Canadians Spending More Time at Home During Pandemic, but Many Say Living Space Isn’t Equipped to Handle the Extra Activity

Three in Ten Canadians in a Relationship (28%) Say Pandemic Has Made Them Move in Together Earlier than Expected

The author(s)
  • Mitra Thompson Senior Account Manager, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, October 22, 2020 – As Canadians adjust to a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, one certainty is that most of us are once again spending a lot more time at home than we used to.

Following the lockdown conditions experienced in the spring, and with many Canadians now routinely working from home as the second wave plays out, pandemic living has prompted us to rethink our relationship with the space we live in. New Ipsos research for TD finds that Canadians have changed the way they spend time at home – and that many are investing in upgrades when realizing that their home set-up isn’t optimal for their new schedule.


More Netflix, Less Chill

It should come as no surprise that a majority of Canadians – 63% - say they’re watching more TV or movies at home since the pandemic began. With restaurants locked down for much of the spring, and many being cautious about indoor dining since then, home cooking has also become more popular, with more than half (54%) of Canadians say they’re doing more cooking at home.

While some Canadians say they aren’t watching any more TV (31%) or cooking at home (41%) any more than in the pre-pandemic days, and a small number say they’re doing these activities even less frequently at home than before, the overall net change is positive. In other words, Canadians who are actively switching it up at home are more likely to be doing more than less.


Would you say that you are doing more or less of the following in your home than you were before the COVID-19 pandemic began?




No Difference

Not Applicable

Net Change

Watching TV or movies













Cramped Conditions

Spending more time at home has a way of making people realize that their cozy nook might not be the ideal set-up for extended periods of activity. While a majority of Canadians say their home has enough space and functionality for them to regularly and comfortably do a variety of activities at home, this isn’t the case for everyone. For example, nearly three in ten (29%) say they don’t have enough room to exercise regularly at home. One in four (24%) Canadians who work say their home office is less than ideal.

Some have it easier than others. Homeowners are more likely to say their home has enough space and functionality to comfortably exercise (79% vs. 61%) or work from home (79% vs. 71). Age also appears to be a factor, with Millennials significantly more likely to say they don’t have enough space to work out regularly at home.


Home Improvement

Faced with these challenges, some Canadians have adapted to “the new normal” by making upgrades and improvements to their living space where possible.

Nearly half (45%) have either bought furniture, electronics or appliances since March (28%) or are planning to do so (18%). Nearly four in ten (37%) have conducted significant renovations or home repairs (20%) or plan to (17%).

While very few (3%) have taken the plunge of buying a house, vacation home or other property, the idea has crossed many minds: a further one in ten (12%) are thinking about it, rising to nearly two in ten (17%) among those who don’t currently own a home.

Homeowners are significantly more likely than non-owners to have conducted significant renovations or home repairs since the start of the pandemic (25% of homeowners vs. 14% of non-owners) or to plan on doing so (24% vs. 9%). Though few claim to have bought a house/vacation home/property since the pandemic, homeowners are again statistically more likely to say they have (4% vs. 1%).


Lovers in a Dangerous Time?

The COVID-19 pandemic has arguably changed how Canadians think, plan, and do just about everything. This includes decisions that affect their personal life. The survey asked Canadians who are currently in a romantic relationship but not married if they have made housing decisions affecting their relationship sooner than they expected, as a result of the pandemic. Many said that they have, agreeing that they decided to:

  • Move in together: 28% agree
  • Make significant household purchases like an appliance or car: 27% agree
  • Buy a first home together: 19% agree
  • Get engaged or married: 17% agree


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 22 and 24, 2020, on behalf of TD. For this survey, a sample of 1,500 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online, including 937 current homeowners. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The subgroup of 937 homeowners is accurate to within ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mitra Thompson
Senior Account Manager, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 514 904-4329
[email protected]


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The author(s)
  • Mitra Thompson Senior Account Manager, Canada, Public Affairs