20 Side-Hustles in Canada (2022): Be Your Own Boss

All of us want more money, though the reasons we want the extra cash will vary from person to person.

Many Canadians are turning to side-hustles to earn some extra cash. These side-hustles can sometimes lead to lucrative careers and full-time gigs as well.

I started side-hustling in 2018 as a writer, and I’ve turned it into a full-time career now and I couldn’t be happier!

Let’s get into this list of the best side hustles in Canada, and I’ll talk about who should try them out, how much money you can make, and how you can get started today.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Side-Hustle

Every side-hustle has its pros and cons. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all gig that’s going to please every single Canadian.

The perfect side-hustle is an individual choice. Ask yourself some questions before you get started.

  • What do I like doing in my free time?
  • How can I use the skills I already have to make extra money?
  • What new skills do I want to learn?
  • How much time do I have for a side-hustle?

The last one is perhaps the most important. If a part-time gig is going to take away from your hobbies, passions, and loved ones, then think carefully if it will be worth your time. Time is the one resource you can’t make more of in this life, so it’s an important consideration!

Top Side-Hustles in Canada

Gig Work Side-Hustles

For those of you who may not know what this is, gig work refers to the gig economy. These are app-based platforms. Gig workers are independent contractors who work when they want and are paid by the platform. Here are my top picks.

1. Ride Sharing

Ride Sharing

Average Full-Time Pay: $42,000

Uber and Lyft are available in Canada. It’s a service called “ride-sharing”. You download and open the app and plug in the desired address. A driver will accept the ride, pick you up, and drop you off at the requested location.

It’s a taxi service. But there is no meter and the cars are the driver’s personal vehicles. Many people drive and use the app for social interaction. It’s often more fun than a traditional taxi service.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You like meeting new people
  • You’re a talker
  • You enjoy driving

How to get started:

It’s as simple as going to the website or downloading the driver app and signing up. You’ll have to meet a few requirements. Follow the directions, and you’ll be driving in 1-2 weeks. Here’s a screenshot of Uber’s requirements, and Lyft has similar prerequisites to drive for them.

Driver requirement

2. Instacart

Instacart

Average Hourly Pay: $15/hour

Instacart is an app that pays you to go to the grocery store, shop for a customer, and then deliver the goods to their home. This one is a bit different than others on our list. You can knock out several rides or dashes in an hour, but Instacart shopping takes more time.

However, certain people enjoy it. If you’re the type of person that’s always looking for a reason to go to the store, then check out this app.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You enjoy going to the store and shopping
  • You enjoy helping people
  • You’re a fast and efficient shopper

How to get started:

The sign-up process is much the same as other gig apps. Go to the website and punch in your zip code and then follow the directions. Check out this full tutorial by someone who’s doing it.

3. Food Delivery

DoorDash

Average Hourly Pay: $22/hour

The above statistic is for Doordash. This is my favourite delivery app. Uber Eats and Grubhub are also big names in this industry. However, in my experience, Doordash offers better pay and more deliveries per hour than its competition.

The pay you make for an order is figured up by adding the base pay (time and mileage) + promotional offer if applicable (this is called peak pay) + tips. Customers can add a tip right on the app and/or give you cash.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • Driving is something you enjoy doing
  • You want limited interaction with other people
  • Your schedule is limited

How to get started:

Go to the website, sign-up, download the app and wait for a reply from Doordash.

Pro-tip – If you are wait-listed on any of the food delivery apps, check the schedule on Sunday night or Monday morning. This is when a lot of drivers will change up schedules or drop shifts completely.

If there’s an opening, you can schedule yourself, which will instantly remove you from the waitlist.

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Physical Work Side-Hustles

The service industry is hotter than ever before. If you like mowing lawns, cleaning houses, babysitting, or hammering nails into wood, then a physical side-hustle might be in your future. Here are three of my favourites.

4. Cleaning

Average Hourly Pay: $20/hour

I had a friend who hated her job. She was doing ok financially, but the stress and hours she was having to put in her job were making her quite unhappy. She decided to take a huge gamble, quit her job, and start her own cleaning business.

She signed up on Care.com and in under a month had a full roster of clients. She now owns her own business and is actively looking to hire new people. She charges a minimum of $20 an hour for the service.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You love to clean!
  • Working hard and getting dirty doesn’t bother you
  • You want to own your own business

How to get started:

I recommend Care.com for a lot of potential businesses. You can get clients who want their houses cleaned, dogs walked, housesitting, and even babysitting.

With just one app, you can start your own business doing multiple things. This way you won’t get bored with a single job type.

5. Landscaping

Average Hourly Pay: $19/hour

Love mowing grass, shovelling or plowing snow, and running electric hedge clippers? Landscaping is a great weekend side-hustle. Canadians have the benefit of turning it into a snow removal business during the harsh winter months.

However, if all you have available is the weekend or a few hours after work, this side-hustle can work with that schedule as well. Word-of-mouth marketing is your best friend here. Do a good job and you’ll find new clients fast.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You love working with your hands
  • Working hard and getting dirty doesn’t bother you
  • You want to own your own business

How to get started:

Starting a legitimate business is a little different than loading up an app and scheduling yourself. You’ll need to file for a business license and any applicable permits. You’ll also need some equipment. When just starting out, you can rent or borrow what you need to do individual jobs.

6. Handyman

Average Hourly Pay: $20+/hour

Being a handyman is way cooler than it sounds. If your hobbies include building things, fixing them, and in some cases, breaking them, then this side-hustle is for you.

The biggest issue here is going to be tools. They can be expensive. But if you’re already doing this stuff for fun, chances are you already have some tools around the house or you have friends that can lend you some.

Handyman jobs have also moved to the gig economy with apps like Taskrabbit and Handy.

 Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You love working with your hands
  • Working hard and getting dirty doesn’t bother you
  • You prefer to work by yourself

How to get started:

Getting started as a handyman is pretty similar to getting started with a landscaping job. You’ll need tools and licensing. If you’d prefer to skip that step, check out the apps mentioned above. They take on all of the liability for you. You just show up and get the job done and get paid.

7. Bartending & Mixology

Work as a part-time bartender or waiter at a local restaurant

If you love to socialize, you’re a good entertainer, and like the idea of getting paid to serve drinks to strangers, then bartending is an excellent side hustle to consider. While many bartenders are employed full-time, there are many who bartend part-time as a side hustle.

There are several different ways to approach bartending as a side hustle:

  • Picking up part-time shifts at a local pub or nightclub
  • Working with a catering company and bartending at events
  • Becoming a freelance bartender and working small events and private parties

If you want to serve alcoholic beverages in Canada, you’ll need to complete a bartending training course and test such as Serve It Right or It’s Good Business: Responsible Beverage Program first. These programs ensure that you’re responsible and know what you’re doing.

Each province has its own rules for which certification bartenders need to complete. Quebec is the only province where you’re not required to complete a bartending certification course.

Bartending at a local spot is likely going to give you more consistent pay. However, serving drinks at private events or working with a catering company often provides the opportunity to earn higher than average tips.

 Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You don’t mind working night shifts
  • You’re good at multitasking
  • You enjoy talking to and entertaining people
  • You prefer a social work environment
  • You’re good at making cocktails and drinks

How to get started: First, you’ll want to get your bartending certification, depending on which program your province requires. Then, you can apply to part-time positions, sign up with a catering company, or start your own bartending business for private parties.

8. Refurbish & Resell Used Furniture

Furniture Restoration
  • Average Hourly Pay: $75 – $300 per piece of furniture

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” before. If you have an eye for detail, you’ll be surprised at just how many valuable things are carelessly tossed away or donated to thrift stores by people who no longer have space for them.

My friend, Elena, recently purchased a set of six dining room chairs. She paid $50 at a local thrift store for the entire set. At first glance, they didn’t look like anything special. Personally, I would have probably walked right past them.

All they needed was a bit of love and care, though. She took them home, sanded off the old peeling paint, revealing the natural wood grain. Then, she used a dark cherry red wood stain to revitalize them.

The difference was like night and day, and she was able to resell the set of chairs for $200. All in all, she made $150 for a few hours worth of restoration work.

You can repeat this side hustle with virtually any piece of furniture. With some basic tools, paint, and inspiration, you can turn these throw-away items into valuable antiques.

 Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You like working with wood and furniture
  • You enjoy thrifting and deal-shopping
  • You want a side hustle without committed hours or scheduled time blocks
  • You like DIY projects and crafting

How to get started: Take a trip to your local furniture thrift store and try to find great deals on lightly used items that need a bit of restoration. Take them home, restore them, and try to make them look brand-new. Resell the furniture for profit through online marketplaces.

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Work from Home Side-Hustles

Working from home has the power to change lives. Most people don’t realize how much money and time you save by not putting on a suit and driving half an hour to work every day.

From the second you wake up, you’re losing money. But when you work from home, you just grab a drink, head to the computer, and start making it. Here are some of the best around.

7. Proofreader

Average Salary: $15-$25/hour

Are you known for having an eagle eye when it comes to proofreading? You can turn this into cash with a side-hustle as a proofreader.

You can find this kind of job all over the web. Bloggers, magazines, and even content mills are constantly in search of this high-demand skill.

Some potential clients may have testing to see just how good you are, but these tests are often fairly basic, to try not to get nervous.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You have proofreading experience
  • Meticulous work doesn’t bother you
  • You prefer to work in silence

How to get started:

Problogger and content mills are solid places to start looking for proofreading gigs. If you have no experience and you feel like you need an edge, I recommend the Proofreadanywhere course created by Caitlyn Pyle.

8. Virtual Assistant

Average Salary: $10-$40/hour

If you don’t want to create your own content or be stuck with a single task all day long, consider becoming a virtual assistant. You could be responsible for a variety of tasks, depending on the client.

You may work on a schedule for one while proofreading blog content for another. One day you may be replying to emails and the next you might be booking travel arrangements.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • Multitasking is one of your many talents
  • You enjoy being busy throughout the day
  • You have multiple skills that are in demand

How to get started:

If you don’t have any experience, becoming a virtual assistant can be tough. However, you can find assistance from pros in the field. I recommend the 90DayVA course. I had a friend who landed a full-time gig less than two months after completion.

9. Freelance Writing

Pay Rate: $.03-$.05/word for entry-level writers

Freelance writing is how I started my remote working career, and it’s something that I am very passionate about. The most asked question I get about this job is, “How do I find clients?”

To which I answer: “Who said you had to find clients?”

I recommend most writers start off working for a content mill. The pay is not great but it will help you to get your foot in the door. You’ll learn the basic formulas of content writing.

You’ll meet other writers. Never underestimate the power of networking.

Most importantly, you’ll learn which niches are right for you. Once you become an expert in a niche and can write content in this niche with your eyes closed, you’ll be a highly sought-after prospect.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • Leaving the house isn’t fun
  • You love to work at a computer
  • You enjoy writing!

How to get started:

No portfolio? No problem. You can build one for free with websites like Medium or you can start your own blog. Use these at portfolio pieces to land a mill gig and then work your way up the food chain from there. You can also search on Problogger to see if there are any writing jobs that might interest you.

10. Customer Service

Average Salary: $26,000 – $48,000/year

If you want to help people and receive a decent salary, all while working from your home office, then consider a role in customer service.

Your job is going to be to help people, and it won’t always be easy. Sometimes the customers will be angry and sometimes you’ll have to tell them “no”. But it can also be richly rewarding.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You want a steady job working from home
  • You need benefits
  • Helping people is a passion

How to get started:

The first thing you want to do is dust off that old resume and make sure it’s up to date. Make sure to highlight skills that hiring managers want to see for this type of position. Upload the resume to job sites like Indeed and start to actively search for the work you want.

11. Online Tutoring

Average Salary: $20-30/hour

Do you enjoy teaching? If helping people learn is a passion for you, then you can do it from the comfort of your own home by tutoring online.

There are a ton of options and websites out there so you can find the pupils you want and teach the subjects you desire.

Not only can you teach a variety of subjects, but you can also make a lot of money teaching English to students all over the world. Something like this can help you fill your schedule up with pupils fast.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You have a passion for teaching and coaching
  • You prefer to help people one on one
  • Remote work is preferred

How to get started:

The first thing I recommend doing is vetting these websites. You don’t want to be scammed, so make sure and read reviews. Pick out several sites and apply. They’ll want to know the credentials and time slots.

Using multiple sites will give you the best chances of finding the work you want when you want. Just using a single tutoring website is putting all of your eggs into a single basket.

Check out a company like VIPKid for teaching English to Chinese students. With new restrictions from the Chinese government though, I heard it is a bit tougher these days to land jobs so be aware of that.

14. Freelance Graphic Design

Freelance Graphic Designer

If you know your way around adobe products, enjoy working on your computer, and have an artistic vision, then you could earn up to $30 per hour or more as a freelance graphic designer.

Alternatively, you may be able to find a salaried position offering upwards of $48,000 per year or more for full-time work.

When it comes to graphic design work, freelance gigs may present the opportunity for a full-time remote work position if your clients appreciate your work.

There are lots of different projects you could work on as a freelance graphic designer, including:

  • Logo design
  • Animation
  • Digital artwork, album covers
  • Custom social media posts
  • Special effects for videos
  • Brand intros
  • Front-end website design
  • … and more!

With so many opportunities, it’s hard to get bored or tired of this online side hustle. Freelance projects generally pay by the job, whereas long-term projects typically pay by the hour or according to a weekly salary.

