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The Cheapest Places to Live in Canada in 2022!

The cheapest places to live in Canada are present in abundance. We can categorize them according to our needs and preferences. Whether you are looking to settle somewhere in Canada permanently or looking to rent, there are many factors that you need to consider before choosing the ideal place.

Canada is not a very cheap country, but also not the most expensive one. As per the World Data based on the average cost of living, Canada was on number 21 out of 109 countries

The country comprises territories and provinces that have different provisions for taxes and costs. When you compare the costs with the rest of the world, Canada is quite expensive. However, some places here are cheaper than others. For instance, Vancouver is more expensive than Toronto.

The cheapest places to live in Canada are dependent on many factors. These places include BC and Surrey and Ontario in Kingston. Other places where you can thrive in Canada include the prairie provinces like Halifax, which is considered one of the best places to stay in Canada. 

Read: How To Select The Perfect Location For Retirement In Canada?

How Much Money Do You Need to Reside in Canada?

According to Numbeo, Canada is the 26th most expensive country to live in the world. However, when compared to the U.S. these living costs are lower:

  • Consumer prices in the U.S. are 0.20% more than in Canada. (Excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices Including Rent in the U.S. are 7.09% more than in Canada.
  • Rent prices in the U.S. are 23.09% more than in Canada.
  • Restaurant prices in the U.S. are 3.56% more than in Canada
  • Groceries prices in the U.S. are 0.84% more than in Canada.
  • Local purchasing power in the U.S. is 22.12% more than in Canada.

Hence if you are living in Canada, you need $1,131.39 as a single person and approximately $4,055 for a family of four members which does not include the rent. 

Read: Top 15 RRSP & TFSA Mistakes To Avoid In Canada!

How to Find the Cheapest Places to Live in Canada?

Firstly, you have to assess the living costs in different provinces. When you find the cheapest place to live in Canada, the house may be affordable, but don’t forget the other needs like groceries, medicines, etc. which can be expensive. You should also have a look at the provincial taxes before moving out. 

To answer all these questions, we have created a comprehensive list of the cheapest places to live in Canada. You can compare the different prices and find the place where you will thrive. 

List of Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

1. Quebec City, QC

  • Annual median income: $40,229
  • Current population: 832,110 people.
  • Main attractions: Flamboyant cobblestone streets, Fort City as old as 1608, boutiques, bistros, the Saint Lawrence River, a UNESCO site.
  • Average home cost: $459,955
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,071.66, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs which are available: Public administration, defense, and tourism. 

This quaint city is very safe for people of all ages, its ancient history dates back to thousands of years. The city has a European touch with Chateau Frontenac Hotel and Citadelle of Quebec, situated at the city center. 

This is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada, with the action like the big cities. For the facilities that you get here, the prices are much lower. It is 7.26% cheaper than Toronto for living, and 5.40% cheaper for rent. 

Read: How Will You Receive The OAS & CPP Pension On Moving Abroad?

2. Sherbrooke, Quebec

  • Annual median income: $78,120
  • Current population: 167,762 people.
  • Main attractions: Natural beauty, lots of heritage sites.
  • Average home cost: $249,000
  • Cost of living for each person: $924.89, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Clothing, textile, education, and electronic parts.

Sherbrooke tops the list of cheapest places to live in Canada, and it is situated in the southern part of Quebec. It is 20.81% cheaper than Toronto and the rent is 68.93% less than Numbeo. 

As compared to Montreal, the costs of living are 13% less.

Read: 13 Amazing Places to Retire in Canada!

3. Saint John, New Brunswick

  • Annual median income: $79,586
  • Current population: 784,156 people.
  • Main attractions: Ancient buildings, Bay Of Fundy
  • Average home cost: $252,871
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,237.64, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Good IT education, the most ancient biggest shipbuilding industries. 

Saint John is more expensive than Toronto by 2.24%, however, the rent here is unbelievably 60.32% lower than in Toronto. It is one of the best and cheapest places to live in Canada, and also has many attractions to keep you busy.

This city is situated at the Bay Of Fundy, which is developing rapidly. This is a historical place where you can stroll by the farmer’s market which is situated in a building that dates back to 1876.

Read: Creative Side Hustles in Canada to Increase Your Earnings in 2022

4. Halifax, NX

  • Annual median income: $69.553
  • Current population: 414,777 people.
  • Main attractions: 11th most proficient university around Canada, Dalhousie University, Port City.
  • Average home cost: $406,000
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,209.69, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Fishing, forestry, port agriculture. 

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, and it is one of the most essential economic centers in Canada. You can find great public and private facilities here. The restaurants are cheap here but groceries are expensive. However, it is still less expensive than Numbeo, or Toronto.

Halifax is 0.83% more expensive than Toronto and the cost of living is 34.62% less in the case of housing. 

