Cost of living in Canada

Hi everybody,

Let's share our experience about the cost of living in Canada. It would be interesting to gather everything in one unique post.

Don't forget to mention where you're living: state and city (is it a big/small city?)

Let's compare the:

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices (per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub

Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

Thanks for your participation :)


I live in Downtown Vancouver with my husband (we are both professionals in our 30's)and 9 year old daughter. Just thought I would post and let everyone know what it costs to live here.

To live in a nice area of Vancouver, within 15 mins of downtown, you will need at least 1 million dollars to purchase a family home that is ready to live in. The same home would rent for approx 3000/mo. Our apartment in a trendy area of downtown is 2bed/2ba and worth approx 450K. Rental on the same apartment is approx 1800/mo.  If you go further outside of Vancouver, say a 1 hour commute, prices can be lower but you have to be careful what area to choose as some can be not very nice. To get a nice family home in a nice area 1 hour from downtown you will need to spend approx 700K.

Public transportation is not that great in Greater Vancouver although, there is a new Skytrain line being built from Downtown to the Airport which will help alot. I believe is cost approx $4 each way to commute in rush hour.

Food prices are another thing. I spend approx 800/mo for groceries for our small family. This does not include restaurant meals which we have 2-3/week. I know if you shop smarter one could get this down to about 500/mo but this is just a guess and in Vancouver life is so busy most people I know don't have time.

Health insurance is not really an issue, everyone is covered. Dental is usually covered by ones employer. To pay cash for a cleaning with xrays is about $200, I believe.

Education is free and for the most part very good. There is a fair amount of social pressure in Vancouver to send children to private schools and they are expensive, approx 10-15K/year per child plus extras. I do not send my child to a private school.

Energy prices seem reasonable to me. Electricity for our apartment is only 20 dollars/month. In a family home it would be about 150/mo, depending on how you heat your home. Overall in a home I would expect to pay about 300/mo for electricity and gas.

Internet is usually $50/mo, Phone around $30/mo, full digital cable is about $100/mo and cell phone plans are usually $50 for about 1000 mins.

Dinner out in a nice restaurant for 2 with wine, etc. will run about $100.

Beer in a pub is about $7. Coffee about $3 for a latte at Starbucks.

If anyone has questions about moving to Vancouver, I would be happy to help.

accommodation prices:  Toronto... decent apartment 1 bedroom, 800 downtown.  You can pay a lot more.

You can rent a decent house for around 1400.

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)TTC is excellent.  covers everywhere.  Fare is maybe $2 cash...I am from there but living in BCN and haven't been back in 6 can buy 10 adult tickets for around $14.

> food prices (per month, how much does it cost you?) For us, food was around...160 per month, but we are very frugal and vegetarian.  I have friends who spend 300 a week, but eat meat and buy organics.

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
OHIP covers us, don't know otherwise.  Dental is $200 - $250 for a cleaning.
> eduction prices (if you need to pay)  Oublic is free and pretty good, private can be very very expensive

> energy prices (oil, electricity)Depends enormously on your property.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)my mobile, $80 per month, haven't had TV a telephone or internet in years there.

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant $100, will get you a tablecloth and a decent can spend more and get amazing, and there are excellent meals for much much less.

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub:  Don't drink, but I'd guess $2.50 for the beer, and $1.50 for the coffee.  Tim Horton's does the best, according to my husband...

hy everyone, nice subject Julian thx!
Yes i think it's very interesting to know more about the cost of the life, personnaly am asking myself if i'll study there, more precisely in Montreal. It's just a seed in mind so i didn't try to found any sources or university websites so if somebuddy studied some years in this city can you tell me how it cost for a foreign student and a "not under contract between uni" student?
Also can you tell me what the change Candian dollar/ Euro is 'cause i know i could check on internet in a few second but it's more funny if you tell me :P


I'm heading for vancouver with two children aged 5 and 7yrs, I would like to live in the Coal harbour area would finding good schools be a problem? Is it ok for kids in that area?

The cost of living can vary a lot from a province to another, but also from one area to another within the same province.

