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The Cost of Living in Canada

Updated: July 31st, 2023

One of the biggest questions we get asked is: is it expensive to live in Canada? Canada's cost of living is a crucial aspect for anyone considering a move or planning to settle in the country. As one of the world's leading nations, Canada offers diverse landscapes, cultural richness, and an exceptional quality of life. However, understanding the expenses involved, such as housing, groceries, dining, and utilities, is essential for a well-informed decision-making process.

Upon arriving in Canada, you will quickly notice that the cost of living is notably more affordable than in Europe and, in some cases, may even be comparable to your home country when considering your earning potential. However, bear in mind that while the overall cost of living in Canada is relatively lower, there are substantial variations in incomes among cities, provinces, and different industry sectors.

The Cost of Living in Canada

Housing Costs

Looking for a place to stay? Below are estimates on how much you would spend looking for decent accommodation to suit your lifestyle and needs, according to

Apartment CAD
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centres 9,030.87 (buying)
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centres 6,497.47 (buying)
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centres 1,671.45 (per month)
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centres 1,433.90 (per month)
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centres 2,721.05 (per month)
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centres 2,363.15 (per month)


This has everything to do with the price of bread! To survive in your new setting, we have compiled a list of the essential grocery items you will most likely purchase regularly and approximately how much you’d pay for each item.

Groceries CAD
Milk (1 liter) 2.76
Loaf of bread (500g) 3.27
Rice (1kg) 4.40
Eggs (12) 4.24
Cheese (1kg) 14.79
Apples (1kg) 5.06
Potato (1kg) 3.21
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.30
Cigarettes 20 pack(Marlboro) 17.00

Dining Out

Dining out in Canada

Too busy to cook? Here is an estimate of how much you would spend on regular fast-food or restaurant

Dining Out CAD
Meal for one (inexpensive restaurant) 22.00
Meal for two (mid-range restaurant, three-course) 90.00
Combo Meal at McDonalds (or Equivalent) 12.50
Cappuccino (regular) 4.80
Coke/Pepsi (bottle 330ml) 2.53
Water (bottle 330ml) 2.12


Make sure to keep in touch with your loved ones at home. Utilities are cheap and accessible so you can skype them regularly. The cost of mobile-to-mobile calls is also reasonably low so you can remain connected.

Utilities CAD
Basics (electricity, heating, garbage, cooling, water) 199.25
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data55.36
Internet (cable/ADSL) 85.48

Transport Costs

Transport Costs in Canada

While living in Canada you will need to get around to go see the amazing tourist attractions and some of the most picturesque sights. Here are the transportation tariffs:

Transportation CAD
One-way ticket (local transport) 3.25
Monthly pass (regular price) 100.00
Taxi Start (normal tariff) 4.25
Taxi per 1km (normal tariff) 2.00
Taxi 1 hour waiting (normal tariff) 34.00
Gasoline (1 litre) 1.59

Clothing Prices

Our bodies are always growing and shifting into all forms and sizes, but what better way to accommodate your body than to buy clothes? Here are the basic prices of clothes in Canada:

Clothing CAD
One pair of jeans 72.48
A summer dress 50.55
One pair of Nike running shoes (mid-range) 111.95
One pair of men's leather business shoes 139.54


Since Canada currently has the best quality of life in the world, why wouldn’t you want to raise and educate your children there? Canada is known to have one of the best education systems in the world currently.

Childcare CAD
Preschool (or Kindergarten) Private, for one child per month 1,090.36
International Primary School, (for one child annually) 18,843.52
Cost of Living in Canada

If you feel like the Canadian lifestyle is one you would like to take part in, then perhaps you would be interested in making the move to Canada. Canada is hugely welcoming to foreign nationals. They've pledged to welcome over 500,000 newcomers per year by 2025 and with over 1 million job vacancies nationwide, there are plenty of opportunities to start a fantastic new life in Canada. 

As a result, there are over 100 immigration and visa programs to help internationals find a place in Canada. If you want to take the first step on your journey to the Great White North, knowing the right way to take that step is crucial. To aid in this process, our RCICs can evaluate you to find the right program for you, curate your CV to Canadian standards, fill out your application forms and provide you with the help and guidance you need through every step of the application process.

How to Budget in Canada

The Cost of Living in Canada

Now that you have an idea of what your living expense in Canada will be like, the next step is to budget effectively so you know what kind of lifestyle you can lead in Canada. Budgeting effectively can lead to you saving a lot on unnecessary things, allowing you to finance the aspects of life in Canada that truly matter to you. 

When budgeting, the most important factors for most people to take into account are: 

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Food & Utilities
  • Banking & Investments
  • Taxes

If you're interested in how you can budget effectively in Canada, our Newcomer's Budget Guide to Canada breaks down all of the above factors, providing important details and basic strategies to help you make your dollar go further in the Great White North.

Once you can budget effectively and have an understanding of what your living expenses in Canada will be like, there are a few financial aspects to consider before you enter Canada. For example, knowing how to set up your bank account in Canada, send money out of the country, pay your taxes, invest and how Canada's various financial systems work are all fundamental to your daily life.

Having even a basic idea of Canada's financial systems and how they work can give you a massive advantage as you begin your move to Canada. To help with this, we have compiled a handy guide to help you effectively navigate the financial landscape of Canada.


What is the Average Salary in Canada?

Average salaries differ from province to province, but the national average in Canada is currently CAD

54,630 per year. Here are some average salaries per profession, according to

Occupation Annual salary in CAD
Accounting, Administration & Human Resources 54,874
Architecture & Creative Arts 48,581
Banking, Finance & Insurance 59,168
Childcare & Education 59,343
Construction & Maintenance 54,927
Engineering 83,907
Food Services 40,326
Healthcare, Pharmaceutical & Social Services 100,864
Hospitality & Travel 54,324
Information Technology 72,147
Journalism & Translation 47,441
Law Enforcement & Security 51,030
Legal 69,192
Marketing & Sales 63,799
Retail, Cosmetics & Customer Service 40,415
Science 73,313
Shipping, Manufacturing & Transportation 44,760

Where are the Best Jobs in Canada? 

While this entirely depends on your skills and career path, there are a large number of jobs in demand throughout Canada. Working in one of these jobs can improve your immigration prospects, effectively putting you on the fast track to life in Canada. Find out more about which jobs are most in-demand in Canada here or this map can show you which jobs are in demand in each of Canada's provinces.

Can you Survive on Minimum Wage in Canada?

Currently, the minimum wage in Canada is estimated at CAD16.65 per hour, although every province has their minimum wage. You could live off this but you would not be able to maintain a life of comfort with this wage, especially in expensive cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

Is the U.S. Cheaper Than Canada?

Generally speaking, Canada is more affordable than its neighbour. However, it’s tricky to compare the two countries as the prices of products fluctuate daily.

There are so many perks of living in Canada that should not be missed. Don’t even get us started on the scenic views and diverse provinces. Don’t do yourself a disservice by missing out on this great country! If you feel Canada is the ideal place for you, click the button below to talk to an RCIC and see which is the best way you can start your Canadian journey today!

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