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Places to live in Ontario

Places to live in Ontario

Old Feb 8th 2021, 12:40 pm
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Default Places to live in Ontario

Hi All
We were planning to go on a long holiday last year but Covid has prevented that so now just trying to get as much info as possible - I'm looking for guidance and advice on a number of aspects of Canada before making the move.

Where to live in Ontario - We currently live in new build house in a town with good schools, accessible transport links and very good local amenities, 30 minutes from Newcastle (Population - 800,500). The places I've researched which seem popular for families like ourselves are Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, with the odd review on Markham and Brampton which I believe are just outside Toronto.
Cost of Living - I've watched a number of videos, read a lot of articles and research Numbeo, however the cost of living in Canada seems very similar to the UK, some things obviously more expensive but also a lot of aspects notably cheaper. Could anyone who has lived in the UK, preferably the north of England advice?
Tax - Does anyone have the tax brackets for Ontario ? With my line of work, the business is looking to expand into Canada, I would be getting paid from the UK so to ensure I was paying tax I believe I would be stating to be self employed in Ontario ?
Weather - I know Canada is known for the 4 seasons, I've seen that Toronto tends to have a more mild winter in comparison to other parts of Canada. In comparison to the UK i'm under the impression that the summers are much hotter and reliable and that Canada actually has 4 season - instead of rain and clouds all year round here....

Let me know your thoughts.




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Old Feb 8th 2021, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Hi, welcome to BE.

Cost of living has always been considered by most to be about the same as in the UK, although recently a lot of people seem to be saying Canada is more expensive. But a forum search will bring up lots of relevant threads. Ditto weather, again a forum search will give you info. And lots of threads on areas in Ontario too.

There are also Wiki articles about these things too, here are a few to get you started -

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Cost_of_Living_in_Canada
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Burlington
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Income_Tax_Rates-Canada

HTH, good luck.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Feb 8th 2021 at 1:17 pm.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Having lived in Hamilton since July 2020, these are my anecdotal impressions as to what's cheaper/more expensive compared to the UK:

More Expensive:
  • Groceries ($9 for cheese anyone?)
  • Toiletries
  • Pharmaceuticals

Cheaper:
  • Cars
  • Fuel
  • Furniture

Last edited by crofty82; Feb 8th 2021 at 3:59 pm.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by crofty82 View Post
Having lived in Hamilton since July 2020, these are my anecdotal impressions as to what's cheaper/more expensive compared to the UK:

More Expensive:
  • Groceries ($9 for cheese anyone?)
  • Toiletries
  • Pharmaceuticals

Cheaper:
  • Cars
  • Fuel
  • Furniture


thanks for that information. I know oakville and Burlington are located near Hamilton. Do you know if all 3 places have new housing developments for families ?
I’m presuming you prefer Canada over the U.K. !
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by clp93 View Post
Hi All
We were planning to go on a long holiday last year but Covid has prevented that so now just trying to get as much info as possible - I'm looking for guidance and advice on a number of aspects of Canada before making the move.

Where to live in Ontario - We currently live in new build house in a town with good schools, accessible transport links and very good local amenities, 30 minutes from Newcastle (Population - 800,500). The places I've researched which seem popular for families like ourselves are Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, with the odd review on Markham and Brampton which I believe are just outside Toronto.
Cost of Living - I've watched a number of videos, read a lot of articles and research Numbeo, however the cost of living in Canada seems very similar to the UK, some things obviously more expensive but also a lot of aspects notably cheaper. Could anyone who has lived in the UK, preferably the north of England advice?
Tax - Does anyone have the tax brackets for Ontario ? With my line of work, the business is looking to expand into Canada, I would be getting paid from the UK so to ensure I was paying tax I believe I would be stating to be self employed in Ontario ?
Weather - I know Canada is known for the 4 seasons, I've seen that Toronto tends to have a more mild winter in comparison to other parts of Canada. In comparison to the UK i'm under the impression that the summers are much hotter and reliable and that Canada actually has 4 season - instead of rain and clouds all year round here....

