If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of your home, you maybe required to purchase mortgage insurance. It is possible to obtain a mortgage without this insurance but typically you will pay more in interest and administration fees. Mortgage insurance protects your lender in the event of a mortgage not being repaid. The idea is that when you have 20% or more equity in your home you are less likely to walk away if the going gets tough.
This mortgage insurance is provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The cost of CMHC insurance depends on the ratio of your down payment to the total cost of the home. To see a table of rates go to: