What to know before your move to Oakville

Moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area? 7 Things You Need to Know and do.

If you’re looking to move to Ontario, a province known for its beauty, top-rated schools, Lake Ontario, and the home of Toronto and Niagara Falls, chances are you’ve chosen Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton as your next destination. Each of these areas have a ton to offer. Whether you’re a young family looking to put down roots, an entrepreneur seeking a home for your business, you’ll find it in one of these cities.

So, thinking of moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton? Here are 7 things you need to know and do:

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1. First steps before moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton

Finding a job

Ontario is a great place to work due to its diverse industries and thriving economy. It boasts major cities like Toronto and Ottawa, as well as stunning natural scenery. With top-notch healthcare, social services, and a rich cultural scene, Ontario offers a high quality of life and excellent job prospects. 

If you are thinking of moving to the Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton area in Ontario, you can check websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed for a better understanding of the in demand jobs in the province.

LinkedIN (Feb 2024) & Indeed (Feb 2024)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton, whether it is from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to travel to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton. The nearest airport to Oakville is Toronto (YYZ) Airport, which is 26.4 km away. The nearest airport to Burlington is Hamilton (YHM) Airport, which is 25.8 km away. The airport is also referred to as John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, or simply Hamilton Airport.

Train: You can also take the train with VIA Rail Canada as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton has bus services like Busbud, Flixbus, Oakville Transit, and Ontario Northland, that can get you there.

Find a trusted removal company or van rental

Being able to move your entire home to a new place is one of the most stressful events in life. Finding a trusted moving company can be a time-consuming task. Save yourself time and energy by hiring a removal company or renting a van. 

To find the moving company, look for good reviews, a professional-looking website and years of experience. Planning a move to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area? Check out some of the best moving companies in Canada.

Local Transportation in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area

You’ll never be far from other major hubs in Ontario and beyond here. Accessible to the major GTA highways, including the 403, 401 and 407, these areas will keep you connected with friends and family. Hamilton has its own public transit system called the Hamilton Street Railway, with over 40 routes across the area. Burlington has three GO Transit stations: Aldershot GO, Burlington GO, and Appleby GO, where you can take GO buses, trains, as well as city buses.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can bike all the way from Burlington to Toronto through Oakville, all 87 kilometers of it on the Trans Canada Trail. How’s that for accessibility?

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area is an exciting yet challenging adventure, and preparing in advance can make your transition smoother:

  • In Ontario, the provincial government provides settlement services to newcomers through settlement agencies. These services can be accessed by calling 2-1-1 as well. They are available before arrival, during relocation, and after settling.
  • Gather all important original documents for you and your family members. Depending on your settlement location, translate these documents into English or French.
  • Don’t forget to change your address with important private and government organizations. 

2. Upon your arrival in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Upon arrival, familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood by trying out the public transportation services.
  • Explore community services such as settlement agencies, language programs, and cultural organizations to help you integrate into the community
  • If applicable, register for educational programs or courses to improve your skills and get better career opportunities.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Before moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area, apply for a driver’s license. To do so, you need to contact the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to set up an appointment, pay the fee, and then show up at the DriveTest Centre or Travel Point for your knowledge test and road test.

Setting up a bank account 

Newcomers, temporary residents, and permanent residents in Canada should open bank accounts upon arrival or even before to avoid foreign currency conversion fees. While newcomers may initially use their Mastercard or Visa debit or credit cards from their home countries, it’s advisable to open a bank account in Canada with proper identification and specific documents, especially if you’re not yet a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

To open a bank account in the Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area, you’ll need two forms of identification for verification. Commonly accepted documents include a valid Canadian driver’s license or a valid Canadian passport. These documents verify your name, address, age, and nationality.

RBC and TD have multiple branches to assist everyone. 

Getting health insurance

Upon arriving in the Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton area, newcomers can obtain a health card and receive free healthcare under a universal model, without any waiting period. To apply for OHIP, residents must visit Service Ontario with completed forms and qualifying identification documents. With a health card, Canadians typically receive free public health services, though some medications and treatments might require out-of-pocket payments. Each province decides which services to include in its public healthcare insurance package.

The cost and coverage of private health insurance depend on several factors, such as your age, gender, lifestyle, pre-existing conditions, specific coverages, and the chosen provider.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance

*It depends on the employee ages and the tier of cover.


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance




Numbeo (Feb 2024), Hellosafe (2023) & Insurance Business (Apr 2023)

3. Best places to live in Ontario

Oakville, Burlington, and Hamilton are all wonderful places to grow up. With a healthy mix of urban and suburban lifestyle, children can be raised here to be well-rounded individuals with a vast and diverse perspective on the world. They’ll have plenty of outdoor time in the many parks in the area, and the highly rated schools will give them a great foundation and instill core values that will follow them into adulthood.

Waterfronts to Choose From

All three of these picturesque communities have amazing waterfronts. If you’re a lover of the water or are looking forward to spending your summers on the beach, you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

Burlington’s most popular waterfront park is Spencer Smith Park, though Paletta Lakefront Park also has some beautiful views. The beachfront in Hamilton is vast and developed, with the Wild Water Works water park right on the beach. Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park is the best for a walk along Lake Ontario in Oakville. You can also rent canoes, kayaks, and dragon boats for a water excursion.

Not only will you have plenty of beaches to choose from, but Hamilton is also home to some of the most beautiful and majestic waterfalls in the world. With over 100 waterfalls to enjoy, you will have no problem seeking out some seriously gorgeous vistas.

