The Cost of Living in Canada: A Detailed Guide

bags and suitcases on conveyor belt at an airport

Updated On: 13.04.2022

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 the cities but also between 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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What is the cost of living in Canada per month?

For a single person, the national average cost of living is estimated at 2,611 CAD in 2022.

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

The average cost of living in Canada per month for a couple was 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 it is unlikely that you will save much money. If both partners are working, you will be able to live comfortably and save some money.

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Which are the most expensive provinces in Canada 2022?

Top 3 most expensive provinces in Canada

  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Alberta

Which are the most affordable provinces in Canada?

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

Cost of living in Canada by province

map of Canada's provinces and territories

Let’s take a closer look at the average cost of living in Canada per month by province.

The following tables show the cost of living for:

  • Rent per month for one-bedroom
  • Utilities – including electricity, gas, water and heat
  • Transport – the cost of a monthly pass

Note: not all provinces have an accessible transport system like Alberta or British Columbia for example, so those will be marked as n/a.

  • Groceries
  • Gas per litre
  • Communications
  • Cost of a meal in restaurants
Province Housing (1 bedroom) Utilities Transport (bus pass) Groceries
Alberta $1,000 $220 $110 $500
British Columbia $2,000 $120 $100 $400
Manitoba $1,000 $220 n/a $350
New Brunswick $865 $167 n/a $350
Newfoundland & Labrador $800 $260 n/a $400
Nova Scotia $900 $163 $82.50 $500
Ontario $1,500 $170 $125 $600
Prince Edward Island (PEI) $980 $210 n/a $350
Quebec $1,000 $125 $90 $600
Saskatchewan $900 $190 n/a $390


Province Gas (per liter) Communications Restaurants (per meal)
Alberta $1.30 $110 $40
British Columbia $1.65 $120 $35
Manitoba $1.30 $110 $30
New Brunswick $1.20 $110 $40
Newfoundland & Labrador $1.26 $140 $35
Nova Scotia $1.33 $100 $30
Ontario $1.40 $120 $40
Prince Edward Island (PEI) $1.22 $150 $35
Quebec $1.45 $100 $45
Saskatchewan $1.20 $100 $30


Which are the most expensive cities in Canada in 2022?

The 11 most expensive cities in Canada for 2022 are as follows:

  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Mississauga
  • Markham
  • Victoria
  • Kelowna
  • Surrey
  • Ottawa
  • Brampton
  • Guelph
  • Etobicoke

Which are the most affordable cities in Canada?

  • Quesnel
  • Edmonton
  • Halifax
  • Regina
  • Trois-Rivières
  • Kingston
  • Winnipeg
  • Saint John
  • Brockville
  • Saint Catherines

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 early 2022

(Prices are in Canadian dollars)

Apartment Type Vancouver Toronto Ottawa Montreal Calgary Edmonton
1-bedroom 2135 1728 1647 1430 1269 1001
2-bedroom 2919 2075 2095 1928 1496 1216
3-bedroom 3850 2517 2099 2569 1658 1452

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

You may also have to pay to park your car.

landscape of a lake in Canada


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.

However, if you’re going to be eating out a lot you may be spending more.

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.

How much is a doctor’s visit in Canada without insurance?

Without insurance, the doctor’s consultation fee could cost between 100 CAD and 250 CAD. This fee does not include any medication or treatment.

One day spent at a local hospital will set you back roughly 4,000 CAD.

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How much does travel and transportation cost in Canada?

Generally, the price for gasoline in Canada as of March 2022 is 1.898 CAD per litre.

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

So for a low cost of living in Canada, taking public transport can be better.

Public transit in Canada as 2022


(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 – 100.25 / 57.30 CAD
  • Zone 2 Adult / Senior – 134 / 57.30 CAD
  • Zone 3 Adult / Senior – 181.05 / 57.30 CAD


ETS monthly pass
  • Youth (Under 24 yrs) – 73 CAD
  • Adult (24 – 65 yrs) – 100 CAD
  • Senior (65 yrs +) – 35 CAD

Internet in Canada

Be prepared as the internet in Canada can be expensive!

A low-speed internet connection in Canada will cost you around 50 CAD per month.

However, if you want a high-speed connection, you’ll be paying between 99 – to 135 CAD.

For somewhere in between, you’ll be paying around 60 to 110 CAD.

Cell phone

Keeping in touch with close ones once moving over to Canada is a big priority for many but if you’re bringing your phone over it needs to be unlocked for a Canadian SIM card!

The cell phone plan in Canada (as of March 2022) will cost you 20-85 CAD 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.


The cinema in Canada costs around 11 to 19 CAD per ticket, it all depends on whether you’re going to a regular movie, 3D or ULTRAAVX (which is essentially a bigger screen, great picture quality etc.).

Canadian Lakes

Landscape of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

If you’re going over to Canada, visiting its gorgeous lakes is a must!

A lot of the lakes are free to visit but there are usually entry fees into the parks they are located in.

You can read more on Canada’s lakes in our detailed guide.

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.

Summer activities

Now let’s touch on some activities you can do during the summer since Canada can be quite a fun place, especially for outdoor lovers!

Some of the activities you can do include:


Renting a canoe at Lake Louise can cost $138 an hour. You can also get a tour in 2022 for $695 for three days.


Costs approximately $100 for a full day

Peak to peak gondola

$54 to $74 depending on the season (cheaper during Spring)


A lot of the hikes are free but some national parks may have a day pass of around $10

Horse riding

Costs from $54 to $585 depending on how many hours/days you’re doing it and where


Costs from $60 to $124 depending on where you go

Whale watching

You can get a catamaran boat from Vancouver for half a day costing $148


Can be free depending on what place you visit

Register for your WHC Jobs Kit for lists of the top ski resort employers in BC and Alberta, our working holiday jobs search tool and much more!

Winter wear and activities

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.

You will also need money for activities you’d like to take part in during the winter in Canada, such as:


Costs approximately $200


Costs $20 to $35 if you don’t have your own snowshoes and costs less otherwise

A lot of the activities mentioned above that can be done during the summer can also be done during the winter, including:

  • Peak to peak gondola
  • Ziplining


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 1,500 – 1,934 CAD and this price may vary in different regions.

If you belong to a low-income household, the government will give you around a $500 rebate for 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 2022?

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 2022

whc infographic of Canada's minimum wage for 2022

What is the average hourly wage in Canada?

The average hourly wage in Canada for 2022 is 31.6 CAD.

How do taxes work in Canada?

Let’s face it, taxes might not be the most exciting thing to learn about once 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:

  • You will pay between 15-33% income tax on your wages
  • 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 2021, the deadline to file your tax return is 30 April 2022
  • You can expect to receive your refund 16 weeks later- May or June

For more information you can read our in-depth guide.

Who can help me file my tax return? can!

They are tax agents who provide a fast and stress-free service.

The average tax refund with is $998.

For a FREE estimation of your tax refund, you can use the tax refund calculator on the right!

Why should I apply with

  • They will manage all of your tax return paperwork
  • You’ll have a dedicated tax agent help you throughout the entire process
  • Guarantee to keep you compliant with the Canadian tax authorities
  • They will make sure you avail of every expense and relief you are entitled to
  • 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

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.

Want to claim a tax refund from Canada?

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