Temporary Housing

How can I look for temporary housing?

When you arrive in Canada, you will need to find a place to live. Finding a place to live is one of the first things you will need to do after you arrive in Canada. You may need to find temporary housing while you look for a more permanent place to live. Temporary housing may be available at an apartment hotel, travel hostel, bed-and-breakfast or student residence in a university or college. There may also be emergency shelters available for short-term accommodation when none of these other options is available.


Generally, you share a bathroom and a kitchen, but for single people or small families, these hostels can be comfortable and economical.

Bed and Breakfast(B&B ) 

A bed and breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, is usually operated out of a large single-family home. Usually, you have a private bedroom, with or without your own bathroom. In most cases, breakfast is served in the morning. However, you do not have access to kitchen facilities.

College and University Residence

Some college and university residences rent rooms (such as dormitory rooms) to non-students. More rooms are available during the summer months, May to August. Look for information about “student services,” “conference services,” “housing,” or “student residence.”

Hotels and Motels

Hotels and motels can also be chosen as temporary residences for short periods of time. (The websites below are used for informational purposes and are not affiliated with KCWA).

Apartment hotels

Apartment hotels rent furnished suites. They have daily, weekly and monthly rates, and are generally cheaper than hotels.

Shared accommodation

Some home-owners and tenants of apartments look for people to share their place. You have a private bedroom and share the other living spaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Emergency housing

Shelters and hostels are 2 common examples of emergency housing that is short-term accommodation for people who are homeless or in crisis. Usually these facilities restricted to men, women, youth or other groups with specific needs such as victims of abuse. People can get basic necessities such as a place of sleep, shower, do laundry, get clothing, and eat or get money for food. If people need to help or for more information about nearest emergency housing, please call 211.

The following websites are widely used by Koreans when searching for housing.
(The websites listed below are used for informational purposes and have no affiliations with KCWA)

Renting a Home

Unlike in Korea, rent is only paid monthly. You can get a short-term contract with a monthly contract renewal, or a long-term lease with a contract for a fixed period of time. There are several ways to get a rental.

There are many different ways you can look for an apartment or house to rent in Ontario. Here are some examples:

  • Rental Locators
    These are private companies that search for housing for you. There is usually a fee for this service.
  • Housing help centres s and community agencies
    To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.
  • Signs
    Walk around neighbourhoods that interest you and look for signs that say “For Rent” or “Vacancy” in front of apartment buildings or in house windows. Even if there is no sign, you can ask if any apartments are available or will become available soon. Ask if you can be put on a waiting list.
  • Classifieds
    The advertisement section of major daily newspapers and weekly community newspapers have list rentals. You can read the newspaper for free at public libraries. Many newspapers let you search their classifieds ads online for free. Find your local community newspaper’s website.
  • Rental Guides
    These guides are free. Look for them in boxes on street corners or in store entrances.
  • Rental Listing Websites
    There are many websites that list rentals. Here are some examples and you can use a search engine to find others.

Housing Type

Whether you rent or buy, you can choose from many different types of housing.

Apartment (suite, flat)

  • Usually includes 1 bedroom or more, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. A bachelor or studio apartment has 1 room for sleeping and eating.
  • May be in a building or a house.
  • There are highrises (6-30 stories high with an elevator) or lowrises (fewer than 6 stories high, often with no elevator and called a “walk-up”).
  • Generally, apartments are owned by a landlord and managed by a superintendent who lives in the building.

Condominium (condo)

  • A type of home ownership where you buy a unit in an apartment building or townhouse complex, but do not own the land. Owners sometimes rent condos to tenants.
  • Condominium owners join together in a corporation and elect a board of directors to manage the building and the land. Each owner pays his or her own mortgage, taxes, utilities and a monthly fee towards property maintenance.

Detached House

  • A stand-alone house. The landlord may rent the entire home or rent out each room of the house individually.

Semi-detached House

  • A single-family dwelling house that shares one common wall with the next house. The landlord may rent the entire home or rent out each room of the house individually.

Room (shared accommodation)

  • A room in an apartment, house or other type of accommodation that is rented to 1 person. The tenant usually shares the kitchen, bathroom and living room with other tenants.
  • “Room and board’ rentals include meals and are similar to boarding homes. In some cases, rooms are equipped with basic furniture.

What is a lease?

A lease is a legal agreement between you and a landlord when you rent housing.
A lease can be in writing or it can be a spoken (verbal) agreement. A lease may also be called a tenancy agreement or a rental contract.

A lease usually states:

  • How long the lease is (usually 12 months).
  • How much the rent is.
  • If the rent will increase and when.
  • What is included in the rent (for example, utilities, parking).

