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Canada - Cost of Living

The cost of living in Canada is favourable when compared to the UK and the US and many people choose to move there for that reason.

A lower cost of living means that it is more practical for people to go out more and if you wanted to eat in an inexpensive restaurant then a meal for one will cost around $13, while a meal for two in mid-range eatery would cost an average of $48. The cost of fast food in Canada is very similar to that of the UK and the US with an average cost of a meal at $7.50. If you were to buy a bottle of imported beer in a restaurant then the cost is just under $5, which is similar to that in the UK and the US.

When shopping for daily groceries the prices are very similar to those in the UK for some items. A litre of fresh milk will cost on average $2 while a loaf of bread can cost around $2.40. Buying mineral water is fairly expensive with the average cost of a 1.5 litre bottle at $2.25. Buying a bottle of imported beer in the supermarket has an average price of $3.75 and cigarette prices are comparable with a pack of 20 costing around $10.65.

One of the main considerations with the cost of living is the cost of transport. Those who need to use public transport such as a bus will find that the average cost of a local journey is around $2.60. If you want to purchase a monthly pass the cost varies depending upon the area that you are living in but can be as little as $50 and as high as $120. A taxi journey in a city centre of around 5km can cost on average $13 and if you want to take the plunge and purchase a car of your own then a new, average sized family car will cost in the region of $23,000.

Running a home can be costly and the monthly cost of utilities will need to be taken into consideration. The combined average cost of all utilities such as gas, electric, water and refuse disposal will vary according to the region and your usage but can be as little as $115 per month or as high as $310 per month. The monthly cost of having internet access at home is in the region of $40 a month, which is comparable to the cost of similar services in the UK and the US.

Renting a small apartment in one of the cities also has a variable cost with prices ranging from $650 up to $1400. A similar-sized apartment located outside the city centre will range from $600 to $1000 per month. A much larger apartment in the city centre will cost between $1150 and $2500, depending upon the city. A similar sized apartment located outside the city centre will cost between $1000 and $1800 per month. If you wish to buy an apartment in the centre of one of the cities then the price is worked out at an average per square metre and is currently $3800. Apartment prices outside the city centre are at an average of $2900 per square metre. Property prices are comparable with those in the UK and the US although in some of the smaller cities these are expected to rise as developments continue and more people move into the area.

Leisure pursuits should also be taken into consideration and gym membership is a very reasonable average cost of $50 per month, which is similar to costs in the UK. In some areas this can be as high as $70 per month. Going to the cinema will set you back around $11 per ticket. This average is similar to costs in the UK and theatre tickets are often cheaper than in the UK, depending upon where you are in the country.

The cost of clothes also varies but these are also reasonably priced. The average cost of a summer dress is $48 and a pair of sports shoes varies between $80 and $120.

Canada has some very rural areas and it should be considered that the cost of living will be very different in these areas as limited supplies of some items could push up prices, although this will be balanced by other aspects of life such as property prices.

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