Read: The Top Discounts for Seniors in Canada: A Must Read!

5. Laval, QC

  • Annual median income: $66,070
  • Current population: 48,988 people.
  • Main attractions: Montreal suburb region, situated on Île Jésus, natural beauty, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul historic district
  • Average home cost: $367,990
  • Cost of living for each person: $965.94, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Pharmaceutical technology, industrial, retail.

Lavan is situated in the Greater Montreal Region on the Île Jésus on the Prairies River. This city has beautiful waterfront trails and the Nature Center with blooming gardens, cattle, and ponds. 

It’s history-rich and the neoclassical buildings and cafes are a hit for quaint lovers. Different educational and working avenues include SAP, and the University of Montreal. It is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada and it is 17.39% cheaper than Toronto for living. The rent is 52.19% cheaper too. 

Read: 20 Amazing Ways To Save Money On A House In Canada

6. Montreal, QC

  • Annual median income: $41,729
  • Current population: 1.8 million people.
  • Main attractions: European aesthetic, world’s largest underground complex, 2nd biggest economy. 
  • Average home cost: $565,421
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,108.28, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Aerospace, telecom, pharmaceutical, and electronic goods.

Montreal’s population is the biggest in Quebec and people who reside there have European heritage. It is the epitome of ‘Indoor cities’ and it is also the entertainment hub of the province. 

The 5th most sought out university is also situated here. And the HQs of 5 big corporate banks are also situated here. 

In the case of entertainment, you can roam around a lot and experience-rich art, venues, and entertainment. It is an ideal place for young people to preside. Montreal is also 5.14% cheaper for living than Toronto and rent is 39.43% less. 

Read: The Ultimate Guide on How to Buy a House in Canada

7. Abbotsford, BC

  • Annual median income: $72,511
  • Current population: 161,584 people.
  • Main attractions: Extensive farming, close to the border of the U.S. 
  • Average home cost: $1,013,514
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,113.70, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs that are available: Agriculture

Abbotsford is in the vicinity of Vancouver and is the most affordable city in BC. The cost of living is 17% less. The rent here is also less by 35.45% than in Toronto. The temperature is moderate and is also the warmest place in Canada on this list. 

Read: How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement in Canada?

8. Lethbridge, AB

  • Annual median income: $74,084
  • Current population: 102,911 people.
  • Main attractions: Highest and longest steel trestle bridge, 130 beautiful parks, Lethbridge Viaduct. 
  • Average home cost: $356,573
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,265.66, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Agriculture, education, healthcare, retail, and hospitality.

Alberta is considered one of the cheapest places to live in Canada and Lethbridge is one the most affordable cities in that country. The climate here is cold winters and a dry and warm climate for summer. The main employment driver is agriculture and the other leading industries here are transportation, industrial, and finance.

The place is lush with 130 parks. In Lethbridge, you can live 3.87% cheaper than in Toronto, and the rent is also 49.56% cheap. 

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9. Regina, SK

  • Annual median income: $104,401
  • Current population: 263,184 people.
  • Main attractions: Parks, Saskatchewan Science Center, Wascana Lake.
  • Average home cost: $307,900
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,166.14, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Oil, natural gas, and Potash.

Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan and has beautiful Canadian cultural attractions which comprise The Royal Saskatchewan Museum and MacKenzie Art Gallery. It also includes the RCMP Heritage Center which houses the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

As per Numbeo, Regina is 6.53% less costly for living than Toronto and the rent is also 48.03% lower as compared to Toronto. While this country is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada, remember that it is also the one that is brimming with crime in Canada.

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10. Nanaimo, BC

The Cheapest Places to Live

  • Annual median income: $37,050
  • Current population: 103,071 people.
  • Main attractions: Vancouver Island University Campus, Harbor city.
  • Average home cost: $769,700
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,251.87, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Government, forest, coal.

Nanaimo is a scenic city which is situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island and it is one of the best and cheapest cities for international students in Canada. The climate is moderate but the cost of living is a bit high, but the rent is 33.98% lower. 

11. Edmonton, AB

  • Annual median income: $121,630
  • Current population: 1,491,000 people.
  • Main attractions: the University of Alberta, capital of Alberta, and festival city of Canada. 
  • Average home cost: $470,400
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,192.46, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Petrochemical, financial, oil, and gas. 

Alberta is deemed as the cheapest province to live in Canada. You can earn a quite good salary here with opportunities in oil and gas, also it is the regional financial center, with great universities for students. 

The employers are scattered in abundance around the area. It is also a city brimming with attractions like festivals, and heritage sites. As per Numbeo, Edmonton is 2.09% cheaper for living than Toronto, and the rents are 43.59% less too.

