One of the obstacles to overcome when you move to Canada is finding accommodation. Getting somewhere comfortable and practical to live will help make the transition to life in Canada for you and your family, if you are moving with a family, much easier.
We have divided this page into two main sections:
Temporary Accommodation and hostels
Organising somewhere to stay for the first few days of your arrival is crucial. We offer hostel listings for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal to help you plan your trip. Also listed are alternatives to hostels, such as temporary lodging and couch surfing.
Beware: Bed bugs do exist in Canada so it’s important to be aware that hostels, motels and hotels may have this issue.
The widest selection of hostels can be found on Hostelworld. You’ll be able to compare your different options, and read reviews from previous guests so you know what to expect on arrival.
If you feel you may need somewhere to stay for more than one week, then we strongly suggest taking a look at AirBnb for temporary lodgings. AirBnb allows private renters to sublet rooms/apartments/houses to members of the public. Payments are centralized and you can read reviews on all renters to minimize risk. This link below will allow Moving2Canada customers to get a $30 discount on your first AirBnb booking:
Airbnb – $30 discount on my first booking
For those with very limited budgets and a heightened sense of adventure, why not register with Couchsurfing.com and see what friendly locals are willing to open their homes to you?
Vancouver offers many hostels, the most popular being the HI Central and Samesun, both of which are located on Granville Street in the downtown area. These hostels offer a great starting point to meet people and explore the city. If you’re looking for something a little more peaceful, however, the HI has two quieter locations — the HI Downtown (situated near English bay) and HI Jericho (Jericho is a beach located west of Kitsilano).
Please avoid staying in any hostels near East Hastings or northern parts of Main street. Many hostels exist in these areas, but they are mainly used as shelters for the high number of homeless people in this area.
Toronto offers a vast selection of hostels to choose from. The Canadiana Hostel and HI-Toronto tend to be the most popular among the downtown locations.
Montreal offers a number of high-quality hostels, including:
Hostel Montreal Central
La Maison du Patriote
Gîte du Plateau Mont-Royal
Auberge de Paris
Permanent Accommodation and renting
Below is a list of important things to note that will affect your planning:
- Rentals in Canada tend to start at the beginning of every month. Plan your trip with this in mind as you want to ensure you have a good range of options. Arriving a week or two before month’s end is advisable, as you get ample time to learn about your surroundings and find suitable accommodation.
- Most apartments/houses require at least half a month’s rent as a security deposit.
- Most apartments/houses do not come furnished, so always ask before a viewing. Furnishing a place can take time and money, so try Craigslist for cheap or free stuff. The best time to get really good deals on furniture is towards the end of the month as people are moving and will often sell their possessions at knock-down prices.
- Know your rights as a tenant. Become familiar with tenancy law in the province you plan to move to.
- Beware of bogus ads on Craigslist when finding accommodation in Canada.
- Try to prepare a landlord reference letter before you come to Canada as this is often required.
Once you have an idea as to where you’d like to live, check out the popular sites below to find accommodation listings.
Note: if you are looking to live downtown in any city, you will find that many apartment buildings do not use media to advertise; instead, they will post notices outside the buildings to advertise vacancies. It’s worth walking around neighbourhoods you want to live in to see if there are any ‘For Rent’ signs, or try calling the property management companies to check if there are any vacancies.
It’s also worth checking our Accommodation Boards for each city, which contains ads for:
- those arriving in a city soon and seeking people with whom they can share accommodation.
- people looking to fill a vacant room in their house.
- short-term sublets.
Links to Moving2Canada Accommodation Boards:
Finding Accommodation in Vancouver
Other useful websites: