Canada is known for its exceptional healthcare, progressive government & incredible culture. This is why more and more people around the world are choosing to move to this country. If you or any of your closed ones are considering the same, this post is for you. Before making any major moving decisions, it’s important to find out how much it will cost. Our guide will provide you with all the information related to the cost of living in Canada.
Whether you are relocating temporarily, retiring, or moving to Canada permanently, this information will help you settle down smoothly. Without any further delay, let’s dive into the details.
Is Canada Expensive When Compared to Other Countries?
Exchange rates are one of the most essential things that you will need to consider before moving to a new place. And when it comes to financing management, exchange rates play an integral role. You need to know the currency difference between your home country and Canada & how much fee you would require paying to convert your money.
Knowing the exchange rate is necessary especially if your main source of income is in your home country. It means you will have to go through the currency exchange process regularly.
The sad part however is that a lot of banks and money exchange service providers increase the exchange rate to make profits. By escalating the rate, they can ensure a lower conversion fee. This devious trick sometimes makes you believe that you are getting a good deal, but it is ultimately a stale one. So, when converting your money, always check the currency converter. The converter will provide you with the most recent and real-market exchange rate.
Canada’s Most Expensive Cities
If you are wondering about which city to settle in in Canada, the below-mentioned list might help you. The most expensive and well-known cities include:
- Toronto, Ontario
- Montreal, Quebec
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Calgary, Alberta
- Ottawa, Ontario
TABLE: General Cost of Living in Toronto &Montreal
|LIVING EXPENSES IN TORONTO||COST (AVERAGE)|
|1 Person (per month – excluding rent)||1,243 CA$|
|1 Person (per annum – excluding rent)||14,905 CA$|
|Student (per month – excluding rent)||880 CA$|
|Family of 4 (per month – excluding rent)||4,518 CA$|
|Family of 4 (per annum – excluding rent)||54,215 CA$|
|LIVING EXPENSES IN MONTREAL||AVERAGE COST|
|1 Person (per month – excluding rent)||1,049 CA$|
|1 Person (per annum – excluding rent)||12,591 CA$|
|Student (per month – excluding rent)||675 CA$|
|Family of 4 (per month – excluding rent)||3,836 CA$|
|Family of 4 (per annum – excluding rent)||46,032 CA$|
General Living Expenses in Canada – Cost Breakdown
Housing Expenses – 1,000 – 3,000 CA$
This amount depends on the location and kind of housing you select. You need to know that housing costs rise with amenities. These amenities cost more and include private units, multiple units with washing machines, air conditioners, dishwashers, television, units near public transport, units with services such as pool or gym.
Electricity – Up To 50 CA$
Hydro or Electricity is a cost of living that you cannot avoid whether you live on rent or buy your place. You’d require paying up to 50 CA$ a month, the amount can increase according to the electricity you use.
Big appliances such as ACs, dishwashers, or electric heating can lead to an increase in electricity bills. There is no limit on how expensive electricity can be, this can lead to one paying bills of hundreds of Canadian dollars. Thus, it is important to consume electricity wisely. And if you’re wondering about gas and water – those bills are usually included in rental costs.
Mobile Bill: 45 – 100 CA$ per Month
In Canada, mobile phone plans are exceptionally high but there are cost-friendly mobile service provider options available in the Greater Toronto Area.
Internet Bills: 55–100 CA$ per Month
Students can get a discount on internet bills. The cost of the internet ranges from 55 CA$ to 100 CA$ depending on the plan you choose. Make sure you compare different plans before making a choice.
Tenant’s Insurance: Up to 30 CA$ a Month
An important insurance type that every tenant should know about. It covers your liability in case you damage your unit, or someone gets hurt in your unit. Also known as contents insurance that allows you to replace your belongings if they’re lost, damaged, or stolen. Tenant’s Insurance covers temporary relocation costs in case you move out while a repair is still in progress in your unit.
Although students receive a special discount with tenant’s insurance, make sure you still do your research. If your guardian or parents own a house in Canada and you are dependent on them, tier insurance can cover you while you live away from home.
Grocery and Food: 35 – 100 CA$ Per Week
The grocery and food expenses depend on your requirements. Many neighbourhoods have multiple grocery stores; some are affordable while others aren’t. You may also opt for a meal plan and enjoy food from campus vendors.
Travel and Commute: 0- 130 CA$ Month
Those living close to campus, don’t have to worry about high commute costs. However, students living far from the campus save high rental costs may have to consider transportation costs. A great solution is Toronto’s TTC system. It includes everything from buses and subways to streetcars – pay-per-use price and a monthly cost.
If you are traveling from outside Toronto, you will be using public transportation modes such as trains and buses. These services use Presto card payments that you can easily set up when you reach Toronto.
Although most students do not have cars, some do. If you are one of them, make sure you set aside some money for car maintenance and repair along with parking fees at both your campus as well as residence.
Shoes and Clothing: 25 CA$ a Month
Not everyone has clothing expenses each month, buying clothes and shoes are occasional needs. But who doesn’t like shopping? Students enjoy wearing new clothes and shoes to the campus every day.
