Thunder Bay: Canada’s Top Affordable City for Relocation

Shot on Friday afternoon looking out at Thunder Bay with Ice Breaker
Shot on Friday afternoon looking out at Thunder Bay with Ice Breaker

Thunder Bay ranks as the most affordable city in Canada, offering a low cost of living and beautiful natural surroundings

Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay has been recognized as the most affordable city in Canada according to a recent survey by Royal LePage. The survey, which focused on residents in major urban areas like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, revealed a growing interest in relocating to more affordable cities.

Thunder Bay stands out not only for its affordability but also for its appealing blend of urban amenities and access to nature.

Half of residents in Canada’s largest urban centres eyeing move to more affordable real estate markets

With the growth in technology and many workers during the pandemic shifting from commercial offices to home offices, for many companies, the location for their employees matters less. People looking for a better quality of life are able in some cases to move their physical location to more affordable venues.

Distance isn’t a blocker in many cases, and in Thunder Bay the airport provides fairly simple connecting flights to major centres like Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

In fact for Toronto residents, in many cases having a sail boat, camp or cottage in Thunder Bay, and using Porter Air to fly out of Billy Bishop to the city would be faster and long run less expensive.

Survey Highlights:

  • Thunder Bay Tops the List: Thunder Bay requires only 22.2% of a household’s monthly income to service a mortgage payment.
  • Quebec Cities Lead in Affordability: Four Quebec cities, including Trois-Rivières and Quebec City, made the top 15.
  • Atlantic Canada: Cities like Saint John and St. John’s are also popular for their affordability.
  • Growing Relocation Trend: 54% of respondents in Greater Montreal, 51% in Greater Toronto, and 45% in Greater Vancouver would consider moving to a more affordable city.

Affordability and Lifestyle

The Royal LePage survey highlighted that affordability and lifestyle are significant factors driving Canadians to consider relocating. Besides lower home prices, a lower cost of living, proximity to nature, and a more relaxed lifestyle are the top reasons cited by respondents.

Thunder Bay: A Top Choice for Relocation

Thunder Bay’s low cost of living and beautiful natural surroundings make it an attractive option for those looking to relocate. With only 22.2% of a household’s monthly income needed to service a mortgage, it offers a financially sustainable lifestyle. This affordability is supported by a stable job market, diverse employment opportunities, and the city’s commitment to development and housing.

Nathan Lawrence, a sales representative at Royal LePage Lannon Realty, emphasizes the city’s appeal: “Thunder Bay offers a perfect blend of urban conveniences and natural beauty. The city’s growth and development have attracted a diverse range of residents, from students to retirees, making it a vibrant community.”

Popular Choices for Relocation

The survey also revealed the most popular cities among those considering relocation:

  • Greater Montreal Area: Quebec City is the top choice, followed by Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.
  • Greater Toronto Area: Edmonton leads, followed by Thunder Bay and St. John’s.
  • Greater Vancouver Area: Edmonton is the preferred destination, with St. John’s and Thunder Bay also in the top three.


As the cost of living continues to rise in major urban centers, cities like Thunder Bay offer a viable alternative for those seeking affordability and a higher quality of life. With its scenic beauty, low cost of living, and growing job market, Thunder Bay stands out as the top choice for Canadians looking to relocate.

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