By in Country Guides November 25, 2020

Have you been thinking about moving abroad to an affordable place with a high quality of life? If so, then the Great White North could be your best shot in 2021. When looking for the cheapest place to live in Canada, there are plenty of things you should consider. Luckily, as the second-largest country in the world in terms of size (second to Russia), Canada has a bit of everything for everyone.

If you’re thinking about moving to Canada, you’re probably wondering where is the cheapest place to live in Canada. Naturally, like everywhere else, the most expensive places in the Great White North are the larger cities as well as in the North and the Prairie Provinces. So, if you want to find some of the most affordable places to live in Canada, you should look towards smaller areas, especially in the provinces such as Quebec and Ontario.

Whether you’re moving to another country for love, in this case to Canada, or looking for the best places to live abroad with family, you should understand several things. First, the relocation means adjusting to a new country, and you should be aware that this process requires time and patience. Second, you can easily find the cheapest city to live in Canada if you know your priorities and preferences. Just make sure to promptly organize your international relocation – from the moving abroad checklist, preparing documents needed to travel abroad, deciding what to pack when moving abroad, how to deal with breaking the language barrier, and some simpler issues, such as how to move house plants long distance. Of course, don’t forget about your financial possibilities and criteria that should be fulfilled regarding your needs and wishes.

So, let’s find out the factors you should consider before moving internationally to the cheapest city in Canada.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Canada

Thousands of people who decided to relocate to the Great White North and call it their new home haven’t regretted this decision. So, why wouldn’t you in 2021 too? In addition to fantastic nature and friendly locals, Canada seems like a practical choice for Americans for several reasons:

  • English is one of the official languages
  • The economy is one of the strongest worldwide
  • There are a variety of urban and rural areas to choose from.

On the other hand, compared to the United States, food, gas, and consumer goods are all pricier in Canada. According to Numbeo, 1 liter of gasoline costs about $0.85, and data based on newswire.ca shows that the average Torontonian spends about $405 per month on food. Yet, many other things are less expensive than in the US, for example, medical care, college education, and utilities. Some costs depend on where you put down roots and your chosen lifestyle. That being said, the most significant differences in price between bigger cities, suburbs, and rural areas are in housing expenses.

Overall, the average Canadian salary is around $40,000 after tax. Statistics say that if you’re moving abroad alone, you should make a minimum wage of approximately $38,000 before taxes to reside in a big city like Toronto. It’s also good to know that Alberta has the highest minimum wage rate in 2020 at $11 per hour, and Saskatchewan has the lowest at $8 per hour.

Before Moving to Canada, Do Detailed Research About Your Prospective Place and Estimate Your Budget

You might not be moving overseas but you will still leave the US. So, if you’re wondering how to move to another country and how to live in another country, your first step is to find out how much are the costs of living in your prospective place. Also, find out if Canada has a limit on how much money you can remove by checking with your financial adviser, banker, or lawyer. It will be useful to visit the Canada Border Services Agency website and find out about items you can import tax-free and duty-free, and how much money you can bring with you across the border.

You should know that most Canadians spend 30% to 50% of their income on utilities and housing. If you decide to rent an apartment, rental costs vary across cities and the country. They are usually lower outside large places. If you choose to buy real estate, you’ll need to get a mortgage. Besides mortgage payments, you’ll need to pay for household insurance and property tax. These expenses mostly depend on the province and the place you’re going to pick for your prospective home.

Fortunately, the Great White North is packed with smaller urban areas with the big city feeling. The best thing about that is that these friendly places offer an affordable cost of living with all advantages you need for a fulfilled lifestyle. Whether you’re searching for a one-bedroom in the city center or outside the center, there are plenty of hidden gems where you can stay happy and be surrounded by breathtaking nature and busy city life.

Rental costs are usually lower outside large cities
Bigger the city, bigger the expenses.

Which City Is Best in Canada for Living? That Depends on Your Needs and Possibilities

We all know that larger cities offer many amenities and outstanding standard of life. Of course, when choosing among the most affordable places to live in Canada, you should determine what are your priorities in terms of:

  • Surroundings and neighborhood
  • Job (if you still haven’t found your employment)
  • School and education system as well as crime rate (if you’re relocating with kids)
  • Traffic and ease of transportation
  • Culture
  • Healthcare
  • Outdoor amenities, especially if you have children or moving with pets.