People living in GTA (Greater Toronto Area) enjoy four kinds of seasons, with the summer season getting as high as 30°C and the winter season getting as low as -25°C. So, make sure you invest in the right clothes especially during winters like a warm coat, scarf, gloves, and boots for walking through snow.
Books and Other Supplies – Up to 500 CA$ Per Semester
Aside from tuition, students must deal with additional costs related to their courses like stationery, lab equipment, gadgets, books/e-books, and other technologies.
Emergency Funds: 500 CA$
Emergencies can happen at any time. Thus, it is advised that you save funds for yourself in case of an urgent need. This need can be anything from a huge electricity bill to an unexpected travel expense.
Entertainment & Other Expenses: 150 CA$ Per Month
These expenses comprise take-outs, social activities, monthly subscriptions, movies, and other expenses that are not coerced in general categories.
Average Annual Salary in Canada
The cost of living in Toronto or any other city in Canada will affect you depending on how much money you make. In simple words, if you earn more, you will be able to enjoy a better lifestyle. If not, you will have to make some compromises. Here’s a table comprising the average salaries of some of the most sought-after job profiles in Canada:
|TOP JOB PROFILES IN TORONTO||AVERAGE SALARY|
|Web Developer||58,372 CA$|
|Product Manager||84,250 CA$|
|Financial Analyst||59,827 CA$|
|Mobile Developer||64,988 CA$|
|Software Engineer||78,246 CA$|
|TOP JOB PROFILES IN MONTREAL||AVERAGE SALARY|
|Web Developer||51,294 CA$|
|Product Manager||75,995 CA$|
|Financial Analyst||46,084 CA$|
|Mobile Developer||60,482 CA$|
|Software Engineer||70,828 CA$|
Housing and Accommodation Cost of Living in Canada
No matter which Canadian city you move into, rent will always be a major part of your budget. It will take up to 30 to 50 percent of your monthly expenses. Check out the table below to get a rough idea of the rent prices you can expect in Canada’s popular cities.
|RENTING IN TORONTO||AVERAGE COST (MONTHLY)|
|Small Apartment||1,300 CA$|
|Medium Apartment||1,600 CA$|
|Large Apartment||1,900 CA$|
|Student Dorm Room||750 CA$|
|Renting in Montreal||Average Cost (Monthly)|
|Small Apartment||1,100 CA$|
|Medium Apartment||930 CA$|
|Large Apartment||1,100 CA$|
|Student Dorm Room||500 CA$|
|Renting in Calgary||Average Cost (Monthly)|
|Small Apartment||990 CA$|
|Medium Apartment||1,200 CA$|
|Large Apartment||1,400 CA$|
|Student Dorm Room||600 CA$|
Dental and Healthcare Expenses in Canada
Many people consider Canada expensive. However, they still consider moving here because of its excellent healthcare system. Healthcare in Canada is free of cost, which means you do not have to pay a fee when you go to the emergency room or visit the doctor. Just like other major countries across the world, Canada also funds these expenses via its tax system.
As per a recent report, the average Canadian pays about 7,000 CA$ per year to maintain the no-cost healthcare system.
This amount may seem high to foreigners, but Canadians agree that it isn’t too much to pay for unlimited healthcare system facilities they receive. It also helps them maintain good health. It is however important to know that these facilities are only available for Canadian citizens or those with a permanent residency.
Take a look at the healthcare services and their average cost:
|Healthcare Service||Average Price|
|Doctor’s Visit||0 CA$|
|Diagnostic Tests||0 CA$|
|Hospital Services||0 CA$|
|Dental Care||Available via an extended plan|
Cost of Transportation and Travel in Canada
It is a known fact that Canadians prefer driving over other modes of transportation. More and more people enjoy biking too. Most of the people in Vancouver, Quebec City, Halifax go to work via bike. This number drops significantly during winters though. In major cities, a lot of people also choose public transportation.
TABLE: Transportation Cost with Vehicle Prices
|TRANSPORTATION & VEHICLE PRICES||AVERAGE COST|
|Bus Ticket, Single-Use||3.25 CA$|
|Taxi Tariff, 1 KM||2 CA$|
|Toyota Corolla (2021)||19,150 CA$|
|Volkswagen Jetta||25,438 CA$|
Cost of Education in Canada
Like other countries, Canadians also have a public school system for kids up to the age of 18. Even for higher education, the prices in Canada are low compared to universities in the USA. Keep in mind, these prices however are costlier than European countries which also comes under cost of living in Canada.
Check out this table to get an idea of education costs in Canada.
|SCHOOL (TYPE)||AVERAGE COST (YEARLY)|
|Preschool / Kindergarten||Starting From 450 CA$/Month|
|University of Toronto tuition||6,100 – C$57,020 CA$|
|York University Tuition||7,037 – C$32,416 CA$|
How Much Money Does One Require Living with Comfort in Canada?
Everyone has a different financial standard. Some of them believe 250,000 CA$ per annum without taxes is enough to ensure a comfortable life. Whereas people on the verge of retirement think approx 400,00 CA$ per annum will help them attain great financial comfort.
But not everyone can afford to make that kind of money. The amount is huge considering the amount an average citizen makes every month.
On the whole, Canada is a great country to move to. But the cost of living in Canada could be much more than you are used to in the country you’re currently living in.