The one downside that I’ll mention is that graphic design is a highly saturated freelance field, just like freelance writing. You can increase your chances of landing great gigs by creating a strong example portfolio and focusing on earning good reviews before you increase your prices to your desired pay rate.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You have a creative, artistic mind
  • You know how to use Adobe programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Fresco
  • You don’t mind getting paid for production work (by the project)
  • You like working on a variety of small projects at once
  • You enjoy working with computers and technology

How to get started: Learn how to use the latest graphic design and illustration software programs. Create a portfolio of the type of work you’re trying to do, using example companies or free projects you’ve done for friends. Advertise on freelancing sites such as Upwork and Freelancer.

15. Amazon FBA

Sell With Amazon FBA

Setting up an Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) business is a great online side hustle that you can use to earn semi-passive income with.

Unlike a traditional eCommerce model, that would require you to maintain your own stock of merchandise and handle all of the shipping, Amazon’s FBA business model lets you sit back while they take care of all of the hard work.

Some of the most popular items sold by Amazon FBA sellers include:

  • Home and kitchen supplies
  • Office supplies
  • Tech gadgets
  • Pet supplies
  • Personal hygiene items

Once the merchandise is in Amazon’s possession, they’ll handle all of the packaging, shipping, returns and storage.

You don’t have to store anything yourself or even visit a post office. Amazon will also handle any returns or replacements that come up, which relieves a lot of stress.

If you want to be a successful Amazon FBA seller, I definitely recommend using a product research tool like AMZ Scout, which will help you find the right products to sell.

Market research tools like this give you an upper edge by allowing you to look at insider consumer trends and pricing, so you don’t jump into this side hustle blind.

Consider this side-hustle if:

  • You’re good with numbers
  • You have a knack for finding the latest trend before everybody else
  • You have at least $5,000 – $10,000 to invest on your first wholesale merchandise order
  • You like sales

How to get started: Find a trending or growing niche product. Purchase a bulk amount of that product from a wholesale distributor or factory. Sign up for Amazon’s FBA program and ship the merchandise to their warehouse. Create and promote product listings. Sit back and earn money.

To learn more about this side hustle check out my complete guide on how to make money with Amazon.

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Investing Side-Hustles

If nothing on this list interests you, then another option is taking excess money you have lying around and letting it go to work for you.

Day trading, trying to time the market, and options trading all involve investing time and money. There are some passive options available. While not a true side-hustle, they have the potential to make just as much money and they can do it while you sleep.

12. Peer-to-Peer Lending

goPeer is a Canadian-specific peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you to “be the bank.”

How It Works: You get to directly back personal loans to other Canadians and in return, you receive interest on these loans.

You can start today with just $1 to invest in your first business.

The interest is based on the creditworthiness of these people. goPeer does all of the vetting for you. The more risk you take on, the more you stand to make, but be careful because you could potentially lose it all.

While this is a great way to keep your money in Canada, there’s also some risk here. If the person defaults on the loan, you’re could be out the money you invested.

13. Robo-advisors

Investing has never been easier with the creation of robo-advisors. This option is perfect for the folks out there with the “set it and forget it” mindset. The fees are low and you can add money to the account regularly or set up automatic deposits.

How it Works: Open an account with your robo-advisor of choice. Link up whichever bank account you want to use for deposits. Next, you’ll choose your risk tolerance and that’s pretty much it.

The platform invests and rebalances for you. These days I recommend WealthSimple. However, the most important part of being an investor is doing your due diligence. Do some research to find the right platform for you.

14. Investing

If you want to have a more hands-on experience, there is a plethora of options available to you. ETFs are my favorite way to invest, but tried-and-true stocks will do just fine.

If you can’t decide what stocks to pick and but robo-advisors aren’t for you, then exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could be an option. There are large funds that contain a variety of stocks, usually in a single market or sector.

How to Get Started: I recommend Wealthsimple Trade, as all Canadian ETF and Stock transactions are commission free. Get a $50 signup bonus here.

19. Start An AirBnB

Airbnb Your Property

Today, AirBnB’s are often preferred over hotels. From vacation getaways to travelling students and digital nomads, the Canadian Airbnb market is a billion-dollar industry.

There are several different ways to approach starting your first Airbnb, depending on how much money you have to invest upfront. Here are some of the most common Airbnb business models:

  • Rental arbitrage (turning your monthly rental into a profitable short-term rental)
  • Owning a home and renting it
  • Finding joint investors for a property and splitting profits
  • Renting out a spare room or space in your home
  • Creating an outdoor glamping space

One of the most common trends on Airbnb right now are glamping properties. These sites provide an upscale camping experience and may come in the form of a tiny home, geodesic domes, yurts, and more.

