Real Estate

Exploring the Different Types of Houses in Canada: From Single Homes to Condos

Exploring the Different Types of Houses in Canada: From Single Homes to Condos
Written by
  • Ashley Howard
| 17 August 2023
Reviewed, 31 August 2023

Table of contents

    As the second-largest country in the world, Canada offers an array of architectural styles and housing options that cater to every lifestyle and preference. Canada has everything from quaint single-family homes to modern and luxurious condominiums. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, a growing family, or a city-dweller looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle, there’s something for everyone.

    In this article, we will delve into the unique characteristics of each housing type, highlighting its benefits and disadvantages. Discover charming single-family homes with spacious yards, the convenience of townhouses with shared amenities, and the modern elegance of high-rise condos with breathtaking views, and decide which one is right for you.

    Key Takeaways

    • Canada has a variety of housing options that cater to different lifestyles, from single-family homes to modern condominiums. 
    •  Location, budget, lifestyle preferences, and future plans should be taken into account when choosing a housing type.
    • Average home prices largely vary and depend on the province, town, and city you choose to call home.

    Single-Family Homes: Features and Benefits

    When it comes to traditional Canadian housing, single-family homes are often the first choice for many buyers. These homes are detached, giving homeowners the privacy and freedom to customize their property according to their preferences. 

    Single-family homes come in a variety of architectural styles, ranging from charming cottages to modern mansions. One of the key advantages of owning a single-family home is the ample space it offers, both indoors and outdoors. From spacious living areas to sprawling yards, single-family homes provide room for families to grow and create cherished memories.

    Living in a single-family home also offers a sense of stability and permanence. Unlike other housing options, homeowners have complete control over their property, allowing them to make long-term investments and renovations to suit their needs. Additionally, single-family homes often come with dedicated parking spaces, garages, and driveways, providing homeowners with the convenience of private parking.

    However, it’s also important to consider a few drawbacks of single-family homes. The maintenance and upkeep of a standalone property can be time-consuming and costly. Homeowners are responsible for all aspects of their property, from lawn care to repairs.

    Furthermore, single-family homes are often located in suburban areas, which may require longer commutes to work or amenities. Despite this, the benefits of single-family homes, such as privacy, space, and customization options, make them attractive to many Canadian homebuyers.

    Pros  Cons
    More indoor and outdoor space Maintenance and upkeep costs
    Room to accommodate growing families Longer commutes
    Complete control over your property Further from amenities

    Townhouses: A Popular Housing Choice

    Townhouses offer a unique housing option that combines the benefits of a single-family home and condominium. These multi-level properties are typically attached to neighbouring units, providing homeowners a sense of community while maintaining privacy. Townhouses are often designed with shared amenities such as playgrounds, fitness centers, and swimming pools, making them an appealing option for families or individuals who desire access to these facilities without maintenance responsibilities.

    One of the main advantages of townhouse living is the reduced maintenance compared to single-family homes. Homeowners typically aren’t responsible for exterior maintenance, allowing them to focus on enjoying their property rather than spending time on upkeep tasks. Townhouses are often located in desirable urban or suburban areas, providing residents convenient access to schools, shopping centers, and public transportation.

    However, townhouse living does have its drawbacks. The proximity to neighbours means that noise and privacy can be a concern for some residents. Additionally, the shared walls can result in a lack of natural light that you would find in a detached home. 

    It’s also important to note that townhouses are usually governed by a condominium corporation, which may have specific rules and regulations that residents must adhere to and monthly maintenance fees. Despite these, the benefits of townhouse living, such as community amenities and reduced maintenance, make them a popular choice for many Canadians.

    Pros Cons
    Shared amenities: pools, fitness centres, playgrounds.  Sharing amenities with others.
    Reduced maintenance  Maintenance fees
    Close to amenities: groceries, schools, public transit Lack of privacy
    Reduced commute May have specific rules and regulations to follow if part of a condo corporation

    Condos: A Unique Housing Option

    For those seeking an urban lifestyle, condominiums offer a unique housing option in Canada. Condos are typically high-rise buildings and provide residents with stunning views and convenient access to urban amenities. 

    One of the main advantages of condo living is the low-maintenance lifestyle it offers. Unlike single-family homes or townhouses, condo owners are not responsible for exterior maintenance or landscaping. The building’s management takes care of common areas, ensuring residents enjoy their property without the hassle of maintenance tasks.

    In addition to the convenience, condos often provide residents with amenities such as fitness centers, swimming pools, and concierge services. Furthermore, condos are usually located in vibrant urban areas, offering residents quick and easy access to restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment venues.