I currently live in Waterloo, Ontario, a medium size city whose economy is mainly based on hi-tech, insurance, automobile industries, and 2 universities, about 100km West of Toronto. I have previously lived in Montreal (Qc), Quebec City (Qc), Vaughan (On), Toronto (On), Misssissauga (On).

> accommodation prices

A decent house in which you can move in immediately ?
- Quebec City: $125 000
- Montreal: $175 000
- Mississauga: $350 000
- Vaughan: $350 000
- Toronto: $375 000
- Waterloo: $250 000

Condos usually cost less but you have condo fees.

- 2 bedroom in Montreal (West): $700 - utilities included (gas, power, heating)
- 2 bedroom in Quebec City: $630 - utilities included (swimming pool, sauna, outdoor parking)
- 2 bedroom in Toronto: $1200 - utilities included (swimming pool, sauna, underground parking)
- basement apt in Vaughan: $850 (DO NOT EVER RENT A BASEMENT)
- 2 bedroom in Mississauga: $1200 - utilities included (3 level apt, outdoor pool, balcony, terrace with view on lake Ontario)
- 2 bedroom in Waterloo: $950 (3 level townhouse w/basement, patio to park)

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

As a general rule, public transportation in Canada is just awful: it is scarce, slow and expensive. I originally come from Paris, France, my judgment is therefore heavily biased: European cities are doing much better than N. American cities in general. Quebec City and Montreal have affordable monthly pass rates, Toronto rates are insane (in regards to the level of service you actually get for what you pay). York Region (North of Toronto) has a modern bus service. Vancouver has a surprisingly modern and fast transportation system, especially given the fact that traffic in the Vancouver area is a real nightmare, even for a Parisian.

> food prices (per month, how much does it cost you?)

It really depends on what you eat :P
Quebec City being remote you spend more if you want quality food. Montreal is OK but forget about Asian products, they are expensive and freshness leaves to be desired. Asian food in the Toronto area is cheap, fresh and plentiful. I assume it is the same for Vancouver and maybe even Edmonton and Calgary, as they all have large Asian communities.
European food is easy to find in Montreal at a very reasonable price. In Quebec City, whatever you buy is overpriced.

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

Basic health services are free throughout Canada. The main problem is wait times. For the rest (dental, optics), expect to pay about 4 times what you would pay in France, but with first class service. You can have extra coverage through your employer or from a private insurance. I have no idea of the incurred costs, my employer pays for it.

> education prices (if you need to pay)

For young kids, school starts at age 4 in Ontario and Quebec. Before that expect to pay $7 a day (Quebec) or $35 a day (Ontario) for daycare. From K to 12 public school is free. Quebec doesn't have a grade 12 but has 2 years of mandatory "Cégep" before going to University. Public Cégep is free too.

Public school can be very good, or very bad. I've had all but great experiences so far, until we moved to Waterloo in February. My daughter's new school is very bad, we're pulling her out of it and she's going to catholic in September. Catholic schools are free in Ontario. Note: I'm only talking about the francophone schools in Ontario, as this where my daughter goes.

University or College will cost $5000 to $20000 a year, depending on province and school. Quebec is the cheapest but has some very good universities, especially anglophone unis.

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

Gas (petrol) is currently around $1 a litre (sometimes 0.90$, sometimes up to $1.10). Electricity is super cheap in Quebec (they have a lot of hydro power), more expensive in Ontario. I pay around $100 a month for electricity, $25 to $55 for natural gas (depending on season).
Water prices are very low, sometimes water comes completely free, this why Canadians waste so much water.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

Canadians are being raped when it comes to everything that has to do with telecommunications, because most of these services are monopolies.

$45 for high speed internet, $40 for mobile phone, $30 for a land line, $30 for basic cable. Add sales taxes + hidden fees to it. In France I can get a bundle that gets me 25Mb/s internet + 100+ digital TV channels + phone plan with free calls to Europe and N. America for €30.00 ($45.00 CAD) all tx included... :sosad:

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

For $30 per person you will have something decent (if you don't drink). $50 or more will get you something good. If you drink wine expect to double that ;)

Don't forget to add 14% taxes (Ontario, Quebec) and 15% for the tip.
Go to European restaurants in Québec but DO NOT go to Asian restaurants EVER in this province. Anything labelled "European" will cost you an arm and a leg in Ontario, but otherwise you can discover cuisines from all over the world for pretty cheap.

