Northern Ontario is often overlooked as an apartment market, but opportunities abound. This large geographical area holds over 700,000 people, many of them in such cities as Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, North Bay and Cochrane. A major resource area and Ontario’s gateway to the Arctic and Western Canada, the region’s fortunes are rising with increasing commodity prices and demand for minerals and lumber. Many northern centres have also diversified their economies, opening themselves up to tourists, hosting universities, health centres, and government departments serving northern residents.
Though the cities of northern Ontario are small, they are well-established towns with sizeable apartment markets. Vacancy rates have lowered in recent years and average rents are increasing. The marketplace tends to be fragmented, with large corporate owners yet to discover the opportunities that exist here. There are plenty of opportunities to reposition buildings, bring in new efficiencies in ownership, and reap the rewards.