How do I look for rental housing?

There are many different ways you can look for an apartment or house to rent in Ontario. Here are some examples:

Bulletin Boards

Look in community centres, laundromats, grocery stores and other local businesses. If you are a student, check the boards at college and university housing services.


The advertisement section of major daily newspapers and weekly community newspapers have list rentals. You can read the newspaper for free at public libraries. Many newspapers let you search their classifieds ads online for free. Find your local community newspapers on the Ontario Community Newspaper Association - OCNA website.

Family and Friends

Many people find places to rent through personal contacts. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and others if they know of any places that are available.

Rental Guides

These guides are free. Look for them in boxes on street corners or in store entrances.

Rental Listing Websites

There are many websites that list rentals. Here are some popular examples:

* These listings sites are for your information only. Settlement.Org does not recommend or endorse any particular site or listing.

Rental Locators

These are private companies that search for housing for you. There is usually a fee for this service.


Walk around neighbourhoods that interest you and look for signs that say "For Rent" or "Vacancy" in front of apartment buildings or in house windows. Even if there is no sign, you can ask if any apartments are available or will become available soon. Ask if you can be put on a waiting list.

Housing help centres and community agencies maintain lists of rentals. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Understanding "For Rent" Ads - This brochure explains some of the most common terms and abbreviations used in rental ads.
  • Rent With Confidence - This website lists rental properties that have been certified by the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario. To be certified, a building must show that it meets certain standards of practice.
Last updated: January 17, 2023 4001281