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub

Coffee is about $2 at a Starbucks. Tim Horton's is around $1 but it is what you would call "jus de chaussette" in France (sock juice); it is filter brewed coffee, like the one you brew at home: something that would never sell in France or Italy (except at McDonald's).

Beer is... well I don't drink beer but it's around $4 or $5 I think, maybe less. Wine is shockingly expensive, even if it is local (the Niagara region has pretty good wines, but they're pricey!)

> Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

You probably did ;)

We are a one income family, with 2 kids (3 and 7). We can live decently with 1 professional salary in provinces like Ontario or Quebec, but I doubt that my wife could stay at home and look after the kids if we were in say Alberta or British Columbia.

hello gys!!
finally i find a forum that i can learn some info about living in canada!!
well,i am 18 years old and i am living in Greece!i want to live in Canada,Montreal just because life here is too expensive with no jobs!!although it's a very beautiful country,the system is for the rubbish!!:(
so,i was always wanted to move to another country and everyone tell me Australia or Canada!i prefer Canada!!could you please tell me what i have first to find?i mean how are there the things for Greek people?will i find a job easily?do i want a
visa?how much time do i have until i find
a job and a house?oh,and do i have to speak french?finally,are there any chances for immigrants to study?
thank you very much!i'll wate!

There are lots of Greeks in Toronto and Montreal, I honestly don't know about elsewhere, but the community may help you out.  You do not need to know french unless you live in Quebec, where it would be a good idea for getting a job.  You must need some kind of a visa to get a decent job, although there are illegals, I think it is a tough life. Contact an embassy for more information about that.  How much time do you have? Depends on how much money you have with you, and how long you can live on it.

Edmonton Alberta

Let's compare the:

> accommodation prices
Home 1200 sq ft: $400,00 + to purchase ($1500/mo to rent)
Apartment: 700 sq ft $900+/mo

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
$2.50 for bus

> food prices (per month, how much does it cost you?)
Around $500/mp for family of 4 not including restaurants

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
$1000 per year for Alberta Healthcare (doctors visits, emergency)
Dental and prescriptions will need private insurance.  @$150/mo

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)
Free basic education to grade 12 (ok $120 per year per kid for school fees)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)
House Electricity $ 150/mo
House Natural Gas $ 135/mo

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

Cable Tv $80
Internet High Speed $50
Telephone $60+
Cellular $40 for 100 minutes/mo

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
A good meal for 4 drinking non alcoholic drinks will be $100

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub
Pint of good draft beer $5.50   Coffee $1.25

House prices in Edmonton have gone from average $130,000 5 years ago to $350,000 now due to a big boom in the oil sector.  Land prices are outrageous.  Although comparing to other world centers, Edmonton is still affordable.


I'm a newly arrived franco in Toronto (North York to be more specific). So here's my take on living costs...

> accommodation prices: $1150 for a 2 bedroom apartment, heat included

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...): $90 for a bus pass, if you study or work at a university in Toronto

> food prices (per month, how much does it cost you?): not sure, $500 maybe???

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance): been to the doctor once since I arrived here, and it cost $50 for the vist because I don't have OHIP :-((

> eduction prices (if you need to pay): $1850 per semester for a full-time grad student

> energy prices (oil, electricity): don't know. Often included in rent

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone): phone - $30 per month, exclusing long distance calls

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and of a coffee in a regular pub: around $5

Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

hello all i would like to move to canada for a fresh new start from the beggining im from ireland and due to shortage of work for myself and rising cost of living i dont see any future there any more i have 2 kids 2 yrs and 1 yr i dont really have much money i mean i would have som to keep me for while not long abviously i would leave til i had a job set up first im a bricklayer and have beeen for the past 9 yrs now and like wot i do would like to find same work there around ontario , calgary areas would love some advice on this please thank you

hi everyone. me and my family want to move to canada. I  need to know some things so i would really appreciate it...

how much (per year) in university education for a PRC holder??

what is the average proffessional and non-proffessional salary?? like if someone is working the cashier in a supermarket do they get paid enough to support themselves??

how much money do you need to buy a car?? (if the transportation is so costy would a good used car be a better alternative??)

how hard is it for immigrants to find jobs if they were educated outside canada??

