Ontario is a rather poor province for off grid living. The environment is suitable for growing crops and off-grid living, but property and living costs are relatively high. In general, northern districts have cheaper land and property. Still, the temperature in this portion of the province is fairly chilly all year, making life off the grid substantially more difficult.
Ontario is at the center of the country. It has access to Hudson Bay and several big lakes such as Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Ontario has one of the greatest population densities in the country; there are currently over 14.57 million people living in the province, and the population is growing each year. Ontario had a population of only 12.85 million people in 2011.
The major reasons for living off the grid are being self-sufficient and living as cheaply as possible, which is nearly difficult in this province due to the high costs connected with off-grid living. Most of this province’s population is located in the south and southeast, and housing is already a major issue in these areas. Many individuals are leaving this province because they can no longer afford to live there.
Several foreign investors have come to this province to invest in real estate in recent decades. Some are respectable firms, but the majority are, to put it mildly, dubious. When these investors arrived with practically limitless funds, they began buying off the property where the typical Canadian could no longer afford to buy or even rent.
Should You Live Off Grid in Ontario?
What’s the Climate in Ontario?
The major climate in Ontario is humid continental, with hot summers and cold winters. Because of the closeness of the Hudson Bay and numerous big lakes, Ontario has one of the highest humidity levels in the entire country. Summer temperatures range between 87°F and 94°F (30°C and 34°C). In contrast, winter temperatures vary greatly but are generally below freezing, with considerably harsher temperatures in the north.
What Kind of Crops Can you Grow in Ontario?
Because of its continental climate and high humidity, Ontario is one of the best areas in the world to grow crops. Soybeans, potatoes, grain corn, sugar beets, wheat, oats, barley, and rye are the most regularly produced crops here. In most cases, you will not need to put up a greenhouse to grow crops, yet producing crops without a greenhouse will be quite difficult in northern places.
Interested in another province in Canada that’s very fertile? I recommend checking out my Complete Guide to Living Off Grid in Quebec.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Ontario?
Ontario has much fresh water, lakes, and access to some of the world’s largest lakes. This province contains nearly 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves. Furthermore, the high humidity means that rains are common. In Ontario, the average yearly rainfall is roughly 15′′ (400 mm), and the average yearly snowfall may be rather high in the northern portions of the province.
What Kind of Wildlife is in Ontario?
Wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, moose, elk, black bear, wolf, caribou, bobcat, Canada lynx, cougars, foxes, and even the occasional polar bear can be found in Ontario. Panfish, brook trout, salmon, lake trout, largemouth bass, muskie, walleye, and northern pike are the most common fish in this province. Remember that this province has both saltwater and freshwater fish. Therefore you will need two separate fishing licenses.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on any hunting or fishing regulations in the province if you intent to catch your own food.
How to Generate Off Grid Power in Ontario?
Solar energy: Ontario receives enough sunlight throughout the year, yet the skies are cloudy due to high humidity. Ontario offered many incentives and subsidies for solar electricity in recent years, but they have officially stopped. The good news is that you can claim the Renewable Energy Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) and the Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses (CRCE).
Wind power: Because of its proximity to Hudson Bay and numerous big lakes, Ontario can get windy, especially in the south. There were some wind power incentive schemes in the past, but most are no longer available. At the same time, you can still qualify for the Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) for Renewable Energy.
Are There Off Grid Living Laws in Ontario?
Off grid living is permitted in Ontario, and there are no restrictions on gathering rainwater like in other US states. However, going off grid will be incredibly difficult in places with a high population density where you are already linked to utilities. The quality of education here is pretty high, albeit it can be somewhat expensive. You can also homeschool your children if you follow the local homeschooling guidelines.
What’s Road Access Like in Ontario?
The quality of Ontario’s roads is fairly high. Yet, certain locations in the north do not have access to highways or become inaccessible during the winter. When off grid living in the province’s south, you shouldn’t be too concerned about road access.
What’s the Price of Off Grid Land in Ontario?
The cost of land and property is among the highest in the country, but, in some locations, you may still find a plot of land or a modest farmhouse for less. The greatest sites for an off grid living are often in the southeast; nevertheless, land and property costs are higher here.
What’s the Cost of Living Off Grid in Ontario?
The cost of living in Ontario is rather high, not because everything must be imported, but because of the large population density in the south, particularly in Ottawa. Due to the high living expense, off grid living in Ontario will be quite challenging.
Nova Scotia is relatively cheap in comparison to Ontario. I recommend looking into the province for off grid living.
What’s the Job Market Like in Ontario?
The unemployment rate in Ontario is around 5.9 percent, which is lower than the national average of 6.9 percent. The minimum pay is 14 Canadian dollars, much more than the minimum wage in surrounding provinces. Agriculture, mining, oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, public administration, and tourism are the most important industries.
Are There Natural Disasters in Ontario?
Ontario’s natural catastrophes include wildfires, floods, storms, earthquakes, landslides, and even tornadoes. Although not a natural disaster, one thing you will surely notice in Ontario is the high humidity, which is manageable in the summer but causes many problems in the winter, such as black ice accumulating on the roadways.
Can You Live Off Grid in Ontario?
Overall, I do not recommend off grid living in Ontario. It is home to the capital city of Ottawa, which makes the population density and cost of living high. If you have a limited budget, you should consider relocating to one of the western provinces.