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Moving to Ontario, Canada: Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Are you moving to Ontario, Canada? You likely have plenty of questions about what to expect in this exciting new province and chapter of your life..

Are you moving to Ontario, Canada? You likely have plenty of questions about what to expect in this exciting new province and chapter of your life.  

The good news is that Ontario is a central province that offers incredible job opportunities, provincial healthcare (OHIP), and some of the best cities in all of Canada. 

When planning your move to Ontario, there are many things to do before you settle into your new home. Whether you’re looking to rent a new apartment or buy a house, you’ll need to hire movers and decide if you want to reside in one of the province’s major cities or small towns. You’ll also need to learn how to obtain permanent residence status, a driver’s license, and your health care card 

Not to worry. This guide is here to help you prepare for your move to one of the biggest economic centers in North America. 

Why Move to Ontario, Canada? 

Ontario is among the most exciting provinces in Canada. It’s home to several big cities, including the provincial capital of Toronto, which features the world-renowned CN Tower, excellent public transportation, and great neighborhoods. Toronto, Ontario is one of the largest cities in North America, just behind Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles.  

Ottawa, Canada‘s capital city, is where you’ll find Parliament Hill. Ottawa is situated in southeast Ontario and offers access to the province of Quebec. 

Niagara Falls, also located in Ontario, is famous for tourism, entertainment, and, of course, its incredible waterfalls 

Other mid-size cities, including Hamilton and Oakville (voted the best place to live in Canada in 2018), offer employment opportunities, entertainment and shopping, and plenty of outdoor activities 

You’ll find beautiful scenery in national and city parks, great neighborhoods, a homegrown culture of local businesses, fun farmers’ markets, an array of international cuisine and dining experiences, and plenty of nightlife in communities throughout the province. 

How Does Ontario Compare to Other Canadian Provinces? 

Ontario is considered one of the top provinces for economic prosperity and employment opportunities in Canada. The province generates more tax revenue than other Canadian provinces and territories.  

While Ontario includes some of the most expensive cities to live in, such as Toronto and Ottawa, plenty of mid-size and smaller cities are within a short distance of those big metropolitan areas.  

Overall, Canada offers a reasonable cost of living, whether you move to Vancouver, British Columbia, or relocate to Montreal in Quebec or Alberta. Ontario is among the most affordable and exciting places to consider for your new home in Canada. 

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What Is the Cost Of Living in Ontario, Canada? 

Ontario offers an excellent quality of life and cost of living that varies across different municipalities and regions. Please note all monetary amounts are in Canadian dollars.  

According to rental market reports from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average cost of rent in 2020, based on all unit sizes, is $1,635 for Toronto and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), $1,137 for Niagara and St. Catharines, and $1,517 for the Ottawa region. The average one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1,417 while it’s $1,244 in Ottawa and $1,096 in Hamilton 

The monthly cost of groceries in Canada varies widely, and it’s typically around $14,767 per year for a family of four. Without including rent, the average Toronto resident can expect to pay $1,242 monthly in living expenses, including groceries, internet, and transportation.  

While taxes are high in Ontario, at an average cost of just over $7,000 annually, a significant portion of these taxes covers the OHIP or Ontario Health Insurance Plan, accessible to Canadian citizens and individuals with a permanent residence status. Dental coverage, visual benefits, and pharmaceutical costs may be extra, and supplementary benefits may be needed, depending on your medical condition. 

Is Public Transportation Readily Available in Ontario Cities? 

Moving to Ontario Public Transportation Downtown

One can easily do without a car in the big cities of Ontario. Public transportation is readily available in every major city or town.  

You can locate schedules, fares, and maps about several major transportation systems, including the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), GO Transit, and Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission (OC Transpo).  

In addition, most major cities offer Uber, Lyft, and local taxi options if you’re looking for local car-sharing and taxi services. 

How Do I Connect My Ontario Cell Phone Service and Internet Provider? 

If you’re looking for a new internet and cell phone provider in Ontario, you can find the best options on Simply perform a search for Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, or the region where you’ll be relocating 

Don’t forget: You’ll also need to schedule a cancelation for your current digital services and update your address, phone number, and other information that will change when you move to Ontario. 

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How Do I Find a New Home in Ontario? 

Whether you’re looking to rent a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment or buy a new home, you’ll find options on A quick online search will also provide further details on available real estate and short-term rentals, depending on your moving circumstances.  

You’ll find many options, whether you’re looking for a condominium with a view of Lake Ontario, a high-rise apartment downtown in a major city, or a house in the suburbs just outside of the city. 

How Much Are Provincial and Income Taxes in Ontario? 

In the province of Ontario, the sales tax, also known as HST (harmonized sales tax), is 13%. You can find this information and other tax rates for provinces and territories across Canada on the website.  

If you need resources to complete your income taxes, you can visit the Government of Canada website for helpful information. 

Do I Need an Ontario Health Insurance Plan? 