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12. Kitchener, ON

  • Annual median income: $70,774
  • Current population: 51,368 people.
  • Main attractions: 8th best university in Canada, KOI festival, German heritage, University of Waterloo.
  • Average home cost: $841,764
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,108.5, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Manufacturing. 

Kitchener is also the twin city of Waterloo and has major players for employment like Toyota Manufacturing, Manulife, and Sun Life Financial. 

Kitchener is 7.55% cheaper for living than Toronto, and the rent is also 30.49% cheaper. 

13. Charlottetown, PEI

  • Annual median income: $78,220
  • Current population: 80,347 people.
  • Main attractions: Gothic Revival St. Dunstan’s Basilica, coastal, historical, and Victoria row.
  • Average home cost: $337,148
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,269.48, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs are available: Aerospace, IT, bioscience, employment, and agriculture. 

Anne of Green Gables used to live in Charlottetown, which is a mystic show about a girl growing up. Victoria Row also provides restaurants and shops. 

This city is the city rich in culture, old buildings, and green rolling hills. You can feel both the traditional and city vibe. PEI is one of the best and cheapest places to live in Canada based on hospitality and friendliness. 

Read: How To Select The Perfect Location For Retirement In Canada?

14. Windsor, ON

  • Annual median income: $55,450
  • Current population: 337,680 people.
  • Main attractions: Engine plants of Ford, waterfront, vibrant 
  • Average home cost: $185,584
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,100.81, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs which are available: Ford plants, casinos.

As per Numbeo, Windsor is 8.05% less expensive than Toronto based on living. The rent is also lower by 40.29% than in Toronto. Windsor is known for the production parts of Ford and is situated around Detroit City. There are lots of waterfront monuments that are there in the honor of the armed forces of the Dieppe Garden. 

Its population is the 3rd largest in Southern Ontario. The prices in Windsor have been rising in recent times, but it is still more affordable than the other places in Canada. 

15. Winnipeg, MB

  •  Annual median income: $68,402
  • Current population: 864,026 people.
  • Main attractions: Historic intersection of Red and Assiniboine rivers, festivals in the summer, green space. 
  • Average home cost: $364,817.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,134.18, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Aerospace, ICT, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing.

Winnipeg is more expensive than any other country in the provinces of Manitoba and it is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada. It is also the 67th biggest city in Canada. The winter sees snowfall and the summers are warm. There are ample employment opportunities in manufacturing, agriculture, and education. As per Numbeo, Winnipeg is 5.35% cheaper than Toronto for living and the rent is also 46.65% lower. 

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16. Red Deer, AB

  •  Annual median income: $95,630
  • Current population: 107,646 people.
  • Main attractions: Bower ponds, Red Deer College, Alberta sports hall of fame & museum.
  • Average home cost: $346,821
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,166.80, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Cattle, agriculture, oil. 

Red Deer is situated between Edmonton and Calgary. The place is thriving with outdoor places of amusement like boat paddling in summer and ice skating in winter. Agriculture is prominent on the outskirts and the center is resided by the urban people of the city. 

17. Prince George, BC

  • Annual median income: $75,690
  • Current population: 83,540 people.
  • Main attractions: Esker’s provincial parks, Art galleries, Fort George Canyon Provincial Park. 
  • Average home cost: $455,842.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,103.85, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Central BC railway, Forestry. 

Prince George is located in the interior of the BC city on the Fraser River and Nechako river. There are lots of museums in the city and it is the hub of Cariboo County. There are also natural spots for serenity like parts, George Canyon Provincial Park, and whirlpools.

The prestigious University of Northern British Columbia is here and is one of the cheapest cities to live in Canada for international students. As per Numbeo, the living costs are less than 3.98% than in Toronto, the rent is 46.63% lower than in Toronto. 

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18. Surrey, BC

  •  Annual median income: $77,494
  • Current population: 588,490 people.
  • Main attractions: Job opportunities, rural and urban living, diversity. 
  • Average home cost: $1,146,787.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,148.89, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Clean energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, supply chain.

This place is one of the warmest places in Canada. This is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada but it’s a highly expensive place to live in Vancouver. This place is an area that is a combination of both rural and urban. And also the industrial hub of BC and there are many opportunities here. 

This city also has a great ethenic food place and there is a majority of Asian minorities here. According to Numbeo, it is 3.51% cheaper than Toronto and rent is 20.76% less than Toronto. 

19. Moncton, NB

  •  Annual median income: $72,450.
  • Current population: 85,198 people.
  • Main attractions: Transportation discovery center, Magnetic Hill, Capitol Theatre.
  • Average home cost: $192,889.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1205,22, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Retail, tourism, wholesale. 