Let me know your thoughts.

Hello

Choosing where to live will depend on your finances, what type of property you are hoping for, what you like to do and what you need access to, etc.. together with where you might find work (if necessary)
Hamilton / Burlington / Dundas / Ancaster / Waterdown / Guelph / Kitchener / are all good areas.. it really comes down to what you need, what you want to spend, what you like to do.
Do you want access to public transit (will you rely on public transit), and what local amenities do you need/want?
Generally speaking schools are much the same regardless of which area you live.

There are new developments in every City in the Golden Horseshoe, however, unless you like living in close proximity in cookie cutter houses on small plots of land with very little garden, I'd avoid them!
https://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/ca/place/on

House prices in the areas mentioned above have risen exponentially over the last 5 years - since Toronto became too expensive, many people are moving outwards, pushing prices up. Where you could buy a reasonable house in Hamilton (a blue collar worker City) for under $200,000 5 years ago, now that same house may cost $400,000 and up; prices in Hamilton have apparently risen by around 285% in the last 5 years, and it's the same throughout the Golden Horseshoe. This webpage has a good 'map' of how prices have risen between 2019 and 2020 and the average prices for houses in the Golden Horseshoe : https://www.zoocasa.com/blog/ontario...ice-increases/

Cost of Living - Numeo and videos aren't going to be of much use to you as they are not particularly accurate. It would be better to look at flyers for the grocery stores.. together with reading some of the many threads on 'cost of living'. A lot will depend on a) Where you live b) What type of property you live in c) What you like to do / What you need.
Internet / tv and cell (mobile) phone costs are far higher than the UK
Vehicle insurance is far higher than the UK
Alcohol is generally more expensive due to the restrictions on where you can buy in Ontario (i.e. no competition)
The only things I would say that are notably cheaper is the price of petrol (gas) and some electrical consumer goods.

These posts/threads might be of use... Make a cuppa, some are quite long!
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana.../#post12965413
https://britishexpats.com/forum/mapl...57019/page152/
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...e-work-894147/
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...ntario-904633/
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...ntario-898576/
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...please-587903/
https://britishexpats.com/forum/cana...2017-a-890211/

You will be required to declare all assets you have outside of Canada with a combined value of $100,000 and pay taxes on any increases, as well as being taxed on your world income.. there are Provincial Taxes and Federal Taxes.. plus CPP.. more info here: https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Taxation-Canada You should also read the Revenue Canada pages for newcomers: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-age...rants.html#PBC and https://www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/income-tax.htm
You may find it more tax advantageous to move your Business to Canada (register as incorporated), rather than have it based in the UK, but that will depend on the size of your business and what you do. If you are being paid by the company you own in the UK it may complicate matters to you being classified as 'self employed'.

Weather - there are basically 4 season in the Golden Horseshoe, but spring may last as little as a few days.. and not arrive til May! One reason Toronto may seem 'milder' than some other areas in the GTA / GH is because the city buildings retain the heat and radiate it
Spring - is short lived, can be very wet and grey, just like the UK
Summers are hot and very humid, summer storms are frequent.
Fall (Autumn) - lasts up to a few weeks (can be far less) and is generally glorious, blue sky, sunshine, reduced humidity.
Winter can start as early as October and last until May (though in recent years it's generally been November to March). Some years are big snowfall years with whiteout conditions, temperatures range from +2c to -40c (colder with wind chill),

Enough 'burbling from me'

Last edited by Siouxie; Feb 8th 2021 at 5:36 pm. Reason: sp
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by clp93 View Post
Hi All
We were planning to go on a long holiday last year but Covid has prevented that so now just trying to get as much info as possible - I'm looking for guidance and advice on a number of aspects of Canada before making the move.

