The Cost of Living in Vancouver vs Toronto - Which is Cheaper?

Dreaming of vibrant city life nestled amid stunning landscapes? Both Toronto and Vancouver offer dazzling skylines, diverse cultures, and endless possibilities. But when it comes to choosing your Canadian home, the cost of living becomes a vital consideration.

While Vancouver boasts breathtaking mountains and ocean vistas, Toronto pulsates with cosmopolitan energy. Much like their distinct personalities, their price tags vary subtly, each holding hidden pockets of affordability and extravagance.

As we peel back the layers of housing, groceries, transportation, and entertainment, you'll find contrasting landscapes of expenses. So, buckle up, budgeters, and let's take a deeper look at the cost of living in these two amazing cities, unveiling which might be your perfect financial fit.

Top Cost Of Living Factors to Consider

Top Cost Of Living Factors to Consider

According to Numbeo, a reputable cost of living database, you can maintain a decent cost of living in Toronto with roughly the same cost of living in Vancouver. You’ll be paying around CAD 8,837 in Vancouver, while you would need approximately CAD 8,837 in Toronto.

The data below represents the cost of living in Vancouver vs Toronto, and it includes the rent index and net earnings (after tax deductions). To get an accurate overview of the cost of living in these two Canadian cities, we’d have to analyze factors such as overall consumer prices - which encompass rent prices, restaurant prices, grocery prices and local purchasing power.

Like all consumer prices, these are subject to change, depending on the city’s economic performance and growth.

External factors that directly affect a city’s economy are crime and corruption, lack of employment opportunities and social and political challenges. Remember, these numbers can change within an instant, and in turn, impact citizens significantly.

Consumer Prices

As per Numbeo, these are the current consumer prices in Vancouver vs Toronto:

Consumer Prices In Vancouver vs Toronto
Consumer Prices, excluding rent, in Toronto are 4.7% lower than in Vancouver
Consumer Prices including rent in Toronto are 6.1% lower than in Vancouver
Rent Prices in Toronto are 8.1% lower than in Vancouver
Restaurant Prices in Toronto are 3.7% lower than in Vancouver
Groceries Prices in Toronto are 10.8% lower than in Vancouver
Local Purchasing Power in Toronto is 23.9% higher than in Vancouver

Local Purchasing Power

This refers to the money that is available or accessible to people within a city. In this case, the local purchasing power in Toronto is higher than in Vancouver, which means people have less money in Vancouver available to them. So, what exactly does this mean for Vancouver citizens? If the purchasing power is lower, it means that people are buying less for a number of reasons - prices may be too high or the salaries may be less after tax deductions.

If the purchasing power is higher, as shown in Toronto, it shows that Toronto citizens have more money available to them. This suggests that people within Toronto are able to buy more consumer products since it may be cheaper. Additionally, people may be left with a higher salary after tax deductions, which means there’s more money to play around with.


The table above also compares the rent prices within Toronto vs the rent prices in Vancouver. As we can see, the data shows that rent in Toronto is lower than in Vancouver, why is this the case? The global pandemic affected everyone across the world, causing the prices, including rent, to skyrocket. Additionally, there are other factors, such as more people moving out of their parents’ homes and wanting to live on their own.

Additionally, more people are becoming homeowners since housing prices dropped during the pandemic throughout the world. This cancels out other potential homeowners who no longer have the cash upfront and end up renting for longer than usual. As a result, landlords have raised rent prices, causing an overall higher rent within a city.

According to the Washington Post, some companies, cities/territories, and states imposed limits on their rent increases. Some have even frozen prices. However, the relaxation of the pandemic has caused these measures to expire and, in some cases, given landlords more leverage to increase two years’ worth of rent.

For those who want to make their move to Canada’s largest city, Toronto, and we can see why, here are some of the cheapest neighborhoods to live in Toronto:

Toronto Neighborhoods Starting Average Rental Costs Per Month in CAD Neighborhood Specs
Mimico – New Toronto 820 Close to leisure amenities with the Humber River trail close by. Grocery stores such as No Frills and Royal York are also nearby. The area is also safe for raising kids with a lot of good schools for them to attend.
Rexdale 887 This is a peaceful, close-knit community with shopping malls such as Rexdale Shopping Mall and Woodbine Mall being nearby. The area is also close to Rexdale Commercial Centre and the neighborhood entails a variety of unique cuisines such as Indian food and Caribbean options.
Keelesdale – Eglinton West 897 Different housing styles to choose with low rentals to choose from. Shopping centres are close by and groceries are cheap. This area combines both liveliness with peace and quiet.
Guildwood Village, Scarborough 950 Offer a spectacular lakefront, making it ideal for nature enthusiasts. Rich in scenery and houses are both detached and semi-detached. Offers a convenient traveling route for students attending the University of Toronto.
Weston 960 You can enjoy Victorian-style houses and Edwardian style homes at a decent rate. The area is known to be a commercial hub to companies and businesses. It is also an amalgamation of old homes and modern apartments
Black Creek 1,011 Consist of multi-story apartment complexes with inexpensive rent for one to three bedrooms, including balconies.The area is close to coffee shops for coffee-lovers, as well as restaurants and other services.
East York 1,082 The area is home to some well-renowned families in Toronto. Home to one of Canada’s largest street festivals, the Danforth event. Close to a dog-friendly park, namely Chorley Park.
Scarborough City Centre 1,067 Showcases high-rise apartments. These apartments are neighbors to malls, industrial and commercial areas. Home to modest cafes and tantalizing international cuisines.
Liberty Village1,671. Liberty Village’s east end: 150 to 200 per month The area is a 10-minute drive away from Town.The area consists mainly of condos and flats. It is ideal for those seeking out a more relaxed atmosphere, away from the Town.

The areas mentioned above are low-rental neighborhoods located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city and capital of Ontario Province. This spectacular city is home to a multinational population, and its transparent, welcoming nature makes it ideal for people of various ethnicities and religions.


Based on the table, the prices of groceries that are most commonly in-demand are being compared. We can see that they’re lower in Toronto than in Vancouver. Possible factors like high oil prices within a city, which contribute to transport costs, as well as agricultural factors such as distance from the source. 

How To Choose A City in Canada to Live in

How To Choose A City in Canada to Live in

While cost of living is a crucial aspect of choosing a city, it's far from the only factor. While both Vancouver and Toronto are vibrant Canadian cities offering exciting opportunities, they cater to different lifestyles and priorities. Let's delve beyond the cost of living to explore some other key factors that might sway your decision:

Lifestyle and Personal Preferences


In Vancouver, you can enjoy mild, rainy winters and cool, dry summers with stunning mountain backdrops. Experience all four seasons in Toronto with hot, humid summers and freezing winters with frequent snowfall.

Urban vs. Rural

Vancouver has a dense urban core with stunning natural surroundings like Stanley Park and easy access to mountains and ocean. Toronto, on the other hand is a bustling metropolis with diverse neighborhoods, parks, and proximity to wine country and the Great Lakes.

Outdoor Activities

Vancouver is a paradise for hikers, bikers, kayakers, and skiers, with endless trails and water activities. Toronto offers green spaces for running, biking, and picnicking, with nearby skiing and hiking in cottage country.

Cultural Scene

Vancouver has a thriving arts scene with museums, live music, and a focus on Indigenous culture. Toronto is a multicultural hub with world-class museums, theaters, diverse festivals, and vibrant nightlife.

Community Values

Vancouver has a laid-back atmosphere focusing on sustainability and outdoor living while Toronto is more Fast-paced and ambitious, with a diverse and welcoming community.

Job Opportunities and Career Growth

Industry Strength

  • Vancouver: Tech, film, tourism, and natural resources.
  • Toronto: Finance, tech, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Job Market Landscape

  • Vancouver: Competitive, with a tight housing market.
  • Toronto: More abundant job opportunities, but higher cost of living.

Networking Potential

  • Vancouver: Close-knit communities with industry events and conferences.
  • Toronto: Numerous industry events and conferences, with a larger professional network.

Education and Schooling

School System Quality

  • Vancouver: Strong public and private schools with diverse programs.
  • Toronto: Excellent public and private schools, with a wider range of specialized programs.

Higher Education Options

Continuing Education Opportunities

  • Vancouver: Diverse adult education courses and vocational training programs.
  • Toronto: Wide range of adult education courses, community colleges, and universities offering continuing education programs.

Healthcare and Safety

Healthcare System Accessibility

  • Vancouver: Good access to healthcare, but longer wait times for specialists.
  • Toronto: Excellent healthcare system with shorter wait times but crowded hospitals.

Crime Rates

  • Vancouver: Lower crime rates overall, but higher property crime rates.
  • Toronto: Higher crime rates, but lower property crime rates.

Emergency Services

  • Vancouver: Reliable and efficient emergency services.
  • Toronto: Reliable and efficient emergency services.

Ultimately, the "better" city depends on your individual priorities and circumstances. Consider your lifestyle preferences, career goals, and financial situation to make an informed decision. Remember, both Vancouver and Toronto offer unique experiences and exciting opportunities, so choose the one that best aligns with your vision for the future!



Is Vancouver better than Toronto?

Like every other city around the world, each city has its own unique features, advantages and disadvantages. One cannot easily say which city is better but there are distinctive differences in a city’s economic growth and available opportunities. In this case, Toronto is currently ahead of Vancouver. However, inflation and deflation is constantly changing which can alter a city’s economic performance instantly.

Is Toronto safer than Vancouver?

Statistically speaking, Toronto, Canada’s largest city, would be the safer city when it comes to safety and security. With a low crime rate and swift responding police force, Toronto places a high value on securing its citizens. This makes the city ideal for immigrants.

What are the disadvantages of living in Vancouver?

In comparison to Toronto, Vancouver has a higher crime rate, the traffic flow is worse. It would suffice to say that the city is more costly. For those that are budget tight and want to save, Vancouver may not be the ideal city for you.