I'm planing to move to Canada in next 2 years and I find this page very helpful.

I'm a registered nurse and I'd like to move to Toronto or Mississauga. As I found on the internet salary for RN is app. 28-38 CAD. But I don't know if this is neto or brutto. Could you answer


Brutto....sad to say.

and what do i have to pay to get net salary (taxes...) and how much?

Hard to say, it depends a lot on if you have kids, how much rent you pay...the salary is fairly low honestly.  It kind of surprises me that an RN would earn so little, but I don't know.  Starting salary for teachers, first year in the public system is around 35,000.  Ball park figures.  The 38 would be better than the 28. 

Have you been to this site?  It's about nursing in Ontario....

Hi Guys ...

Here is what live is costing me in Greater Toronto Area (GTA): … iving.html

what is the average cost of living if you are living in toronto. i have a family of three more people including mrs and two girls 7 n 3. i ll be earning after tax around 3300/mth . is that good enough. im planning to rent sth around 1300/mth house.thanks.
just wana ask is it doable in this salary?planning to use ttc for myself and car  for mrs. we both have uk license.

Doable, but you won't be rolling around in cash and dining out all that often.  Rent is probably changing pretty quickly right now with the way the markets are...look at the Toronto Star Classified adds, … Rentals%22 They even have an RSS feed, and look also at the MLS site... to check out the prices.  If you keep the rent around 1300, you should probably be OK.  3300/month, is that net or gross, there can be a very big difference in what you take home at the end of the day...ah...after tax, does that include deductions, which can also be substantial.  You should look at that.

Hope this helps.

Yes, though, that looks doable, but it won't be extravegant. at all.  nor poor.

hey i am 18 and am lookin to move to canada in the next few years. what i need know know is if i move there will i be able to find a job quickly and if so what are the most abudndant jobs. what is the minimum wage. also if you could kindly tell me how much its going to cost me and one other person to live (on average)a month. if you could tell me that would be great

Hi, I need to compare Montreal and Vancouver life as the school I chosed has 2 branches .. which one should I chose?? easier life would be my preference for a smooth change =)

bird420: The cost of living varies throughout Canada. I can tell you what it's like in the Toronto, since I am from there. The minimum wage is $9/hour, and you can easily make that at a job in a mall. Just print out some resumes, walk into a store and ask for the manager. If you work as a waitor in a restaurant, the minimum wage is around $7/hour (with the idea that you will get tips). People usually tip 10-15% as a standard if service isn't horrible. You need to see whether tips are pooled or individual. I would say service and retail jobs are the most abundant as easy to get jobs for young people. However they are usually low paid with a high turnover rate, but can be a good starter as you look for other work. There are youth employment centres throughout the city to help with finding work.

If you want to live in downtown Toronto with a roommate, you will probably pay $1600/month for a 2 bedroom apartment. If you live outside of the downtown core, the cheapest would be a basement apartment for ~$700. Groceries can cost $100-$200/month per person. I have done it for $80/month, but I am vegetarian and quite frugal.

Both cities are nice, big, multicultural cities in Canada. It depends on what you like. I find Vancouver to be more outdoorsy and active, with a beautiful mountainous backdrop to the city and right by the ocean! Montreal is French and English speaking, with a good metro system, and is more 'European-like'. Vancouver is more American. I believe cost of living in Montreal is lower than in Vancouver, especially for rent. Montreal also has more convenient transit system as well as a very fun night scene. Vancouver seems to close early as a city too. I also find Vancouverites on average to be friendlier than Montrealers. Vancouver has more moderate temperatures but rains a lot, and Montreal gets COLDCOLDCOLD in the winter.

what is the average cost of living if you are living in toronto. i have a family of three more people including mrs and two girls 7 n 3. i ll be earning after tax around 3300/mth . is that good enough. im planning to rent sth around 1300/mth house.thanks.
just wana ask is it doable in this salary?planning to use ttc for myself and car  for mrs. we both have uk license.

