In the COVID-19 era, job availability is a vital component to decide your future. Start your search for job opportunities by understanding some of the differences between rural vs city living and quality of life.
Business closures amidst the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected employment provincewide. Good news is that there are industries that are thriving and hiring now and will continue to be stable employers after the pandemic.
Rural vs City Living by the Numbers
Where Are the Jobs?
In November 2020, the job gap in rural and urban areas was the same (-3.5%). Though the impact from February to October 2020 was less in rural areas, in urban areas sectors such as the arts, recreation and hospitality were hard hit.
With the hardest hit sectors in rural areas being:
- forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas;
- information, culture and recreation;
- business, building and other support services, and;
- health care and social assistance.
Right now, there's jobs in agriculture and food sectors so grocery shelves are stocked and people have enough food. If you’re not in a food sector job, there’s lots of opportunity to get trained and find work in the agrifood and food processing industries. Even better, these jobs can be found in both rural and urban centres in eastern Ontario, so you can get a job and live where you want.
How Much Will You Make?
In rural eastern Ontario, you’ll make between $17 and $18/hour. This gives you a choice to live in a small town like Smiths Falls or Prescott and make a good wage outside the city.
Bottom line is, whether you want to live in a rural area or an urban one you can find your ideal location in and around the eastern Ontario region. Choose from communities like Kingston, Belleville, Quinte West, and Brockville (or even Ottawa, adjacent to eastern Ontario), or Perth, Bancroft, or Carleton Place. And you’ll still have access to services like reliable wi-fi, so you can work from home, learn and upskill remotely, and order what you need. Plus, trips to the towns and cities near you are within an hour’s drive.
Where Will You Live?
Finding a good home you can afford in a rural community or city in eastern Ontario is important to your work/life balance. There’s lots of housing options in eastern Ontario where you can choose what amenities and services are important for your life.
In 2021, it’s 32% more expensive to live in Toronto than Kingston.
While housing costs have increased in many areas during the pandemic, eastern Ontario remains a mid-range area compared to southern and northern Ontario markets, and even right next door in Ottawa. That means you get more house for your money and you’re still within a good roads system (Hwy 401) with multiple transportation options such as trains, buses and regular flights close by.
Here’s What Housing Costs Look Like in Eastern Ontario:
In Brockville, a single-family home can cost you up to ~$425,000. However many homes are less expensive than that. Plus, Brockville is a smaller city on the St. Lawrence River within an hour’s drive of Ottawa. And it’s on the 401 Hwy route so heading to larger centres for entertainment, like to Toronto, is convenient. Even better, there’s jobs and training opportunities in the region.
Quinte West is home to 8 Wing CFB Trenton. Known as the gateway to Trent-Severn Waterway, Quinte West is close to diverse employment and training opportunities and outdoor recreation. Plus, it’s within reasonable driving distances to larger urban centres.
Rural properties vary across the region. However, you’ll find acreage, hobby farms, treed lots and waterfront properties throughout the area, so you can find a location and price that suits your plans.
Ultimately, eastern Ontario rural and city communities offer lower-cost services and housing that's twice as affordable as southern Ontario locations. Plus it offers a plentiful job market.
4 Ways Eastern Ontario Is Your Top Choice
- The cost of living and price of housing are much lower in the eastern Ontario region than in larger cities, and there’s over 200 communities to choose from you so you can find the best match.
- Outdoor recreation at provincial parks, conservation areas and crown land offer plentiful outdoor opportunities. Plus, arts and entertainment options from community theatre and farmers markets to the National Art Centre and street markets in Kingston and nearby Ottawa give you lots of choice for your free time.
- Find your work-life balance with access to good jobs in sectors like manufacturing, aviation and food processing. Plus there’s opportunities for starting your own business like craft beer brewing or an art studio. You could work from home, too, with the company you work for now.
- Whether you want good education for yourself or your children, you can find every level of school for all ages and abilities. In fact, the eastern Ontario region is one of the most highly educated and employment-ready regions. Choose from the many French- and English-language elementary and secondary schools, as well as from colleges, universities and continuing education programs, so you can access the education you and your family needs.
Rural vs City Living Is Your Choice in Eastern Ontario
Want to know more about the quality of life in eastern Ontario and how it compares to other regions? Download this infographic.
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