Where to live in Ontario - We currently live in new build house in a town with good schools, accessible transport links and very good local amenities, 30 minutes from Newcastle (Population - 800,500). The places I've researched which seem popular for families like ourselves are Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, with the odd review on Markham and Brampton which I believe are just outside Toronto.
Cost of Living - I've watched a number of videos, read a lot of articles and research Numbeo, however the cost of living in Canada seems very similar to the UK, some things obviously more expensive but also a lot of aspects notably cheaper. Could anyone who has lived in the UK, preferably the north of England advice?
Tax - Does anyone have the tax brackets for Ontario ? With my line of work, the business is looking to expand into Canada, I would be getting paid from the UK so to ensure I was paying tax I believe I would be stating to be self employed in Ontario ?
Weather - I know Canada is known for the 4 seasons, I've seen that Toronto tends to have a more mild winter in comparison to other parts of Canada. In comparison to the UK i'm under the impression that the summers are much hotter and reliable and that Canada actually has 4 season - instead of rain and clouds all year round here....

Let me know your thoughts.
I second most of what Siouxie said in the post above about new housing developments - the builders cram the maximum number of houses into the minimum amount of space. Prices in Oakville and Burlington are a lot higher than Hamilton and have seen similar price rises. You will really struggle get a decent, family sized detached house in Oakville for less than $1.3mi, $1,1mi in Burlington. Even townhouses (terraces) in Oakville are going for over a million. I think a few variations in the cost of groceries etc, will pale into insignificance compared to the difference in housing costs.
As far as the weather goes, most years it is more like two seasons - FN Hot and FN Cold. The switch between the two happens over a period of about a week in 'Spring' - sometimes on the same day, Autumn lasts a bit longer.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Thank you so much for your reply and the information. I'm going to make my way through it and if i have any more questions would i be able to ask you ?

If i can come to Ontario in the summer i will be able to narrow down some places and get a feel for them, lets hope covid allows it! Public transport isn't essential as my wife and i both drive but its just nice to have the option. I only ever hear good things about the schools!

Yeah I can imagine its hard to give a good indication on cost of living until over the internet/video as everyone has different needs and expenses.

The weather will be much better than UK, better to have 4 seasons that grey, rain and the occasional sun!

Thank you again for your help.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Some years are big snowfall years with whiteout conditions, temperatures range from +2c to -40c (colder with wind chill),

Enough 'burbling from me'
I've lived in Ottawa for 26 years and have never seen it below -33 c. I'm talking air temp not wind chill which can be instantaneous and wind tunnels near buildings can make it seem higher. -40 c w/o windchill is an exaggeration. Have you been reading the Daily Fail :

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...mph-gales.html . The original poster should be aware that snow of the levels shown in that article will be easy to get around in if they move to Ontario.

I have relatives in Hamilton and they seem to be the type who try and get through the winter wearing trainers only. Then they come here to Ottawa in January and see the snowbanks and snow everywhere and realize they should have brought winter boots. These are relatives by marriage so I have to keep my mouth shut
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by Partially discharged View Post
I've lived in Ottawa for 26 years and have never seen it below -33 c. I'm talking air temp not wind chill which can be instantaneous and wind tunnels near buildings can make it seem higher. -40 c w/o windchill is an exaggeration. Have you been reading the Daily Fail :

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...mph-gales.html . The original poster should be aware that snow of the levels shown in that article will be easy to get around in if they move to Ontario.

I have relatives in Hamilton and they seem to be the type who try and get through the winter wearing trainers only. Then they come here to Ottawa in January and see the snowbanks and snow everywhere and realize they should have brought winter boots. These are relatives by marriage so I have to keep my mouth shut
-40c without wind chill is not an exaggeration, while it's very unusual, it has happened! (I had meant to write -30c - not -40c ... ooops)
https://bulletin.cmos.ca/ontarios-co...cord-straight/
  • Central Patricia (located 450 km north of Thunder Bay and 5 km northeast of Pickle Lake) -53.9°C January 5, 1959.
  • Hornepayne -52.8°C Jan 23, 1935
  • White River -51.7°C Jan 23, 1935.
  • Ingolf -51.2°C Feb 7, 1933.
  • Franz -50.6°C Jan 23, 1935.
  • Armstrong -50.0°C Jan 29, 1957.
Not forgetting snowfall >
https://ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/defau...n&n=6A4A3AC5-1
Toronto's Snowstorm of the Century - January 2-15, 1999. A series of storms stalked the city, dumping nearly a year's amount of snow in less than two weeks. In all, the city recorded the greatest January snowfall total ever with 118.4 cm and the greatest snow on the ground at any one time with 65 cm. The storms cost the city nearly twice the annual budget in snow removal.