Orenate wrote:
Doable, but you won't be rolling around in cash and dining out all that often.  Rent is probably changing pretty quickly right now with the way the markets are...look at the Toronto Star Classified adds, … Rentals%22 They even have an RSS feed, and look also at the MLS site... to check out the prices.  If you keep the rent around 1300, you should probably be OK.  3300/month, is that net or gross, there can be a very big difference in what you take home at the end of the day...ah...after tax, does that include deductions, which can also be substantial.  You should look at that.

Hope this helps.

Yes, though, that looks doable, but it won't be extravegant. at all.  nor poor

Riz wrote:
3300$/month is take home salary as gross salary is between 60,000-62,000$/yr. So with this salary and 2 kids n wife , now you think is it doable?cheers

hi,i'm josiane.i'm staying in india and i would like to go to canada for further studies precisely in alberta(edmonton) or vancouver.i would like to get more informations about the annual cost of studies (a diploma in computer field or any english course)for a foreigner.please help me by giving some advice.thanks

Hi, this is Eric. I am living in Montreal downtown. I have been living in Montreal for about 5 years. Before I lived here, I have stayed in Vancouver for a couple of years.

As for living expenses, I believe Montreal is much less than those in Vancouver.

For house or apartment, I believe Vancouver is much higher. To buy a house in Vancouver, it will cost you 1M. In Montreal, an downtown apartment,say 2 bedrooms, is about 350k. you can see the difference. Well, I rent an apartment with 1 bedroom in downtown, the rent is 660 per month. In Vancouver, it is at least 1200.

Transportation is fine. Both cities are similar. Now in Montreal, the monthly Metro pass is 68.50, a bit cheaper than as that in Vancouver. Of course, if you need go to south shore or Laval, you have to pay more, pretty much same as go to Richmond or Burnaby when you are in Vancouver. Recently, Montreal launched a new Bixi program, which is very convenient to use bicycle to reach any place in the town with a few bucks. The details are available at for Montreal, for Vancouver. If you are driving a car, as I know, the insurance is much cheaper in Montreal than that in Vancouver. The gas used to almost same. However, Vancouver has an extra tax on gas since last year, it will be cheaper in Montreal. Now it is about 1$ per litre.

Grocery expenses in Montreal is much amazing. Thanks to a blog I found, which listed every week's best deals at most grocery stores in Monrteal. The blog is My grocery bill is about 180 per month. In Vancouver, it reached 300 per month. BTW, I feed only myself.

Entertainment is almost same. Cinema is about 12 per movie. A beer in pub is about 7. My bill of cell phone is about 50, internet is about 500 per year. I have no TV bill at all.

I do not shop a lot. So I have no idea of any price difference of two cities. My friends in Montreal tell me a lot of discount information, but I am too lazy to try.

I am planning to work and live in canada after a year or two...can you please help me how? I already started applying for jobs in canada...Can anyone give me a good/honest and reliable jobsites where i can find jobs at the Front Desk Agents/Guest Services Agent? or any recruitment sites that might be of help.
I would really appreciate help..thanks in advance.

happybear and oooh, there's another but I can't remember-  Monster is good though

