Ontario is quickly becoming one of the most attractive provinces in Canada — drawing in young Canadians searching for work and families looking for somewhere culturally and economically strong to settle down alike.
Tourists from far and wide settle here, while home-grown Canadians never leave.
As anyone who’s ever moved house can attest to though, no matter where you’re going the process is going to be a hassle.
That’s why we’ve pulled together this collection of tips to make your move to or within Ontario as simple as can be. And if you’re not from the province, don’t worry. A lot of this advice can be applied to regions across Canada.
Find the right area
Your first big decision will be selecting which area within Ontario you want to live in.
Finding the right area for you isn’t a case of Googling ‘best places to live in Ontario’ and picking the first result. What works for a blogger might not be right for you and your lifestyle.
You could go for the hustle and bustle of a Toronto or Ottawa, the arts of Stratford or the scenic views of Bracebridge. Let a place draw you in and appeal to your passions. You’ll be living there, not just vacationing, after all.
We recommend drawing up a list of places that appeal to you and your family. From there you can narrow down your options using these categories.
- Budget: Does the area have properties (and amenities) that fit within your budget? This is particularly important if you’re buying or starting a new job, as your monthly ingoings and outgoings could change substantially.
- Lifestyle: Can you catch a good show there? Is there anywhere good to eat out? How far do you need to drive to get out into the wilderness? There will be a place that fits your lifestyle and hobbies — make sure you find it.
- Work and school: Most people move for a job, but it’s not unheard of to uproot and move somewhere with no idea of how you’re going to make money. You should have some perception of what roles are popular in your new town or city though, and plan your big move around the likelihood of finding employment. Likewise, if you have little ones, make sure you’re picking an area with great schools you’d be happy for them to grow up in.
There are so many considerations to make, but these points should give you a more comprehensive and real-world view of your surroundings. Don’t make your decision based on apartment photos and city skylines — do your research.
Work with the right people
A crucial part of a seamless move is about getting the right people to help you.
Yes, this will include enlisting some friends and family to help with the process — but some jobs will require professional help, and you need to make sure you pick the right ones.
Make sure you find industry professionals who understand the area of Ontario you’re moving to.
If you’re moving to Kingston, for example, make sure you use a Kingston mortgage broker like Breezeful to find the best mortgage available to you. Kingston mortgage brokers will not only show you the best properties on the market but will quickly be able to guide you towards areas that suit your specific needs.
Heading off to Burlington but don’t have your own truck? Make sure you’re using the best moving companies in the area. You don’t just need a big vehicle, but people who know the best way around the city. Trust us, you don’t want to be sitting on your new front porch waiting for all your stuff.
The real estate industry is a vast and complicated one full of many different services, all with differing degrees of professionalism. Make sure you invest your trust in quality ones.
Change services and address ahead of time
When you’re moving, it’s easy to get caught up in imagining your new home, picturing yourself looking over the Toronto skyline and planning your first Instagram post in front of Horseshoe Falls. In reality, most of the first week is going to be spent doing paperwork (if you can get a break from unpacking).
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Don’t wait until you’re in your new house to start moving over accounts and sorting out bills. Give yourself a head start and spend the week before moving getting yourself and your accounts in order.
Insurance, bills, address changes — all these things need to get done eventually, so why risk having an important letter sent to your old address or letting yourself get billed for an extra month at a gym in a city you no longer live in? Turn up at your new home with it already attached to your name.
Yeah, it’s not as exciting as getting out the floorplan and plotting out your new bedroom, but it’ll be a massive weight off your shoulders once you finally get over the ache of carrying all those heavy boxes.
Prepare logically for moving day
Moving day can be a real hassle — and it’s always so much worse than you think.
Like a lot of things in life, preparing for a big move is a case of doing the simple things right and following the advice of experts.
Packing efficiency is a must. The key to smart packing is to imagine how you’d like to unpack and work backwards from there. Think about what you’ll need when you get the keys to your new home, and make sure those items are easy to reach. Oh, and by the way, box labelling is your friend.
On that line of thinking, a travel bag is a must. Pack it full of things you’ll need throughout the day to get by, such as your phone, any paperwork and your keys. You don’t want to be breaking into carefully curated moving boxes to find something in the middle of the real estate office.
Before you get to your new Ontario home, take some time to learn about the immediate area. Make sure you know where you can get some coffee (it’s going to be a long day), get your first lot of groceries in and pick up any essential tools you could have sworn you packed the night before.
Most of all, don’t leave anything until the last minute.
Moving anywhere is stressful, but that shouldn’t outweigh the excitement. Ontario is a stunning region full of incredible places to settle down or live out your 20s. Just make sure you’re going into the move prepared.