Alberta is one of the three Canadian prairie provinces, with Calgary being its largest city and Edmonton the capital. Alberta has the sixth-largest economy and is one of the most affordable places to live in Alberta. Alberta’s real estate market is thriving—Edmonton and Calgary are the major provinces and go-to cities for urban living, offering unprecedented employment opportunities, educational facilities, healthcare and recreation. That being said, there are other medium-sized cities and small towns with diverse housing choices—from the bustling hub of Red Deer to the oil fields of Fort McMurray, and the sun-soaked city of Lethbridge. 

Whether you’re seeking affordability, natural beauty with extensive green spaces, or urban amenities, Alberta has it all. Let’s explore the quaint places to live in Alberta. 

Three Most Affordable Large Cities in Alberta

While it is true that large cities are generally associated with higher living costs compared to medium or small-sized cities, these three most affordable large cities in Alberta all feature average home prices below $500,000. They embody excellent infrastructure, job opportunities, well-established public transportation, walkability, and top-class healthcare.

  • Edmonton- The Provincial Capital 

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$116, 800

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Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, stands out as a thriving metropolis celebrated for its remarkable affordability compared to other major Canadian urban centres. Nestled on the North Saskatchewan river, the second-largest city has over 1.4 million population. 

    • Modest Living: Alberta’s real estate market has grown exponentially, brimming with a diverse range of housing choices. What sets it apart more than most is the median home pricing, which remains relatively lower than Vancouver or Toronto. Unemployment is fairly low in this bustling hub due to the stable job market, as residents work in health care, technology or petrochemical-related industries.
    • World Class Education: Edmonton boasts a plethora of educational opportunities. Families living in this area can access high-quality education to nurture the next generation.
    • Cultural Hub: Edmonton is also known as a festival city with its vibrant culture, nightlife scenes, galleries, plenty of restaurants and theatres. Edmonton beckons as a city where dreams can be realised without compromising one’s financial well-being.
  • Lethbridge


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Lethbridge, situated in southern Alberta, is often overlooked but offers a charming and affordable lifestyle. The “Sunny City,” boasts a warm climate and more importantly, a welcoming community. It consistently ranks as one of the most affordable cities in Alberta. Lethbridge proudly serves as the transportation and business hub of southern Alberta. 

    • Economic Hub: This city is considered a transportation and business hub of southern Alberta, with several employment opportunities in many different sectors. Being in close proximity to Calgary means you can also access all that the metropolitan has to offer.
    • Leisure and Recreational: For food enthusiasts, Lethbridge is a culinary paradise and offers many restaurants, bars and pubs. Amongst them, many have been featured on the popular TV show You Gotta Eat Here. 
  • Red Deer

Red Deer

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Nestled halfway between Alberta’s two largest cities—Calgary and Edmonton—Red Deer offers a unique and enviable lifestyle with a limited populated area of about 100,000 people. 

    • Accessibility: Red Deer’s location is its greatest asset. Situated equidistant from big cities, it offers easy access to the amenities and distinct opportunities. Commuting to work or enjoying a weekend getaway to either urban centre becomes a breeze.
    • Affordable Housing: One of the most appealing aspects of Red Deer is its affordable housing market. Families can find suburban areas with excellent schools, while those seeking a vibrant urban experience can choose from downtown condos. Red Deer boasts a strong sense of community. 
    • Nature Wonderland: For outdoor enthusiasts, Red Deer is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains, a short drive away. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply seeking a retreat into nature, Red Deer has you covered. In addition, it hosts cultural festivals and live performances throughout the year.

Three Most Affordable Medium Cities Living in Alberta 

Medium-sized cities, typically ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 population, strike a perfect balance by providing the best of both worlds for residents. For instance, cities like Leduc and Spruce Grove, both located just over 30 minutes away from Edmonton, provide convenient proximity to the amenities of a larger city while maintaining a more relaxed and comfortable lifestyle.

  • Leduc


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Leduc, a growing city of around 35,000 people, is known for its inviting appeal and modest living with low-cost property for sale in Alberta. 

    • Variety of Housing Options: Leduc provides a wide array of housing options, from apartments to spacious family homes. Compared to larger cities like Edmonton and Calgary, Leduc’s housing market offers competitive prices and options available for those who prefer renting. 
    • Economic Opportunities: Leduc’s economic stability is another compelling reason to consider this city.
    • Employment Opportunities: The city’s proximity to Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport provides residents with a range of employment opportunities, including aviation, logistics, and manufacturing. 
    • Community Life: Many people prefer a “small-town” lifestyle and Leduc offers a relaxed pace of life with an array of leisure amenities, such as camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing, and more.
  • Spruce Grove

Spruce Grove

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Spruce Grove, a city of approximately 37,000 residents, is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and affordability:

    • Diverse Housing Market: Similar to Leduc, Spruce Grove provides a diverse range of housing options. Whether you’re looking for a pristine family home or a more compact dwelling, your dream home awaits here. Spruce Grove also has a thriving rental market, offering flexibility for those who prefer renting before buying. Apart from affordability, Spruce Grove offers a high quality of life: 
    • Tranquil Lifestyle: Known for its peaceful atmosphere, this city has numerous parks, schools, recreational facilities while being culturally vibrant. 
    • Commuter-friendly: Located just west of Edmonton, Spruce Grove is a commuter’s dream. Easy access to the provincial capital makes it convenient for those working in Edmonton.
  • Fort McMurray

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Fort McMurray, with a population of approximately 70,000, offers a unique blend of affordability and opportunities:

    • Housing Variety: From apartments to detached homes, Fort McMurray provides various housing options. Alberta’s real estate market caters to a range of budgets. While Fort McMurray has historically been associated with the oil industry, the economic diversification has brought about competitive housing prices, particularly for those working in the region.
    • Economic Stability: Despite its association with the energy sector, Fort McMurray’s economy has diversified over the years. However, the last few years have been hard-hitting on this Albertan city, from natural disasters to a slump in oil prices and legal fights over resource projects.
    • Natural Wonders: Situated amidst the astonishing natural beauty, Fort McMurray in Alberta provides an easy getaway to outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The star attraction Wood Buffalo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site embodying the region’s natural splendour.

Best Small Cities to Buy a Home in Alberta

Smaller cities with populations under 30,000 may not boast an extensive range of amenities, yet they present their unique advantages. With a slower pace of life and a family-friendly environment, these cities prioritise a sense of community. People who are looking for homes with abundant outdoor space and desirable living might find this as one of the best places to live in Alberta.

  • Stony Plain

Stony Plain

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Located near Spruce Grove and in the vicinity of Edmonton, this charming city is an exceptional place to call home:

    • Diverse Housing Market: Stony Plain takes pride in its diverse housing market, offering an array of options to cater to varied preferences and budgets. Whether you’re in search of a single-family home, a modern townhouse, or a convenient condo, Stony Plain’s in Alberta’s real estate market has something to match your distinct taste and financial plan.
    • Cheaper Prices: What sets Stony Plain apart is its reputation for affordability. Alberta houses for sale have reasonable prices, luring investors and homebuyers to invest in the sector. 
    • Strong Community Spirit: Perhaps one of Stony Plain’s most endearing qualities is its warm and welcoming community spirit and lush amenities like parks, restaurants, a farmers market, locally owned stores and more.
  • Fort Saskatchewan

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Perched north of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, with a scarce population of 27,000 people is known for its rapid development. 

    • Thriving Job Market: The city’s vicinity to major industrial and petrochemical hubs has led to a dynamic job market in sectors, such as energy, construction, and manufacturing. 
    • Housing Variety: Fort Saskatchewan offers a range of housing options, from budget-friendly apartments to spacious family houses. 
    • Quality Living:  The showstopper is the Fort Saskatchewan River Valley Trails, which residents love to explore. The city prioritises family life with its premium schools, parks, and recreational facilities.
  • Beaumont

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Beaumont, with a population of around 20,000 residents, exudes small-town charm while offering cultural richness:

    • Unique Heritage: Beaumont’s history is deeply intertwined with French-Canadian culture, reflected in its architecture and dynamic heritage. 
    • Proximity to Edmonton: Beaumont’s proximity to Edmonton International Airport provides access to big-city amenities while allowing residents to enjoy the peaceful and laid-back lifestyle of a small town.

Wrapping Up 

Alberta, Canada, holds within its borders a tapestry of diverse cities, each offering its distinct character, charm, and ample opportunities. From the vibrant cities of Edmonton and Calgary, known for their affordability and dynamism, to the hidden treasures of smaller towns like Leduc and Red Deer, Alberta caters to a multitude of lifestyles and preferences. Choose the one that suits your needs to embrace standardised and fulfilling living.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is the most affordable places to live in Alberta?

The most affordable places to live in Alberta can vary depending on your priorities and lifestyle. Medium-sized cities like Leduc and Spruce Grove offer a harmonious balance for those seeking cost-effective living in Alberta without sacrificing urban amenities. If you prefer a smaller town atmosphere, consider places like Camrose or Beaumont, known for their lower living costs and peaceful communities.

Which part of Alberta is best to live in?

Determining the best places to live in Alberta depends on individual preferences and needs. Edmonton and Calgary, the province's major urban cities, offer diverse job markets, cultural attractions, and amenities. The Rocky Mountain region in the west, including Canmore and Banff, is renowned for its majestic natural beauty but can be more expensive. Cities like Camrose, Leduc, Stony Plain, and Spruce Grove boast the lowest rental rates in the Alberta real estate market.

Which major city has the lowest cost of living?

Edmonton and Calgary are the major urban cities with the lowest cost of living. These cities feature expansive housing opportunities, diverse employment scopes and property for sale in Alberta.