Setting up home services 

When moving between homes in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area, follow these steps to manage your utility services smoothly:

  • Contact your current utility provider at least five days before your move to cancel service at your old address, and give notice to retailers at least two weeks in advance if you have a contract with them.
  • Identify the utilities serving your new area using the Ontario Energy Board’s resources and provide them with necessary information like your name, new address, contact numbers, and government ID a week or two before your move, specifying the desired service start date and details of other occupants
  • Be prepared to pay setup fees for electricity or natural gas delivery, which may require a security deposit, although this might be waived for customers in good standing for a year or more.

Internet and mobile phones in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton

There are dozens of Internet Service Providers available across Ontario. Some of the most popular internet service providers in Ontario are Rogers, Bell, Cogeco, oxio or VMedia. To compare different rates, you can consult MovingWaldo to learn about the plans available at your new address.

Some of the most popular cell phone carriers in Ontario include Bell, Fido, and Freedom Mobile. You can select a suitable carrier and cell phone plan for yourself by comparing them and checking the best internet providers in Ontario. 


Cost in Oakville

Cost in Burlington

Cost in Hamilton


(Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment





(60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)








Oakville Numbeo (Feb 2024), Burlington Numbeo (Feb 2024) & Hamilton Numbeo (Feb 2024)

Should you rent or buy?

No matter where you choose to live, whether it is in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area, one of your most significant ongoing expenses will be housing prices, and this is no exception in any location. Ontario is often considered one of the most expensive provinces in the world when it comes to real estate and property prices. 

Apartment rental has become pretty easy thanks to online platforms like RentBoard, RentCafé, Kijiji, and many others. In all of these platforms, you can filter your selections based on the type of property you want to rent, the neighborhood or city, and your budget. Plus, it is common practice in Ontario to hire a real estate broker to find your dream apartment, especially in the Great Toronto Area (GTA).

If you’re looking to save money, having knowledge about Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area’s housing market is the answer.

Cost of rent in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Oakville (Outside of Center)



Burlington (Outside of Center)



Hamilton (Outside of Center)



Oakville Numbeo (Feb 2024), Burlington Numbeo (Feb 2024) & Hamilton Numbeo (Feb 2024)

Cost of buying a property in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton


Average home price 







Oakville Redfin (Feb 2024), Burlington Redfin (Feb 2024) & Hamilton Redfin (Feb 2024)

4. Cost of living in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton 


Oakville’s Monthly cost

Burlington’s Monthly cost

Hamilton’s Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center





Numbeo’s grocery list (monthly costs multiplied by 4)





Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage




Internet with 60 Mbps




Transit pass





Meal, taxi, movie




Gym membership 








Oakville Numbeo (Feb 2024), Burlington Numbeo (Feb 2024) & Hamilton Numbeo (Feb 2024)

5. The weather in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton 

Ontario experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall (autumn), and winter. 

Each season in Ontario offers unique experiences and weather conditions, from blooming flowers in spring to snow-covered landscapes in winter.

If you’ve never heard of the “lake effect,” get ready. Hamilton gets an average of 118 centimeters of snow a year, with similar snowfall for Oakville and Burlington. Winters are cold here, and the waterfronts will only make it colder. However, it also lends itself to amazing winter sports like skiing, tobogganing, and snow walking.

Whichever area you choose, we have resources available to make the relocation process as exciting as the cities themselves!

6. What to do as a local in Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton

Just because you’re not in Toronto doesn’t mean you won’t have a nightlife. Arts, entertainment, and great dining options are available all over Oakville, Burlington, and Hamilton. The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts hosts not only a ballet company, but a symphony orchestra as well. 

  • Shopping opportunities are plentiful, like the Centre Mall Outlets in Hamilton or the Mapleview Mall and Burlington Mall in Burlington. You’ll find all the top and most popular stores ready for you to peruse the racks.
  • Despite being modern cities, each of these areas has acres and acres of parks, forests, and trails for recreation. If you’re a hiking fan, the Chedoke Radial Trail and the Bruce Trail in Hamilton are must-dos. You can also enjoy the amazing architecture in a glorious setting at Dundurn Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hamilton. The Mount Nemo Conservation Area in Burlington is also great for rock climbing.
  • In Oakville, the Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a sprawling 6.4 square kilometers of forests, hills, and exploration. There are opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, and even a working farm and petting zoo. The Royal Botanical Gardens on the Hamilton-Burlington border is a great place to not only just walk around and admire the fauna, but to learn more about the ecosystem and living green.
  • If you’re moving to Burlington, you’ll want to check out their annual Sound of Musical Festival in Spencer Smith Park. They also host the delicious Rib Fest every year, which is Canada’s largest celebration of ribs.
  • Burlington isn’t the only home of festivals. Hamilton has a festival dedicated to everything maple syrup, an outdoor music and arts celebration called The Festival of Friends in Gage Park, and Supercrawl, the annual art and indie music festival held downtown.
  • Oakville has their own Maple Syrup Festival as well as an annual Harvest Festival in Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

7. Fun facts about Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton 

  • Fun Fact #1: The world-famous Niagara Falls is barely an hour’s drive from here.
  • Fun Fact #2: Burlington was Originally a Primeval Forest.
  • Fun Fact #3: The first Tim Hortons opened in Hamilton.


Moving to Oakville, Burlington, or Hamilton Area offers a diverse range of opportunities and experiences. These areas are located in the province of Ontario, which presents a welcoming environment for individuals and families seeking new beginnings. However, it’s essential to consider factors such as job availability, housing affordability, and lifestyle preferences before making the move. Overall, Ontario’s rich cultural diversity, excellent healthcare system, and high quality of life make it an attractive destination for those looking to start afresh in Canada.

Are you moving soon? You may be searching for Top 5 Moving Companies in Oakville.


Widgets Magazine


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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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