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The Most Expensive Cities To Live in Canada 2024

Written by Jessica Steer
Reviewed by Stephen Hoenig
Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live, and you’re surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. It’s also one of the most expensive, with some of the lowest housing affordability. That said, some places in Canada are more expensive to live in than others.
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    That’s not just provinces either; some specific cities are more expensive than others, even if they’re in what’s considered to be an affordable province. 

    No matter where you live in Canada, though, the cost of living is considered to be fairly high. When choosing a place to live, though, you need to consider more than just the cost of living. What are the average wages? What’s the cost of purchasing a home versus renting? What’s the average cost of food? These factors could help you finalize your decision. 

    Housing Prices in Canada

    If you’re looking to purchase a home in Canada, you’ll notice that the housing costs vary greatly depending on where you look, and not all places in Canada have an accessible housing market. Instead of looking at the average house prices based on provinces, let’s take a look at the average housing markets in different cities in Canada. 

    CityPrice of Housing
    Victoria (Vancouver Island)$769,067

    These are considered to be some of the most expensive cities in Canada for purchasing a home, mostly due to the fact that they’re attractive destinations. As you can see, there’s quite a variety in pricing, but overall, Vancouver and Toronto seem to be the most expensive. However, if you stay in those provinces but go outside the city, you’ll see that those prices will lower the further you go. 

    Rental Prices in Canada

    In comparison to the most expensive cities you can purchase a home in Canada, it’s also a good idea to look at the overall cost of rent prices. Depending on what province you’re in and what city you live in, the rental costs will vary considerably. Let’s take a look. 

    CityMonthly Rent of 1-Bedroom ApartmentMonthly Rent of 2-Bedroom Apartment
    Vancouver, British Columbia$2,872$3,777
    Burnaby, British Columbia$2,647$3,341
    Toronto, Ontario$2,607$3,424
    Oakville, Ontario$2,524$3,337
    Mississauga, Ontario$2,352$2,851

    As you can see, both BC and Ontario have some of the highest rent prices in all of Canada. Actually, 25 of the most expensive cities to rent in Canada are located in these two provinces making them two of the most expensive provinces to live in Canada. That said, these provinces also have relatively high wages. 

    Cost of Groceries in Canada

    While the cost of food has been relatively high for a while in Canada, we’re actually seeing the average cost of groceries go down for 2024, no matter where you live. On average, a single Canadian pays $248 per month in groceries, which has gone down from $307 per month. For some Canadians, this is a huge relief from the constant rising prices. 

    No matter where you live in Canada, though, you’ll see these prices vary. Cities that are farther away will tend to have more expensive groceries, whereas those that are closer to warehouses and such will have a slightly lower cost. That said, though, there isn’t going to be a massive difference unless you live in extremely rural parts of the country. 

    Most Expensive City in Each Province

    While we have mentioned some of the most expensive cities to purchase or rent homes, we haven’t talked too much about the overall cost of living. Let’s take a look at which is the most expensive city in which to live in each province. 

    British Columbia

    It might not be surprising to learn that Vancouver is the most expensive city to live in British Columbia. We’ve already mentioned that rent is an average of over $2,000 per month, but that doesn’t even include the overall cost of living. It can cost up to $4,132.30 per month, not including the cost of rent. For many, this can be a challenging city to make ends meet, which is why many choose to live on the outskirts. 


    The most expensive place to live in Alberta is Canmore. The monthly cost of living with rent is $3,652. The average rent is still very high, at $1,922 per month. However, the average salary here is only $38,829, while other Canadian cities continue to have higher annual salaries while still within travelling distance. 


    Even though it’s much cheaper to live in Regina, Saskatchewan than in Vancouver, BC, Regina is the most expensive city in Saskatchewan. The average cost of living for a family of four is $4,992 per month, and for a single person, it is $2,350 per month. These numbers also factor in the monthly cost of rent and contribute significantly to the higher cost of living. 


    Manitoba is considered to be one of the most affordable provinces to live in Canada. That said, the most expensive city here is Winnipeg, the capital. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,278.64, and $1,914.05 for a three-bedroom. The average cost of purchasing a home is $345,700, and the average cost of living is $2,135,10.

    Nova Scotia

    The most expensive city in Nova Scotia is Halifax. Here, the average cost to purchase a home is $652,313. The average cost of living per month is $2,445.37. The average cost to rent a home is $2,800 per month, with the cost of a one-bedroom apartment being $2,114 and a two-bedroom apartment being $2,828 per month. 

    Prince Edward Island

    In PEI, two cities are considered the most expensive to live in: Charlottetown and Summerside. In Charlottetown, the median price of a home is $450,198, and the average cost of rent is $2,352 per month. The average overall cost of living, including rent, is $3,393 per month. 

    In Summerside, the median cost of a home is $360,000, and the average cost of rent is $1,579 per month. The average overall cost of living is $3,381 per month. 

    New Brunswick

    New Brunswick is another province that’s considered to be one of the most affordable to live in Canada. That said, it does have a city that’s more expensive to live in than other cities: Fredericton. 