Landlords cannot select or refuse tenants based on family status (e.g. children), marital status, age, gender/sexual orientation, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, status in Canada, or disability. These personal questions that interfere with tenants’ right under the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, landlords have the right to choose a tenant using income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, and guarantees, and similar business practices as prescribed in the Ontario Human Rights Code regulations. Landlords can also ask for the number of people to live with and their name, pets, or smoking. Many of landlords want to check tenants’ credit rating and many people think that a SIN is necessary for this process, but according to a Canadian Credit Bureau, this is not true. A landlord can check tenants’ credit history with tenant’s full name, birth date and current address. This means that giving out tenant’s SIN for credit purpose is optional.

In the case of a month-by-month rental without a yearly rental contract, there is no contract end date, and if you give at least 60 days’ written notice, you can move on the last day of the month.

Read the rental agreement carefully

Do not agree to anything that you do not understand or cannot do. If you are having trouble understanding the lease, ask the landlord if you can take it away and bring it back later. That way you can have a friend or community worker help you complete the form.

Things to watch out for when signing

Be sure to check the details included in the rental fee (eg. utilities, water, heating, hydro, etc.)
• In Ontario, it is common for landlords to ask for a rental deposit equal to the last month’s rent.
• The rental deposit is used as the last month’s rent, so you do not have to pay rent for the last month. However, the landlord must pay interest on the rental deposit. The landlord can increase the rent for the last month by the same amount as the interest they have accumulated on the tenant’s security deposit to offset costs. It is illegal for the landlord to ask for any other type of security deposit or key money.
• Tenants may ask the landlord for a receipt for the security deposit or monthly rent.
• Any changes to the contents of the rental agreement must be made in writing, and both the landlord and the tenant must sign it before it takes legal effect.

 Moving out

When the rental agreement is over, you may be able to extend the agreement period or change the contract conditions to month-by-month. One advantage of month-by-month agreements is that you can move any month you want as long as you give 60 days advance notice. If the lease is re-signed, the tenant is responsible for the rent for the duration of the lease. The landlord cannot force tenants to enter into a long-term lease.

Before you move out, you have to let your landlord know that you are leaving. This is called “giving notice.” You can make an oral agreement but it is a good idea to have a written agreement.

How much time or notice you have to give your landlord depends on your rental agreement:

  • If you pay rent by the day or week, you must give 28 days notice (for example, if you want to leave on March 1, you have to give notice by February 1).
  • If you pay rent by the month, you must give 60 days notice.
  • If your lease is fixed for a period longer than a month, you must give 60 days notice.

When you give notice, you have to let your landlord know what day you want to end your tenancy. This must be the last day of the rental period. For example, if you pay rent by the month, the last day of your tenancy must be the last day of the month.

Tenancy Issues

Landlord and Tenant Board

Renting a house or apartment can lead to various disputes between the landlord and the tenant. Examples of disputes that can arise are when the landlord violates the contract or vice versa, requests a refund of the rental fee, is held unfairly liable for damages to the building, the landlord neglects the condition of the building with poor hygiene or risk to safety, etc. In the event of a tenant-related dispute, you can submit an application through the Landlord and Tenant Board under the Tenant Protection Act.

Landlords can submit an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board just as tenants can in the event of a dispute with the tenant. To file a complaint, you must complete the application and mail or submit it in person at Landlord and Tenant Board Offices or select ServiceOntario Centres. Applications can be found online, and paper applications are also available at the Landlord and Tenant Board Offices. You will be required to submit different applications dependent on the dispute situation, so you must select and fill out an application that is appropriate for your case.

Useful Links


Setting Up & Phone Services

Home Phone Service (Landline)

Bell Canada and Rogers are the 2 major home telephone providers, however many companies provide similar services. Search for telephone providers in the Yellow Pages or online. You can easily find telephone providers in-person at nearby shopping malls. .

Usually, you pay a standard monthly fee for the line and pay extra for long-distance calls (calls outside of your local area). Most companies have long-distance plans.

You might want to buy a bundle, in which a single company provides many services, such as telephone, television and internet. It can be cheaper to get all of these services from 1 company.

Contact different companies to discuss their plans and rates. Bell and Rogers also have stores where you can talk to a customer service representative in person. You can find numbers and addresses in the Yellow Pages.

Some long-distance numbers are called toll-free numbers. There is no charge if you call one of these numbers. They start with the numbers 1-800, 1-877 or 1-888. Government offices, community agencies and many businesses have toll-free numbers.

1-900 numbers are not toll-free and you are charged by the minute.

Before signing the contract, you should go over the contract terms, monthly payment amounts, the company, and available phone models, and compare phone plans between competing providers.

Television and Radio

In Ontario, there are public and private radio stations and television (TV). Public stations get money from the government, so in many cases, there are no commercials. You may be able to get some public stations for free, depending on where you are located and if you can get a good reception of the signal.

The following TV stations in Ontario also offer broadcasts online:



There are many different radio stations across Ontario. Radio stations usually focus on a particular format, such as news, type of music, talk radio, community-based information and more. Some radio stations broadcast over the internet.

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