What are the different types of housing available?
Whether you decide to rent or buy, there are many different types of housing available:
- Apartment (suite, flat) - Includes 1 bedroom or more, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. A "bachelor" apartment or "studio" is 1 room with a kitchen area and a bathroom. A "junior" 1-bedroom apartment has 1 small bedroom that opens onto another room.
Apartments may be in a building or a house. Apartment buildings are highrise (6-30 storey with an elevator) or lowrise (fewer than 6 storey with no elevator). Apartments are owned by a landlord and are rented to tenants.
- 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. Each owner pays their own mortgage, taxes, utilities and a monthly fee towards property maintenance. Sometimes, you can rent condos from the owner.
- Duplex - A house that is divided into 2 separate apartments, one on top of another. The owner of a duplex may live in one apartment and rent the other, or rent both apartments to tenants. A "triplex" is a house that is divided into 3 separate apartments.
- Detached house - A single house that is owned by 1 or more persons. Owners may rent 1 or more rooms or the whole house.
- Semi-detached house - A single house that is joined to another house with a common wall. The houses are beside each other and attached.
- Townhouse - A small house that is joined to a row of other small houses. Townhouses can be bought or rented.
- Room - A room in an apartment or house that is rented out. If the tenant shares the kitchen, bathroom and living room with other tenants, this type of housing is called “shared accommodation.” "Room and board" means that meals are included.
Important Telephone Numbers
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (1) - An agency established by the Government of Canada to ensure safe, secure and affordable housing for Canadians.
CMHC Ontario Business Centre, Toronto:
Toll free: 1-866-389-1742
- Tarion Warranty Corporation (2) - A non-profit organization that guarantees the rights of consumers when they buy a new house or condominium unit.
Toll free: 1-877-9-TARION (or 1-877-982-7466)
For more information:
(1) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:
(2) Tarion Warranty Corporation: