Ontario Real Estate
Relocating to Ontario?
The east-central province of Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province, housing around 14 million people. Ontario is home to Canada’s most populous city, Toronto, which provides endless restaurants, theatres, concerts, and sporting events for everyone to enjoy. Ontario also offers many national parks with the province’s most popular attraction, Niagara Falls. From urban condos to lakefront properties, Ontario’s real estate is as versatile as its culture and provides a beautiful place to call home. Read More
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Ontario is a stunning province with a lot to offer to both visitors and potential residents. Located in the east-central part of the country, it is the second-largest province in Canada and has a diverse population of over 14.7 million people. With its beautiful panoramic views and breathtaking landscapes to explore, Ontario’s natural beauty is a huge asset for those looking for a new place to call home in the region. If you are considering investing in Ontario real estate, keep reading below to learn more about all this part of Canada has to offer.
Ontario is Canada’s economic engine and a world-famous cultural hub with an abundance of things to do and events to attend all year round. The province is frequently divided into two areas: the South and the North. The majority of the population is living in Toronto and the southernmost region of the province. The Northern area is thinly populated, mainly due to its harsh winters and heavily forested territories.
Ontario is the ultimate destination for nature lovers in Canada. The province is one of the most biodiverse areas in the country with over 70 million hectares of forest, 250,000 lakes (including four of the five Great Lakes), five national parks, including Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park, around 340 provincial parks, and 295 conservation reserves. Not to mention the province offers one of the world’s most impressive natural wonders: Niagara Falls.
With a land area of 908,607.67 square kilometres, the province is filled with lush forests, majestic waterfalls, scenic trails, and dramatic cliffs. Its rich biodiversity is one thing that makes Ontario a top adventure destination. If you are looking for outdoor activities in Ontario, there is no shortage here. The most popular options include hiking, ziplining, bungee jumping, All Terrain Vehicle experiences, skydiving, boating, fishing, canoeing, rafting, and kayaking.
To complement the natural marvels, the province is home of two of the most cosmopolitan cities in Canada: Toronto and Ottawa. Toronto, the largest metropolitan city in the country, is also one of the World’s Safest Cities on the planet and one of The World’s Best Cities.
Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is another gem in Ontario. The city is a great place to live and explore. Clean, environmentally conscious, not overly crowded, and with a strong reputation of being a quiet and family-oriented place, Ottawa has countless big-city amenities, excellent historical sites, and a welcoming and diverse population.
Living In Ontario
Life can look very different depending on which part of Ontario you decide to settle in. If you aim to call Toronto your home, you’d probably experience a vibrant, fast-paced, and exciting city life. But if you seek a more calm atmosphere or beautiful rural areas are more to your taste, you’ll find the most charming small-towns in Ontario, including North Bay, Sarnia, Cornwall or Peterborough.
Living costs in Ontario can be high compared to other Canadian provinces, mainly because tax rates can be pretty high there. However, Ontario’s median income is roughly $73,000, which is higher than the Canadian average.
People from all over the world have come to settle in Ontario, turning the province into a melting pot of communities of different backgrounds, cultures, faiths, and ethnicities. Toronto has an undeniable international quality and a reputation of being a welcoming and friendly place with over 140 spoken languages and dialects!
The school system in Ontario is among Canada’s well-respected ones. The provincial education is publicly funded, providing quality instruction for children from kindergarten through 12th grade. Ontario has 72 school boards, and all students may be enrolled in public, French, or Catholic schools. The province has more than 900 high schools and a post-secondary education built on a system of world-leading institutions. Most of Ontario’s universities are well-ranked and internationally recognized. Queens University, University of Western Ontario, and York University, are among the top colleges.
The climate in Ontario is considered to be humid continental. The province has warm to hot summers, especially in its Southern region. Winters are considered to be pretty cold, with below-zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls. Spring and Autumn tend to be milder, with stable temperatures and more precipitation, especially near the Great Lakes area.
Ontario has a rich history that started approximately 11,000 years ago. In those days, the region was inhabited by different Indigenous groups including the Algonquian and the Iroquoian. Everything changed in 1600 with the arrival of the Europeans.
The French explorer Étienne Brûlé was the first to travel around Ontario, followed by Henry Hudson, who claimed the Hudson’s Bay area for Great Britain. After the Seven Years War, from 1756 to 1763, most of Ontario’s territories belonged to the British. The immigration, and the subsequent conflicts that arose with Quebec and the First Nations, caused a territorial division of the area in Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Québec) under the Constitutional Act of 1791.
