Cost of Living in Canada: How Affordable is it to Live in Canada in 2020?

Moving to Canada and want to know how much money you’ll need? It’s cheaper than you think!

Relocating to any country is not an easy decision. There are many avenues that need to be explored before taking the leap, one of which is whether or not the cost of living is affordable.

Before making your move to Canada, it's important to not only find out exactly what your expenses will be but also how to make your money work for you.

With national benefits granted to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, such as free universal healthcare and public secondary education, saving up can be a breeze, leaving you with some financial freedom to use your money in other areas.

The cost of living in Canada varies from city to city, however, the national average cost of living for a single person is estimated at $2,730 per month whereas for a family of 4 it averages around $5,158.

Although Canada is regarded as one of the more expensive countries to live in, globally, there are many cities that are much cheaper than most cities in North America as well as the national average. For example, according to, Quebec city is the 3rd cheapest city to live in North America and Winnipeg is cheaper to live in than 82% of cities in North America.

Certain cities are more expensive than others. For example, Toronto and Vancouver, although voted the most liveable cities and most popular among foreigners, are also the most expensive to live in. However, there are many affordable cities to consider when moving to Canada. Most of these cities can be found in Ontario, British Columbia as well as Prince Edward Island, and not only are there various ways to immigrate to these provinces but you won’t have to compromise on the quality of life.

Need advice and assistance in determining a comprehensive and specialized immigration plan for your individual needs? Simply click the link below or keep reading to find out which cities are the most affordable to live in in 2020 and how we can help you move to Canada.

Which Places in Canada Have the Lowest Cost of Living?

women calculating cost of living in Canada on calculator with bills

Knowing which provinces or territories are affordable to live in will certainly help narrow down your choices of destinations when planning to move to Canada and guide you in making the right decision for your specific needs.

There are certain provinces in Canada that are quite costly to live in, for example, Toronto, although voted the 8th most liveable city to live in in the world is also the most expensive city to live in Canada. Vancouver, which is considered the 6th most liveable city in Canada, currently takes 2nd place as the most expensive city to live in, followed by Victoria, according to

On the other end of the spectrum, Québec City is the 3rd cheapest city to live in North America, followed by Montreal and Winnipeg. These are based on overall expenses in relation to earning potential.

It is also important to bear in mind that some places are cheaper to relocate to as a single person than as a family and vice versa.

Below are the top 10 most affordable cities to consider when planning your move to Canada.

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Canada 2020
CountryCost of living (single person)Cost of living (family of 4)
Thunder Bay, Ontario$2,015$4,158
Moncton, New Brunswick$1,962$4,140
Québec City, Québec$1,973$4,218
Guelph, Ontario$2,296$4,484
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario$2,218$4,419
Kingston, Ontario$2,368$4,631
London, Ontario$2,138$4,476
Abbotsford, British Columbia$2,462$4,4766
Montreal, Ontario$2,328$4,653
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island$2,089$4,484

Top 3 Provinces to Relocate to in Canada and How to Get There

man standing looking at Canadian Rockies mountains

There are many factors to consider when determining which cities are going to be the most cost-effective for you. For example, your salary may be considerably attractive however not in proportion with living expenses.

Some cities are also cheaper for a family than a single person to live in. It’s also important to consider which province offers more attractive salaries for your occupation as well as which provinces your occupation is in high demand as this could affect your chances of being successful when applying for permanent residence in Canada.

Below are our top 4 provinces to consider before you move to Canada.



Located in east-central Canada, Ontario is the 2nd largest province in the country and is known as Canada’s number one tech hub. Although the cost of living in Ontario may be generally high, salaries offered are among the highest offered in the country, making it quite an affordable province to live in.

Cities such as Thunder Bay, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Kingston, London, and Montreal all rank in the top 10 most affordable cities to live in Canada.

How Do I Get There?

There are various ways to move to Ontario but perhaps the easiest is the Express Entry system or the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program.

Express Entry is a points-based system, where your profile is scored according to the Comprehensive ranking System (CRS) and ranked against other applicants in draws, which are usually held every 2 weeks. The highest scoring profile will then be invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP) allows candidates the opportunity to express interest in immigrating to the province through one of 3 categories:

  • Employer Job Offer Category;
  • Human capital Category; and
  • Business Category.

The great part about the OINP is that it has express entry streams, which allows the province to select your profile directly from the Express Entry draw pools and nominate you to apply for a provincial nomination (which is worth 600 extra CRS points). The OINP also has targeted Tech Draws, which makes it easier for IT workers to move to Canada.

You will, however, need a valid job offer to apply through most of the categories in this program, but, if your occupation is in-demand you’re already ahead of the pack. Some of the in-demand occupations include:

Another option is to apply through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), which offers immigration options to 11 communities based in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Downtown Moncton New Brunswick Canada

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is one of Canada’s smallest provinces and is the perfect balance between small city living and urban lifestyle all set against the backdrop of an expanse of forested landscapes and beautiful coastlines. It is one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, which means that you will be able to apply to move to Canada through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, aimed at helping increase the economy by filling the current labour gap in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, with skilled workers from across the globe.

The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) is another great way to move to Canada. It has 3 main streams, namely;

  • NB Express Entry Stream;
  • Skilled Worker Stream; and
  • Entrepreneurial Stream.

Farmhouse and barn in Abbotsford British Columbia Canada

British Columbia

Life in British Columbia is picturesque and exhilarating. Situated on the Pacific Northwest coast, it is home to exceptional getaways for nature lovers, including Yoho and Kootenay National Parks.

Options for immigration include Express Entry, The RNIP, and the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP).

The BCPNP is divided into 3 main categories:

  • Express Entry British Columbia;
  • Skills Immigration; and
  • Entrepreneur Immigration.

British Columbia is another province that has a Tech specific immigration pilot under its PNP, which has extended its application deadline until June 2020.

Other in-demand occupations include:

British Columbia

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is another maritime province in Canada, consisting of 231 smaller islands. Prince Edward Island has a booming tourism and hospitality industry, making it the perfect place to relocate to if you are looking for work in the tourism and hospitality industry.

The main ways to immigrate to PEI is through Express Entry, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot or the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP).

The PEI PNP has 4 main categories:

  • International Graduates;
  • Critical Workers;
  • Skilled Workers (national and international streams); and
  • Express Entry.

How We Help You Live Your Canadian Dream

Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be tedious, with a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, we wouldn’t blame you if you felt apathetic about getting started on your application. But that's what we’re here for. At Canadian Visa, we take the stress and hassle out of planning to relocate abroad. Our accredited and government trusted RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are ready to evaluate your eligibility, review all documentation, and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC not only gives you the best possible chance of receiving an ITA but will make the entire process simple and stress-free.

We handle the paperwork while you choose the destination for your new home in Canada. All you have to do is complete our online form and we’ll take care of the rest. It's just that simple.