Most expensive cities to live in Canada

Top 10 Most expensive cities to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2023

Like every other typical market, the real estate market in Canada depends on factors such as the economy of the country and the interest rates. Due to this, the price of houses and rent vary from city to city. If you’re wondering what are the most expensive cities in Canada, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve highlighted 10 of the most expensive cities in Canada. We will also explain why these cities are costly.

The most expensive cities in Canada - infographic

Methodology

Like every other typical market, the real estate market in Canada depends on factors such as the economy of the country and the interest rates. Due to this, the price of houses and rent vary from city to city. If you’re wondering what are the most expensive cities in Canada, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve highlighted 10 of the most expensive cities in Canada. We will also explain why these cities are costly.

MovingWaldo's list of the Most expensive cities to live in Canada

1. Toronto

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Toronto
Best for job opportunities: database analysts & software engineers and designers
  • Population: Around 3.0M 
  • Average cost of a house: $1.0M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2,279
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2286

Toronto has ranked as the most expensive place to live in Canada. Toronto is also the most populated city in Canada with almost 3.0 million people. According to Remax, Toronto ranks 89th listed as the world’s most expensive cities. It costs an average of $1.0M to buy a house in Toronto. The average monthly rent in Toronto is $2,279 for a 1-bed apartment, a 25% increase from the year prior. 

(*Zolo, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Remax Livingcost.org & Zumper)

Why is Toronto so expensive?

Due to the high population in Toronto, there’s a high demand and short supply of real estate. This causes a spike in the price of the available properties. Additionally, Toronto is the economic center of Canada with many job opportunities, which also contribute to the influx of people. These factors also affect the cost of living in Toronto.

(*New Canadian Life & Medium)

Torontoonto, Ontario

2. Vancouver

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Vancouver
Best for the outdoorsy & hiking lovers
  • Population: 637 234
  • Average cost of a house: $1.4M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2,500
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2,298

Vancouver used to be known as Canada’s most expensive city however over the year it has placed second. Many North American cities like New York and Los Angeles are known for their insanely-high real estate prices and cost of living; Vancouver gives these cities a run for their money.  Vancouver was listed as the 108th most expensive city in the world.The median cost of housing in Vancouver, BC is $1.4M. The average rent for a 1-bedroom in Vancouver, BC, is $2,500 per month. 

(*ZoloRemaxZumper, Livingcost.org & Insider)

Why is Vancouver so expensive?

Vancouver is so expensive because available land is limited, so the land cost is high. Soft costs such as payment for legal fees, insurance, and more are high. In fact, the general cost of living in Vancouver is high. 

(*Fancy Pants Home & BC Business)

Vancouver, British-Columbia

3. Victoria

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Victoria
Mildest climate in Canada
  • Population: 394 000
  • Average cost of a house: $1.6M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2095
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1906

Victoria, BC, is commonly compared with Vancouver because of the many similarities. However, Victoria is cheaper than Vancouver given that it is a smaller city. The average cost of housing in Victoria is $1.6M. At the same time, it costs an average of $2,095 to rent an apartment in Victoria rising 16% compared to the 

(*ZoloZumper, Numbeo & Macrotrends.net)

Why is Victoria so expensive?

The primary factor responsible for the high cost of living and real estate in Victoria is the construction of newer homes in the city. Moreover, it is impossible to expand the land in the city of Victoria since it’s located on an island: this leads to an increase in demand and therefore to a price increase. Finally, it is the capital city of British Columbia.

(*Cube Toronto)

VicTorontoia, British-Columbia

4. Markham

Most expensive cities to live in Canada -Markham
Best for families
  • Population: 359 900
  • Average cost of a house: $1.4M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1995
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2466

Although living in Markham is cheaper than Toronto, it is still one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. It costs an average of $1.4M to buy a house in Markham. If you opt for a 1-bed apartment, the average rent in Markham is $1,995. 

(*Zolo, Livingcost.org & Zumper)

Why is Markham so expensive?

Markham didn’t always make the list of the most expensive cities in Canada. Its addition is linked to the city’s recent reconstruction and development projects. Many buildings, roads, parks, and community facilities have undergone a recent renovation, giving rise to an increase in price. Markham is undergoing robust urbanization from the agricultural city it once was. 

(*Real Estate News Exchange)

Markham, Ontario

5. Surrey

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Surrey
Best for both nature and urban city lovers
  • Population: 603 970
  • Average cost of a house: $1.1M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1825
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1950

Surrey is the fourth British Columbia city to make the list of most expensive cities in Canada. It is the largest city in BC, above Vancouver. Surrey is around twice as big as Vancouver, but that doesn’t make it more expensive. You can find housing in Surrey for $1.1M. Concerning the average rent in Surrey, it’s $1,825 for a 1-bed apartment rising 14% over the year. 

(*ZoloZumper & City of Surrey)

Why is Surrey so expensive?

Surrey is expensive for many reasons, but its proximity to Vancouver is one of the most prominent. The two largest cities in BC are just 1 hour apart. So it’s not uncommon for people who work in Vancouver to choose to live in Surrey to save costs on rent and housing. Also, the cost of utilities in Surrey is relatively expensive, even more expensive than Vancouver’s cost. Electricity, healing, cooling, water and garbage cost an average of $226.78 per month in Surrey for 85m² apartment. 

