Moving to Ontario from Manitoba: 10 Things to Know BEFORE You Move

Moving From Manitoba to Ontario

Are you considering moving to Ontario from Manitoba? There are several factors to consider before making the move. These factors include home prices, the economy, and other cost of living expenses. Read on to learn more about moving from Manitoba to Ontario. 

Cost of Living: Is Ontario More Expensive Than Manitoba?

Let's compare the cost of living between Ontario and Manitoba to see how they stack up. You'll want to look at housing prices and overall expenses to understand which province might be the best fit. Understanding these differences will help you make informed decisions as you plan your move from Manitoba to Ontario.

Cost of Living in Ontario

Navigating the cost of living in Ontario compared to Manitoba brings insight into the financial adjustments required for a smooth transition. The province's median gross annual salary is around $70,000.

Ontario's average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in major cities like Toronto is around $2,500 per month, significantly higher than in Manitoba. However, rents are significantly lower outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Renting a three-bedroom home in Windsor, for example, will cost an average of $1,500 a month.

Housing costs in Ontario are also notable, with the median home price across the province in the $600s. Once again, though, these average prices are somewhat misleading due to the severe cost discrepancy between areas like Chatham-Kent versus the GTA.

Understanding these expenses is crucial for effective budgeting and financial planning as you settle into Ontario's dynamic lifestyle.

Cost of Living in Manitoba

Housing costs in Manitoba are, overall, significantly lower than in Ontario. With average rents of around $1,000 and a stable housing market that mirrors the province’s stable and diverse economy, real estate and rentals are accessible in Manitoba.

Additionally, Manitoba's business tax rates are calculated based on the Annual Rental Value (ARV) and may offer a small business tax credit for businesses with an ARV under a certain threshold. Overall, Manitoba presents a more affordable housing landscape than Ontario.

Home Prices in Ontario

Residential Suburb of Toronto, Ontario

There’s no denying that housing is more expensive in Ontario, but depending on where a Manitoban is targeting for their move, affordable options do exist. In Ontario, recent trends have shown varying impacts on homeowners. Single-family home prices in cities like Burlington, Markham, Mississauga, and Kitchener experienced notable decreases, and condo prices in London followed a similar trend. Meanwhile, Toronto stood out with an increase in single-family home prices.

While the average home price in the GTA is more than $1.2 million, Ontario’s affordable cities tell a vastly different tale. In London, average home prices are in the low $600s, while in Ottawa—Canada’s capital city—buyers can expect averages in the $700s.

These fluctuations highlight the importance of a cautious approach to real estate investment, especially in the condo market.

Home Prices in Manitoba

In Winnipeg, the average selling price of a single-family home increased over the past few years to around $350,000. The prices for townhomes and condos followed similar trends.

The average rent in Winnipeg also saw a notable increase, rising to around $1,500. However, there are still plentiful options available closer to $1,000. These figures showcase Manitoba's current housing market trends, providing valuable information for those considering a move to Ontario and weighing the potential differences in home prices between the two provinces.

Ontario Economy vs Manitoba Economy

Job Hunting When Moving from Manitoba to Ontario

When comparing the Ontario economy to Manitoba's, you'll notice significant differences in their biggest employers. Ontario boasts a diverse economic landscape with major finance, technology, and manufacturing corporations, while Manitoba's economy leans towards industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation.

Understanding both provinces' employment opportunities and economic drivers will be crucial as you navigate your move.

Biggest Employers in Ontario

The economy of Ontario boasts an array of major employers that significantly differ from those in Manitoba, offering unique opportunities in the job market. Ontario's job market is varied and dynamic, from high-tech giants like Shopify and Blackberry in the tech sector to financial powerhouses such as RBC and TD Baic. 

Health care is also a significant sector, with institutions like the University Health Network and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre leading the way. Additionally, the automotive industry plays a crucial role, with companies like Ford and Honda having a strong presence.

Finally, agriculture is a major economic driver in more rural regions like Essex County. Ontario's big employers span various sectors, providing many opportunities for job seekers looking to make their mark in one of Canada's most economically vibrant provinces.

Biggest Employers in Manitoba

Among Manitoba's leading employers, the focus is on employee well-being, community involvement, and fostering a positive workplace culture. Recognized organizations prioritize these aspects to ensure employee satisfaction and showcase exceptional workplace environments.

Companies like Arctic Co-operatives, Assiniboine Credit Union, Wawanesa Insurance, and Winnipeg Airports Authority highlight the importance of employee engagement and well-being. These employers organize events, promote diversity and inclusivity, and invest in training and workplace safety initiatives.

Manitoba's business landscape benefits from a diverse workforce, natural resources, and strategic location. By valuing employees and creating supportive work environments, these top employers contribute to the overall success and growth of Manitoba's economy.

Why Choose Southwest Ontario?

Considering the affordability, proximity to the U.S. border, milder climate, economic opportunities, and natural beauty, Southwest Ontario is a compelling choice for those seeking a new place to call home.

The region, encompassing areas like Windsor, Essex County, and Chatham-Kent, offers a more affordable living cost than other parts of Ontario. 

Here are a few more reasons to choose Southwest Ontario’s affordable cities

  • Housing prices are relatively low, making it an attractive option for homebuyers.
  • The proximity of Windsor to the U.S. border, specifically Detroit, provides unique opportunities for travel, shopping, entertainment, and business.
  • Southwest Ontario enjoys a milder climate than Manitoba, with warmer winters and longer growing seasons, which is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • The diverse economy in this region, with strengths in manufacturing, agriculture, and renewable energy, presents various job prospects.

