Let's Talk about Ontario!

153 Replies

Let's talk about investing in Ontario

Who on this site is involved in Ontario and whereabouts? GTA, Northern Ontario, Southwestern Ontario, Hamilton, Barrie, Niagara?

Who is local to Ontario and whereabouts?

Who invests in the beautiful province of Ontario from a distance?

Hi @Justin H. I invest mainly in Hamilton, but also have a rental in Aurora.

We moved to California about 14 mths ago and loving it out here....btw I self manage all my rentals from a distance.



Nice @Thomas Lorini . That’s great you can self-manage, and even better you’re in Cali J. Are you doing investing in Cali, or going to keep growing in Ontario?

I have 2 SFR Student rentals in Niagara region and live in York Region.

Looking to buy a SFR in my area next year so I can give self-manage a shot as well.

Good idea @Justin H.

I'm trying to get started investing in Ontario, specifically Sudbury. I'm looking to start with a duplex, live in half, and build up a bit of a portfolio from there. I have been looking at properties for years (as a pastime more than a serious search), but might also be suffering a bit from analysis paralysis. There are many options, and different ways to get started so I might just have to jump in! I find a lot of the nicer units don't cashflow enough from my estimates.

One of my gripes is that it's so difficult to get information about comps, time on the market, previous sell prices, etc., in order to come up with a reasonable offer without being in the industry. I have a realtor but seem to have to do a lot of legwork, which might be normal but is not so great while working at another job full time.

Looking forward to hearing what more people are saying about Ontario investing! 

@Justin H. still active in Ontario but working doing joint ventures as qualifying for a mortgage as a non-resident requires more money and more hoops to go through. Looking to get active in the US but have to build up credit and most lenders require 2 years of tax returns...so its taking longer than I prefer.

@Dea Chu don't get too discouraged but as you even mentioned you will need to take some action, you can reduce your risk but never completely eliminate it. Take action!

All the best.

Thanks @Thomas Lorini , I will get on it! Can you explain what you mean by self-manage? I imagine it means you hire/pay contractors to do maintenance/yard work/repairs and such? And you would get paid electronically instead of worrying about having someone to pick up rent cheques for you?

@Dea Chu

Yes exactly all rent is paid electronically to our CDN bank accounts.  We renovate all our rentals prior to renting out, so major issues have been addressed. Anytime we get a call from a tenant we have a handy-man go and assess. He would either take care of the issue or bring in a contractor.



@Justin H. I'm in Kitchener-Waterloo and have been investing here for 15 years and did a deal in Sarnia few years back. Also tried my hand at long distance assignments in Toronto and Vancouver but it didn't work out.

I decided to get back to my roots so I'm mainly focused on providing long-term owner financing now.

@Justin H.

Hi Justin,

I'm just south of London in St.Thomas. I currently have one SFH here in St.Thomas and am constantly sifting through deals trying to find one that makes sense. Prices seem to be really inflated!


@Doug Pretorius , great to connect with you , I looked at the KW area, and think it has lots of potential with your tech areas. Are you in Students, or families? How do you feel about Sarnia as a secondary/tertiary market? Prices are affordable, and would you do another deal there, or does it just not make sense for you?

@Kevin V. St Thomas – such a nice town, have travelled there a few times for hockey! Are you looking for another SFH, or to diversify?

@Justin H. Families. I tried renting to students one year, it wasn't for me, too much management. Actually that pretty much goes for renting as a whole. I prefer my buyers to just quietly deposit money into my bank every month.

Hey Everyone. Investing in Windsor Ontario here. Started this year and owning one duplex for now. Would love to get more but it is hard to save down payment of 20%. Seems there is a lot of investors from outside that are buying properties here. Good deals to be found for sure

Hey peeps!   Just outside of Peterborough, a hour or so east of Toronto.  

I have a single, looking to build my portfolio... but like many others, prices are crazy, specially with 20% down...   Private $$ is the way to go, I guess!

I live in York Region and my wife and I have two rental properties that we purchased over the past 2 years. We have one triplex in Bradford and (because of inflated local prices) bought a duplex in Barrie. We self-manage them both and it's been a good experience so far, although not without some minor tenant wrinkles along the way.

