What is the Average Cost of Living in Canada in 2024?

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Written by SnappyRates Team

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The average cost of living in Canada can widely vary depending on the province and city you live in. Expenses such as housing, transportation, and food can be quite costly in urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver, while smaller cities and rural areas tend to be more affordable.

While taxes may be considered higher compared to other countries, the cost of healthcare, education, and other services are generally covered by taxes, causing Canada to have a high standard of living.

Factoring in these tradeoffs is important when determining the overall cost of living in Canada.

Main Highlights

  • The cost of living in Canada can vary drastically depending on location and lifestyle.
  • Overall, the cost of living is cheaper in Canada than in the USA due in part to Canada’s attractive suite of social benefits.
  • $50,000 is a good baseline salary to live comfortably in Canada; however, it may go further in an affordable city like Quebec City than in an expensive city like Vancouver.

Average Cost of Living in Canada Per Month

The average cost of living in Canada per month can vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle, location, and other factors. According to recent estimates, a single person can expect to spend between $1,500 and $4,000 depending on their location and their preferred lifestyle.

This cost-of-living estimate includes expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment.

The cost of living in Canada per month can be discussed in terms of whether or not it includes rent, as housing is often the largest expense any individual or family will face.

Typically, cost of living estimates also include expenses such as groceries, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, and other daily needs.

Without rent, the average cost of living in Canada is just $915 per month for a single person. Of course, cost of living estimates change drastically depending on the number of people being supported – for instance, a family with children can expect higher costs of living as they’ll need more room at home.

The cost of living in Toronto for a family of four amounts to about $4,900, with rent included. The cost of living in Ontario, Canada, in general, is just $2,105.

This difference makes clear a general principle when it comes to living costs: Urban areas are typically more expensive than rural ones.

Related: How much per hour is $35,000 a year?

Average Cost of Living in Canada For a Single Person

The average cost of living in Canada for a single person can vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle, location, and other factors.

While there is certainly variance, the average cost of living in Canada for a single person is $1,708. This includes expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment.

Housing is often the largest expense a person will face, with the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment ranging from $731 in Quebec City to $1,447 in Vancouver.

Average Cost of Living in Canada For a Couple

A couple can expect to spend, on average, $1,952 on rent and utilities and about $2,300 per month total for cost-of-living expenses in Toronto. This includes expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment.

The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1,680. Other housing options like townhouses or houses can be more expensive.

Groceries and dining out can also be costly, with a typical monthly grocery bill for two people being about $800 on average.

Average Cost of Living in Canada for a Family of 4

The average cost of living in Canada for a family of four people is, on average, around $3,500 per month. This value can range from a low estimate of $2,300 per month to higher lifestyle costs of $6,500 per month.

Rent for a single-family detached home averages around $3,542 per month, and the average cost of a three-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1,918. Food costs for a family of four will be around $1,500 on average each month.

Cost of Living in Canada’s Major Cities

If you’re looking to live in one of Canada’s major metropolitan areas, it’s important to consider the associated costs. Living in a city offers plenty of benefits, such as easily accessible restaurants, arts districts, and many cultural attractions.

However, you may pay a premium for the convenience. That said, Canada has much to offer in its beautiful cities.

Toronto

The average cost of living for a single person each month in Toronto without factoring in rent is around $1,400. Toronto is Canada’s largest city, making the cost of living generally higher than in other cities across the country.

The average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is around $1,600 monthly.

Montreal

The cost of living in Montreal, the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city in Quebec, is generally lower than in other major cities in the country.

The estimated monthly costs for a single person living in Montreal are around $1,200 without rent. On average, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is $1,150 per month.

Vancouver

Located on the western side of Canada in British Columbia, Vancouver is one of the more expensive cities in Canada, with a generally higher cost of living.

The average monthly costs for a single person living in Vancouver are around $1,300 without rent. With rent, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $1,450 per month.

Related: Best Places to Retire in British Columbia.

Calgary

The estimated monthly costs for a single person living in Calgary are around $1,400 without rent. A one-bedroom apartment in Calgary costs, on average, $1,650.The city is the largest in Canada’s central province of Alberta.

Ottawa

The cost of living in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is generally moderate compared with other major Canadian cities. A single person’s estimated monthly costs are $1,300 without factoring in rent. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa is $1,829.

Cost of Living in Canada By Province

The cost of living in Canada can vary significantly by province, with some provinces being more expensive than others.

British Columbia is known for being one of the most expensive provinces in Canada, with high costs of housing and living in cities like Vancouver. Ontario has a moderate cost of living, with some cities (like Toronto) being more expensive than others.

Alberta has a relatively moderate cost of living compared to other provinces. Nova Scotia has a moderate cost of living, with lower housing costs but higher transportation costs compared to other provinces.

Similarly, Newfoundland and Labrador have a moderate cost of living, with lower housing costs but higher transportation costs.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island are among the more affordable provinces with lower housing and transportation costs.

How Much Should You Make to Live Comfortably in Canada?

Just as the cost of living varies based on a number of factors, like lifestyle and location, so does the amount of money you need to make to live comfortably in Canada.

According to recent estimates, you would need to make at least $50,000 to $60,000 per year to live comfortably in most major Canadian cities.

This estimate not only includes basic necessities like housing, food, utilities, transportation, and healthcare but also includes room for optional spending on things like entertainment, travel, and savings.

It is important to note that $50,000 to $60,000 may go further in a cheaper city than a more expensive one.

Related: What is the Average Life Expectancy in Canada?

FAQs

Is it expensive to live in Canada?

The cost of living in Canada can vary depending on the city, province, and individual lifestyle, but is considered moderate to high. Compared to some countries, the cost of living in Canada can be relatively high, particularly for those living in major cities. However, Canada also offers a high standard of living with excellent healthcare, education, and social services.

Is 50K a good salary in Canada?

Generally, $50,000 is considered a comfortable income in Canada, and it should be enough to cover basic expenses like housing, food, and transportation. However, if you live in a city with a high cost of living like Vancouver or Toronto, $50,000 may not go as far as it would in a smaller or more affordable city like Montreal.

Is it cheaper to live in Canada or the USA?

The cost of living in Canada is generally considered to be slightly lower than the cost of living in the USA. This is due in part to Canada’s universal healthcare system, which can help lower healthcare costs for individuals and families. The cost of living in Canada is about 10% lower than that in its southern neighbour.

Where is the cheapest place to live in Canada?

Some of the most affordable cities to live in Canada are smaller cities or towns in less populous provinces. These include provinces like Manitoba and Quebec.

Related: Average Retirement Savings by Age in Canada

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SnappyRates Team

The SnappyRates Team comprises personal finance writers who have reviewed and personally tested hundreds of financial products in the Canadian space. With over 20 years of combined experience to draw from and expertise in all things credit cards, banking, insurance, and mortgages, our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive guides and resources to help you on your financial journey.

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