Moving to a new location can at times feel overwhelming. To assist in making that transition easier, we have assembled some information to consider when looking for accommodations in Ontario.

Definitions of various accommodations

High-rise Apartment: An apartment is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a multi-level building with an elevator.

Bachelor Apartment: A one-room apartment serving as bedroom and living room and a separate bathroom

Multi-bedroom Apartment: an apartment with multiple private bedrooms in addition to a bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Basement Apartment: a self-contained housing unit in the basement of a house

House: an entire single dwelling that serves as living quarters for one or more families

Shared Accommodations: a single private room in a dwelling with shared amenities and common areas

Things consider when searching for accommodations

Any special requirements you may have:
• smoking/non smoking
• parking
• on-site laundry
• air conditioning
• pets
• allergies

Additional monthly expense:
• phone
• hydro
• internet
• cable
• laundry
• transportation
• groceries
• entertainment

Distance and transportation to:
• public transit pick-up/drop-off location
• the school
• shopping
• social interests
• friends/family

Rental Agreements

Standard rental contracts are designed to protect your interests as well as those of the landlord. As it is usually the landlord or agent who provides the contract, it is important that you completely understand its implications.

Most rental periods or leases last for 12 months, during which time the landlord cannot increase the rent.

Some utility services will be included in the rent (e.g. water, gas, cable), while others you may be responsible for paying yourself. It is important to have a clear understanding of what you will be paying and how much it will be.

If you are found to be in breach of your rental agreement, you can be evicted from your accommodation. Be sure you understand what you can and cannot do as detailed in the contract.

In most rental agreements in Canada, the landlord will ask for the first and last month’s rent to be paid in advance. This is actually done to collect the deposit that is used to cover any damages you may cause, along with any outstanding debts you may owe at the end of your tenancy.

Be sure you have confirmed the following before signing an agreement (contract or
• The amount of the rent and the date on which it is due
• The amount of the deposit and the conditions for a refund
• Whether such items as heat or electricity are included in the rental fee or not
• The amount of advance notice that must be given before the tenant moves
• Whether the tenant can make changes in the apartment, such as painting, hanging up decorations, etc.
• Is a damage deposit required

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) gives residential landlords and tenants specific rights and responsibilities, and sets out a process for how these rights and responsibilities can be enforced. The RTA also has certain rules governing rent increases for residential rental accommodation, and gives the Board authority to enforce these rules.
In general, the role of the Board is to:
• Resolve disputes between landlords and tenants through either mediation or adjudication,
• Regulate rent increases in most residential rental units
• Educate landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.
If you have any questions or concerns about your rights and responsibilities you may contact the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for confidential legal advice.

To find out more about issues such as rent increases, privacy and quiet enjoyment, repairs and cleaning, moving out and giving notice, evictions and how to deal with conflict, contact the Landlord and Tenant Board at 416-645-8080 or visit them online

Housing search Resources


Rental Websites

Local Newspapers













Niagara Falls

North Bay




Sault Ste. Marie

St. Catherine


Thunder Bay




For additional Ontario newspapers, please visit Online Newspapers at


Ordering Home Services

Once you have found a place to live you will need to order your home service such as a telephone and cable.

There are several companies that offer competitive rates on a home telephone services.
Regardless of the company, you should expect to pay approximately $40 for each home phone, internet, cable/satellite and cellular phone service.

While Bell Canada and Rogers are the primary suppliers many offer packages for home telephones, cable/satellite, internet and cellular phones. Shop around as the companies often have promotions.

Bell Canada


If you have no credit history in Canada, you will probably be asked for a security deposit when requesting a residential phone service. Security deposits are usually returned after the first year and are usually around $200

International calling cards are a great way to save on long distance calls. These cards can be purchased at most convenience stores.


The average cost of hydro will vary depending on the number of occupants as well as the size of the home being heated. To get an estimate of the monthly hydro costs, ask the customer service agent at Hydro One what the average cost of hydro was for the previous tenant.

To arrange for hydro service (water and electricity) or to request an estimate, contact Hydro One at 1 (888) 664-9376 or visit them online