Like most people here, coming up with the 20% down with these prices is the part that is prohibiting our expansion to more properties.

We have some friends that have really exploded with investing in Hamilton, 20+doors in 3 years. They don't have any kids and self-manage with the help of a local super. It seems to be a rougher area and they have more tenant issues than we do. For now, because of that reason, we're avoiding that as an expansion possibility.

We looked at properties in Windsor (I'm from there), offered on one, but the inspection didn't come back as clean as we hoped and we walked. There are still options there but the numbers aren't as strong as what we've found locally, particularly when you layer in any property management fees. Realtor insight on tenants also makes it seems more like investing in Hamilton.

We're still trying to figure out next steps to expand. I'd like to get into bigger multi's/apartment units. My wife like the equity build in the duplex/triplex side. We're also feeling stuck about the down payment aspect of expanding. We don't have enough equity to pull from the properties yet and numbers for private/hard money lending just end up leaving you very thin. 

Hello @Justin H. Currently have one student rental in Hamilton that I've had for almost a year and is going well. Not sure if I want to continue with student rentals or do SFH's.

@Thomas Lorini It looks like we've done opposite of each other as I moved from Orange, CA about 2 years ago, heh.

Where do you all find your SFR houses in Ontario?

Still have some in Burlington & Dundas...but acquired them all back in the '80's.

Wish I hadn't sold some of the others but the profits were excellent !!!

Hey all, 

I live in St Cats.  I am finding the mortgage to rent ratio great, but finding money to buy a deal real tough.  

Hi everyone,

I have a few properties in the Windsor area that have been going well. I hired a property manager to take care of the properties since I live in Ottawa. Although investing at a distance isn't for everyone, having good PM has really been the difference for me. 

I have tried to compare prices across Ontario and find Windsor the only place where you can get a gross rent multiplier below 6. I use the 50% rule for my properties since I pay for utilities.

Do other people find the 50% rule is applicable to their area? Would love to hear your input.

We live in BC but we own a fourplex in Windsor among other places.  When we bought, I didn't know about the 50% 'rule' or anything else - I just figured that the price was low enough that I'd pay for the place in 4-5 years if I had no other expenses (which turns out to be more like the 2% rule, just turned around).  I'm thankful for BiggerPockets for giving me some better tools to use to evaluate things.

The property we bought needed a lot of work, and the time and money to turn it around was more than I initially thought, but it's starting to hit the 50% rule nicely. To me Windsor is less attractive than it was for buying than, say, four years ago but there are still good properties to be had. I fact, I would have bought a triplex recently but I have a door problem right now and I painfully had to decline making an offer. Very few cities in Canada make any sense to invest, let alone Ontario. Some smaller cities like Brantford, Sudbury and Saint Catherines look interesting, but I've got my eye focused on Saint John NB because it's scraping bottom (it's like Windsor 2008 or even 1998 right now), and the price to rent ratios make sense for the better properties.

For Windsor, I still don't trust buying downtown or the west end because I'm an out of town buyer so I have to be a bit safe making choices. Wouldn't mind getting other opinions on this. Seems like there's still a lot of inventory, but not much in better areas.

Hi Justin

Todd from Saint John here. There are good deals to be had in Saint John for sure but having lived here most of my life you have to be cautious on both location and properties. I have a four and tri both in good areas with no vacancies currently. The city average is 8% and much higher in areas of North, South and West. East i safe bet but prices reflect this. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



Hey @Justin H. !

I'm in Markham - haven't begun my investing journey yet but will start in the GTA (I think!), but haven't taken the leap yet :)

Nice to hear so many locals on the boards.


Hey @Sonja Razmovski Welcome to BP. Lots of great info and people here. I'm just up in Newmarket and have been investing in the GTA since 2008. Let me know if you have any questions!

hey @Gary McGowan

Just up the road! I look forward to connecting with you and others (and maybe picking your brain!).

Take care!

Hey guys,

I'm in Guelph and currently have 3 SFRs. 1 in Guelph, 2 in Hamilton I also recently got my real estate license to get more insight into the industry. Has there been any Ontario based meet-ups? It would be awesome to discuss successes and lessons learned. 



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