25 side hustles to make money this year

10 min read
Sage Becker

Statistics suggest that more than a quarter of Canadians had a side hustle last year. Job market experts expect that figure to rise even further in the coming months as households address the rising cost of living.   

If you’ve been toying with the idea yourself, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas for setting up your own side venture.  

Quick and easy options for extra pocket money  

1. Sign up for online surveys  

There’s a long list of market research companies out there that offer rewards — both monetary or in the form of gift cards — for your opinion. Take a look at Swagbucks, Branded Surveys and Survey Junkie for options.  

2. Pet sitting  

If you’re an animal lover and have experience in looking after your own or other people’s animals, why not offer yourself as a pet sitter?  

Start by getting a few flyers made up and post them through letterboxes in your local area. If there’s interest, you might want to think about setting up a website to reach more customers, too.   

Check out this article for details on how to get started with pet sitting.  

3. House sitting  

Lawn mower throwing bits of grass behind it

When some people go on holiday, they like to know that their house is being looked after while they’re gone, so they advertise for live-in house sitters.

You can set yourself up as an independent house sitter or sign up to become a sitter with an existing service like House Sit Match.  

Editor’s note: Make your new gig look legit with a logo you create yourself for free.  

4. Parcel delivery  

If you own your own vehicle, are over 18 and have a valid driver’s license, you can sign up to become a parcel delivery driver with Amazon Flex in British Colombia, Alberta, Ontario and Toronto.  

The Flex element lets you sign up for delivery slots known as blocks, so you can fit deliveries around your other commitments.    

5. Dog walking  

Woman in torn jeans walking five dogs

Dog walking can be stressful, as you’re in charge of the safety and care of your customers’ best friends.  

However, if you’re accustomed to dogs and all the things they need during a walk, then you could turn dog walking into your side hustle. Reimbursement starts at around $18 an hour.  

Editor’s note: Make your new gig look legit with a logo you create yourself for free.  

6. Cleaning  

The Canadian cleaning services market is expected to grow by 3.8% over the next five years, taking the value of the industry up to more than two billion dollars. So now could be the time to get yourself a slice of the pie.   

Read 6 easy ways to get more housecleaning jobs for specifics on this side hustle. 

7. Rent out a parking space  

If you live in a busy area and you have a car parking space you don’t use, you can rent it out for around $120 a month.   

There is a range of apps and websites that let you list your space for free (although they charge commission) or for a small yearly fee.  

Options include JustPark and HONK Mobile.

Simple online selling   

8. Letterbox gifts 

Letterbox gifts are parcels of curated gifts that can be sent through the post for occasions or just as ‘thinking of you gifts.’  

To run a letterbox gift business, you’ll need a little bit of stock, a website and/or social media channels, and some wholesale contacts.  

Box of brightly coloured macaroons

 The options for things you can add to letterbox gifts is almost endless — think:  

  • Books  
  • Mini gins  
  • Facemasks  
  • Sweet treats  
  • Bath salts  
  • Tea towels  
  • Notepads  
  • Cup coasters  
  • Pencils  
  • Keyrings and more  

For more inspiration, check out this article on How to start a gift basket business. 

9. Hampers   

As with letterbox gifts, there is a range of types of hampers you can sell online, either through:

  • Your own website 
  • Your social media channels 
  • Sites like Amazon  

Fill your hampers with chocolate bars, pick and mixes, biscuits, hot chocolates, teas, coffees, sustainable beauty products, spices, flower seeds and more.

T-shirt that says "Eh? The element of the North"
Source: Zazzle

10. Slogan tees 

It’s easier than you think to launch your own clothing range. You just need to come up with the witty slogans and you can pass the production over to a print-on-demand company like Printful, Gooten or, if you intend to sell through Etsy, TeeLaunch.  

11. Printed merchandise  

As with apparel, it’s simpler than you might think to get a slogan, image or graphic printed on a piece of merchandise.

Through print-on-demand companies like Printful, you can produce everything from mugs, water bottles and drink coasters to candles, notebooks, aprons and hand lotions.  

Editor’s note: Start selling online now with the easy online store builder from GoDaddy. If you can point, click, drag and drop, you can use Online Store.

Harnessing an existing talent  

12. Cake maker  

Cake bearing the words Love you more

Cupcakes, brownie boxes, celebration cakes, seasonal treat boxes, dipping boxes, party platters — if you have a talent for baking, you can turn it into a side hustle and offer cakes for both delivery and collection.  

