Cost of Living in Canada | Country Guides | I Love Moving

Detailed Guide to Cost of Living in Canada

Posted Country Guides / November 6, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Before relocating to the second-largest country by area and the tenth-largest economy in the world, go over the cost of living in Canada and figure out how much money you’ll actually need to live there. Compare the costs with the ones you have in the US, and you will see how the relocation will bring you many financial benefits.

Moving to Canada will bring many benefits, like high-quality education, plenty of job opportunities, and universal healthcare. However, before you hire an international moving company and hit the road, go over some basic questions like Is it expensive to live in Canada, How much does it cost to live in Canada per month, and How much money do you need to live comfortably in Canada?

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Is Canada Cheaper Than the US

Long before you figure out how to move to another country, you should compare it to the US and see exactly how your life will be better after the relocation. Going to Great White North might bring up questions like Is it expensive to live in Canada compared to the US, and to be able to answer this, you have to go over all the basic costs.

Keep in mind that the currency is not the same. When relocating, you will first have to exchange USD for CAD because they are not the same currency even though they have a dollar in the name.

Data from the website Numbeo shows that you will save up on basic utilities if you relocate to CA since they are around 33% cheaper there. However, transportation is more expensive in Great White North, as well as cigarettes, which smokers won’t appreciate. Also, rent is generally cheaper, but it also depends on the location you chose to settle in.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Canada per Month

The amount of money you will need every month in CA will depend on many factors, for example, are you relocating alone, or are you moving for love and plan on moving in with your partner? Are you going to live in Vancouver or maybe some suburban area? Each decision you make will affect the overall Canada cost of living. If you are on a tight budget and wondering how to live abroad without dipping into your savings, you’ll have to opt for more affordable locations or consider finding a roommate. Finally, when you put all of the affairs in order, research and figure out the amount of money needed on a monthly basis.

How Utility and Grocery Expenses Affect the Cost of Living in Canada

When moving internationally or locally, you cannot escape paying for some things, and one of them is utilities. We already mentioned that utility bills are overall lower in CA, but this can change depending on where you opt to settle in.

Website Numbeo shows that basic utilities like garbage, electricity, cooling, water, and heating for a 915 sq ft apartment are, on average, $120 per month. If you want to have unlimited internet data, that will be an additional $59.

The next unavoidable thing on the list is food, and it is the main weekly expense. One of the first things you should know when relocating is that Canadians are big on eating out, and they do it at least once a week. If you are wondering how to live in another country and make friends, dining out is the Canadian way. Indulging in a quick bite in an inexpensive restaurant is around $13, while a three-course meal in a mid-range eatery for two people would be approximately $53. It is no wonder that Canadians spend a lot of money on restaurants, especially those in Toronto. After all, it is one of the best vegan cities in the world and a foodie paradise. As for groceries, some like milk, cheese, and beef are more expensive than in the US, while bread, eggs, and fruit are cheaper.

What Are the Healthcare and Education Expenses

CA might be one of the best places to live abroad with family because of its exceptional healthcare and education systems. The thing that is very different from the US is universal healthcare that covers 70% of all residents’ needs, while the private sector covers the rest. This healthcare is available to citizens and permanent residents, and every person eligible to use it pays around $4,300 a year.

The next thing that makes CA one of the best places to live abroad is its free elementary schooling and high quality higher education. If you have preschool kids, know that you can enroll them in private childcare and daycare that are around $740 per month.

What Are the Universities With Affordable Tuitions

Overall, Canadian universities are more affordable than those in the US. However, if you are looking for a way to save up but still get a quality education, you can check out some institutions with the most affordable tuitions:

  • The Memorial University of Newfoundland has seven faculties and six schools with a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs – yearly tuition fees around $8,680.
  • The University of Regina has ten faculties and one school that offer more than a few degree programs – yearly tuition fees here are approximately $15,180.
  • Royal Roads University offers programs primarily in a cohort model, which is ideal for working professionals – yearly tuition fees here are around $20,890.

What Are the Most Expensive Cities to Live in CA

Whether you are moving across the world or just across the border to Great White North, finding the city to call home should be one of your priorities. When the money is not the problem, you can easily settle in anywhere, even in some of the most expensive cities like:

  • Toronto – With an average price of $1,380 for a one-bedroom apartment, living in Toronto and finding a home there will not be cheap, but a variety of amenities and employment opportunities will be worth paying a bit more.
  • Vancouver – you will need around $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment, but living in Vancouver will put you in a diverse community with plenty of entertainment options.
  • Ottawa – a capital located in Ontario, offers plenty of open spaces, ideal for people relocating with pets, but with an average price of $940 for a one-bedroom apartment, it is not the cheapest city in the nation.

What Are the Most Affordable Cities in the Country

International relocation can make a dent in your savings, and if you want to lower your overall expenses consider settling in some of the most affordable spots:

  • Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario has beautiful scenery and a variety of employment opportunities across many industries. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $560, making it really affordable.
  • Rimouski is a city in Quebec where you will find some of the best jobs for women in science and engineering. Renting a one-bedroom apartment here is $380 a month.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Canada

No matter if you are moving overseas or across the state, your overall expenses will be different than the ones you currently have. When relocating to CA, the amount of money you will need to live comfortably will depend on your lifestyle and the location you choose to settle in. Moving to Toronto won’t be the same as relocating to Montreal.

According to data from the official government site StatCan, a working adult needs $50,000 a year to be able to afford rent, food, as well as outing, and dining out. However, if you are working in one of the top-paying fields, you won’t have any problems earning more than enough.

What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in CA

CA is the tenth-largest economy in the world. Like in many other developed nations, the service industry is the dominant one, employing three-quarters of the workforce. The country is also the nineteenth largest steel exporter, making manufacturing an essential industry. Furthermore, the oil and gas industry plays an important role in the country’s economy, as well as agriculture.

With this many industries represented in one location, you can easily see why CA is one of the best countries to live in and pursue a dream career. Go online, do the research, and apply for a few positions. If you are lucky, you might land one of the highest paying jobs:

  • Specialist physicians earn up to $283,700 a year
  • Family physicians earn $234,570 annually.
  • Dentists’ earnings come up to $161,650 a year.
  • Engineering managers’ salary comes up to $130,120 a year.
  • Senior managers in Finance and Communications earn around $98,070 annually.

What Are the Average Salaries in CA

One of the most common moving mistakes people make is not doing enough research about the location they are relocating to. Suppose you don’t know what the average salary is in CA. How will you know that you should negotiate with employers and get better conditions? If you still haven’t decided where to relocate, seeing average yearly earnings might narrow down the search. With the help of data from StatCan, we broke down average salaries in every province:

  • Alberta – $44,900
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – $40,700
  • Saskatchewan – $39,900
  • Ontario – $39,550
  • British Columbia – $37,255
  • Manitoba – $36,035
  • Quebec – $35,800
  • New Brunswick – $35,300
  • Nova Scotia – $34,265
  • Prince Edward Island – $32,000

If you are lucky enough to find a job before moving abroad, there are some relocation questions to ask employers that will make the whole process go smoothly and stress-free. Start by asking if they are willing to cover a part of relocation expenses, then figure out how they can help you adjust to a new country and company.

What Are Some Other Costs You Have to Think About When Moving Internationally

When you are getting ready to relocate, you will probably be busy thinking about documents needed to travel abroad or all the ways you can break the language barrier, so some expenses might slip your mind. That’s why you should hire an overseas shipping company to handle your belongings. When you don’t have to worry about how to box up shoes or even what to pack when relocating, you’ll have enough free time to research all the costs.

What Is the Income Tax Rate

CA is one of those countries that employ a progressive income tax system where higher-income earners pay higher tax rates. No matter where you are, you should know income tax rates:

  • A tax rate for a yearly income less than $35,818 is 15%
  • A tax rate for incomes between $35,818 and $71,616 is 20.5%
  • A tax rate for incomes between $71,616 and $111,016 is 26%

Keep in mind that provinces and territories can have their own rates and taxes on salaries, that’s why you should check government websites of the specific location you are settling in.

How Do Transportation Prices Affect the Cost of Living in Canada

Have you opted for shipping your vehicle to CA? If you hired an overseas moving company to handle your car, you wouldn’t have to worry about learning how car shipping overseas works because professionals will do it for you. However, you should check how the car will affect your expenses. Data from Numbeo states that a gallon of gasoline is around $3.24. If you opt for using public transportation, you will need $2.46 for a one-way ticket and around $75 for a monthly pass, which is a bit pricier than the US.

Is Moving Abroad Really Worth the Trouble

A big decision like relocation shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it is normal to have doubts and concerns about it. That’s why you should put down on a paper exactly how the relocation will improve your life. Settling in Great White North comes with many benefits, not only that there is universal healthcare, but their education system is highly ranked and affordable. Even though some cities are a bit pricey, salaries there are more than enough to cover all the expenses.

That’s why don’t hesitate to call an international moving company that can provide you not only with moving but also packing services while you are tying loose ends and researching the new home. International relocation might seem like a long process, but in the end, it is really worth the trouble of becoming a Canadian.

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