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 can be cheap compared with other developed nations – the average house price in Canada is around nine times the average annual wage. Though in some provinces, such as New Brunswick, it is as low as four times the annual wage. Prices are highest in Ontario (ten times the average wage) and Vancouver (fourteen 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 2016. The survey covers 209 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 Vancouver (142nd) has the highest cost of living in Canada, followed by Toronto (143rd), Montreal (155th), Calgary (162nd) and Ottawa (171st).

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 less expensive relative to other cities because of the weakness of the Canadian dollar, Mercer says.

The rankings for Canadian cities out of the 209 cities surveyed are:

  1. Vancouver (142nd)
  2. Toronto (143rd)
  3. Montreal (155th)
  4. Calgary (162nd)
  5. Ottawa (171st)

Top 50 Cities 2016 Ranking

1 Hong Kong
2 Luanda, Angola
3 Zurich, Switzerland
4 Singapore
5 Tokyo, Japan
6 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
7 Shanghai, China
8 Geneva, Switzerland
9 N’Djamena, Chad
10 Beijing, China
11 New York, U.S.
12 Shenzhen, China
13 Lagos, Nigeria
13 Bern, Switzerland
15 Soeul, South Korea
16 Victoria, Seychelles
17 London, United Kingdom
18 Guangzhou, China
19 Tel Aviv, Israel
20 Abuja, Nigeria
21 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
22 Osaka, Japan
23 Brazzaville, Congo
24 Copenhagen, Denmark
25 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
26 San Francisco, U.S.
27 Los Angeles, U.S.
28 Libreville, Gabon
29 Nanjing, China
30 Tianjin, China
31 Shenyang, China
32 Noumea, New Caledonia
33 Qingdao, China
34 Chicago, U.S.
34 Chengdu, China
36 Conakry, Guinea
37 Honolulu, U.S.
38 Washington, U.S.
39 Yangon, Myanmar
40 Djibouti, Djibouti
41 Buenos Aires, Argentina
42 Sydney, Australia
43 Taipei, Taiwan
44 Paris, France
45 Dhaka, Bangladesh
45 Miami, U.S.
47 Boston, U.S.
47 Accra, Ghana
50 Bierut, Lebanon
50 Milan, Italy
50 Yaounde, Cameroon