The Cost of Living In Canada

Most people from the UK and Europe find the cost of living in Canada is significantly lower than their home country.

Toronto - Canada's Financial Capital
Toronto – Canada’s Financial Capital

Canadian housing is cheap compared with other developed nations – the average house price in Canada is around seven times the average annual wage. Prices are highest in Ontario and Alberta (six to seven times the average wage) and Vancouver (eleven times the average wage).

People moving to Canada with the proceeds of house sales from countries with more expensive housing can often buy a house in Canada with a considerably reduced mortgage.

This leaves more of their income for other activities and lowers their cost of living in Canada significantly.

Compared with many other western countries, although not the USA:

›› Dining out and most forms of recreation are cheaper in Canada.
›› Petrol / Gasoline and cars are cheaper in Canada.
›› Power is cheaper, but you use more power to heat your house in a typical Canadian winter.
›› Car insurance is very expensive in Canada.

Mercer carried out an extensive cost of living survey for overseas workers in 2012. The survey covers 214 cities and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The survey revealed that Toronto (61st) has the highest cost of living in Canada, followed by Vancouver (63rd), Montreal (87th), Calgary (92nd) and Ottawa (115th).

The survey found that Canadian cities have lower living costs than many other locations in the developed world.

Since the last survey Canada as a whole is becoming more expensive relative to other cities because of the strength of the Canadian dollar, Mercer says. Toronto was the most expensive due in part due to its relatively high rental costs.

The rankings for Canadian cities out of the 214 cities surveyed are:

  1. Toronto (61st)
  2. Vancouver (63rd)
  3. Montreal (87th)
  4. Calgary (92nd)
  5. Ottawa (115th)

Top 50 Cities 2012 Ranking

1 Tokyo, Japan
2 Luanda, Angola
3 Osaka, Japan
4 Moscow, Russia
5 Geneva, Switzerland
6 Zurich, Switzerland
6 Singapore
8 N’Djamena, Chad
9 Hong Kong
10 Nagoya, Japan
11 Sydney, Australia
12 Sao Paulo, Brazil
13 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14 Bern, Switzerland
15 Melbourne, Australia
16 Shanghai, China
17 Beijing, China
18 Oslo, Norway
19 Perth, Australia
20 Libreville, Gabon
21 Copenhagen, Denmark
22 Seoul, South Korea
23 Canberra, Australia
24 Brisbane, Australia
25 London, United Kingdom
26 Khartoum, Sudan
27 Adelaide, Australia
28 St. Petersburg, Russia
29 Caracas, Venezuela
30 Shenzhen, China
31 Tel Aviv, Israel
31 Guangzhou, China
33 New York, U.S.
34 Niamey, Niger
35 Yangon, Myanmar
36 Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. of the Congo
37 Paris, France
38 Milan, Italy
39 Bamako, Mali
39 Laos, Nigeria
41 Abidjan, Cote d’Ivorie
42 Rome, Italy
43 Brazzaville, Congo
44 Djibouti, Djibouti
45 Brasilia, Brazil
46 Stockholm, Sweden
47 Noumea, New Caledonia
48 Vienna, Austria
49 Baku, Azerbaijan
50 Victoria, Seychelles