(*Numbeo & New Canadian Life)

Surrey, British-Columbia

6. Mississauga

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Mississauga
Best for close proximity to Toronto
  • Population: 789 344
  • Average cost of a house: $1.0M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2122
  • Average monthly cost of living: $2225

Mississauga has a growing working population and accounts for over 25% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Mississauga is one of the most expensive cities in Canada as the average cost of housing in the city is $1.0M, while the average rent for a 1-bed in is $2,122 a month rising a 18% over the last year. 

(*ZoloZumper, Livingcost.org & World Population Review)

Why is Mississauga so expensive?

Mississauga experiences a limited quantity of real estate due to limited land for building and high population density. The shortage leads to an increase in the price of available land and houses. Mississauga’s proximity to Toronto is another reason explaining its expensiveness.

(*Mississauga Homes Daily)

Find out about affordable housing in Toronto 

Mississauga, Ontario

7. Kelowna

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Kelowna
Best for water sports & activities
  • Population: Over 143 000
  • Average cost of a house: $1.0M
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1920
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1774

Kelowna is much smaller than Vancouver and significantly cheaper, but it is still incomparable with other cities in Canada. The median cost of housing in Kelowna is now down 13% making a single-family home below $1.0M. The average rent in Kelowna is $1,920 per month.

(*Western InvestorZumper, Livingcost.org & City of Kelowna)

Why is Kelowna so expensive?

With its enviable climate and its beautiful mountains and lake, Kelowna is a desirable place to live in, so the demand drives the rent price. The limited number of available homes and apartments also affects the price. Other factors like the cost of raw materials and building permits also affect the price.

(*Info News)

Kelowna, British-Columbia

8. Brampton

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Brampton
Best for access to many parks
  • Population: 656,480
  • Average cost of a house: $1,098,200
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2,000
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1,957

After Toronto and Mississauga, Brampton is the third-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It is also one of the most populated and one of the most expensive cities in Canada. The average cost of housing in Brampton is currently $1,098,200. The median rent for a 1-bed in Brampton is $2,000 every month a 20% increase compared to last year.

(*ZoloZumper & World Population Review)

Why is Brampton so expensive?

Brampton is expensive because of its proximity to large population centers clustered in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). These cities often have closely related housing markets in demand and pricing. Many people working in Toronto prefer to live in Brampton because of the smaller population and slightly lower cost of living. Moreover, the cost of utilities and transport in Brampton are quite expensive. Brampton is also considered Ontario’s most expensive city for car insurance.

(*Canadian Real Estate Magazine & The Star)

Brampton, Ontario

9. Etobicoke

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Etobicoke
Best for quiet area not far from downtown Toronto
  • Population: 347 948
  • Average cost of a house: $607 000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $2297

Etobicoke is a district in southeastern Ontario. However, it is sometimes considered a part of Toronto. Etobicoke has a distinct neighborhood. Etobicoke is a safe and calm neighborhood that ranks among the most expensive cities in Canada because of its location in Toronto. The average cost of housing in Etobicoke is $607 000. With a 21% increase compared to last year, the median rent is $2,297 monthly.

(*Zolo, Zumper & Livingcost.org)

Why is Etobicoke so expensive?

Etobicoke is so expensive because of its location in Toronto. Like every other community in the GTA, Etobicoke reflects similar real estate trends. In addition, the majority of homes in Etobicoke are detached or semi-detached single-family houses on large streets. Finally, Islington-City Centre West, a commercial and residential neighborhood makes Etobicoke one of the most expensive cities in Canada.

(*Livabl & Acriteam)

Etobicoke, Ontario

10. Ottawa

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Ottawa
Best for access to federal government jobs
  • Population: 944 753
  • Average cost of a house: $525,000
  • Average monthly rent (1-bed): $1,700
  • Average monthly cost of living: $1,867

Ottawa joins the list of expensive cities in Ontario, making it one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. Although cheaper than other cities on this list, it still ranks above most places in Canada. It costs an average of $525,000 to get a house in Ottawa. The median rent in Ottawa is $1,700 monthly for a 1-bed apartment.

(*ZoloZumperLivingcost.org & World Population Review)

Why is Ottawa so expensive?

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, which makes it the home to Parliament Hill. For this reason, many people who desire to work in the Government of Canada relocate here. This has a significant effect on housing and rent prices.

(*La Merceria)

Ottawa, Ontario

 Why People Move to Canada

Canada is also often ranked as one of the best countries to live in globally, and because of this, many people desire to live in the Great White North. Canada offers excellent opportunities for employment and personal, educational, and professional growth. The country has a lot to offer: such beautiful landscapes, a solid healthcare system, and a quality education system. Besides, the World Population Review ranks Canada 4th for its robust education system, after the US, the UK, and Germany. There are so many reasons why people move to Canada; some of these include:

  • Multiculturalism
  • High quality of life
  • Safety
  • A thriving economy
  • World-class education
  • A vibrant and expanding job market
  • Spectacular hideaway spots
  • Great and affordable healthcare

 

Conclusion

There you go! The list of the most expensive cities in Canada. These top 10 cities have great offerings for their residents, from the premium quality of life to more job opportunities and higher salaries. Perhaps you are less concerned about how much your home costs. Maybe you consider safety a more critical factor before choosing a home; check out Canada’s top 10 safest cities.

MovingWaldo's list of the Most expensive cities to live in Canada in 2022

1. Vancouver
2. Toronto
3. Mississauga
4. Markham
5. Victoria
6. Kelowna
7. Surrey
8. Ottawa
9. Brampton
10. Etobicoke

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