Temporary housing

One of your first needs after you arrive in Canada is a temporary place to stay until you can rent or buy a home. One option is to stay at a hotel or hostel.

Most hotels and hostels have a website with photographs, location, price and a description of the services they offer. You can also use travel guides, forums and other websites to find reviews. Learn more about hotels and hostels by reading the Welcome to Canada guide.

You can also contact an immigrant-serving organization in the city or town where you plan to settle. Ask if temporary housing for newcomers is available and how much it costs.

Refugees will get help finding temporary housing as part of the Resettlement Assistance Program.


Types of housing

  • Rental apartments: most apartments have one, two or three bedrooms. “Bachelor” units have a single room that serves as a living area and bedroom.
  • Rental rooms: large homes are sometimes divided into several private bedrooms that you can rent.
  • Condominiums (Condos): for more information on condominiums, see the Condominium Buyer’s Guide
  • Houses: there are detached houses with surrounding properties, as well as semi-detached and townhouses where each house shares a wall with another.


Renting a Home

This guide is intended to provide the most common rental requirements across the country. However, landlord-tenant laws change from time to time in every province. This guide is not intended to provide legal advice. If you require specific legal advice, contact your local rental authority or a lawyer.

Rental issues can be similar in any area of the country, but authorities may treat them differently according to provincial or territorial legislation.

For both landlord and tenant, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Your rental agreement or lease should cover most rules and terms, but treatment of the rules and terms in your lease may vary depending on the province or territory of the rental property. Knowing the rules for where you rent currently is crucial because the legal statutes may differ from province to province. For example, determining when a landlord can enter residential premises with or without notice differs across the country. The types of dwellings that fall under provincial or territorial tenancy legislation also varies from province to province. For example, in some provinces mobile home park residents are protected under the provincial tenancy legislation, while in others they are excluded. Equipped with the right information, both landlords and tenants will be better prepared to deal with issues that might arise.

Refer to your province or territory for specific answers to your questions and valuable links to additional resources. Rental authorities and advocacy agencies are there to help you.


Buying a home

This guide is here to make things easier for you by providing the information you need to make a wise homebuying decision. This section provides examples and worksheets that will guide you through the entire homebuying process, from the moment you make the decision to buy your own home to the moment the movers carry the first box through the front door. It couldn't be easier!

In this Section:

Step 1: Is Homeownership Right for You?
Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you'll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of home buying and the responsibilities of homeownership.

Step 2: Are You Financially Ready?
This step guides you through some simple calculations to figure out your current financial situation, and the maximum home price that you should consider.

Step 3: Which Home is Right for You?
Once you have a good idea about your finances, you’ll need to think clearly about the home you’d like to buy. You need to think about your current and future housing needs and what characteristics are important to you in a home.

Step 4: The Buying Process
Before you start searching for a home you need to think about your current and future housing needs and what characteristics are important to you in a home.

Step 5: Now That You're a Homeowner
Practical advice for homeowners on their financial responsibilities as well as the importance of home maintenance and renovations.

Words to Know When Buying a Home
This glossary provides simple yet accurate definitions of certain terms you may encounter in the Homebuying Step by Step guide.