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REVEALED: The Cost of Living in Canada Right Now

Here are the details of Living Cost you need to Spend During Your Stay in Canada!

Canada is one of those places people fall in love with and never want to leave. With gems such as the Winterlude Festival and the pleasant weather all year round, it’s no surprise that Canada has one of the highest immigration rates in the world!

With renowned universities and a booming economy, Canada is a choice destination for both students and working professionals.

In fact, the country is a melting pot of cultures and you'll fit right in. And here's the good news: Canada is known for being much more affordable than other major cities such as New York City and London.

Before you set your sights on Canada as the ideal study abroad destination, it is always useful to prepare and find out about aspects like cost of living.

Cost of Living in Canada


Whether you are working or studying, these are the four main areas of cost you should consider in your budget.

❖ Accommodation

❖ Transportation

❖ Food

❖ Healthcare & Fitness

Excluding rent, we estimate that you will need around C$1000 per month.

As Canada is a vast country, there are significant variations in the cost of living between cities and between urban and rural regions.

In Vancouver, the cost of living will be much higher than in rural Kedgwick (which is in the heart of the Appalachian mountains!).

While you may be attracted to the towering skyscrapers and iconic CN Tower in Toronto, be prepared for the much higher cost of living in Canada’s most expensive city!

Some of the more expensive cities include Vancouver and Victoria, while Moncton and Abbotsford are among the most affordable cities.

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A Breakdown of The Cost of Living In Canada

❖ Accommodation


In most cities, housing is less costly for students as you have the option of staying in a student dorm.

For students, staying in a dorm will cost C$550 in Montreal, C$600 in Toronto, and C$460 in Calgary.

Want more privacy? Renting a small apartment will cost around C$640 in Montreal, C$1000 in Toronto and C$900 in Calgary.

If you plan on settling down in Canada for the long-term, you might want to purchase a house. It is generally much more affordable to buy a place in rural towns than in the cities. Buying a home will set you back around C$500,000 on average.

❖ Transportation

Depending on the cost of public transportation in the city, it might be more cost-effective to buy a car. A car costs about C$20,000 and a litre of gasoline costs C$1.02.

Most people living in cities buy a monthly transportation pass, which gives them unlimited bus and train rides. A pass costs C$83 in Montreal, C$107 in Vancouver and a whopping C$145 in Toronto.

For those living in Toronto, taking a taxi is also an option, as the city has the cheapest taxi fares in North America!

Fancy spending a weekend exploring other cities or far-away national parks? You can make your way there by long-distance train, by bus, or by plane.

❖ Food


Looking forward to the never-ending poutine and Nova Scotian lobster rolls?

In Canada, you can sample the local delicacies and even food from the Middle-East and Latin America, courtesy of the massive immigration population!

Want to try out all the best restaurants in town? A meal for two will cost around C$70 in Toronto and C$60 in Montreal.

On a budget? You can get a fast-food meal from C$10.

Missing food from your home country and want to try your hand at cooking it yourself? There are both regular and international supermarkets available for you to get your ingredients!

In Montreal, a month of groceries will set you back around C$200. On the other hand, you’ll have to budget at least C$350 in Vancouver and C$450 in Toronto.

❖ Healthcare & Fitness

Free healthcare is a major perk of life in Canada. Citizens and PRS enjoy free healthcare insurance, free medical checkups, and free dental!

As a student in Canada, it is compulsory to get health insurance. While Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan offer free health coverage to international students, other provinces do not.

The coverage of your insurance also depends on the length of your study visa. You should refer to your university’s website for more details so you can be prepared before moving to Canada!

Otherwise, a doctor's consultation costs C$100. Antibiotics and cold medicine cost C$25 and C$10, respectively.

With an abundance of natural spots, you can engage in outdoor activities such as sightseeing and hiking out in nature to keep fit.

Prefer working out in a gym? A gym membership costs around C$60 a month.

Costs Overview*:

Meal in the CBD: C$17

Combo meal at a fast food restaurant: C$10

Litre of milk: C$2.40

500g of boneless chicken breast: C$8

12 large eggs: C$3.94

Public transport (monthly ticket): C$109

A pair of jeans (Levis or similar): C$79

Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area: C$2,149

Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area: C$1,637

Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area: C$1,600

Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area: C$1,155

4 rolls of toilet paper: C$2.98

Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz): C$5.32

*Taken from Expatistan for costs in Canada

Prepare and Plan Well For Your Canada Adventure

To enjoy life to the fullest in Canada, you wouldn’t want to be dealing with budgeting issues in the middle of your stay. Before you set off, make sure to understand the cost of living in Canada and come up with a budget.

Working while studying without a work permit is possible in Canada. As an international student, you can work up to 20 hours a week during the term and full-time during the holidays.

If you’re keen to live and study in Canada, our counsellors are always ready to help. They know what it’s like to be an international student and will provide helpful advice to help kick-start your journey.

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