Just be sure you have all your hygiene and food prep documentation in order.  

13. Card maker  

According to research, 90% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers unique products or personalised experiences. 

If you’re an arty type, you could cash in on this sentiment by designing and making your own greeting cards. You can sell through:   

  • Your own website  
  • Social media  
  • A third-party site such as MavenFair or Big Cartel

14. Artist Artist sketching a man’s face

There are so many avenues for talented artists to make money online.

Whether you specialise in pet portraits or abstract art and whether you sketch, paint or sculpt, you can sell your pieces through your own website or through a third-party site like Gallea or CanadaOnCanvas.  

15. Personalised gifts  

If you’ve got a graphic design background, you could set up a business selling personalised items. Much like the letter box gifts and hampers, you’ve got a huge list of options.  


  • Stickers 
  • Badges 
  • Bookmarks 
  • Chocolate bar wrappers 
  • Gift tags

You could even offer personalised posters that feature everything from the route of a favourite run to the QR code for a favourite song.  

16. Pop-up event organiser  

How about organising a regular:  

  • Stand-up comedy night 
  • Poetry evening 
  • Cheese and wine night 
  • Gin-tasting event

Just find the right venue and you can start selling tickets through your own website or a third-party site like RSVPify. 

17. Upcycler  

If you’ve got a knack for making something used seem new again, an upcycling side hustle could be for you.  

Candle holder made from a recycled bottle

Past their peak coffee tables, dining tables, bookcases and chairs are often listed for sale or even for free pickup on the internet.   

Spend some time on the likes of Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Poshmark to hunt for bargains or freebies that you can upcycle and sell on.  

Seasonal selling 

18. Flipping seasonal products  

This involves purchasing seasonal items like Christmas sweaters in end-of-season sales and selling them for full price when the right time of year comes around again.  

19. Wreaths  

Homemade Christmas wreaths can sell for around $50 to $90 a time. However, wreaths aren’t just for Christmas anymore. Spring, Easter and even Halloween wreaths are becoming increasingly popular.  

20. Wedding season gifts  

Statistics suggest that the wedding industry in the UK is worth $5 billion.

By sourcing, making and selling wedding season products, you can claim yourself a bit of that pie.  

Requisiti per diventare wedding planner

Your options are almost endless. Think about:

  • ‘Will you be my bridesmaid’ gifts  
  • Environmentally friendly or themed confetti bundles  
  • Invites  
  • Wedding morning attire  
  • Bachelorette party decorations  
  • Wedding favours and more

With a little extra training  

 21. Exercise instructor  

If you’re already passionate about exercise, why not think about training to be an instructor? You can train to become a certified yoga instructor, for example, in as little as six months.  


Once trained, you can choose to:  

  • Work for an hourly rate at a studio or  
  • Run your own classes at a venue of your own choosing (including online)

The beauty of being an exercise instructor is that it’s easy to fit around other work commitments as you can teach evening and weekend classes instead of daytime sessions.  

22. Meditation provider  

Teacher leading a group meditation session

An estimated 8.4 million people in Canada practice meditation. There are various training providers out there, with some offering certifications within a week.  

23. Photographer  

If you already have an interest in photography, you can easily turn that interest into a side hustle by taking a night class through your local college or learning centre.

Once trained, you can offer your services at everything from engagement shoots to cake smash sessions.  

24. Social media management   

If you're savvy with social media, you can offer social media management services to small businesses or entrepreneurs. You can advertise your services and find clients on websites like LinkedIn, Upwork or Fiverr.  

25. Nail technician Closeup of hand with nail art

By taking a night course, you can train to be a qualified nail technician in a year.  

Course fees start around $850.

As with fitness instructing, you can offer these sorts of services in the evenings and on weekends.  

Make sure you're compliant and safe  

Regardless of the side hustle you choose, it’s important to ensure that you comply with any relevant laws, regulations or standards.   

  • Here are some common-sense watchouts to keep in mind:   
  • Apply for any necessary permits, licenses or certifications for your business or service.   
  • Register for taxes and keep accurate records of your income and expenses.   
  • Ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage if needed.   
  • Follow any safety guidelines or protocols related to your service, such as cleaning or maintenance procedures.   
  • Protect any intellectual property rights related to your products or services, such as trademarks or copyrights.   

Once that’s sorted, spread your wings and fly!  

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