In the 19th century, and after many rebellions and conflicts, the Canadas unified. However, until 1867, the parties agreed to a federal union with the other British colonies. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia join Quebec and Ontario, becoming the first provinces of the new Nation of Canada.
How Ontario Got It’s Name
There is no consensus about the origins of the province’s name, but what is known is that it comes from an Indigenous term. Some people believe the area took its name from Lake Ontario, which derives from Ontarí:io, the Huron word for “great lake”. It is also possible that the term Ontario comes from the word skanadario, or “beautiful water” in Iroquoian languages.
Economy In Ontario
Ontario has a strong, mature, and highly diversified economy that has been thriving for many years. It is considered one of Canada’s wealthiest provinces thanks to its contribution of around 38% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Ontario leads in manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, and mining, but the service industry is considered the main economic activity in the province.
The manufacturing industries in Ontario are solid and include automotive, technology, pharmaceuticals, information, and communications. Additionally, the mining industry produces gold, nickel, platinum, and group metals. The province is also the second-largest producer of copper. The agriculture sector has corn, soy, tobacco, and fruits (including grapes for wine). Dairy and cattle farms are typical in the province as well.
The Ontario service industry makes up over 76% of its economy and is responsible for 79% of its healthy employment rates. Business and financial services are significant examples of the service sector in Ontario, along with professional, scientific, technical, and arts and culture services.
Real Estate In Ontario
The housing market in Ontario remains pretty dynamic and competitive despite the challenges the real estate landscape in the area has faced in recent years. This makes the province a great place to consider investing in a property right now. Home buying intentions across Ontario’s main cities are pretty stable, with most dwelling offerings being single-detached homes.
If you dream of being a homeowner in the province, many houses for sale in Ontario are worth checking out. Depending on the city, there are various property styles available to fit different tastes and budgets. That includes single and semi-detached homes, townhouses, condos, and duplexes. The average price for a property is around $600,000.
Ontario’s world-famous attractions and landmarks make the province a magnet for new residents. Families are more prone to investing in larger, more spacious houses in the suburbs of large cities or small towns due to the possibility of working remotely.
Transportation In Ontario
Ontario is a massive province, but its efficient and extensive transit system makes it incredibly easy to get around. Toronto has one of the largest public transit systems in North America and the third-biggest one in the world in terms of passenger usage. Buses, streetcars, and the subway are all great ways to move in the city. In Ottawa, the public transportation network is OC Transpo, operating the city’s bus network and the O-Train light rail system.
Traveling between smaller cities in Ontario is best done by bus, and some of the province’s inter-city bus leading companies are Greyhound and Ontario Northland. You can also travel throughout Ontario by train, with VIA Rail Canada, using water taxis, your car, a bicycle, or by air. The main airports in the province are the Toronto Pearson International Airport and the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.
Things to do in Ontario
Ontario is home to so many exciting places that it is an almost never-ending source of exciting things to do any time of the year. Here are some landmarks and destinations in the province that are worth checking out:
- Toronto’s CN Tower:
- The CN Tower has been a local staple in Ontario for over four decades. This engineering marvel of 553 meters offers visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of Toronto, a glass elevator, and the possibility of dining in a 360° – rotating restaurant. The experience will please everyone in the family.
- Niagara Falls:
- Located at the border of the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is one of nature’s greatest wonders and a world-famous vacation spot you may enjoy at any time! Here you can have year-round adventures, including hiking, having a helicopter ride, ziplining to the falls or taking a Voyage To The Falls boat tour. When the sun settles, you may witness the splendid nightly falls illumination, which happens every night of the year.
- Parliament Hill & Buildings:
- Parliament Hill is a National Historic Site of Canada located in Downtown Ottawa. The 22-acre area is the perfect spot for learning history and admiring the Gothic revival suite of constructions, an architectural jewel of national relevance. The site offers visitors and locals free guided tours of the premises and the possibility to capture unique photos and videos of its buildings and external areas.
- Bruce Peninsula National Park:
- Known for its beautiful scenery and turquoise waters, Bruce Peninsula National Park is the core of UNESCO’s Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve and the ideal place to plan many adventures with friends and family. Hiking, bike-riding, caving, kayaking, camping, boating, scuba-diving, and snorkelling are part of the activities available for visitors. Make sure to visit The Grotto and Flowerpot Island at Fathom Five National Marine Park.
