Between mid-2020 and mid-2021, there was a significant migration from Toronto into other areas of Ontario. According to statistics Canada, over 64,000 left Toronto during this time and 14% more than in the last 12-month period.  As more homebuyers are considering purchasing real estate in smaller towns across Ontario, here are some things you should consider.

Cost of Living

Homeowners will see they are getting more houses for the dollar by leaving the city's density and moving to a more rural spread. Larger lot sizes, bigger homes, and smaller mortgages are huge selling points for small-town living. However, in 2018, according to the CRTC, the average combined cost for television, home phone, internet, and mobile phone was 9% higher for rural users than urban. Connection speeds are usually more expensive than in urban areas. We recommend asking local community real estate agents about internet speed and pricing as you consider moving to a smaller town. Other bills, such as grocery and fuel, might see a bit of an incline.

Job Opportunities

If you’re one of the many people interested in moving to smaller rural town in Ontario to pursue remote work, the scarcity of job opportunities won’t be a problem. There are fewer job opportunities in a smaller town, but that doesn’t mean living in a small town is a bad option. There have been studies about the growing entrepreneurship in small-town living that has been influenced by innovation – the innovation that necessity breeds. 


Living in a smaller town requires planning for what you need ahead of time as the 24/7 availability in the city is no longer an option. Business hours of operation will be different, especially on weekends and holidays. Same-day or next-day deliveries may be out of the question when ordering online. 


Small-town living isn’t for everyone, much like city living isn’t for everyone. It’s essential to know both sides of the equation. If the small town in Ontario is a tourist town, then the amount of tourist traffic during peak seasons can cause frustration. Adjusting from city to small-town life and lacking immediate access takes time to accept. There are smaller schools and perhaps fewer opportunities for kids’ extracurricular activities. Children will have to move to larger centers when attending college or University, increasing the post-secondary costs for parents.


Some benefits that attract people to small-town living include the feeling of freedom from the fast-paced cities. The fresh air, the lack of light pollution, the lower crime rate, the accessibility to nature, and increased property sizes is a massive draws for many. For people who work in the same town they live in, the commute is significantly less than for people who work in the same city they live in.  

Smaller towns often have tighter-knit relationships with the residents. Community fairs, parades, garage sales, and fundraisers bring people together. 

Medically speaking, rural residents experience less stress and less respiratory disease, according to a 2012 report. More accessible healthcare often means fewer wait times for primary medical care. Though hospitals, surgery centers, and more complex treatments may bring residents into the cities, the day-to-day medical care in small towns is very beneficial.

Buying Real Estate in Ontario

To help you weigh the pros and cons of specific communities. Reach out and contact a local real estate agent. One who is familiar with the towns and communities of interest. These local REALTORS® can support homeowners, and home buyers to understand the significant shift from urban to rural living.