Top 5 Best Places to Live in Ontario

Posted on August 23, 2021

For such a small population, people in Canada move around a lot. Whether or not they're hoping for a warmer destination, over 4.4 million Canadians move every year!

Well, if you're planning on moving to Ontario, you're not alone. It's the most populated province with some of the most diverse landscapes and cities. You may be overwhelmed just looking at all of them, but we can assure you, there are plenty of great options! Let's talk about the best cities to live in Ontario.

Toronto City view

1. Toronto

The number one on the list is also the largest. Not only is Toronto the largest city (by population) in Ontario, but it's the largest in all of Canada! It makes the top of the list for having such plentiful job opportunities, things to do, and more. If you don't like big crowds, this isn't the city for you. The city has a population of 2.93 million as of 2017, which may have broken the 3 million threshold since!

The weather in Toronto is perfectly enjoyable for most of the year, and certainly bearable in the winter if you're already from Canada or the northern US. In July, you should expect an average high temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius (or 80 degrees Fahrenheit). In January, you're looking at an average high of -1.1ºC (30ºF) and an average low of -7ºC (19ºF)

For being such a big city, you won't be surprised to hear that anything you want, they have it. Arts, business, industry, history, and a lot more. The downside of Toronto is that it is the second most expensive city to live in all of Canada. However, this is made up for rather high salaries, boasting around $66,000 annually.

Ottawa City View

2. Ottawa

Fun fact about this city: Ottawa is the most common city for Americans to move to, with over 9,500 Americans currently calling it home!

Ottawa is known most for being the capital city of Canada, and it's located within only a 4.5-hour drive of Toronto. Ottawa's population is almost 1 million, and that number definitely increases during the work week! Being the capital city, people commute to work in massive numbers.

Ottawa offers extremely unique architecture, stunning public parks, and a lot of Canadian history. Ottawa will experience similar temperatures to Toronto in the summer, but get a little more chilly in the colder months. In January, the average low dips down to only -14ºC (6ºF) and only -13ºC (8ºF) in February.

People have many different reasons for moving to Ottawa, whether it's the historical scene, government jobs, or getting involved in political activism! If there's something you want, Ottawa certainly has it!

The cost of living in Ottawa isn't too expensive. The average rent price is around $1,500 a month. However, they also have impressive average salaries of $62,000! If you're looking to buy a home in Ottawa, you may be surprised by the cost, with an average house costing over $700,000 and the average condo over $430,000. Make sure you get a good mortgage rate!

oakville city landmark

3. Oakville

Our first smaller city on the list, Oakville has a population of just over 200,000. Oakville is known for its beautiful harbours, vibrant art community, and large shopping districts.

Oakville is definitely one of the warmer cities in Ontario, with an average high in January all the way through August in the range of 26ºC (80 to 81ºF) and only dipping to around -7ºC (19ºF) for a low in the peak of winter.

Located right outside of Mississagua, and part of the Toronto metro area, Oakville has a lot to offer, including easy commutes in and out of larger cities. The average salary in Oakville is an impressive $113,000 and housing is on its way up, currently with an average rent of $1,900, so you better move there soon!

burlington city landmark

4. Burlington

Burlington, Ontario is another city with a population of around 200,000 people. Burlington has impressively low crime rates, great employment opportunities, and a tight-knit community feel.

For weather, Burlington has a trade-off. It offers slightly less freezing winters in exchange for slightly cooler summers. The average temperature stays around 25ºC (78ºF) in July, with the average low only dipping down to around -6ºC (20ºF) in the coldest times of the year.

This is a great city for families who don't want the overcrowding of Toronto but still want access to the city and things nearby to do.  Burlington has an impressively high income with the average household bringing in $98,000 a year, with rent prices holding at an average of $1,760 a month.

Aurora City downtown view1

5. Aurora

Finally, a genuinely small city. Aurora has just under 60,000 for a population and the residents would like to keep it that way! This small city offers a nice community atmosphere with a lot of history! It's primarily known for preserving its historical district and buildings from the country's earliest years. 

Aurora's summers fall into about the same range as the rest on this list, but their winters do get a little chilly. The average low in January and February falls at -11.1ºC (12ºF).

The average income in Aurora is around $106,000 per household, and the average rent is as low as 1,440! Not a bad ratio if you don't mind living in a small city!

Moving to Ontario

Now that you know some of the best cities to live in Ontario, look into finding a job, getting citizenship if you need to, and starting fresh in a new city! After you make the move, look into your insurance options, get the best rates for yourself, and stay up to date with our latest financial news for Canadians like you! 

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