There is no doubt that Ontario is one of the top places to live in Canada. Whether you like to settle down in a rural area or enjoy a big city, we are sure you will find the ideal place in this province. There are many wonderful cities in which you can buy your next home. However, if you are on a budget, we have created a list where you will find the most affordable places to live in Ontario.

For many years Ontario has been considered the most expensive real estate market. First-time homeowners will look up the prices of homes in Toronto and its surroundings just to find out they couldn’t afford it. However, if you are willing to do a long commute every day, the scenario changes. There are cheap places to live in Ontario that could offer everything you are looking for.

Before we get to our list, there is one thing we need to clarify. When we are talking about the most affordable cities in Ontario, we are not considering just the price of a property. In the real estate market, affordability also refers to the income level you will need to purchase a home. This means that all the cities that have a higher income level compared to the average price of a home, will fall into this category.

Now, let’s take a look at the most affordable places to live in Ontario (in no particular order).

8 Cheap Places to Live in Ontario

1. Pickering

Pickering lies just east of Toronto and is a popular dwelling spot for budget-conscious Ontarians.

Houses in Pickering cost between $631,000 and $741,000 – a far cry from Toronto’s average prices, which eclipsed $1 million in 2021.

Pickering’s cost of living is also much more reasonable than that of Toronto, ranking just 5% higher than the national average (compared to Toronto’s 29%). That’s not bad for a city located just 30 minutes away from Toronto!

2. Ajax

Ajax is a town located 25 kilometres east of Toronto along the shores of Lake Ontario. Pickering lies west of it.

Homes in Ajax cost between $671 and $910,000 on average. Ajax’s cost of living is comparable to that of Whitby, ranking 5% higher than the national average.

Residents of Ajax get great bang for their buck as well; they’re able to choose from many great neighborhoods, all with their own unique character.

3. Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay is a small city located in Northwestern Ontario, and it’s a great choice for anyone who likes to enjoy a lakefront. If you are looking for a place that combines the beauty of rural areas and a fast-paced environment, this is your ideal place. Thunder Bay is also one of the most affordable cities in Ontario. That’s why many first-time homeowners decide to purchase their house here. 

The average price of a home in Thunder Bay is 217,745. However, if you are a young couple, chances are you might want to buy something smaller. The good news is that if you want to live in an apartment in the city center, it will only cost 5,489 per square meter. Apart from being the cheapest place to live in Ontario, this city also offers incredible job opportunities.

4. Sudbury

If we are talking about the cheapest place in Ontario to buy a house, Sudbury should be at the top of the list. This city located just 390 kilometres north of Toronto, offers an average house price of $268, 696. This is a perfect option for anyone who can work from home since you won’t have to commute every day. Plus, on the weekends, Sudbury gives you the possibility of exploring its parks and forests.

Even though Sudbury has a small population of 161,531 people. This city has a lot of opportunities for your professional career, especially if you work in the film and television industry. This is just another unique reason why you should choose Sudbury as your next home.

5. Windsor

You can definitely find some of the cheapest real estate in Ontario if you go to Windsor. This city is located in the southwest of the province and on the border of the United States. Since Windsor is quite close to Detroit, many residents go there to work. The average price for a home in Windsor is $363,521. These housing prices turn Windsor into one of the most affordable cities in Ontario. 

Apart from being one of the cheap places to live in Ontario, Windsor offers other benefits. The University of Windsor is one of them, being one of the top post-secondary institutions in the country. Further, in Windsor, you also get to enjoy several festivals, museums, gardens, and a breathtaking waterfront view.

6. Barrie

The city of Barrie has been exponentially growing in the last few years thanks to its thriving economy and low unemployment rates. That’s also the reason why many Toronto residents are now moving to Barrie. But, if you decide you still want to work in Toronto, public transportation facilitates your daily commute. Further, if you are looking for the cheapest place in Ontario to buy a house, you need to check out this city.

In Barrie, you will be able to find an average home price of $570,612. This means the city is the perfect place for young families who want to settle down. Also, if you decide to live in the city, you will have different activities to enjoy during the summer and winter seasons, such as ski resorts and beautiful beaches.

7. Peterborough

We know that most people are looking for the cheapest place to live in Ontario near Toronto. Well, we have the ideal city for you, Peterborough. Thanks to its average home price of $505,998 the real estate sales have been increasing. Also, Peterborough is not only one of the most affordable places to live in Ontario, but also a beautiful one. With all the parks, lakes, and rivers, you will feel you are in the middle of a paradise.

Once you start living in Peterborough, you can explore several museums, art galleries, cultural exhibitions, and historic sites. In case you are a student, you will find some of the top post-secondary institutions such as Trent University and Fleming College.

8. Kingston

You can find the cheapest real estate in Ontario in this city located along the lake. If you have ever traveled to Montreal, chances are you might have passed Kingston on your way there. One of the reasons why many people fall in love with Kingston is due to all the water-based activities it offers. Plus, the unique natural and historical spots you can explore during the weekends. 

The average house price that you can find in Kingston is $305,155. This means the city is the cheapest place to live in Ontario for first-time homeowners. In case you decide to rent, the city offers prices 42 percent lower than the ones you will find in Toronto.