TYPES OF HOUSING IN CANADA
will find the following types of housing to rent :
● Bachelor o studio apartment: Small apartments, good for just a person.
They usually offer a big area where you can find a kitchen and a bedroom area
The bathroom is usually in a different room.
● Apartment: The apartments found in residential buildings usually have 2
or 3 rooms and also have a separate kitchen, a living room, and a dining room.
They may also have a bathroom or a bathroom and a toilet. They are usually
rented with a refrigerator and electric heater, all inclusive. Usually it has a
● Condominium. They are private apartments in residential buildings.
Inhabitants are usually the owners and every one pays for their utilities.
Condos share some public areas, so owners pay for a monthly maintenance fee.
● Room for rent: They are rooms in a house, apartment or condo. In
general terms, tenants share the use of the toilet and the kitchen.
● Townhouse. Usually small houses on a row of identical ones situated
side by side and sharing common walls. There are private and for-rent
● Duplex: Houses having fully separate apartments or units. They can be
private or for rent.
Most houses in Canada are built on concrete and iron walls These walls are
strong and can resist the weight of the building. Since those walls are located
on the exterior side of the building and cover the whole house, the inner space
is used in various ways: to place the heating, air conditioning and machine
systems, or a laundry, etc. Canadian families use the remaining place for
comfortable entertainment rooms, to rest or as storage rooms, as well as
for offices or private studios. It is also very common that owners adapt them
for rent, with all the necessary services and an independent door, separated
from the rest of the house.
Renting an apartment basement can be suitable as a temporary solution for a
family on their arrival to Canada. The rent of these apartments is usually lower
than the one of those located in housing buildings. Moreover, it is easy to find
families that, apart from renting the apartment, are willing to help and advice
their new neighbours who have just arrived in Canada.
Basement apartments are cool in the hot summer and warm in the extremely cold
canadian winter. The main drawback of this type of housing is the lack of a view
to exterior areas out of the windows, as due to the location of the apartment,
windows only allow a little light to enter. This is a particularly negative
aspect, especially when there are children, since they may have an atmosphere of
confinement and darkness.
To sum up, if you decide to rent a basement apartment as your first housing
solution in Canada, it may be a good alternative for several reasons. But if you
have children or teenagers, you should take this alternative just as a temporary
RENTING AN APARTMENT OR A HOUSE.
Since finding a suitable housing at a reasonable price is your first concern,
your alternative may be renting an apartment with furniture, paid weekly,
fortnightly, or monthly. Living for a short while in this sort of apartments
will allow for seeking a better one in the medium or long term (usually for 12
months) where you will start your new life with your own furniture and everyday
elements, without the stress of not having a place to stay. In this case avoid
renting in some places where, because of their low rent, may not be advisable
because their location or your future neighbours. Remember that you pay for is
what you get.
Your first housing should be, if possible, centrally located and with enough
means of transportation to allow for trips in the city.
Finding the right apartment - which is, obviously, cheaper than renting a house
- can be a bit difficult, and it takes time and patience. Most probably, the
first housing may not suit all the needs, but bare in mind that it will be just
for a while. That situation is just normal in the process of settlement in
The following are the most common ways of seeking for-rent housing:
● Ask in apartment buildings having the “For Rent” or “Vacancy”. Go to the
overseer bureau, who is the one in charge of giving information in those places.
● In free rent magazines you will find in different public areas and in many
● In the section of classified ads in newspapers, where you will find a good
variety of apartments in different city areas
● Asking for help in organisations which offer help to newcomers
Remember it is always advisable to phone in advance, and make an appointment
with the person in charge of renting. Besides, asking for the total cost, and
the additional fees for tenants, such as parking, cable tv, etc. Most apartments
in Canada include electric heating and refrigerator, and the cost of water and
electricity is usually included in the monthly rent, although you should make
sure in every case.
Also remember that it is advisable to take into account the monthly rent and
other family expenditure. You will also have to pay other services such as
telephone, Internet, cable TV, apart from public transportation, etc.
Finally, keep in mind that in Ontario and Canada, a rental agreement is a
legal contract to which those who sign must abide to. You cannot do away with
it, and just leave overnight.
In Ontario houses and apartments are rented on 12-month bases.
Remember to ask your right to move before that period in the case
you find a job far from that place and you need to move. If you
include that clause or condition, you will avoid being fined for not
abiding to the contract. It would be reasonable to tell the owner
one month in advance before you move for they to have the e time to
find a new tenant.
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