Edmonton vs. Vancouver where should you live

Living in Edmonton vs. Vancouver: Where Should You Live?

Edmonton, often called the “Festival City,” is famous for hosting art and history festivals almost every summer weekend. With 325 days of sunshine, it boasts maximum sunny days in Canada. It has the vibe of a smaller city but all of the facilities of a larger one. Food, arts, and theatre are always vibrant in Edmonton.

Vancouver is routinely ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities worldwide.

Its incredible natural beauty, easy access to beaches and the outdoors, pleasant year-round climate, and well-laid-out public transportation infrastructure makes it a perfect city to move to. 

Compared to Vancouver, the real estate market in Edmonton is quite affordable. Currently, the average benchmark house price in Edmonton is $417,470, while it is $1,261,100 in Vancouver.

This article compares the pros and cons of moving to Edmonton and Vancouver, highlighting the costs of public transit, housing, groceries, entertainment, and job opportunities. Without further ado, here’s our guide on Living in Edmonton vs. Vancouver:

Edmonton vs. Vancouver

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Public transit in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

Public transit in Edmonton

ETS (Edmonton Transit Service) is a fully integrated, innovative, and convenient public transportation system that serves over 80 million rides per year. By focusing on three pillars: service, infrastructure, and technology, ETS plays a vital role in city-building and provides seamless connections inside Edmonton and the surrounding. 

The public transit options include light rail transit, buses, and streetcars. In light rail transit stations, fare vending devices are provided. ETS passes are also available at any certified retail shop. The public transit in Edmonton is budget-friendly and is continuously improving to become more efficient. 

Public transit fares in Edmonton

Here’s a quick summary of transport costs in Edmonton:


Single Ride

Ticket (book of 10)

Monthly pass

Youth (0-24 years)




Adults (25-64 years)




Seniors (65+ years)





How much is a monthly pass in Edmonton?


The ETS public transit cost of a monthly pass in Edmonton is $100.

Public transport in Vancouver

The Translink system in Vancouver is well laid-out, convenient, and cost-effective. It includes the SkyTrain (an automated rapid transport system that runs above and below ground), the SeaBus (ferry service), and several bus routes. The service runs throughout the day, moving passengers via a network of bus routes and smaller community shuttles.

The city is divided into three zones, each having different fares.

Trip planning, schedules, maps, and fare information are all available on the Translink website. The same fare system applies to all buses, Skytrain, and SeaBus. There are also compass cards and concessions available.


Public transit fares in Vancouver

The following table lists fares for public transport in Vancouver: 



Compass Card


One Zone




Two Zone




Three Zone




Translink Day Pass






One Zone


Two Zone


Three Zone



(*City of Vancouver & Destination Vancouver)

How much is a monthly pass in Vancouver?


The Translink public transit system cost of a monthly pass in Vancouver is $100.25, $134 or $181.05 depending on the zone.


Cost of groceries in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

The comparison of the cost of groceries in Edmonton and Vancouver is illustrated in the table below:

Average cost of groceries (Items X kg)



Milk (1 litre) 



Loaf of fresh white bread (500g)



Rice (white), (1 kg) 



Eggs (12)



Local cheese (1 kg) 



Chicken fillets (1 kg) 



Beef round (1 kg) 



Apples (1 kg)



Bananas (1 kg)



Oranges (1 kg)



Tomato (1 kg)



Potato (1 kg)



Onion (1 kg)



Lettuce (1 head)



Water (1.5-liter bottle)



Bottle of wine (Mid-range)



Domestic Beer (0.5 liter)



Imported Beer (0.33 liter)



The total cost of groceries for one person



The prices of groceries in Edmonton are 8.81% lower than in Vancouver.


Edmonton vs. Vancouver Where should you live

What to do in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

Are you looking for something fun to do in both cities? We have got you covered. 

Entertainment in Edmonton

Edmonton appeals to many people due to its natural beauty, culture, history, and attractions. It is home to North America’s largest mall, Canada’s largest living history museum, and Canada’s largest historic park. Skating, hiking, shopping, dining, and even skiing are all available in the city, making it one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions. 

The city is also close to the national parks of Banff and Jasper. So within a short drive, you get to see some of the most beautiful spots on the planet! Other great places include the provincial museum and planetarium, the Space and Science Center, the Muttart conservatory greenhouses, and Fort Edmonton.

Edmonton is known as “Festival City” because it stages the largest Fringe Event (live theatre) in North America, the largest blues festival in Western Canada, and FolkFest, a large folk music festival. All of these take place outdoors during summers.

Entertainment in Vancouver

Vancouver’s natural beauty will blow you away — mountains, beaches akin to those in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the ocean. In Vancouver, biking, skiing, and sailing are all popular activities. The trip from Vancouver to Whistler (the sea-to-sky corridor) is breathtaking.


If you prefer sightseeing, stop by Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, the Museum of Anthropology, and Kitsilano Beach, which exemplify Vancouver’s laid-back, fun-loving attitude. 

If you don’t want to climb, ski, or snowboard, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to do, such as the gondola up to Grouse Mountain, enjoy the serenity of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, or gobble down some pho fries at Richmond Night Market.

As a considerably larger city, Vancouver is preferable for moving because it offers more options for education, good restaurants, more shopping malls, and cultural events.

Cost of entertainment — Edmonton vs. Vancouver

In Vancouver, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs roughly $100, whereas, in Edmonton, it costs only $90. A health club membership for an adult in Edmonton costs $59.96 per month, compared to $56.55 in Vancouver. A seat in a cinema showing an international release is worth $15.50 in Edmonton but $16.00 in Vancouver.

