Where can I stay temporarily while I look for a home?
If you're new to Ontario and don't have a place to stay yet, staying in a hotel while you're looking for a place to live can get really expensive. You have a few other options you can try instead.
This interactive tool by the Government of Canada helps newcomers get the support they need. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your situation and then the tool will generate a settlement plan specific to your needs.
You should also try to contact a settlement agency and find out if you're eligible for Canada's Resettlement Assistance Program or Settlement Program. These programs may provide temporary housing or help find you find housing that meets your needs.
Other than hotels, there are other kinds of temporary housing you can look into:
- Short-term rentals: Units you can rent by the week or month. This is cheaper than renting a hotel room on a day-by-day basis. To find an apartment hotel, search online on Google, or the Yellow Pages. You can also try Airbnb.
- Hostels: An affordable option for single people or small families. You either share a room with others or share a bathroom. Find hostel listings at Hostels.com, Hostelz.com, and Hihostels.ca.
- Shelters: Emergency, temporary housing for people without a home. Some shelters are for specific groups of people, like refugees, women, or youth. Others are open to anyone in need. Staying at a shelter is free, but you will most likely be sharing a space with other residents. For more information, read our article about shelters.
How do I find a place to rent?
First, try to narrow your search to a particular region, like a city or neighborhood. You might want to find somewhere close to where you work, or where other people you know live. Keep in mind that the closer you are to a downtown core, the more expensive rent will be.
Once you have some idea of where you want to live, look for housing advertisements by checking:
- Online classified like Kijiji
- Community or ethnic newspapers or magazines
- Bulleting boards in community centres, libraries, grocery stores, gyms, etc.
- Listings at the public library or on your campus
- Friends and family
- Walking around neighborhoods for rental ads
What are ways to get affordable housing?
If you're single, the best way to safe on housing costs is to share an apartment or house with other people (roommates). Many students and young people choose this option. You can find advertisements for rooms or advertise for roommates on websites like Kijiji, Roomies.ca or Rentals.ca.
Subsidized housing is another option that lets you pay rent for a place according to your income. The waiting list for subsidized housing is usually very long, but some people may get priority. To find out more about subsidized housing, contact a Coordinated Access Centre.
Housing co-ops are communities where all residents participate in how to run the co-op. There's no landlord, and they are usually more affordable that privately owned housing.