- Royal Ontario Museum:
- The Royal Ontario Museum is one of Canada’s top cultural institutions. The place is an essential destination for anyone seeking to learn about arts, culture, and natural history. The museum offers tours, a variety of family-focused activities, performances, workshops, and seasonal events.
- Thousand Islands:
- Thousand Islands is a top tourism destination in North America and a hub for anything outdoor. The 1,864 islands archipelago stretches for 80 kilometres on the Canada-US border, offering visitors an array of unforgettable experiences. You have access to over 30 golf courses and can take a scenic boat tour to majestic castles or paddle to discover tranquil shores and bays. Also, consider a helicopter tour and going hunting for some magnificent sunsets.
- Distillery Historic District:
- This gem in Toronto is a set of Victorian industrial buildings reimagined and transformed into a unique entertainment destination where there’s always something new to do or see. The reclaimed space is home to eclectic shops, art galleries, artisan breweries, seasonal art exhibitions, and delightful culinary options. Visitors can take a historical tour to get an insight into the origins and rich past of this one-of-a-kind place.
- National Gallery Of Canada:
- The National Gallery is a prominent art institution in Canada and a pilgrimage spot for art lovers in North America and worldwide. The museum houses an impressive collection that includes over 90,000 works from around the globe, including paintings by iconic artists such as Botticelli, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Klimt, Monet, El Greco, and many others. They also specialize in Indigenous and Canadian art.
- Fort William Historical Park:
- Fort William Historical Park is a renowned heritage and cultural attraction in Canada, perfect for history enthusiasts of all ages. It offers visitors various outdoor activities, including cycling, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and camping. Looking for a stargazing experience? At the David Thompson Astronomical Observatory, both children and adults can have an out-of-this-world adventure. The park has guided tours available year-round, as well as festivals and special events.
- Canada’s Wonderland:
- Located in Vaughan, Canada’s Wonderland is the country’s top amusement park. It is an excellent place to have a date or a family outing at any time of the year. Canada’s Wonderland occupies 330 acres and bears over 200 attractions, including 69 rides (one of them is Leviathan, the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the country) and Splash Work, a 20-acre water park. They also host seasonal events and attractions throughout the year.
Ontario Day Trips
One of the absolute best things about Ontario is the massive internal travelling opportunities for residents and travellers. It doesn’t matter where you decide to settle; there will always be a fantastic place to explore for just a day without exhausting planning or high money spending.
- From Ottawa to Kingston
- Kingston is located only 2 hours away from Ottawa by car, making it the best place for a day trip. The eclectic city is home to about 185,000 people, and offers a perfect balance between traditional and modern. Make sure to visit Canada’s Penitentiary Museum or Fort Henry National Historic Site if you seek a rich cultural experience. Lemoine Point Conservation Area and Lake Ontario Park for scenic trails, spectacular views and an array of family-friendly outdoor activities.
- From London to Hamilton:
- Hamilton, ON is known as the “Waterfall Capital of the World,” making it a day-trip-worthy destination. Located 1 hour and 20 minutes from London, the town has tons of fun things to do, including over 100 waterfalls you can visit. Make sure to explore the conservation areas and historical sites, such as the famous Dundurn Castle, and several options for nature and park lovers, including Gage Park and Bayfront Park.
- From Toronto to Kitchener:
- One of Ontario’s most beautiful small towns is only 1 hour and 46 minutes away from Toronto. Kitchener is filled with a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions you may enjoy in just a day, so get ready. Looking for some fresh air? Explore nature and wildlife areas such as Huron Natural Area. For a cultural experience, discover the city’s best museums and historic sites or make arrangements to participate in its renowned Oktoberfest, celebrated each year between September and October. The festival is considered the biggest one outside of Germany.
- From Hamilton to Niagara Falls:
- With a population of 88,000 people, the small and vibrant city of Niagara Falls makes a beautiful day trip from Hamilton and other nearby towns. The home of iconic Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most impressive natural destinations, is only 52 minutes away by car. Here you’ll have the possibility of enjoying the falls from many different perspectives. You can take the Maid of the Mist cruise, make the Journey Behind The Falls excursion, or climb to the Skylon Tower to catch incredible panoramic views of the three waterfalls. Other activities, including zipline and helicopter rides, are also available.