When you are purchasing a home you have the option to put as little as 5% down.
All mortgage that are above 80% of the purchase price must be insured with mortgage insurance under The Bank Act with CMHC, GE Capital or Genworth insurance. All the insured programs have credit score and debt servicing requirements that are carefully reviewed. In some cases, there are programs that allow for a 95% mortgage and the balance of the down payment borrowed from another source. This has a higher premium and is only available in certain cases.
You are allowed to include the insurance premium on your mortgage.
Having the mortgage insurance program available has really allowed getting into a home easier and sooner.