Affordable Ontario Cities: 12 Affordable Communities in Ontario

Ontario Most Affordable Cities

Curious about which cities in Ontario won’t overstretch your budget? While the province is home to high-dollar cities like Toronto and Ottawa, homebuyers moving to Ontario have abundant options for affordable communities with a high quality of life. From the dynamic city of Windsor to smaller cities like North Bay, Ontario’s most affordable cities have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Windsor, Thunder Bay, and Greater Sudbury emerge as Ontario’s top cities for affordability, with average home prices significantly lower than the provincial average and attractive rental rates.
  • Southern and Eastern Ontario are highlighted for their budget-friendly havens, offering a mix of urban conveniences, natural beauty, and affordable living, with notable mentions of cities like Sarnia and London for their low cost of living and high quality of life.
  • Northeastern and North-Central Ontario boast hidden treasures for thrifty dwellers, with cities like Elliot Lake and Deep River offering tranquil, cost-effective living complemented by outdoor activities and scenic environments.

Unlocking Ontario's Most Affordable Cities

From the cultural vibrancy of Windsor’s best neighbourhoods to the western gem of Thunder Bay, Ontario unfolds as a province filled with affordable cities, each with its unique charm and appeal. The average cost of buying a property in Ontario is $850,000, but cities like Thunder Bay, Greater Sudbury, and Windsor stand out as affordable communities with below-average real estate prices.

Ontario’s regional diversity greatly influences the varying levels of affordability across its cities. From the bustling streets of downtown Toronto, Canada’s largest city, to the tranquil shores of Lake Ontario, the province offers a range of living experiences to suit different lifestyles and budgets.


Located in Southern Ontario, Windsor harmoniously blends city life with affordability. There’s a wide range of affordable homes for sale in Windsor, with options starting in the $200s and average prices hovering around $500,000. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking for affordable housing in a vibrant urban setting.

For renters living in Windsor, housing options are similarly affordable, with the typical range for apartment rentals falling from $1,400 to $1,700. Complementing Windsor’s affordability is its rich city life, marked by art festivals, outdoor activities, and the presence of the University of Windsor.

Thunder Bay

Situated in the west near the Ontario-Minnesota border, Thunder Bay provides more than just breathtaking views of Lake Superior. With house prices in the $200s, Thunder Bay is a haven for those seeking affordable housing in a city that’s rich in natural beauty and community spirit.

The city also boasts significantly more affordable rent prices. In Thunder Bay, you can find an average rent of $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment, making it an attractive choice for those looking to live in Ontario without the high cost typically associated with city living.

Greater Sudbury

Known for its mining industry, Greater Sudbury, or the Nickel City, features a low cost of living, indicative of a robust local economy. Homes typically sell from the mid-$300s through the $800s. One- to two-bedroom apartments in Greater Sudbury rent for $1,400 to $1,800, showcasing the city’s affordable housing market.

What’s more, an individual can expect an average monthly cost of living of around $2,865, a modest amount compared to many other cities in Ontario. With a population of around 166,000, Greater Sudbury has appeal as a budget-conscious living destination.

Southern Ontario's Budget-Friendly Havens

Reasons to Live in London, ON

Beyond bustling cities and scenic landscapes, the affordable communities of Southern Ontario are budget-friendly havens, blending value with quality of life. From the vibrant city of London to the serene lakeside community of Sarnia and the picturesque communities of Chatham-Kent, Southern Ontario is home to some of the most affordable cities in the province.

In Essex and Kent County, homebuyers can find highly affordable housing, with single-family homes starting in the $400s, offering a truly budget-friendly haven. Furthermore, the appeal of lakeside living is emphasized in areas like Belle River and Tilbury, where homes often fall in the $500s and up, giving residents the chance to enjoy waterside benefits with the conveniences of urban life.


Beyond its familiar name, London, Ontario, serves as a capital city for education and culture, combining affordability with a high quality of life. The city boasts a thriving healthcare system, a variety of educational institutions, and attractions like the London Children’s Museum, contributing to its low-cost cultural richness.

Despite its amenities, the cost of living in London is surprisingly affordable. With a population of around 420,000, London provides a range of public services that cater to residents while maintaining affordability. Some of the reasons why living in London is popular include:

  • Restaurants that offer affordable options for dining and recreation
  • Proximity to nature, with many parks and green spaces for outdoor activities
  • A rich cultural scene that offers a variety of affordable entertainment options

Overall, the cost of living in London allows residents to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.


Located on Lake Huron’s shores, Sarnia provides the allure of lakeside living without the hefty price tag. Average home prices in Sarnia typically fall in the $500s but can be found as low as the mid-$300s, while monthly rent for an apartment often ranges from $1,300 to $1,700, making it an affordable option for those seeking a home close to the water.

Beyond housing, living expenses in Sarnia are equally reasonable. It offers a high standard of living at affordable prices, including utility costs, grocery prices, and childcare costs, making it a top choice for budget-conscious dwellers.

Lakeside Bliss in the Communities of Chatham-Kent

Reasons to Live in Blenheim, ON

Enjoy lakeside bliss amidst the charm of Chatham-Kent communities. With affordable housing options that cater to diverse lifestyle needs, these communities are a hidden gem in Southern Ontario. Chatham-Kent offers a range of affordable housing options, including:

  • Single-family homes in the upper $300s and $400s in Blenheim 
  • Tilbury properties in the $200s to $300s and up
  • The convenience of urban life in Wallaceburg, with home prices starting in the mid-$300s

These communities offer a variety of affordable housing options, catering to different budgets and preferences.

