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Cost of Living in Canada

If you’re looking to move to Canada (or even if you already live here), you may be wondering what the cost of living in Canada is like. It’s hard to determine exactly what it is, as the costs vary greatly depending on the city and province you live in, but this guide is designed to help give you a rough idea of what to expect.

Cost Compared to Other Countries

If you’re immigrating to Canada, then your comparison to the cost of living in Canada is dependent on which city you’re from and which city in Canada you’re looking to move to. You’ll find the cost of living in a major city like Toronto or Vancouver to be a lot more than the smaller cities, towns or rural areas in Canada. That goes for your comparison from the country you’re emigrating from. If you’re from the United States, for examples, you’ll find that the USD goes a lot further. So, overall it may be cheaper to live in the States, but there are some cities like San Francisco and New York that rank on many top 20 most expensive lists, while Canada doesn’t appear to have one. Many other countries like Japan, Denmark, and China may have multiple cities in the top 20. If you look at many lists for most expensive countries, Canada may not rank there either, making it evident that is may not be quite as expensive as Canadians think, as it’s all relative.

Most expensive cities

When looking at the cost of living in Canada, looking at the most expensive cities may help determine where you do or do not want to live.  The two most expensive cities in Canada are undoubtedly Toronto and Vancouver, with other cities like Victoria, Calgary, Hamilton, Ottawa, Edmonton and Montreal trailing behind. But, they still don’t rank very high in the global rankings, either neither Toronto nor Vancouver even making it into the top 50. Continues to show that Canada is not one of the more expensive countries in the world. Looking at the cost of living in Canada through the cities is a big part of determining where you may or may not want to live.

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General Living Expenses

The cost of living in Canada varies greatly depending on the city you’re living in, varying greatly between the four major cities; Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. estimates that Vancouver’s monthly cost is about $2,800 for combined expenses (including food, rent, transportation and more), Toronto is about $2,700, Calgary at about $2,000 and Calgary at about $1,800. It’s important to note these are just estimates, and everyone’s situation may change, but they’re a good gauge at estimating what to expect and what to prepare for when looking at the cost of living in Canada and which city to live in.

Average Salaries

Another important aspect of examining the cost of living in Canada is to look at some of the average salaries to see if your job or career path fits the lifestyle you’ll want to have, as compared to the city you want to live in. The average Canadian salary is about $51,000 per year, with Alberta having the largest average salary per Province. In looking at particular sectors, Finance and insurance take the top averaging about 70.6 thousand per year, professional, scientific and technical services is next at about 70.4 thousand; followed by public administration at 65.5, wholesale trade at 62.7, educational services at 54.6, health care and social assistance at 46.2, retail trade at 28.8 and finally accommodation and food services at 20.4 thousand. Certainly, the cost of living in Canada can manage most job sectors, with retail and services being the most difficult to thrive in.

Cost of Housing

The average cost of a house in Canada is just under $500,000, with mortgages expected to go up this year (thanks to new government regulations) it’s expected to be even harder to get a mortgage. While markets like Toronto and Vancouver are tough to find homes in an extremely expensive, some cities and towns are very cheap, and give you tremendous value. Calculating the housing costs for the cost of living in Canada is truly dependent on where you intend on living.

Healthcare and Dental Cost

A big benefit of the cost of living in Canada is how low our healthcare is. With free healthcare, you don’t have to worry about huge hospital bills or paying anything at all for regular check-ups at the doctor. However, the “free healthcare” label isn’t entirely accurate and may change depending on the province you’re in. B.C. residents, for example, have to pay about $100 per month for healthcare, with lower income individuals/families being able to apply for subsidizing to remove the cost entirely; an important note when it comes to the cost of living in Canada.

Cost of Travel and Transportation

The cost of transportation varies from city to city, with the Greater Toronto Area having some of the most expensive public transit. For gas, as of this writing gas prices are at a 5-year high, ranging around the 136 cents per litre mark on average for the country.

Cost of Education

Another important part of calculating the cost of living in Canada is to look at the Public school in Canada is free up until the end of high school. For university, Canada’s tuition prices are partially subsidized by the government, making them significantly lower than the United States and some other countries. The average yearly cost is around $7,000 yearly, moving up closer to about $10,000 for international students. And, for low-income families, student loans are now entirely grants, meaning you won’t have to pay them back, essentially making university free for some low-income students.

Benefits of KBFX

If you’re looking to make a move to Canada, or already live here and need to send money back or home or overseas, then currency exchange fees can rack up fast. International transfers can get quite costly as well and may not be ideal. Luckily, you can use Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange for all your currency exchange needs (including international transfers and large international purchases) while receiving great service and great rates. At KBFX we provide a fast, easy and secure way to exchange your currency, while always providing the best currency exchange rates in Canada. Because we’re entirely online, so long as you have access to the internet you can enjoy the benefits of the best USD exchange rates in Canada and the best foreign money exchange rates in Canada.

As you’ve learned through reading this piece, the cost of living in Canada may not be extreme globally, but can still be tough, so wasting money on rates with crazy high markups isn’t worth it. And, if you’re sending money overseas, the international transfer costs can get quite expensive as well. With KBFX, you’ll enjoy fast service, no hidden fees and will always get the best currency exchange rates in Canada. So, for currency exchange needs, count on us at Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange.


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By Victor | August 20, 2018 | Travel Tips | 0 comments