The Cost of Living in Canada: A Detailed Guide

living in Canada

Are you moving to Canada and wondering how much money you will need when you are there? Canada is renowned for its exceptional quality of living but there are many essential things you will need to familiarize yourself with before you make the big move.

For starters, you will need to figure out your budget before the trip and maybe even choose your destination based on the cost of living.

But, how expensive is Canada? The truth is that there is a big difference between cities and provinces. Whether you are temporarily relocating or moving to Canada, you will need estimates, averages and reliable data.

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the overall cost of living in Canada.

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How much do you need to live in Canada per month?

For a single person, the national average cost of living is estimated at 2730 CAD in 2021.

What is the average cost of living for a couple in Canada?

The average cost of living per month for a couple in Canada is around 3,500 CAD in 2021.

If you are earning around 50,000 CAD per year per person, after all the deductions, you will be earning around 3,500 CAD per month per person.

So, even if only one person is working in the family, you will be able to survive in Canada, but you will not be able to save money. If both partners are working, you will be able to live comfortably and save some money.

a couple in Canada

Which are the most expensive provinces in Canada?

Top 3 most expensive provinces in Canada

  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Alberta

Which are the most affordable provinces in Canada?

  • Manitoba
  • Nova Brunswick
  • New Scotia
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec

Which are the most expensive cities in Canada in 2021?

The eleven most expensive cities in Canada 2021

Toronto, Canada


  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Victoria
  • Hamilton
  • Calgary
  • Ontario
  • Ottawa
  • Edmonton
  • Saskatoon
  • Montreal
  • Fort McMurray

Which are the most affordable cities in Canada?

  • Thunder Bay
  • Moncton
  • Quebec city
  • Guelph
  • Kitchener
  • Kingston
  • London, Ontario
  • Abbotsford
  • Montreal
  • Charlottetown

Accommodation in Canada

A room in a shared house in the most expensive cities starts around 850-1,000 CAD. In the rest of the country, it is much more affordable.

The average rents as of December 2020

(Prices are in Canadian dollars and utilities are included)

Apartment Type Vancouver Toronto Ottawa Montreal Calgary Edmonton
1-bedroom 2000 1900 1500 1300 1100 1000
2-bedroom 2600 2200 2000 1800 1250 1200
3-bedroom 3500 2600 2100 2800 1350 1400

When you move into a new apartment, you are usually required to pay an initial fee- ½ month’s rent, +200 CAD move-in fees + 200 CAD damage deposit.

The parking for your car will cost you around 60 CAD per month.


The grocery costs will vary based on your eating habits – whether you are vegetarian or not, as well as the number of family members you have. A couple would be spending anywhere around 500-600 CAD a month.

Healthcare in Canada

If you are a permanent resident in Canada, you will be eligible for Medicare, which is the universal healthcare available to Canadian citizens.

If you are a temporary resident, you won’t have the same access and you will need to have private insurance.

The premium packages can be expensive, so when you are looking for a job it is worth negotiating a package with included medical insurance.

If you don’t have a government healthcare card, all provinces will provide free emergency medical services. If you have an emergency you can go to the nearest hospital and they may charge some fees if you don’t live in that province or territory.

The prices of drugs can be very high, this is why most patients prefer to purchase them online with a discount at My Canadian Pharmacy.

Canadian Healthcare Specialist

How much is a doctor visit in Canada without insurance?

Without insurance, the doctor’s consultation fee could cost between 100 CAD and 250 CAD. One day spent at a local hospital will set you back roughly 4,000 CAD.

How much does travel and transportation cost in Canada?

The price for gasoline in Canada as per December 2020 is 1,213 CAD per litre.

If you are using a car, keep in mind that parking is expensive in Canada. For instance, the parking in downtown could cost you around 25 CAD a day or even more.

Public transit in Canada as of May 2020

Toronto, Canada skyline


(TTC monthly pass)
Youth (13-19 yrs) 128,15 CAD
Adult (19-65 yrs) 156 CAD
Senior (65 years+) 128,15 CAD


(Compass monthly pass)
Zone 1 Adult / Senior 98 / 56 CAD
Zone 2 Adult / Senior 131 / 56 CAD
Zone 3 Adult / Senior 177 / 56 CAD


ETS monthly pass
Youth (Under 24 yrs) 75 CAD
Adult (24 – 65 yrs) 97 CAD
Senior (65 yrs +) (annual pass)

Internet in Canada

A low-speed internet connection in Canada will cost you around $50 per month. If you want a high-speed connection, you will have to pay more than that.

Cell phone

The cell phone in Canada (as of December 2020) will cost you 25 -90 CAD per month (4-6 GB per month). If you have your own phone and you are paying only for the cell plan, it will cost you on average around 50 CAD per month. If you want to buy a cell phone which is included in your plan, you will be paying around 80 CAD per month.


people at the cinema watching a movie

The cinema in Canada costs around 20 CAD per ticket.

Gym in Canada

The most popular gyms in Canada are Good life and LA. In these gyms, it will cost you around $50 per month.

Winter wear

If you are coming to Canada just before winter, you will need some money to buy winter clothes. This will cost you around 500-700 CAD per person.

friends skiing in Canada


In Canada these types of services are costly. If you are visiting a good salon, a new haircut will cost you around 40 CAD + tip, it will be around 50 CAD.


If you are coming to Canada with your infants you will need to leave them somewhere while you are working. This will cost you around 1500 – 1900 CAD and this price may vary in different regions.

If you belong to a low-income household, the government will give you around $500 rebate for the child care per month. However, this depends on your income. If both of you are with high salaries, you may not get this money.

What is the minimum wage in Canada in 2020?

Each Canadian province has a varying labour standard that sets the minimum wage. In the table below you will see the minimum wage rates for each of the thirteen Canadian provinces.

Liquor servers and tipped employees often have a different, lower minimum wage.


CAD / per hour/ as of 2020

Minimum wage in Canada,2020

What is the average hourly wage in Canada?

The average hourly wage in Canada for 2020 is 31,35 CAD.

How do taxes work in Canada?

Each province has its own tax regulations. If you want to know more about the basics of tax in Canada, check out our guide.

Let’s face it, taxes are one of the last things that will cross your mind when you decide to move to Canada! However, there are several things that you need to know when you start working there about the Canadian tax system.

  1. You will pay between 15-29% income tax on your wages.
  2. If you have worked in Canada, you are most likely due a tax refund. You can apply for a tax refund when you file your tax return. If you worked in Canada in 2020, you can apply for a tax refund in February 2021
  3. You can expect to receive your refund 16 weeks later- May or June.
  4. You can use the tax refund calculator on the right for a FREE estimation of your tax refund
  5. The average tax refund with is $998

If you have any questions, you can contact a tax expert for free from who will answer your queries in real-time via instant messenger.

By applying with an agent like you can enjoy a fast and stress-free service. They will manage all the hard paperwork for you and assist you with the entire process.

  • will manage all of your tax return paperwork
  • guarantee to keep you compliant with the Canadian tax authorities
  • can assist you to locate any tax documents that you have lost
  • Will make sure you avail of every expense and relief you are entitled to get
  • retrieve your maximum legal tax refund
  • can pay you your refund in any currency you prefer and save you money as you won’t need to keep a bank account in Canada after you leave the country

The average Canadian tax refund with is $998

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