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Moving from Ontario to Airdrie? 5 Things You Didn't Know!

If you're making the move from Ontario to Airdrie or purchasing property here, you probably already know that housing is much more affordable in Alberta and that there are a ton of outdoor activities to enjoy year round. Those could very well be some of the reasons you're interested in Airdrie, but I'm going to dive into things you may not know about life in here.

If you are a buyer looking to get your home search underway, I'd love to help! Click the button below to go fill out my buyer consultation request form!


1. Friendlier People

What I've heard from my clients that have moved from Ontario to Alberta, is that in general people in Alberta tend to be more nice and more patient people.

Now this isn't something that I can confirm since I've never made the move from Ontario to Alberta, but every single one of my Ontario clients have noticed certain things and made it a point to tell me the differences.

For example, people will hold the door open for you, say "hi" to you on the street, or the cashier at the grocery store will start a conversation with you. These types of things seem to not be as common in Ontario, but are normal occurrences here in Alberta. One thing that blows the minds of my Ontario clients, is seeing cars slow down for pedestrians when they aren't at a crosswalk and are technically jaywalking.

This is the one item on my list that isn't based on any actual facts, but is just something to note, as many people who move here are pleasantly surprised at how welcoming people are.

2. Entrepreneurial Spirit

When it comes to the workforce, 17% of Alberta's workforce is self-employed in comparison to Ontario's 15%. It might not comes across as being a huge difference, but once you're here boots-on-ground, you're going to notice that entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it be their main income or side income, a lot of people do some kind of self-employed business.

One thing to mention, is that British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan are the top 3 provinces in the country when it comes to self-employment. So, over on the west side of Canada, we are above average for the amount of people who are self-employed.

3. Lower Taxes

For the most part, taxes are going to be lower in Alberta than they are in Ontario.

Looking at income tax, up until $100,000 per year, you're going to be taxed slightly less in Ontario than in Alberta. If you make above $100,000, you're income tax will be lower in Alberta than in Ontario.

Another important tax to consider is GST and HST. Alberta only has a 5% sales tax on the goods and services you're going to buy on a daily basis, compared to Ontario's 13%. Overtime, the higher tax is really going to add up on purchases you make, so even if you make less than $100,000 here in Alberta, you'll still be paying less tax overall.

4. Real Estate

The property tax rate in Airdrie is 0.749% of your assessed value and in Ontario it ranges anywhere from 0.68% - 1%. Another area you'll save in, is that your assessed value will be a lot less here than pretty much anywhere in Ontario. The amount of actual dollars you pay each year on your property will be quite a bit less in Airdrie.

Also, Ontario has a land transfer tax that is paid every time land transfers hands. The rate tiers as the property increases in value. For example, if a home's purchase price is $250,000 - $400,000 you're going to pay 1.5%, if it sells for $400,000 - $2m it's a 2% transfer tax, and anything above $2m will be 2.5%. It does tier for under $200,000, but if we're being honest, you're getting next to nothing for under a quarter million in Ontario.

What is Alberta's land transfer tax? The answer is ZERO! Whether you're buying or selling real estate, there is no transfer tax involved. This will save you a ton of money. For example, on a $500,000 house in Ontario you would pay $10,000 or on a $1m house you'd pay $20,000.

One last thing as it pertains to real estate, is that you're most likely going to pay more for utilities in Alberta. For gas and electricity, your monthly bill may be higher here as compared to your usage in Ontario.

Something a lot of people don't know when arriving in Airdrie, is that there is a monthly fee for water, sewer, and garbage collection. This is about $100 - $120 per month for those services, depending on your water usage.

If you want to know what homes are selling for in a specific neighbourhood, I provide a FREE monthly market report sent out my email. Click the button below to go fill out my market update request form!

5. Weather

The most damaging form of weather we experience here in Airdrie is hail. This is something to keep in mind when getting insurance, as in the spring and summer months, there is a good chance in the next 5 - 10 years there may be a storm.

Winters in Airdrie do get pretty cold, so you'll see a lot more gravel or sand than salt on the roads as salt is ineffective past -15 degrees celsius.

Fairly often, what comes to combat the cold is chinooks! A warm wind will sweep across southern Alberta and melt a lot of the snow we have. Due to chinooks, you'll notice that the snow never really builds up too much, it's always coming then melting away. Something to note, is that some people do get headaches the day before or day of a chinook.

Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada! Since Airdrie is so close to Calgary, we get all that sunshine as well. So, even though it gets cooler in the winter time, it keeps seasonal depression at bay and makes winter less dark and dreary as you might expect.


A few logistical items about making the move from Ontario to Alberta:

  • Remember to transfer you drivers license and healthcare within 90 days of arriving

  • Hire a moving company well if advance as they get booked up quick

  • Do some research, as you may be able to claim your moving expenses on your taxes depending on the reason for your move

Check out my YouTube video below where I go over everything in this blog post and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more Airdrie related content!

- Brad Walker


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