CANADA: COST OF LIVING

Canada continues to be one of the most popular places for migration. However, the most common question we often get from clients is – How much will it cost to live in Canada? Relocating to a new country is a big decision. As an immigrant, how much you will earn vs. how much you will spend on living expenses is a very important consideration.

Remember that Canada has a range of cities and regions in which you can live, depending on the lifestyle you are looking for, and the amount you are willing to spend on the basic costs of living. Before moving, it is a good idea to calculate how much this will cost you. For example, Vancouver may be one of the most expensive cities to live in, however, Winnipeg, Manitoba costs considerably less than most cities in North America.

In the chart below, you will find the average cost of rent across a few cities in Canada. This should give you a good picture of how much housing will cost when you move to Canada. Rent is usually the biggest expense for anyone in any city and is therefore important to calculate into your day to day costs.

 

CITY

 

 

RENTAL COST (3 Bedroom Apartment)

 

Toronto (City Center)

 

 

$3800+/per month

 

 

Toronto (Outside City Center)

 

 

$1100+/per month

 

Vancouver (City Center)

 

 

$3800+/per month

 

Vancouver (Outside City Center)

 

 

$2000+/per month

 

Winnipeg (City Center)

 

 

$1650+/per month

 

Winnipeg (Outside City Center)

 

 

$1100+/per month

 

Halifax (City Center)

 

 

$2200+/per month

 

Halifax (Outside City Center)

 

 

$1300+/per month

 

Most families will spend anywhere between 35% to 50% of their total income on living expenses. These include utilities, transportation, food, and clothing as well as some occasional expenses. For a typical family of four to live, the estimated annual cost averages to around $5200 CND per month. This does not include rent.

The average salary is what will keep you going when you move to a country like Canada. It is important to note that salaries can differ dramatically from one city or region to the next as cities often adjust salaries to match living expenses. The average net salary per month is around $3200 CND after tax. According to salaryexplorer.com, someone working in Canada will typically earn around $120,000 CND while salaries can range from $22,000 CND to $534,000 CND. This will also differ according to the position you are taking. As a newcomer, you may end up making less than in your home country as you acquire Canadian skills and work experience. For others, you will find that the salary in Canada is much higher than in your home country.

Outside of the various expenses migrating can bring, Canada’s “free” resources are a large attraction for many immigrants. For example, Canada’s healthcare system is funded by the country’s tax system. This allows Canadians to maintain their health in a basically no-cost system. There are no fees for a doctor’s visit or going to the emergency room, irrespective of the number of visits made.

Another resource that Canadians can enjoy is the free public school system for children up to the age of 18. For post-secondary education the prices in Canada are relatively low in comparison to countries like the U.S. and U.K. Annual tuition at Universities usually ranges between $6000 CND/per year to $60,000 CND/per year, depending on the program you choose. Canadian residents may also enjoy relatively lower tuition rates as compared to international students who are attending Canadian universities from abroad.

Everyone has a different expectation as to their standard of living. It is important to remember that the costs of living may be higher than what you are accustomed to in your home country. However, you will also gain a lot from living in the land of opportunities that will help you to secure a positive future.