Ontario offers a provincial healthcare plan. You’ll find helpful details on the application process on the Ministry of Health website, which provides guidance on submitting a form for healthcare coverage, obtaining a health card, and locations to visit for assistance. 

If you’re a new resident of Ontario, there will be a three-month waiting period to get on the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). In the meantime, you can purchase private health insurance if you don’t want to be uninsured.  

How Do I Find a Canadian Long-Distance Moving Company? 

If you’re moving to Ontario from another Canadian province, it’s essential that you find a reputable long-distance company with excellent reviews. You can perform a search on HomeStars and Yelp to find an inter-provincial or cross-country moving company that can best accommodate your relocation 

Whether you hire a mover or do it yourself, the following checklist may help when moving to Ontario:  

  • Select a professional moving company, DIY moving truck, and storage containers if needed 
  • Order moving supplies to prepare for relocating to Ontario, including boxes, packing materials, box tape, permanent markers for labeling, and moving kits 
  • Junk removal providers can help you eliminate clutter and are easy to find online 
  • Find local charities that will take donation items before your move to reduce the number of personal belongings you’ll need to relocate 
  • Schedule trash removal for the day of your departure 

You’ll find many Canadian cities offer outstanding services for moving, organizing, and storing your items. Many moving companies provide a free quote and details of the moving services they offer before, during, and after your relocation. Be sure to ask movers the right questions before you commit. 

Additional Items to Consider When Moving to Ontario 

You may want to create a checklist with additional items that need your attention when moving to Ontario: 

  • Schedule disconnection of utilities and other services at your old address 
  • Contact your bank or financial institution to update your address, banking accounts, and credit card details before your move 
  • Update your driver’s license information with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation 
  • Shop for an insurance policy for your new home, personal belongings, and car insurance, if you plan on driving a personal automobile 
  • Determine where childcare services, local schools, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential services are located in your neighborhood 

Once you settle into your new place in Toronto, Ottawa, Oakville, Hamilton, or surrounding areas, you’ll probably have a few more items to add to the list. But this quick checklist should get you off to a good start. 

How Do I Set Up My Utilities in Ontario? 

Moving to Ontario | Setting up Utilities in Winter Snow Photo

One of the most important steps to consider when moving to Ontario is setting up your utilities for your new residence. Ontario‘s electricity and gas utilities are deregulated, so while the distribution of utilities is regulated, you can choose the retailer that best suits your needs. 

The following sections will answer some common questions and provide the steps you’ll need to successfully set up your utilities when you rent or buy a new home in Ontario, Canada. 

Setting Up Utilities Before Moving Into Your Place in Ontario 

You’ll need to call in advance to set up each utility for your new residence so that everything will be ready and switched “on” when you move in. The more notice you provide before you move, the easier the transition will be. 

Once you have a new address, contact your utility company to connect your service so that it takes effect on the day you move in. You’ll find details on where to find a local electricity and natural gas provider based on the city or region in Ontario on the Ontario Energy Board website. When you locate the utilities in your area of Ontario, be prepared to provide the following details: 

  • Your full name and proof of identification (government-issued ID) 
  • New address, phone number, and email (home and billing address) 
  • The date you need service to start 
  • Work location, address, and contact information 

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What Happens If I Don’t Set Up Electricity or Natural Gas When Moving to Ontario? 

If you don’t plan to transfer or set up your utilities for your new place, the landlord or property owner will set up an account to keep the utilities in their name until you move in. Some utilities, like water, may be included in your rent, so you won’t have to set up an account.  

However, in most situations, you’ll need to contact the power company to set up an account in your name and schedule a technician on-site, if required. 

Will I Have to Pay Extra Fees to Set Up Utilities? 

There may be a one-time fee or deposit if you’re setting up an account with a new utility provider. Therefore, when you call to inquire about rates and plans, be sure to ask questions about what to expect. 

How Do I Transfer Utilities When Moving to Ontario? 

If you move from a different Canadian province to Ontario, you may or may not have the same utility company, depending on where you’re relocating 

When you move within Ontario from one city to another, you’ll need to check with your provider to determine if you need to change companies. 

Suppose you move within the same city or town and into a new neighborhood. In that case, you’ll likely only need to provide your new address with the current provider and the effective date of the move, so that service will automatically switch upon moving into your new apartment. 

Plan For Your New Adventure in Ontario 

Moving to Ontario brings with it a variety of employment opportunities, outdoor activities, and great neighborhoods that can suit your lifestyle. Whether you visit a national park, hike along Lake Ontario, or take a road trip across the province, you’ll find incredible scenery.  

Ontario offers some of the most wonderful attractions, best cities, and outstanding natural beauty in North America. But as with any move, you must make sure to do your due diligence and handle all the details to make your relocation as seamless as possible. 

From updating your insurance policy to setting up your Ontario gas and electricity account, taking the proper steps will make the entire process that much easier and more exciting. 

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By: Just Energy
Title: Moving to Ontario, Canada: Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
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Published Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2022 08:00:47 +0000

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