toronto real estate market

These are the most affordable cities for real estate in Ontario

If you're looking to take the dive into homeownership but, like the vast majority of us, can't possibly afford housing in Toronto, there are a number of nearby cities where you can get more bang for your buck (and won't have to spend a million dollars).

While prices have continued to skyrocket in Toronto and other parts of the GTA as if there isn't a global pandemic and worldwide lockdowns taking place, there are parts of the province where homes can still be purchased for fairly reasonable prices.

Take Kingston, for example, just halfway between T.O. and Montreal and under two hours' drive from Ottawa.

Known for being home to Queen's University and the Kingston Penitentiary, the city of less than 200,000 people is rich with history and beautiful heritage architecture. It also has the benefits of low crime rates.

As noted by RE/MAX, the average price of a residential property sold in Kingston in 2020 was only $464,083, compared to a whopping $986,085 in Toronto — a huge difference that just may make the move a few hours east worth it.

Then, there's somewhere like Windsor, the most southernmost locale in Ontario.

Separated by the Detroit River from the U.S. — which actually sits to the northwest of the city — the border crossing in Windsor is the busiest commercial land crossing between the two countries, meaning it's bustling with Americans and provides easy access to the states.

Slightly larger than Kingston, Windsor is known for its auto industry and its cheap real estate, with houses in 2020 going for an average of just $406,861, which is actually way up from the year previous.

As the experts at RE/MAX state, "when you consider that this price will not get you any house or condominium in Toronto or Vancouver, this market could be considered a steal for first-time homebuyers."

If you're willing to move further north in the province, things get even cheaper, even while staying in an urban centre. The average home in Sudbury, an old mining settlement that's a four-and-a-half hour drive north of Toronto, sold for a meagre $311,940 last year.

If you're really looking for a steal but still want to live in an Ontario city, you'll have to go another 11 hours northwest of even Sudbury, all the way to Thunder Bay, which has a population of around 120,000 and abuts Lake Superior. It is also known for its scenic views and nearby hiking trails where residents can get in touch with nature.

While Sudbury has a giant nickel, Thunder Bay is home to a giant curling rock, as well as the cheapest home prices in Ontario: just $248,462, on average. For comparison, you can buy a coveted parking spot in Toronto for a third of that price, or the average detached home for about $1.5 million.

But, with population forever on the rise and municipalities across the province growing, housing costs are expected to increase in many Ontario housing markets this year, some of them significantly, so things may not be so affordable for long.

Lead photo by

Visit Kingston


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