Last edited by Siouxie; Feb 8th 2021 at 8:37 pm.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Hi...I'm from Newcastle and have only just arrived back in Canada after spending the last 2 months staying with family in Whitley Bay. When I was over there we did a lot of shopping in Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. I found most of the regular meat and fresh fish a similar cost or more expensive than what we pay down here in the Niagara region. However processed meat, such as ham, sausage, bacon etc are generally less expensive. When it come to the fruit and veg, dairy products and alcohol the UK prices win hands down.
The cost of a new vehicle in Canada is certainly cheaper than the UK, and gas/petrol 60% of the price. I've never claimed on my car insurance in 26 years yet I'm still paying close to $1,000 for each of the 2 vehicles we own.
Depending on where you live, public transport can be almost non existent and property prices close to a Go Train station can be very inflated.
I live in St Catharines, 10 minutes from Niagara Falls, and have a 33 year old 2 storey house 2,100 sq ft, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms which is worth roughly $650,000. The same house in Oakville would be in the million dollar bracket. The closer you get to Toronto the higher the prices are for property. Another thing to consider is property tax, I'm paying annually $6,500 yet there are similar size houses in our City paying almost half of my total, I still can't figure out how they justify it, other than it's supposedly linked to services and nothing to do with the amount of adults living in the property.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

You don't have to be near Toronto for work do you? Maybe look elsewhere too. Do you want access to museums, culture, boating? Will you miss the sea?
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Old Feb 9th 2021, 6:26 am
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by Partially discharged View Post
I've lived in Ottawa for 26 years and have never seen it below -33 c. I'm talking air temp not wind chill which can be instantaneous and wind tunnels near buildings can make it seem higher. -40 c w/o windchill is an exaggeration. Have you been reading the Daily Fail
I grew up in Ottawa, and was once sent to school when it was -55F (~-48C), and that was long before "wind chill" temperatures were even a thing. More than 26 years ago, mind you.

Global warming has mildly benefited places like Ottawa over the past few decades, even while slowly f***ing the rest of the planet.
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Old Feb 9th 2021, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Brilliant to know, Ottawa always gets brilliant reviews on places to live as well so thanks for the info on weather!

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Old Feb 9th 2021, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Originally Posted by clp93 View Post
thanks for that information. I know oakville and Burlington are located near Hamilton. Do you know if all 3 places have new housing developments for families ?
I’m presuming you prefer Canada over the U.K. !
As we moved during Covid and there's been very little opportunity to properly explore, go out for drinks, meals, ice-skate, watch sports or whatever, it's difficult to say at this stage whether we prefer Canada or the UK because both are equally shut down (or at least Ontario is). We managed to move across during that period of summer respite between the first and second waves of Covid when some things had reopened and things were more 'normal' than they are now.

Once the vaccinations start making a difference hopefully we will be able to experience Canada as it was before the pandemic, so ask me that same question in a years' time I guess.

To your question about housing developments; Siouxie has provided very detailed info but again anecdotally; in and around Hamilton I see several of these going up. Bear in mind as well though that Canada is such a young country, most houses look 'new' by UK standards. A search of realtor websites shows less for sale/to rent during Covid than was the case before, for obvious reasons.
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Old Feb 9th 2021, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Places to live in Ontario

Thanks for your information and help and good luck with the move. Hopefully covid goes and you can properly enjoy it!
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