    However, it’s also important to consider the potential drawbacks of condo living. The proximity to neighbours means that noise and privacy can be a concern for some residents. Additionally, condo owners are subject to monthly maintenance fees covering building maintenance costs and amenities. These fees can vary depending on the condo’s size, amenities and location, and potential buyers should carefully consider their budget before purchasing a condo.

    Pros Cons
    Low maintenance  Monthly maintenance fees
    Onsite amenities: pools, fitness centres  Lack of privacy
    Close to amenities: grocery stores, shops, public transit, restaurants Shared amenities 
    Reduced commute Rules and regulations to follow as set by the condo corporation

    Duplexes: A Versatile Housing Solution

    Duplexes offer a versatile housing solution with similar benefits of single-family homes. These properties consist of two separate units under one roof. This can allow some homeowners to live in one unit and rent out the other or use both units for their own purposes. Duplexes are often popular among investors or individuals looking to generate rental income while enjoying the benefits of homeownership.

    One of the main advantages of living in a duplex is the financial flexibility it offers. Renting out one unit can help offset mortgage payments or provide additional income for homeowners. Additionally, duplexes offer homeowners the opportunity to have separate living spaces for extended family members. This versatility makes buying a duplex appealing to those who value financial security and flexibility.

    However, it’s also important to consider the potential drawbacks of duplex living. The proximity to neighbours means that noise and privacy can be a concern. Additionally, the two units often share maintenance responsibilities, requiring cooperation and communication between neighbours.

    Pros Cons
    Opportunity for investment income Lack of privacy
    Separate living spaces if living with extended family Shared maintenance
    More indoor and outdoor space

    Other Types of Houses in Canada

    While single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and duplexes are among Canada’s most common housing options, other types of houses are worth exploring. Semi-detached houses, for example, are similar to duplexes but consist of two separate units that share a common wall. This type of housing balances privacy and affordability and is most often seen in urban and suburban areas with high-density living.

    Cottages and cabins are popular choices for those seeking a peaceful retreat away from the city. These properties are often located near lakes or in scenic areas, providing residents with a serene environment and an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Many cottages and cabins are winterized, allowing you to enjoy rural living year-round. 

    Average home prices in Canada Today 

    Below are the current benchmark price for the average home in each province or territory in Canada

    Province/Territory Composite Benchmark Price
    Canada $709,218
    British Columbia $989,523
    Yukon $532,655
    Alberta $464,139
    Northwest Territories $519,831
    Saskatchewan $331,500
    Manitoba $362,327
    Ontario $910,102
    Quebec $489,202
    New Brunswick $286,500
    Nova Scotia $399,900
    Newfoundland and Labrador $285,900

    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Housing Type

    When choosing the right housing type in Canada, there are several factors to consider. Location is one of the most important considerations, as it can significantly impact your daily life, commute times, and access to amenities. Budget is another factor, as different housing types and locations come with varying price ranges and associated costs.

    Additionally, lifestyle preferences should be taken into account. Families may prioritize spacious yards and proximity to schools, while young professionals may value proximity to urban centers and amenities. Future plans and long-term goals should also be considered, as different housing types offer varying levels of flexibility and potential for growth.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some things to consider when deciding between single-family homes and condos?

    Price is one of the largest deciding factors when deciding between a single-family home or a condo. Condos are typically cheaper to purchase than single-family homes but generally come with monthly condo fees, which must be factored into your overall housing costs. 

    Some other things to consider include square footage, as condos are typically smaller than single-family homes, access to outdoors and green space as condos tend to come with small or no outdoor space but could be located close to parks and amenities, and maintenance and upkeep as a single-family home will require more to upkeep compared to a condo where you will pay monthly fees for the corporation to maintain the building and surrounding grounds.

    What types of housing may be a good option for first-time buyers?

    The type of housing that may be good for first-time buyers really comes down to the life stage, what is important, and what can be compromised. If easy access to amenities, nightlife, and low maintenance are highly important, then condo or townhouse living may be a good starter home. If privacy and access to more space are highly important, single-family or semi-detached living may be a better option.

    How can I find a house in Canada that fits my needs?

    Finding a house to suit your needs starts by figuring out your budget for purchasing a home and location and then making a list of wants, needs, and nice to haves. With this, you will be able to narrow down which type of home best suits what you are looking for. Finding a great real estate agent that understands your budget, wants, and location will help you in your search to find the perfect home that suits your needs.

    Wrapping It Up 

    Canada offers a diverse range of housing options, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. When choosing a housing type, it’s important to consider location and budget. Ultimately it comes down to what you value most and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. Regardless of your choice, Canada is a diverse country that offers plenty of options. Whether it’s the convenience of urban living or the slower pace of rural living, there is something for everyone. Ready to explore your options? See how you can compare and save on your mortgage today.