Canada is known as one of the friendliest countries in the world, and if your dream is to relocate there during 2021, know it is achievable. Moving to Toronto or living in Vancouver shouldn’t be your only option because there are numerous cheapest cities to live in Canada to get everything you’ve always wanted.

The Great White North has a bit of everything for everyone
Choose the place to your liking and needs, and it doesn't have to be some of the largest urban areas

What Province in Canada Has the Lowest Cost of Living

When it comes to the best places to live in Canada and choosing among the cheapest places to live in Canada, you should know that the east-central province, Ontario, is equally appealing to both Canadians and foreigners. It’s not only due to its beautiful nature and popular attractions but excellent job opportunities. Also, Quebec is another attractive province to put your roots down for good, particularly if you’re relocating with your family. It is considered the safest region in the Great White North, so if you have kids or would like to have them soon, this province might be your safe haven.

Besides Affordable Towns, Quebec and Ontario Boast Many Other Amenities Worth Trying Out

The cost of living in Ontario and Quebec fluctuates from city to city. If you want to find the most affordable cities in Canada, choose to reside in Windsor over Toronto (Ontario) or Trois-Rivières over Montreal (Quebec).

So, what are the benefits of residing and working in Ontario? We’ve compiled a list of several advantages you should know if moving to this province:

  • It is an entertainment hub – there are more than ten arenas and stadiums, the biggest annual Pride Festival in the world is held there, it’s home to Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, and Algonquin Provincial Park
  • High salaries – Ontario has the second-highest income in Canada
  • The area welcomes skilled workers from all over the world to fill many in-demand occupations
  • Ontario boasts some of the best medical healthcare centers and staff in the country
  • The province is an entrepreneur’s paradise

Now, let’s see what you can expect from Quebec if it is going to be your prospective choice:

  • It is a vibrant and rich multicultural province
  • It boasts an excellent education system
  • An unspoiled environment with strict environmental controls is an essential part of this region
  • Plenty of government programs supporting business and technological development
  • Close integration with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and US economic markets
Smaller urban areas offer great standards and affordable costs of living
Quebec or Ontario? That depends on your preferences

Which Is the Cheapest City in Canada? Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario and Moncton in New Brunswick Might Be Your Best Bet

As we already said, Toronto is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, and that might be why people think the entire Ontario is pricey to reside in. Actually, many other places throughout the province are very affordable and appealing. For example, Thunder Bay is an excellent choice if you’re searching for cheap places to live in Canada. Also, known as the fastest-growing urban center in the Maritime Provinces, Moncton in New Brunswick is another place that should be added to your bucket list.

Moncton Is One of the Best Places in the Great White North to Do Business

As a bilingual city, with French and English as its main languages, this place is perfect for everyone who wants to be part of a friendly community. Moncton is nestled between beaches and national parks, so it is perfect for outdoor activities. If you’re moving to Canada and looking for a job, this place might fulfill your needs because many employers tend to hire skilled workers fluent in English. Flourishing industries are related to finances, animations, gaming, and warehouse operations. It’s useful to know that rent per month for a one-bedroom in the center is around $550, and outside of the city center is $480.

If You’re a Nature-Lover, Thunder Bay Will Be a Perfect Choice

With about 108,000 residents, Thunder Bay is a small urban area but with excellent living standards. Families are attracted to it due to its low living costs – a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $740 and $620 outside the center. The good news is that you can buy your own house at very affordable prices – you should put aside only $165,000.

If you’re a nature aficionado, you’ll be fascinated by Thunder Bay’s natural beauties. It sits along Lake Superior and you’ll find more than 100 parks in the city. Outside the city’s borders, there are world-famous national parks, such as Kakabeka, Wabikimi, Sleeping Giant, so you can rest assured that you won’t be bored. If you’re moving with dogs or relocating with your cats, they will enjoy vast greenery and idyllic surroundings.