Finally, the area's waterfront locations along the Great Lakes and numerous parks offer beautiful natural scenery to explore, making Southwest Ontario a well-rounded choice for newcomers.

Towns in Southwest Ontario For Manitoba Newcomers

If you're considering settling in Southwest Ontario, towns like Windsor, Tecumseh, Essex, and Chatham-Kent offer a welcoming environment for Manitoba newcomers. These areas boast a mix of urban amenities and small-town charm, providing an excellent balance for those transitioning from the prairies.

Whether you're seeking a bustling city or a more laid-back community, Southwest Ontario has diverse options to suit your lifestyle preferences.


Windsor, a town in Southwest Ontario, offers newcomers from Manitoba a vibrant and dynamic lifestyle with a growing economy and lower cost of living. Homes here have an average listing price in the low $500s, and condos in Windsor average around $375,000. The city is notably more affordable than Toronto, below the national average, and boasts amenities while being close to Detroit.

Windsor's economy features popular industries like automobile manufacturing, hospitality, and telecommunications, providing ample job opportunities, with major employers including Stellantis, Ford, and Caesars Windsor. Residents can enjoy lush golf courses, sandy beaches, a network of bike paths, lively festivals, and attractions like Point Pelee National Park and Windsor Sculpture Park.

Windsor's semi-continental climate, influenced by the Great Lakes, brings hot summers and cold winters, while its efficient grid system roads and public transportation make getting around convenient.


Town of Tecumseh, Ontario

Pivoting from Windsor, Tecumseh in Southwest Ontario offers Manitoba newcomers a charming small-town atmosphere with access to a vibrant metropolitan population and a range of economic and recreational opportunities. With a population of over 20,000, Tecumseh provides a close-knit community feel while being in proximity to a much larger metropolitan population.

Direct access to the NAFTA superhighway facilitates travel and business connections. The town's warm climate and natural beauty enhance the quality of life for residents. Additionally, Tecumseh boasts a rich history, small-town service, and friendliness, making it a welcoming place to call home.

Homes in Tecumseh range from the mid-$300s to around $1.3 million, and the town's successful industrial and business sectors offer promising prospects for residents and visitors alike.


Consider Essex in Southwest Ontario as a potential destination for Manitoba newcomers seeking affordable housing options and a vibrant community atmosphere. Essex homes have some of the lowest prices in Ontario, making it an attractive choice for young families and seniors.

With long summers and mild winters, outdoor enjoyment and yard maintenance are facilitated, adding to the appeal. Additionally, Essex boasts successful sports teams like the Essex 73s and Essex Ravens Football Club, along with quality recreation standards ensuring a positive experience.


Downtown Chatham, Ontario

When relocating to Ontario from Manitoba, exploring the homes for sale in Chatham can provide newcomers with affordable housing options and a high quality of life. Chatham offers a welcoming community with a slower-paced lifestyle amidst picturesque farmlands, rivers, and Lake Erie.

The area boasts affordable living costs compared to larger Ontario cities. Housing prices are reasonable, with one-bedroom apartments averaging $1,300 per month and many home options priced under $500,000.

The job market in Chatham-Kent focuses on the healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and transportation industries, offering opportunities for growth and competitive wages. With a range of activities, accessible amenities, and a supportive business environment, Chatham-Kent presents a promising option for Manitoba newcomers seeking a tranquil yet vibrant place to settle.

How to Get Settled in Ontario

When you arrive in Ontario, remember to tackle key tasks like:

  • Registering your car and obtaining a driver's license
  • Setting up utilities in your new home
  • Applying for your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card

It’s tempting to head straight for Ontario’s top beaches and attractions, but these initial steps will help you establish a solid foundation for your new life in the province, ensuring a smoother transition and peace of mind as you settle in. Taking care of these practical matters promptly will free you up to explore and enjoy all Ontario offers.

Car Registration & Driver’s Licence

To get settled in Ontario, start by registering your car and obtaining your driver's license through ServiceOntario. 

  • If you're bringing a vehicle from outside Canada, complete the general registration requirements, fill out the customs clearance form, and provide proof of identity for first-time registration.
  • Vehicles from outside Ontario must fulfill the standard registration criteria, show proof of identity, and provide lease documentation for leased vehicles. 
  • Remember to pay retail sales tax or HST for out-of-province vehicles. 
  • If your vehicle was previously commercial, register it as personal in Ontario with the required documentation and tests.

Apply For Health Card (OHIP)

Begin by making Ontario your primary residence to qualify for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Upon establishing permanent residency, apply for an Ontario health card in person at ServiceOntario. Bring along a completed application form and any necessary documents to prove citizenship, residency, and identity.

Remember, OHIP covers various health services, including appointments with healthcare providers, emergency room visits, tests, and surgeries, but it requires a medical reason for coverage.

Embrace New Opportunities and Experiences in Ontario

As you move from Manitoba to Ontario, remember that this transition isn't just about changing locations and embracing new opportunities and experiences. From the housing and activities in Ontario to the cost of living in different towns and cities, your journey will be filled with challenges and discoveries. Stay open-minded, seek resources and support proactively, and most importantly, be excited for the new chapter ahead. Welcome to Ontario, where endless adventures await.

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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