i lived in canada for 9 years it was sooo expensive

I have lived in newfoundland, labrador, toronto and nova scotia, the cost of living is relative. Anyone thinking of living in Canada should be aware taxes are deadly. Depending on your tax bracket you could pay 21 to 50 % of your earnings to the tax man.
Housing is the biggest expense. Electric, heating the second. Then groceries the third. If you live a modest lifestyle you can get by pretty well. If you want internet, cell phones, home phone,cable, gym memberships, etc.. then be prepared to pay a lot more. these things can add up to thousands a year. If you own a car insurance is not cheap. Plus the yearly or bi yearly inspections. Forcing us to maintain our cars ( which is a good thing)which also adds up.
It is really the same in any country i have found. it depends on what you want to do how you want to live and what your goals are while living abroad.
Healthcare is provided to Canadians, ( thats what taxes pay for)extra insurance is needed for eyes,and teeth and medicine.Not cheap either. Even then your still paying a fee or have limited coverage.
Canada is a good Country, but for those of you who have been told it is the best place to live, be aware no Country is without it drawbacks Canada included.
Most Canadians are unable to save, most Canadians live pay check to pay check. It is just the reality of life.
Travelling within Canada is outragously expensive as well.No thanks to tax surcharges.
Save at least three months worth of salary to get you through, ( a mininium of 4500 CAD and thats a very conservative amount)Jobs are hard to find these days. If you do not speak english or french learn it before you come here as well, it will improve your odds of getting a job in order to afford the cost of living here cause it is not cheap.;)

Quebec is a different province all together. Heating is not free in most provinces. ( Giving that our government is providing heat rebates to families here so they can afford to heat their homes)It may be included in your rental cost but someone pays for it.
I was born in Canada,was raised in Canada.
Mortgage rates have recently delinced with the recession and many people are continuing to loss their homes and jobs here because of the economy.Since the downturn banks are not so easily lending.
You have been fortunate.
I did say depending on your tax bracket your tax can be those amounts. Granted having kids gives you more of a return and lessens your contributions. I guess you have never made enough income to have to pay so much (I have)and being a single person you pay more. Each province taxs differently.In Toronto you could file for rent rebates, where I live now it is none existant.
I have also lived in Europe and things are expensive there as you say. As with anything cost of living is relative to the standard of living and economy of each country.
Many people live well here for sure, I can not disagree. I just think the cost of living is high and thats the reality of it. I have many friends who make minimum wage and they really find it difficult to keep up with the expense of things.
I drive everywhere as well and the price of gas is high everywhere. Since 2004 it has done nothing but go up. To the point where a few provinces have begun to regulate the prices. P.E.I for example.
So no I do not live in a different Canada I am just one Canadian saying we do have a high cost of living.:blink:

:)Thanks, Everyone certainly has their opinion. I am sorry to hear you could not secure work as a nurse. We need them!!! I know of med. prof. from many places who come in hoping to work, and are unable to due to the laws etc..It is sad.
I am very lucky to have been in the middle east before, have had a taste of it. I think it depends on what you want to do and what you want to prove as a woman that may be the issue for westerns, but I do not want to go off topic.
I just see too many people coming here with dreams and hopes that are not real, and they become fustrated and so on. So I just thought it fair to give them my thoughts, from my experiences of living and growing up here.
Take care, best wishes for everyone!


My. Self is hari krishan Bains. I have done first class MBA- Hr  and Msc - Computer Sciense. Right now working as a Sr. Officer - HR/IR/ ADMINISTRATION jOB in good reputed company.IHAVE ALSO CERTIFICATION IN FRENCH LANGUAGE. My wife is a aSST.ACCOUNTANT. She is also B.COMMERCE (PASS) Master in Computer Sciense.

My planing to GO CANADA FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE PUPOSE but i have some question in my mind. These are given below :-

1. What is the  job prosectus of HR and Accountant in CANADA?
2. What is the Basic pay scale start for Hr or Accountant?
3. Which type of facility we can get after migrate to CANADA ?
4. What are the other free benefit we can get from Govt after


I would be very glad to you. I am looking forward for your knowledge sharing.

Hari Bains

hi julian, how are u today, henry OKPO from western africa nigeria single not yet married, but hope to get married this year but i plan to relocate my family down to canada after my five years of married.

tell me the life generally as immigrant wih family?

thank you

henry Okpo

Hi everyone,

I am currently in India and my present Company is seconding me to Montreal. Hence, i want to know what would be cost of living in Montreal.

1. What would be normal rent of apartment. I would be accompanied with my wife. As well my office is located at Rue Carrie Derick. Hence, what would be nearby area to live in and rent for apartment there.

