Within the city, you will find a diverse range of neighbourhoods and housing options for families, students and business people. Neighbourhoods are quiet and safe, with many green spaces, parks and trails to walk, bike or jog. While the price of real estate has been rising in the last few years, it is cheaper than in large cities such as Toronto or Ottawa. The rental market has also seen a slow rise in prices as it reflects the real estate market. When renting or buying in or around the city, there are many things to consider.
What are my rights as a tenant?
As a tenant of a rental property in Ontario, you have rights protected by law. These rights include:
- Basic services, such as heat, water, and electricity;
- A safe home for you and your family;
- Freedom from discrimination;
- Controlled rent increases;
- Protection from unlawful eviction.
It is very important that you know and understand your rights as a tenant. To learn more about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, visit Settlement.Org.
In Peterborough, some organizations can help you when you think your rights as a tenant are violated. These organizations include:
- Peterborough Community Legal Centre
- Housing Peterborough (housed at the Community Counselling and Resource Centre)
- Landlord and Tenant Board
- Peterborough Community and Race Relations Committee
- New Canadians Centre Peterborough
Where do I find apartments and houses to rent or buy?
If you do not have a friend or relative you can stay with when you arrive in Peterborough, you will need to find temporary accommodations while looking for your own apartment or house.
It is advisable to make a reservation before your arrival in Peterborough. Examples of short-term accommodations available in Peterborough include hotels, bed and breakfasts (B&B), and rental rooms.
You can find rental housing and temporary accommodations in Peterborough and their costs at the following websites:
- Kijiji (website with classified ads)
- House, apartment and room rental.
- Peterborough Housing Resource Centre
- Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors
- Peterborough Examiner (Peterborough’s daily newspaper)
- Fleming College Student Housing
- Trent University Off-Campus Housing
- RentSeeker.ca (website with classified ads)
In addition to the resources listed above, you can visit Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors website to view real estate listings for the Peterborough area. You can also use Realtor.ca to explore listings in Peterborough and other Canadian cities. Once you know what you need in a house (number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) you can enter the search information and see the average home prices.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website contains helpful homebuying tools, such as information on mortgages, including various calculators. I can help you determine how much you can spend on a house, your monthly payment, and more. The CMHC provides housing information in eight different languages.
How do I choose a neighbourhood?
Incorporated as a town in 1850, Peterborough has many historical buildings and a variety of architectural styles including Georgian, Regency, and Queen Anne Revival.
There are a variety of neighbourhoods to choose from. The downtown core, along the west side of the Otonabee River. East City (the Village of Ashburnham) is connected to the downtown by the historic Hunter Street bridge. Other neighbourhoods close to the downtown include the Old West End and the Avenues, on the west side of Park Street. The Teacher’s College area, north of downtown between Parkhill Road and Hilliard Street.
Trent University is in the north end of town, and Fleming College is located in the southwest end of town.
When searching for a place to stay, you need to consider several factors. What can you afford? Would you rather be downtown, where you can walk to many things, or in a quiet area away from downtown? Do you need to be close to Trent University or Fleming College? Do you want to be close to a school, park or playground? How large a home do you need?
Location is especially important for families with children. The location of your home will determine which school your children can attend. The distance between your home and the school will also determine whether your children will take the school bus or will need to walk or be driven to school.
You may also want to check if the location of the apartment or house you want to rent is near a bus stop. This is especially important if your family does not own a car. The City of Peterborough Transit System site has more information on bus routes.
What do I need to know before renting or buying?
The process of finding and applying for rental housing takes time. There is a lot of information that you need to know, such as what questions a landlord can ask and what documents you will need to provide. It is also important to know and understand your rights as a tenant.
For detailed information on renting, read Renting in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know. Read Buying your First Home in Canada for information on buying a house. You can also check the housing section at Settlement.Org. You can also find information in the Housing section of the Newcomers Guidebook.
To Rent or To Buy?
Both renting and buying have advantages and disadvantages. Renting can be less expensive, when renting it is easier to move to a new location, and you are not responsible for maintenance and repairs. Homeownership is more expensive but gives you more control over the home and can increase in value, giving you a return on your investment.
It is easier to find housing after arriving in Peterborough. It is better to see a place in person before deciding – especially when buying a home. Waiting until you arrive allows you to learn more about Peterborough and its neighbourhoods. If you are looking for housing before you arrive, consider short-term rental options. For example, month-to-month instead of year-long leases.
How much does it cost to rent or buy a house in Peterborough?
Several factors affect how much a house costs. Its location, size, condition, and (for rental properties) whether utilities (heat and water) are included in the rent.
Rental costs in Peterborough are lower than in larger cities like Toronto and Ottawa. The Peterborough Rental Market Report, by the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, shows the average rental cost by apartment building size and bedroom type (apartment size). The average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Peterborough in 2022 was $1339.00.
The CCRC’s Housing Resource Centre (HRC), provides a range of services to help people find and keep housing in Peterborough City and County. HRC’s services are free and confidential for anyone living in Peterborough, regardless of their length of time or status in Canada. Drop-in services include housing help, information, vacancy listings and referrals to other community organizations. HRC can sometimes provide financial help to eligible individuals for housing-related needs. It includes overdue rent or utility bills, last month’s rent and moving costs.
The HRC helps individuals or families to find and keep their housing, preventing crises and homelessness. HRC staff and volunteers work with the government and community on issues affecting their clients. This includes issues related to affordable housing, poverty and social justice. For more information, visit their website or call them at 705-743-2272 ext. 207.
Housing Access Peterborough is where you go to apply for subsidized housing programs for the City and County of Peterborough. It provides housing for people who can’t afford adequate housing in the private rental market. Click here to see if you meet the criteria to apply.
To see prices of rental units in Peterborough, you can compare the listings at the following websites:
There are other costs to think about besides the rent price. Utilities, such as running water and heat, may or may not be included in the rent price. Heat can be provided through electricity or natural gas. On the Peterborough Utilities website, you can check the average cost of water. You can check the average cost of electricity on the Hydro One website. Remember that heating bills are much higher in the winter than in summer. You can save money on heating bills by lowering the temperature, especially at night or when you are not at home. Other costs include television, internet and telephone.
Buying a Home
While real estate prices have risen in the last few years, it is cheaper to buy in Peterborough than in large cities, such as Toronto or Ottawa. For recent information on the real estate market in the Peterborough Area, please consult this report by the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors. On the PKAR website, you can also find property listings for the Peterborough area. Many factors affect the price of a house, such as neighbourhood, size, age, and the materials used to build the house. If you own a home in Peterborough, you will also find that property taxes are cheaper than in most other cities in our region. The City of Peterborough has information about the property tax that you will pay on your home (calculated as a yearly amount). This should be taken into consideration when purchasing your home.