Types of Housing in Canada
Finding a place to call home is one of the first items to check off your to-do list as a newcomer. Luckily, Canada has a large variety of housing options. Your ultimate choice will depend on your budget, your location, and the needs of your family. Let us help you get started with a breakdown of the housing types available in Canada.
A detached home is one that stands on its own and doesn’t share a wall with any other residences. Often, detached homes have front and back yards. This is the classic type of house you often see families living in on TV or in movies. Detached homes are usually the most expensive form of housing to purchase or rent, particularly in and around large cities.
A semi-detached home is an individual unit that shares one common wall with another household. You can picture this as a detached house divided down the centre, with a family living on each side. Semi-detached houses, sometimes just called “semis,” normally include private front and back yards, although you may share a fence with residents living in the other half of the home.
Townhouses are rows of homes similar to semi-detached houses, except they share a wall with neighbours on each side of the house (unless you live in an end unit). Townhomes may or may not include outdoor space like a back yard or rooftop patio. They’re available to be purchased or rented, and can be run as condominiums, meaning you own or rent the home’s interior, but a condo corporation owns and maintains the exterior.
Rental apartments are units in buildings owned by one landlord or company. Residents pay a monthly fee to live in the units. Typically renters enter into a one-year lease agreement with the landlord and then continue on a month-to-month basis. While rental apartments normally include basic appliances like fridges and stoves, they may or may not include additional appliances like microwaves, dishwashers, and laundry units.
Renters are responsible for the general upkeep of their apartments, but landlords are responsible for any major unit repairs caused by general wear and tear. Apartments may or may not include outdoor space in the form of a balcony or terrace. You can lower the cost of renting an apartment by living with roommates.
Condominiums, or “condos” for short, are like apartment buildings, but with a different ownership structure. Residents can own or rent units while a condo corporation owns and maintains the building’s common elements (like hallways and lobbies) and exterior.
Condominiums often offer communal amenities like fitness centres, party rooms, and even swimming pools. More upscale condos may offer concierge services. If you’re a renter, these amenities are included in your monthly rent. Owners will pay a monthly condo fee to maintain common amenities and cover building upkeep and repairs. Condos are available in a wide variety of sizes from small bachelor units to two and three-bedroom apartments.