2. Electricity/GAs charges - What would be approximate Electricity/gas charges. Would it be included in my rent or would be extra.

3. Transportation - How is transportation in Montreal. Shall i purchase my own car, if yes, then what would be approx cost of used cars and what would be gasoline cost for same.

4. Grocerry - What would be approx Grocerry cost for 2 people.

Kindly provid me a honest feedback so as it will help me in judging the cost of living in montreal.

Since most people have a city perspective I thought I'd add the rural side of the equation. I doubt anyone is seriously considering re-locating to rural Nova Scotia since the pay is low and there isn't a great many job opportunities, but then again if you're in the medical field, this is a place you would be in high demand.

For a little perspective, I live in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. That's in Atlantic Canada. The town has a population just under ten thousand people, and when all the rural area and five other towns in the County are added together, it ends up around a population of around forty-seven thousand people. Life here is significantly different than in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, but then again, all of Canada is different because the country is so massive! I actually live closer to Dublin, Ireland than Winnipeg, Manitoba (somewhere in the middle of Canada).

As this is a rural area (about an hour and forty five minutes drive to Atlantic Canada's and Nova Scotia's largest city, Halifax), prices for places to live are cheep. This is, of course, offset by the fact that wages aren't high either. I rented a one-bedroom apartment for $375 a month with my heat included when I came here in 2003. I imagine that's higher now. I also rented a two bedroom small house in a nice neighbourhood, close to an elementary school for under $600 a month. I currently have a mortgage on a beautiful home on a flat, dead end street with a few young families and a few retirees. We're a three minute walk to an elementary school and the junior high and I can walk to work downtown in seven minutes. Great back yard... and the monthly mortgage payment is the same as what we rented the small house for. It applies everywhere... shop around. You can get a fantastic family home with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms here for $100,000 or less, and be right in town. There's something to be said for not being near the city.

Public transportation does not exist here. There used to be a bus service, but it closed down about twenty years ago. There's a put to re-start something, which makes sense here with six towns very close to one another, but until it makes more financial sense than it currently does, it's not happening. So you pretty much have to have a vehicle of your own.

My family, two adults and a two-year old, spend about $400 – 450 a month on food. We look for deals where we can find them, and do save in a number of areas, but we eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies, which get very expensive in the winter as it all has to be shipped in from the southern USA or further south. The farmer's market does not operate past October so buying local (and possibly saving a little) isn't an option for half the year. During the summer, you can drive right out to the farm and pick up anything. It's really great, but again, only in the summer.
That figure above also doesn't include eating out, which as lazy North Americans, we're all guilty of more than we should be.

Canada has public health care. All Canadians are covered by it, and if you have permission to live and work here you should be covered as well. Wait times can be long, but that's for elective surgeries. If something is serious you won't have to wait. It's a great system. Prescriptions can get quite expensive if you don't have coverage and are left paying for them yourself. Most people have some form of health insurance plan to help with this, and some needed medications are covered by the government.

Public education is free. Students are not required to wear uniforms in the vast majority of Canadian schools, but schools are sending bigger and bigger lists of supplies out every year. I don't remember using half of the stuff on my list in school, but it was still there. But education costs are just basic school supplies... and be prepared to see fund raising drive after fund raising drive throughout the year, especially for extra curricular activities.
Some schools can be a cesspool these days, but that seems to exist anywhere. I had problems with some other students, but I always felt safe at school, and the quality of education was good. I participated in some sports and other activities in high school as well, and look back on it fondly.
University is the sticky wicket here. Unlike some areas, third level/post-secondary education is NOT paid for by the government. They may offer a student loan, but these people will make your life miserable for the next twenty years trying to get the money back from a kid who took a pointless degree and is working in fast food. Didn't happen with me because I went to Community College, but my best friend will likely die still in debt over education costs. My wife owed somewhere in the neighbourhood of $35,000 for her four years. And while Nova Scotia has some of the finest universities in the country, it is well known for having the most expensive schools in the country. Costs in the range of $5000 – 6000 for a single year at Acadia, St. FX or Dalhousie isn't unusual, and that's for fairly standard courses, not medical or law school. I have no idea what it might cost a non-Canadian to study at those places, but you might owe your first born at the end.

