Canadians are finding creative ways to make extra money outside of their regular 9-5 jobs.
The gig economy and online platforms have made it possible to generate real income in some very unusual ways.
Whether you want to earn some spending cash or even replace a full-time income, opportunities abound if you think outside the box.
This guide will explore 7 of the strangest ways that everyday Canadians are managing to fatten their wallets.
Some methods require very little effort like selling used goods you have lying around, while others involve more active participation such as mystery shopping or renting your home on Airbnb.
|Selling used goods
|$20 – $10,000+ per item
|$100 – $5,000+ per study
|2-3 hours per visit
|Up to $400/month
So if you’re looking for some wacky new ways to make money in Canada, read on!
You’re sure to find at least one idea that suits your interests and schedule.
1. Sell used items online
Online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and Craigslist offer Canadians an easy way to sell their used stuff locally to earn some cash on the side.
Anything from furniture and electronics to clothing, books, toys and more can bring in decent money if the items are in good condition.
Households are filled with unused goods that can be cleaned up, photographed and converted into extra income without too much effort.
Specific categories that tend to sell well include:
- Baby gear and children’s toys
- Small kitchen appliances
- Sports equipment
- Luxury handbags and accessories
Make sure to price items competitively based on their condition and demand trends on these platforms in order to attract buyers more quickly.
2. Participate in medical research studies
Medical research facilities, universities and pharmaceutical/biotech companies are frequently recruiting participants for focus groups, interviews, clinical trials and other types of studies.
These studies aim to gain insights, test theories or evaluate new treatments and technologies.
By participating, you not only earn money but also play a valuable role in moving health research forward.
Studies can assess new drugs, medical devices, behaviour changes, educational materials and much more.
3. Sell your hair or donate plasma
If you’re looking for weird ways to make money in Canada off your body’s resources, here are a couple options:
Sell Your Hair
Hair that is untreated and at least 10 inches long can be sold online to companies that make wigs, hair extensions, and eyelash enhancements.
Prices vary from $200-$500+ for a head of healthy, desirable hair.
You simply create a listing with details on your hair characteristics and wait for buyer offers to come in.
This can be a quick few hundred dollars for long-haired ladies willing to undergo a significant snip!
Plasma donation centers will pay you around $60 per donation session for your plasma.
As long as you are healthy, you can donate plasma twice per week totaling around $500/month.
Plasma from human donors is used to create medical treatments for patients in need.
The actual plasma donation process takes about an hour with screening and rest times factored in.
Many major cities have multiple plasma collection centers with flexible hours, making this an easy recurring source of income for eligible donors.
4. Take paid online surveys
Online surveys continue to be a popular weird way to earn a little extra spending money in your downtime in Canada.
Many major consumer brands and market research companies offer paid surveys in order to gain feedback on upcoming products and ad campaigns.
Survey rewards typically range from $1-$5 per survey completed, with most taking less than 30 minutes. Survey sites to register with include:
- Survey Junkie
- Pinecone Research
While individual survey rewards are small, doing a few a week during spare moments like commuting or waiting in line can allow users to earn up to $100-200 monthly.
Just don’t expect to get rich with this side hustle!
5. Rent out property on home sharing platforms
Home sharing platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com have made it easy for homeowners to generate income from extra living spaces.
Prime spaces for rental include:
- Basement apartments or in-law suites
- Cottages or cabins
- Extra bedrooms inside private homes
6. Become a mystery shopper
Another one of the most common weird ways to make money in Canada is mystery shopping.
Mystery shopping provides part-time income while getting to experience goods and services first-hand, on the company’s dime.
Businesses hire mystery shoppers to visit locations anonymously and report back on details of their experience as an average customer.
You’ll be provided with a checklist of things to evaluate, such as cleanliness, staff friendliness, order accuracy, speed of service, etc.
Compensation ranges from $5 for a quick store audit up to $100 for dining experiences where you’ll be evaluating things like food quality and tasting notes.
Reimbursement for purchases is sometimes included as well.
Industries that leverage mystery shoppers include:
- Retail stores
- Trades services
- Financial institutions
- Apartment leasing offices
Top mystery shopping provider companies to check out include Secret Shopper, MarketForce, and BestMark.
Here are complete sections for the two additional weird money making ideas:
7. Sell Used Underwear
Selling used underwear is an extremely unusual yet legitimate way to make money in Canada in the internet age.
Yes, you can generate real income just by wearing and selling off your used undies online!
There is actual demand out there for used women’s and men’s underwear.
Certain buyers are willing to pay premium prices for pieces that meet their specifications around style, wear/use time, stains, etc.
Custom additions like lace trim, personalized notes, or “extras” also fetch higher prices.
Top used underwear platforms include The Kinky Superstore, Craigslist and Reddit forums.
Sellers create listings detailing panty styles, dimensions, wear time and any special characteristics.
Photos generally help items sell faster.
Individual pieces typically sell for $15-$50 with special requests going up to $100+.
Repeat sellers who customize extras or sell multi-pairs packages can regularly clear several hundred dollars per month.
Not a bad side hustle for simply wearing something you already own!
While definitely unusual, selling used personal items is legal in Canada.
As long as you report income on taxes, this is legitimate self-employment.
8. Rent Out Parking Spaces
This is another one of the most common weird ways to make money in Canada.
Apps like Rover Parking, JustPark, YourParkingSpace, and Parklee make it simple for anyone to rent out parking spaces for cash.
As a homeowner or tenant, you likely have unused driveway, garage or lot spaces that sit empty all day.
By listing them on these parking rental platforms, you can earn up to $50-$200+ per month from each vacant spot.
These apps allow commuters, travellers and visitors to search available parking spaces nearby and book rentals by the hour or month.
As the host, you name your hourly and monthly rates then sit back while the bookings and income roll in automatically!
Parking space hosts also have full control over setting availability rules around days and times plus cancellation/payment policies.
Everything is handled digitally – hosts never need to meet the bookers.
This is one of the most effortless ways to generate regular passive income each month.
All it takes is temporarily giving up use of a parking space you likely don’t need anyway!
Canadians are finding unique and unconventional ways to earn money outside of traditional employment.
Online platforms and apps are making it easier than ever to monetize your stuff, space, time and even your body!
Some key things to note:
- Leveraging buy/sell sites and parking rental apps allows you to easily make money from assets and resources you already have but don’t utilize fully
- Participating in medical research and trials generates income while benefiting science
- More active side hustles like mystery shopping, selling used wares and renting property allow Canadians to profit from their time and skills
- Uncommon streams like selling used underwear or body hair cater to niche buyer interests
The income potential from these weird side hustles ranges widely depending on the frequency and level of effort involved.
However, they present more variety in terms of finding one that suits your interests, schedule, and comfort level.
If you’re seeking new ways to make extra cash, take inspiration from how everyday Canadians are creatively capitalizing on what they have to offer even in unconventional ways.
With an open mindset, anyone can find money making ideas tailored to their lifestyle.