Moncton is a beautiful city which is very close to the Atlantic Ocean. Tourists come here to see the Magnetic Hill, Tidal Bore, Bay of Fundy, RCMP Memorial. There are also outdoor attractions and it is a great place for retirees. As per Numbeo, Moncton’s living cost is 4.38% less than Toronto and the rent is 49.57% lower.

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20. St. Catharines, ON

  •  Annual median income: $59,256.
  • Current population: 420,813 people.
  • Main attractions: 6th largest urban area in Canada, Niagara region.
  • Average home cost: $730,000.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1045.56, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Mills, building, ship.

Also called the ‘Garden City of Canada, this is a serene feeling and is not very overcrowded. This is close to Toronto and Hamilton, and the place is diverse with different ethnicities and is the cheapest place to live in Canada.

St. Catharines is a thriving and progressing community with house prices rising. According to the statistics, the living cost is 12.38% lower than in Toronto, and the rent is 36.63% lower.

21. Niagara Falls, ON

The Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

  •  Annual median income: $36,346.
  • Current population: 418,189 people.
  • Main attractions: Waterfall attraction, wine country. 
  • Average home cost: $693,393.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1211.39, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Gambling, tourism, hydroelectric power.

The regional municipality of Niagara is situated on the west side of the Niagara River. Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are also in the vicinity. There are also many vineyards. This is a tourist spot. This place is over 2.19% cheaper to live and the rent is 40.79% less than Toronto. 

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22. London, ON

  •  Annual median income: $83,246.
  • Current population: 383,822 people.
  • Main attractions: Nearby the U.S. border, has the University of Western Ontario, parks, Thames river, and museums.
  • Average home cost: $690.861.
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,131.51, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Healthcare, finance, education.

This is the university city which is situated to the north of Lake Erie and in the vicinity of the U.S. border too. It has a scenic beauty with lots of natural attractions. This is a hub of healthcare and education and the main attractions are Western University and TD Canada Trust Bank. 

London is 5.85% cheaper to live in Ontario and the rent is 26.89% cheaper than Toronto.

23. Kingston, ON

  •  Annual median income: $67,485.
  • Current population: 594,531 people.
  • Main attractions: Military history, Limestone city in Ontario.
  • Average home cost: $464,083
  • Cost of living for each person: $1,067.93, excluding rent.
  • Main jobs available: Government, tourism, healthcare, and public education. 

Kingston is a beautiful city and has quaint buildings. It’s much cheaper than Toronto for living at 7.96% and the rent is 36.03%.

It has many lakefronts and outdoor tourist spots, and you can also go trailing on Mount McKay for amazing views. You should also visit the sleeping giant Provincial  Park which has trails and you can get the chance to watch mooses and wolves. 

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The Need of Buying a House

Wherever you decide to live in Canada, you may have to buy a house or rent one. That is basic. Here is to give you an idea of how the housing market differs in different cities of Canada.

A House in Vancouver

Buying a home, a non-condo one is possible only for the top 20 percent of the households here as well. One requires to have a household income of $230,488 which is a whopping 222.8 percent of the average income. While for a condo house it is $127,633. This makes Vancouver a city highly populated with wealthy individuals.

Read: How To Buy A Home In Canada: Understanding Closing Costs

A House in Victoria

If you want to buy a house in Victoria, it is the second most expensive area that you are aiming for. To buy a non-condo, the average household income needed is $181,275, while for a condo resident it is $102,556. Here, condo houses are cheaper compared to Vancouver and Toronto, though for a middle-class household, it is still very expensive.

A House in Toronto

Buying a house in Toronto is possible only by the top 20 percent of households, excluding buying a condo. The annual household revenue needed to buy a non-condo resident is around $178,499, which is 132.7 percent of the average income. While, if you are looking for a condo resident, it is around 62 percent of the average income amounting to $124,335 annually. This eventually makes it impossible for a middle-class family to buy a home in Toronto.

Read: 9 Crucial Steps To Finding & Buying Your First Home

Montreal is Affordable

Montreal is one of the largest cities in Canada that falls in the category of affordable. The average household income for a non-condo apartment is $91,083. And for a condo apartment, it is $67,750 which is just 8.7 percent higher than the median household income.

While the down payment for a non-condo house would take around 39 months which is like a little more than 3 years. The month required for a condo house stands at 29. The down payment for Montreal is reasonable compared to other big Canadian real estate areas.

The Bottom Line

I hope this list of cheapest places to live in Canada will help you find your destination. The key is to do your research right, give your preferences importance, and consider the needs of your family. Lastly, don’t forget to include your income and expenses.

Read: How Much Do You Need For An Ontario House Down Payment?


Devanshee Dave

Devanshee is a staff writer at YourFirst.ca. She is a finance enthusiast and has completed her Master’s degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. She has worked as a journalist in a local business newspaper, multiple start-ups as well as finance and economy-related online media houses.

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