    In Fredericton, the median home price is $467,463. That said, the average cost of renting a home here is only $850. The average overall cost of living here is $2,966 per month, and the cost of housing is included in this monthly average. However, the job market in New Brunswick is booming, and with the increase in remote workers, more Canadians are moving to other smaller cities, including eastern Canada. 

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    The most expensive Canadian city in Newfoundland and Labrador is St John. Here, the median price of a home is $339,400, and the average monthly rent is $1,255. The overall average cost of living per month is $3,083, compared to the average annual income, which is $50,780.

    Cheaper Alternatives to Expensive Cities

    Just because there are several cities in Canada that are considered to be the most expensive, this doesn’t mean that all cities in Canada cost this much. There are many cheaper cities in Canada that are much more affordable and also have an abundance of job opportunities.

    Abbotsford, British Columbia

    The City of Abbotsford is located roughly a 1-hour drive from Vancouver, BC. It’s also Canada’s largest city in BC outside of Vancouver, with a population of between 150,000 and 200,000. The median cost of purchasing a home here is $1.1 million, with an average cost of rent being around $1,500. For a single person, including the cost of rent, the average cost of living is $3,569 per month. 

    Even with the limited housing supply, living costs are more affordable here than in larger major cities. Abbotsford is also close to many other sought-after destinations at a more reasonable cost. On top of all that, Abbotsford is known for its diverse population and inclusion of diverse cultures. It’s also a great place for those looking for a diverse economy. 

    Windsor, Ontario

    Windsor, Ontario, is another city in BC that has a lower cost of living. It is located about 400km from downtown Toronto. The average housing prices here are only $563,309. The cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is $1,420 per month, and a two-bedroom apartment is $1,665 per month. 

    Laval, Quebec

    Laval is another popular city in Quebec, 267 kilometres from Quebec City. Here, the average cost of purchasing a home is $709,000, and the average monthly rent is $2,050. For a single person, the average cost of living is $3,671 per month. Plus, like many other cities in Canada, Laval is a vibrant city that has urban sophistication as well as an abundance of cultural diversity.

    Red Deer, Alberta

    In Alberta, there are plenty of cities that are affordable to live in. Out of these many cities, though, one that’s notable is Red Deer. It’s located 150 kilometres away from Calgary and 154 kilometres from Edmonton. 

    In Red Deer, the cost of purchasing a home is an average of $400,000, and the cost of renting is $1,400 per month. The total average monthly cost of living for a single person is $3,133. While it isn’t a major city like Edmonton or Calgary, it’s still quite large, with a population of around 105,00 people. 

    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    In Saskatchewan, one of the most affordable cities to live in is Saskatoon. The average home price is $411,913, and the average cost of rent depends on what type of dwelling you’re renting. For a one-bedroom apartment, the cost is $1,395, and for a two-bedroom apartment, it is $1,450. For a single-family home, the monthly rent average is $2,150. The total average cost of living is $3,815 per month for a single person. 

    Bathurst, New Brunswick

    New Brunswick is also considered to be a really affordable place to live in Canada. In Bathurst, specifically, the median cost to purchase a home is $285,667, with the monthly average cost of living being $3,415. The average cost of rent is $1,000 per month. Bathurst is only 255 kilometres from the provincial capital of New Brunswick, which is Fredericton. 

    How Expensive It Is To Live in Canada Compared to Other Countries

    While Canada is considered to be a very expensive country to live in, it isn’t the most expensive. However, it is in the top 21. When these stats are made, though, it’s important to remember that they’re based on income vs cost of living, not just the cost of living itself. 

    The Cost of Living in Canada Compared to the US

    The US is another country that’s very expensive to live. In each of these countries, there are aspects associated with the cost of living that are more expensive than the other. For example, in the US, healthcare can be very expensive, even if you have health insurance. On the other hand, healthcare in Canada comes at no cost to Canadian residents. 

    The cost of housing in the US is also much less than that in Canada. This is because the cost of housing has increased dramatically since 2020, but this didn’t happen quite as dramatically in the US. Plus, high-paying jobs are more abundant in the US than in Canada; however, both countries are known to be open to the global talent market with the introduction of extensive remote work flexibility and more jobs that are in high demand. For these reasons, living in Canada can actually be more expensive than living in the US. 

    Overall, though, which country is more expensive to live in depends on your individual situation. That said, for many, the US is actually more affordable to live in than Canada. The majority of that reason is the high living expenses in Canada. It’s not just the high costs to purchase housing in Canada, though; the cost of food and other basic needs is actually higher in Canada. 

    Final Thoughts

    In Canada, there are many cities that are more expensive to live in than others. Large Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto are some of the most expensive places to live, but they aren’t the only ones. There are plenty of other cities in Canada that are less expensive but still offer similar amenities. 

    The more rural you get in a province, the more affordable it is. That said, the cost of living still varies based on the province in which you live, and, as we know, some provinces are much more expensive to live. No matter which province you decide to live in, you can do your research and find the most affordable place to live that fits your lifestyle.

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