Canada’s most affordable city is in Ontario and here’s how much you need for a house

Lisa Belmonte/Narcity Canada

If you’re looking at Ontario cities to buy a house in, there’s a place here that’s the best in the entire country.

According to a new ranking, the most affordable city in Canada is in Ontario — and it’s definitely not Toronto!

Royal LePage just released a “Most Affordable Canadian Cities Report” that breaks down the 15 most affordable cities in Canada based on the percentage of income required to make a monthly mortgage payment.

This is calculated using provincial median total household income data, city-level aggregate home price data, and a three-year fixed-term loan at 5.71%, amortized over 25 years with a 20% downpayment.

Thunder Bay ranks as the most affordable city in Canada this year.

In the city, 22.2% of a household’s monthly income is required to make a mortgage payment each month.

The aggregate home price in Thunder Bay is $299,300 as of 2024 and the provincial median total household income is $84,400.

A monthly mortgage payment is $1,563.25 in the northern Ontario city.

“Thunder Bay offers the best of both worlds – small city feel with a low cost of living and proximity to nature,” said Nathan Lawrence, Royal LePage sales representative and partner.

Windsor-Essex is the only other place in Ontario to make the list of the most affordable cities in Canada, coming in at 13 out of 15 in the ranking.

The aggregate price of a home is $491,100 as of 2024 and the provincial median total household income is $84,400.

Royal LePage noted that 36.4% of a household’s monthly income would be needed to make a mortgage payment.

That monthly mortgage payment works out to $2,560.41 in Windsor-Essex.

After Thunder Bay, these are the most affordable cities in Canada from this new ranking:

  • Saint John, New Brunswick
  • Red Deer, Alberta
  • Trois-Rivières, Quebec
  • Edmonton, Alberta

Between 25.1% and 28.9% of a household’s monthly income is needed to make a mortgage payment in those cities, according to Royal LePage.

Of the 15 most affordable cities in Canada, four are located in Quebec and four in the Atlantic provinces.

No cities in B.C. made the ranking of affordable places in this country.

Here’s the full list of the most affordable cities in Canada from Royal LePage:

  1. Thunder Bay, Ontario
  2. Saint John, New Brunswick
  3. Red Deer, Alberta
  4. Trois-Rivières, Quebec
  5. Edmonton, Alberta
  6. Regina, Saskatchewan
  7. St. John’s, Newfoundland
  8. Quebec City, Quebec
  9. Sherbrooke, Quebec
  10. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  11. Fredericton, New Brunswick
  12. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  13. Windsor-Essex, Ontario
  14. Charlottetown, P.E.I.
  15. Gatineau, Quebec

“There’s an old saying in real estate, ‘drive until you qualify.’ As housing affordability continues to deteriorate and Canadians face increasingly higher barriers to entry when buying a home, this adage is becoming more of a reality,” said Karen Yolevski, COO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

“Many aspiring homeowners in the country’s largest and priciest urban centres are seriously considering relocating to less expensive cities in order to get a foot on the property ladder,” Yolevski noted.