Thunder Bay will fascinate you with its nature
Thunder Bay is a small and affordable area

Consider Edmonton in Alberta as a Very Attractive Option Compared to Calgary

As Alberta’s capital, Edmonton is a surprisingly inexpensive place to live in Canada. With an average house price of $270,000, over 50 festivals annually, plenty of cultural events and museums, it is a very enchanting solution if you want to avoid expensive places such as Calgary. And if you like winter, Edmonton is like made for snow joys. You can join some locals in skijoring where pet dogs pull you around on skis.

Windsor in Ontario is a Proud International Gateway Between Canada and the US

Located across the river from Detroit, Windsor is the only city in the Great White North that looks north to the US. It is a great community that offers fascinating historical and cultural landmarks, unmatched parks, and first-class entertainment. Some of the most popular attractions that make this place unique are:

  • Windsor Sculpture Park
  • Chimczuk Museum
  • Gallery of Windsor
  • WFCU Centre
  • Willistead Manor
  • Mackenzie Hall
  • Adventure Bay Family Water Park
  • Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre
  • Ojibway Nature Centre.

And above all, the cost of living is around $1,070 per month (house rent, utilities, restaurants, transportation, cinema, groceries), and the average salary is about $1,700.

Regina, the Capital of Saskatchewan – the Economic and Cultural Hub for the Southern Part of the Province

If you’re looking for the cheapest place in Canada to live with a small-town feeling and all amenities that come with being a capital, Regina is the place to be. The most important industry is the agricultural and food sector, which is constantly growing. Regina’s goal is to become a growing center for agriculture and food finance in 2021. You will find everything you need in Regina. This lovely place is packed with greenery – it has more green spaces and parks per capita than any other city in the US. The average house price is $235,000, while the average salary per year is $64,400. Here are some fantastic things you can do in Regina whether you’re relocating alone or with your family:

  • Wander around the Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Watch cadets training, since Regina is home to RCMP Academy, Depot Division
  • Visit Saskatchewan Science Centre
  • Go back in time thanks to the Warehouse District
  • You can spend a day at the beach
  • Watch a football game – Regina is home to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, one of the biggest teams in the Canadian Football League

As the Second Oldest City in Quebec, Trois-Rivières Boasts Many Cultural and Outdoor Activities

Trois-Rivières is known as the Maurice region’s cultural hub and one of the oldest industrial places in the Great White North. It is situated about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. Its cost of living is around 4% below the national average. The Saint-Maurice River divides the city into two parts, with the old town and the center on the south side. There are many things to see and do on both sides, such as:

  • Go back in time in Trois-Rivières’ old city
  • Visit the Musée des Ursulines
  • Stroll around the Québec Museum of Folk Culture
  • Visit the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières
  • Don’t miss the magnificent Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Cap
  • Visit the birthplace of Canada’s iron industry – Forges du Saint-Maurice
  • If you’re a car racing fan, you can enjoy the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières each August
  • Spend a day on Saint-Quentin Island
  • Explore the Lac-Saint-Pierre Biosphere Reserve and immerse yourself in nature.

The Heart of Central Canada, Winnipeg in Manitoba – an Excellent Place for Families

If you’re looking for affordable places to live in Canada where you could spend pleasant moments with your family, you should consider Winnipeg, Manitoba. It seems to have everything – a rich cultural life, active sports happenings, and fantastic nature. That’s why it might be the right choice for you and your children. Also, it has a small population, several excellent schools, parks, Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Children’s Museum, and other recreational centers where your kids will enjoy.

With a population of about 750,000 and lots of entertainment, education, and jobs, Winnipeg also boasts low house prices. The average house price is $218,000, while the median employment income is $50,000 per year. And if you’re wondering how much a household spends per year, the average outgoings are $60,000.

When Looking for the Cheap Places to Live in Canada in 2021, Your Choices Are Numerous

We are sure that we helped you with our suggestions and words of advice before making the final decision where to settle down in Canada. Keep in mind that good research, hiring a professional international moving company and thinking ahead of time about packing, storing, and overseas auto shipping services are critical for a successful move. With good organization, your relocation will go smoothly. Moreover, moving to the Great White North shouldn’t be a very stressful process due to its vicinity to the US, the same language, and high quality of life. There are plenty of provinces where you can find an excellent quality of life and lower living costs. Thanks to a growing economy, friendly locals, and a clean environment, your relocation will be a fulfillment of a long-awaited dream.