Eastern Ontario's Economical Urban Centers

Reasons to Live in Kingston, ON

Economical urban centers in Eastern Ontario, like Kingston and Cornwall, provide affordable riverside living amid historic charm. Whether you value access to some of the best beaches in Ontario or large job centres, the benefits of these cities include affordable housing, low living expenses, and a range of amenities. These factors make them attractive places to call home.

Whether you’re seeking Kingston's historic charm or the riverside living at its most affordable in Cornwall, Eastern Ontario’s economic urban centers are worth considering. Packed with amenities and opportunities, these cities are testaments to Ontario’s diverse and affordable living options.


Referred to as the “Limestone City” due to its beautiful historic buildings, Kingston—one of the best cities in Ontario—blends old-world charm with contemporary affordability. The city offers an array of affordable housing options, with rent averaging between $1,800 to $2,200 for a one- and two-bedroom apartment, respectively. Homes in Kingston commonly fall in the mid-$400s to $500s and up.

Despite its rich history and many amenities, Kingston maintains a low cost of living. The city is home to a thriving healthcare system and many educational institutions, which add to its appeal without burning a hole in your pocket.


Cornwall presents the opportunity for affordable living near the beautiful St. Lawrence River, with homes in the area starting in the upper $200s and $300s.

With average living expenses of $1,539 per month for an individual and $4,044 for a family of four, Cornwall offers a high standard of living at affordable prices. Considering the average household income, whether it’s the minimal transportation costs or manageable living expenses, Cornwall is an attractive option for budget-conscious dwellers.

Northeastern Ontario's Hidden Treasures

Reasons to Live in Cornwall, ON

Northeastern Ontario, known for its vast landscapes and natural beauty, also houses hidden gems for budget-conscious residents. Deep River and North Bay, two of Northeast Ontario’s most affordable cities, offer serene living and unbeatable prices, making them ideal for those seeking tranquillity without compromising on affordability.

From the paradise of North Bay with its scenic beauty and outdoor activities to the serenity and savings on offer in Deep River, Northeast Ontario’s hidden treasures bring together the best of affordable living and natural beauty.

Deep River

Situated on the banks of the Ottawa River, Deep River provides tranquillity and affordability for those in search of cost-effective living. One of the reasons Deep River is often mentioned among the best small towns in Ontario is its range of affordable housing options, with homes for sale starting in the $300s up through to the $700s.

But Deep River is more than just affordable housing. The city offers a high standard of living, with a scenic location, robust local economy, and a variety of recreational facilities that make it an attractive place to live. Whether it’s the beautiful beaches, the extensive cross-country ski trails, or the treed boulevards and parklands, Deep River has something to offer everyone.

North Bay

Situated between two of Ontario’s best lakes, Lake Nipissing and Trout Lake, North Bay is a lively community providing affordable housing with picturesque views. With homes starting in the $300s to $400s and going up through the $800s, North Bay offers a variety of housing options that cater to different budgets.

Beyond its affordable housing market, North Bay provides a robust local economy offering employment in various professions. No matter your lifestyle or budget, you’re bound to find your perfect home in North Bay.

Discover North-Central Ontario's Cost-Effective Cities

Our journey of affordability takes us next to North-Central Ontario, the home of Elliot Lake and Timmins. These cities offer a blend of affordability, natural beauty, and promising job opportunities, making them attractive options for those seeking the most affordable city with cost-effective living.

Whether it’s the picturesque views and vibrant community of Elliot Lake or the golden opportunities in the gold-mining town of Timmins, North-Central Ontario is home to cities that offer more for less. These cities are true hidden treasures for thrifty dwellers with affordable housing, lower living costs, and robust local economies.


Timmins offers more than its gold-mining history, though this history was vital to the growth of the economy in Ontario. Known as the city with a “Heart of Gold,” Timmins offers golden opportunities for affordable living. Home prices in Timmins generally start in the $200s and can go as high as the upper $500s.

Renting in Timmins is also affordable, with an average apartment going for $800 to $1,400 per month. So whether you’re looking to rent or buy, Timmins offers affordable options that won’t break the bank.

Elliot Lake

Recognized as Kraft Hockeyville 2024—an NHL-backed award that earned the city’s Centennial Arena $250,000 worth of upgrades and equipment—Elliot Lake provides unbeatable prices for those seeking a serene and cost-effective home. With home prices falling in the $100s and $200s up through the $400s, Elliot Lake is a dream come true for retirees seeking a community that offers affordability without compromising quality of life.

The city offers more than just affordable housing. With its scenic beauty and myriad outdoor activities, Elliot Lake is an attractive destination. It's a cozy and manageable community of around 11,000 people, making it a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

Affordable Ontario Awaits

From the bustling city life of Windsor to the serene beauty of Elliot Lake, a variety of great communities can help you minimize your cost of living in Ontario. Whether you prefer the cultural activities of London, the historic charm of Kingston, or the lakeside bliss of Sarnia and Chatham-Kent, Ontario has something to fit your budget and lifestyle. With its thriving local economies and affordable housing markets, Ontario is a province where affordability and quality of life go hand in hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which city in Ontario has the lowest cost of living?

Windsor has the lowest cost of living in Ontario, with a cost-of-living index of 61.7.

What makes Windsor an affordable city to live in?

Windsor is an affordable city to live in due to its homes starting in the $200s and lower rental prices compared to larger cities.

How affordable is lakeside living in Southern Ontario?

Lakeside living in Southern Ontario, such as in Sarnia and Chatham-Kent, can be quite affordable, with most homes starting in the mid-$300s.

If you're ready to move to Ontario, contact Team Goran of RE/MAX CARE Realty at (519) 979-9949 to reach a local real estate agent who can help find your dream Ontario home.

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