These can all make for a low-cost Airbnb if you can find somebody willing to rent a piece of their land to you for your project.

On average, Airbnb hosts earn just under $1,000 per month after expenses are paid. The top 10% of hosts earn over $2,000 per month.

The great part about an Airbnb is that you can turn it into a 100% passive income business. If you’re willing to cut into your profits a bit, you can hand your AirBnB management duties over to a property manager who will handle guest communication and maintenance.

Airbnb also lets you tack the cleaning fee onto your guest’s bill, which can help you save a bit of extra money that you’d otherwise spend on a cleaner.

How to Get Started: Purchase or lease a property or housing unit. Take lots of pictures, and list it on Airbnb as a host. The more content guests you have, the higher ratings you’ll get and the more you can earn from your listing. You can also start small by renting out a spare bedroom in your home.

20. Earn Interest With Crypto Staking

Note that this is an extremely risky endeavour, and there have been lots of scams surrounding crypto staking. But if you’re willing to take the risk, here’s what crypto staking is all about:

A number of tokens (which represent blockchain technology companies) offer a handsome interest rate to investors who hold onto coins rather than selling them off. This is known as “staking,” and blockchain companies encourage this to decrease the volatility of their coins.

Some companies offer as much as 10% APY or more on your staking investment. The interest will be paid to you in the form of additional tokens, which means that you could see an even greater return if the token performs well and increases in value.

Depending on the token you’re looking at, there may also be a minimum balance you’re required to hold in order to receive staking rewards. Before you jump into staking a crypto token, make sure that you have enough capital to cover the required staking amount.

How to Get Started: Research cryptocurrency tokens that offer staking rewards. Create a crypto trading account with an exchange like Bitbuy. Purchase crypto tokens using CAD, and hold onto them to receive staking rewards.

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What are the Most Profitable Side-Hustles?

Gig Work

My vote here goes to Doordash. The main reason for this is the ability to earn the most amount of money in the least amount of time. Not every app is going to the hours available when you want to work.

With Doordash, you can earn $50-$60 in just a few hours. If that’s all the time you have and you want the most bang for your buck, this is the best app in the gig economy.

Physical Work

Cleaning services are my recommendation in this category. People are wanting more cleaning done than ever before and they want their homes cleaned more often.

They also are more conscious of eco-friendly and harsh chemicals. If you can offer a service that goes out of its way to offer exactly what your clients want, you can make a tonne of money.

I know people who have started this type of business and have jacked up their rates over time to $30 or more per hour.

You will make your own schedule, working whenever you want. But remember, this is a business and you should run it like one. Be friendly, but most importantly, be a professional.

Work from Home

Since it has a personal place in my heart, I choose freelance writing. Between the freedom it gives you and the networking opportunities, this is hands down my favourite side-hustle.

You’ll learn new things, including a new skill, and communicate with digital nomads from all over the world.

Opportunities abound. A freelance writing career can easily turn into building niche websites, starting your own digital marketing business, and even becoming a social media professional.

Investing

Investing is different for everyone, which is probably why it fits in so well in a discussion on side-hustles.

However, if I have to choose, for most people exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a good choice, and I have written about them extensively on Wealth Awesome.

Realistic Ways to Earn Extra Money

The only side-hustle you shouldn’t want to do is the one that isn’t worth your time. When it comes to realistic ways to earn extra money, look at two things.

The first is passion. How much interest do you have in this activity? If the money is ok but you dread going out and doing it regularly, then it isn’t a good side-hustle.

The second consideration is the return on investment. How much of your own money do you have to sink into this project? How much time?

Before you plow a bunch of cash and time into a potential side-hustle, spend some time thinking about whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze.

Side-Hustles in Canada

Side-Hustles In Canada

Side-hustling can change your life. It can give you the income to pay bills, buy gifts for holidays, and help you to set money aside for an emergency fund, start a business, or invest.

What side-hustle you want to work isn’t nearly as important as answering the why. Before you begin, know why you’re working extra and put your focus on whether or not making extra money is truly worth your time.

The more you grind, the more you’re going to realize what you’re missing. The real key to what makes a perfect hustle is balance.

Thanks for hanging out. If you enjoyed this post, check out my article on hobbies that make money.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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4 thoughts on “20 Side-Hustles in Canada (2022): Be Your Own Boss”

  1. Consider carefully whether a part-time job will interfere with your hobbies, passions, and loved ones. The one resource you cannot get more of in this life is time, so use it wisely!

    Reply
  2. This whole quarterly tax thing is a little confusing. I just want to save money and put some aside, instead of paying every couple of months. I just started on May 31st and only do it part time cause I have a regular job

    Reply

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