One of the best ways in which our world has changed in the past two years is that more companies have made the move to remote work. This means that being able to afford your own home doesn’t have to be a pipe dream anymore: if you don’t have to worry about commuting to work, you can buy cheap in a small Ontario town. Inspired by the story of Smooth Rock Falls, we scoured the listings on Zolo to see what’s available. What we found was that there are several towns where you can find houses for much less than $400,000. Here are some of our suggestions for affordable housing towns in Ontario.
Smooth Rock Falls
Just over 100 km from Timmins, Smooth Rock Falls had a population of 1,330 in 2016. When the mill closed in 2006, the town needed to find another way to attract people – and business. In 2017, they offered plots of land for $500 and now the town is booming. Still, the average price of a home here is only $135,000.
If you want affordable housing Ontario has some surprises, such as Timmins. This mining town and regional centre in Northeastern Ontario gives you access to good schools, healthcare and entertainment: it is, after all, the hometown of both Shania Twain and Lights. We found empty lots listed for as little as $43,000 – perfect for tiny homes – and plenty of homes for less than $200,000.
In the lake country just north of Lake Huron and about halfway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, Elliott Lake is an old uranium mining town that has since become popular with retirees. This Algoma District town is a candidate for the cheapest place to buy house in Ontario: among the listings we found, the most expensive was a three-bedroom bungalow for $299,000.
Sault Ste. Marie
It may not be the cheapest place to live in Ontario but Sault Ste. Marie – along the St. Marys River that links Lake Superior to Lake Huron – definitely is one of the province’s most affordable cities to buy in. We found lots going for $19,900 and plenty of homes for less than $200,000: including a two-bedroom home listed for only $74,900.
Some of the lowest home prices in Ontario are those in Manitouwadge, a small lakeside community about 330 km east of Thunder Bay. The most expensive house we found listed here was $164,900 for a three-bedroom home. If that’s still too much, empty lots go for as little as $10,000: prefab homes allow you to have a roof over your head in no time.
Temiskaming Shores is a lakeside city about 220 km northeast of Sudbury and near the Quebec border: in fact, people come from Quebec to shop here. We found several homes for less than $350,000 in Temiskaming Shores, including the perfect alternative to those Toronto condos for less than $500,000: a whole apartment building with four units and four garages for $232,000.
If you don’t want to live completely in the middle of nowhere but still want in-the-middle-of-nowhere property prices, look no further than the Chatham-Kent municipality, some 290 km from Toronto and 85 km from Windsor and Detroit. We found several homes for under $300,000, including a two-bedroom bungalow for $155,000.
On the banks of the St. Lawrence River, about 100 km from Ottawa and about 110 km from Montreal, Cornwall is a great base if you sometimes have to go to either of those cities. We found plenty of homes here for less than $200,000. As long as you remember the do’s and don’ts of buying property with friends, you could even consider one of the multifamily homes going for less than $350,000, including an eight-bedroom, three-bathroom heritage home listed for $299,000.
Rainy River is a tiny border town a little south of the Lake of the Woods. The nearest big city is Winnipeg, some 265 km to the northwest. We found lots here for $13,500: add a stunning shipping container home and you’re good to go. Most of the homes we found listed here were going for less than $200,000.
About 70 km northeast of Timmins and on the banks of the Abitibi River, Iroquois Falls has some of the cheapest houses in Ontario. Most of the listings we found were under $200,000. We even found a two-story, two-bedroom home dating from 1918 and on a big corner lot, listed for only $89,000.