If you're used to paying low fees for media in other countries, prepare to take it where the sun doesn't shine in Canada. My cable, phone and internet package costs over $100 a month. But the service is reliable and we don't have to pay for a TV licence. A mobile phone is also more expensive here than in the US or Europe.
Electricity is about $70 – 80 dollars a month, while I spend about $1000 a year on oil, which is how most homes in my area are heated. That figure could be way higher, but a sweater or blanket can usually do the job in the winter as opposed to blasting the heat all the time. This year I think I'm at about $800 on furnace oil.

My wife and I can eat out at a nice local restaurant for about $35... that's for both of us combined, plus the tip! Of course, we don't drink so something like wine isn't factored into that cost. And that's a local independent restaurant. If we're at a chain while visiting Halifax we can pay $30 each if we're having a really good meal and dessert too. Still, very reasonable considering that's a rare treat. Typical pub fare runs between $7 and $14 depending on what you're ordering.

I don't drink beer or coffee if you can imagine it. But a “double double” (medium coffee with two sugars and two creams) at Tim Hortons (iconic Canadian coffee/donut shop) can be picked up for under two bucks.

Here is some updated info for the Vancouver area.  I hope this helps for whatever it is worth.

thanks for the info guys! im planning to work in Canada and I only have little idea about the lifestyle there. Julien you're the best.Nice idea!

Hey guys... How much would you be looking at spending  on car insurance for a regular car on a monthly basis? And does anyone no how affordable life is in Sooke, BC?

I have been living in Calgary for 14 years and my wife for 2 years (I got married in my home countr). If you put in the effort and plan your career smartly while being patient that things take time, you will be rewarded. This is indeed the land of opportunities. I got university education and Canada and then went on to build a career here and could not be happier.

I am an expat. I have been to several different countries for both business and personal recreation purposes. I would say, I have always found Canada to be the most well-rounded place to live.

Ofcourse, salary as well as living expenses will vary greatly since Canada is such as huge country and there are so many different places where the economy is completely different as well as the infrastructure and population which all influence the living conditions.

I will give a bit of my own background:

Education: University of Calgary (BS. Software Engineering)
City: Calgary, Alberta
Average salaries in Calgary for professionals: $70,000 - $150,000 per annum (depending on your skills, experience and field).

My own salary: $100,000 per annum as a Software Engineer (includes stocks, shares, benefits, bonuses).

My workplace: Engineering department of largest communication company in Canada (Shaw)

My condo cost: $280,000 for a 950 sq-ft Condo (2 bedroom, 2 washrooms) in one of the best places in Calgary.

Condo fee: $306 (includes everything except electricity).

Electricity bill: $45 - $50 per month

Internet bill: $28 per month for high-speed ADSL

Digital TV cost: $50 with DCT included

Car insurance: $123 per month (with 7 years of driving experience. I am 32 years old).

Grocery bill for me and my wife per month (we cook at home with eating out twice a week): $170 - 200 for all

All in all, I am completely debt free and living costs in Calgary are low. As people know Calgary is the fastest growing economy in Canada. It has a huge range of different types of professional companies basing and working here so the opportunities available are very diverse. However, Calgary's economy mainly depends on Oil and gas.

That is why I chose Calgary as despite not being the most exciting city, it is extremely safe, peaceful, cheaper to live in compared to most North American cities and the salaries are as high as many of the strongest economies in North America.

Any questions are welcome.


Am presently a sales & Marketing professional in Nigeria.I have over 12 years working experience

I desire to live and work in Canada. Am presntly making arrangements to apply for immigrating to canada. I have 2 kids and a dependant.

Am thinking of applying for just me before bring my kids.I need some good advice on what it will cost if i bring my kids and if i come alone.

Were to live in Canada (Very affodable) accomodation, feeding, school ( my kids are 12,10 & 18(dependant)) and fares, how much will be enough for starters when we do come.

How easy is it to get a job. I need an urgent response.



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