Moving to Ontario

Moving to Ontario: What You Need to Know

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province with over 15 million residents, is a highly sought-after destination for newcomers to the country. Renowned for its abundant employment opportunities and lifestyle freedom, Ontario stands out with the largest housing market in Canada and a diverse range of experiences to offer.

Housing Landscape

Ontario’s housing market boasts over 5.4 million properties, making it the largest in the country. However, understanding the dynamics of housing prices and available property types is crucial, as these factors can vary based on your desired settlement location or family size.

The latest National Rent Report provides insights into average rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units in Ontario’s three largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs): Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton.

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One-Bedroom

  • Toronto: $2,592
  • Ottawa: $1,951
  • Hamilton: $1,855

Two-Bedroom

  • Toronto: $3,370
  • Ottawa: $2,358
  • Hamilton: $2,271
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Commute with Ease

Public transportation plays a significant role in Ontario, with at least 80% of residents in major CMAs living within 500 meters of a transit access point. Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton operate their systems.

Despite the availability of public transport, more than 80% of Ontario residents rely on personal vehicles for commuting. Newcomers should be aware that for the initial 60 days, they can use their home country-issued driver’s license. However, after this period, obtaining an Ontario driver’s license from the provincial government is essential.

Employment Opportunities

Ontario’s employment landscape revolves around three major industries:

  • Trade Occupations: Retail and Wholesale Traders
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers
  • Manufacturing: Mechanical Engineers, Lab Technicians

Healthcare Access

Ontario follows a universal healthcare model, funded through resident taxes. Unlike some provinces, newcomers in Ontario do not face a waiting period for healthcare coverage. Possession of a valid health card grants access to free healthcare services through OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), with some treatments and medications requiring out-of-pocket payments. Private health insurance becomes essential for additional coverage.

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Education System

Ontario’s education system welcomes children of newcomers from the age of six. The public school system offers free education from elementary to high school. The province also features private schools, but parents opting for private education must bear the associated costs.

With over 500 Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs), Ontario provides various post-secondary options for newcomers. Graduating from these institutions can lead to a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), enhancing opportunities for Canadian permanent residency.

Taxation Framework

Ontario’s sales tax, known as the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), replaced the previous Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Retail Sales Tax (RST), resulting in a 13% HST rate. Income taxes vary based on personal income, with all working residents paying taxes according to their income bracket.

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Newcomer Services

Ontario offers newcomer services through both the provincial government and private entities. These settlement services assist newcomers before, during, and after their move, providing valuable support for a smooth transition to life in Ontario.

Moving to Ontario involves understanding its housing market, commuting options, employment landscape, healthcare system, education opportunities, taxation policies, and available newcomer services. Armed with this knowledge, newcomers can make informed decisions, ensuring a successful and comfortable transition to life in this vibrant Canadian province.

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