a triplex.

Moreover, a basement apartment in a house is also considered an apartment.

The good thing about a house rental is that it provides more space than most apartments.  In addition to that, it also provides the advantage of having access to some outside spaces including patios, lawns, gardens, and parking lots.

Bachelor unit/studios

You can see a bachelor’s unit or studio either in an apartment or condos. The basic difference is that bachelor units or studios are comparatively smaller than other spaces. This is also a single room that serves as both the bedroom and living area.

Steps To Find Houses For Rent In Canada

If you are looking for houses for rent in Canada, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1: Decide your approach to finding a rental

The first step to finding houses for rent in Canada is to decide the approach to doing that. This can be done in two ways:

  • Online
  • Offline

If you decide to do it online, you can use many avenues provided online. You can also use social media to do this.

However, you can choose to do it offline. Doing it offline also entails two approaches.

The first is to find a house by yourself.

Secondly, you can decide you use a realtor or real estate agent.

Step 2: Identify the neighbourhood

The next step to take while finding houses for rent in Canada is to identify the place where you want to stay. Certain factors can influence your decision including workplace, house rent, and other things.  

Step 3: Decide the type of accommodation

You will also have to decide the type of accommodation that you want. Many accommodations in Canada include:

  • Houses
  • Condos
  • Hotels
  • Apartments

Step 4: Look for listings that meet your criteria

As you look for suitable accommodation, use filters online to narrow the options or if using a realtor, be sure to convey your preferences.

Step 5: Prepare essential documents

To find houses for rent, you must provide certain documents. These documents must prove your ability to pay the rent on time and can afford the space. You must provide:

  • Employment letter with your salary details
  • Credit report
  • References (from friends or family or previous landlords in Canada)
  • Bank statements

Step 6: Sign the lease agreement

You must sign a lease agreement before you can rent houses in Canada. A lease is a document that summarizes your relationship with the landlord. In addition to that, It also gives the details of your rent, the dates of your lease. Sometimes, it also includes rules about pets, smoking and other activities you can perform. 

Step 7: Set up the transfer of any utilities

More often than not, you’ll be moving into a unit that someone has previously rented, and hence, some utilities like hydro may need to be transferred to your name from the past tenants or from the landlord. 

Step 8: Move-in

Once you’ve signed the lease, received the keys, and transferred the utilities, it’s time to move-in. Check with your landlord and/or building management for any additional paperwork you may have to fill out after moving in.

Options Of Cheap Houses For Rent In Canada

Home Exchange

A good option for you when searching for houses for rent in Canada is a home exchange. This simply means exchanging your home with another person from another country. Home exchange has grown in popularity over the years. However, it is more popular with older travelers.

House Sitting

Another option for people looking for cheap houses for rent is house sitting. However, if you are not the type that can stay in a place for a few weeks. This is not for you.

The thing is that in exchange for watching and maintaining someone’s home, you get the place for free.

Cabin Rentals

If you are looking for houses for rent at cheaper rates, you can look for a cabin. Cabins are not in short demand. You can find cabins in many places including:

  • wilderness resorts
  • local newspapers
  • websites like Kijiji

Cabins can be expensive for individual travelers. However, when you travel in a group, it can become cheaper since you can share the cost.


WWOOF is an exchange. In the WWOOF, in return for volunteer work, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation, and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. 

Rental Prices in major Canadian Cities

City RankCity Name1 Bedroom Price1 Bedroom MoM %1 Bedroom YoY %2 Bedrooms Price2 Bedrooms MoM %2 Bedrooms YoY%
9St Catharines14300.0510.14416600.0120.107
23St John's820-0.0240.01291000.058
Table shows average rental prices for 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom houses in major Canadian cities. Updated October 2021.

Cheapest Regions to Buy a House in Canada

#1: Saint John, New Brunswick

Average home price: $199,853

Property details: single-family house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

# 2: Saguenay, Québec

Average home price: $206, 242

Property details: single-family house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

#3: Trois Rivières, Québec

Average home price: $225,694

Property details: duplex, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

#4: Thunder Bay, Ontario

Average home price: $258,738

Property details: detached house, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom

#5: Regina, Saskatchewan

Average home price: $273,885

Property details: townhouse, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

#6: Québec, Québec

Average home price: $313,811

Property details: single-family house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

#7: Sherbrooke, Québec

Average home price: $317,545

Property details: single-family house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

#8: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Average home price: $320,814

Property details: single-family house, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

#9: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Average home price: $331,555

Property details:  single-family house, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

House for Rent for International Students

Students in Canada who want cheap accommodations for rent can try any of these types of accommodations:

1. On-campus accommodation

You can choose an on-campus accommodation. However, it offers less freedom for students. Apart from that, it is one of the cheapest houses students can rent in Canada. An on-campus accommodation means houses inside or close to the campus.

2. Private housing for Student

International students can so rent private houses for themselves. This is also popular among international students.

Housemates share certain costs such as:

  • kitchen
  • bathroom
  • living room

3. Homestay

This means staying with a host family. This is becoming a great way of helping international students. It also helps them to settle down quickly.