The cost of entertainment is relatively less expensive in Edmonton. 


Edmonton vs Vancouver Where should you live

Cost of housing in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

In April 2022, the average sales price of a property in Edmonton was $417,470. In comparison to March 2022, this represents a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase and a 0.8 percent month-over-month increase. 


Despite these gains, Edmonton remains a reasonably priced property market in comparison to other Canadian cities such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Vancouver has been Canada’s most expensive real estate market for nearly three decades. It has experienced a monthly reduction in price for the first time in 23 months, as Metro Vancouver records the benchmark price of $1,261,100 for May 2022. Year-over-year price increases are still 15%.

Cost of rent in Edmonton

The cost of moving to Edmonton varies depending on the location and size of the apartment. The table below shows the prices of apartments in various sizes in some popular neighborhoods:



1 bedroom

2 bedroom

3 bedroom

Downtown Edmonton










Queen Mary Park





Central McDougall




















Boyle Street




















Queen Alexandra





(*Wowa – Edmonton & Zumper)

How much is rent in Edmonton?


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Edmonton is $975

Cost of rent in Vancouver

Rent is comparatively higher in Vancouver than in Edmonton. However, the location and size greatly affect the costs. Take a look at the average cost of rent of apartments in some neighborhoods in Vancouver:



1 bedroom

2 bedroom

3 bedroom

Downtown Vancouver





West End

























University Endowment Lands





Renfrew Collingwood





Kensington Cedar Cottage





West Point Grey














Grandview Woodland






How much is rent in Vancouver?


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $2,394

Job opportunities in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

According to Alberta occupational outlook, some occupations forecasted to expect a labour shortage by 2030 include information systems analysts and consultants, petroleum engineers, construction trades helpers and labourers, and teachers. 


In May 2022, Edmonton’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, after seeing a 0.7% decrease from the last month. Agriculture, utilities, construction, manufacturing, trade services, transportation, scientific services, healthcare, information & cultural services, and & food services are popular job markets. 


In contrast, the entire province of British Columbia, including Vancouver, is experiencing rapid job development. Over 80% of the province’s workforce is employed in the service industry, which includes 15% in wholesale and retail trade and 12% in social and public health care. People interested in business and engineering have a multitude of work opportunities.


The unemployment rate on Canada’s West Coast, including Vancouver, is the lowest in the country. Teachers, chefs and cooks, developers, and sales specialists, among other professions such as healthcare, are in high demand.

Salary comparison in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

The table below presents the comparison of average job salaries in both cities:

Job title

Average salary in Edmonton (CAD)

Average salary in Vancouver (CAD)










Business developer



Hardware engineer



Chemical engineer



Product manager



Finance manager



IT manager



Mobile developer



Sales manager



Operations manager



Software engineer






Financial analyst



Research scientist



UX designer






Interior designer






Customer support agent



Salaries in both Edmonton and Vancouver vary according to occupations. Physicians, business developers, IT managers, Sales managers, software engineers, financial analysts, and interior designers are paid better in Vancouver. Other professions such as pharmacists, dentists, chefs, teachers, products, and operations managers receive higher pay in Edmonton. 

(*Teleport – Vancouver, Teleport – Edmonton, Creatstats & Albert.ca)

Seattle vs Vancouver

Cost of living in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

Edmonton has a cheaper cost of living than Vancouver, by 4.40% without considering rent and 21.29% with rent. Edmonton’s rent prices are 48.09 percent lower than Vancouver’s. The average restaurant prices are 10.53 percent lower in Edmonton than in Vancouver, while groceries are 8.81% cheaper.

To maintain the same living standard in Edmonton as you would expect in Vancouver with $7,300.00, you would only need roughly $5,745.85, assuming you rent in both cities. 

The table below shows the cost of living indices of Edmonton and Vancouver:


Cost Of Living Index





(*Numbeo & Wowa – Vancouver)

In short, moving to Edmonton is 28% less expensive than to Vancouver.

Average monthly costs to live in Edmonton vs. Vancouver

Edmonton is ranked 2355th, while Vancouver is 263rd on the list of most expensive cities in the world. In terms of living expenses, Edmonton is 28% cheaper than Vancouver. 

The cost of moving to Edmonton and Vancouver is compared in the table, considering accommodation, groceries, traveling, and utility costs:


*For 1 person



Average house price 



Average monthly rent price (1 bedroom in City Centre)



Public transit (One-way ticket)






Utilities (electricity + internet) 



Cell phone plan

$80, unlimited talk, text, and data included

$80, unlimited talk, text, and data included

Gym membership (monthly)



Clothing and shoes (1 pair each)






*Cost of groceries for one person is multiplied by 2,5 for a monthly average

*(Numbeo & Living Cost)

FAQ - The most frequently asked questions about Edmonton and Vancouver

What is the biggest difference between Edmonton and Vancouver?

Edmonton offers the advantage of a city on a smaller scale and a range of cultural activities. However, Vancouver is better at offering a wide variety of diversity and larger scale services like public transportation. However, the cost of living is much higher in Vancouver compared to Edmonton.

Where to Live in Edmonton?



Young Professionals 

Old Strathcona and Downtown Edmonton


Glenora and Hazeldean


Parkallen and Queen Alexandra

Where to Live in Vancouver?



Young Professionals 

Gastown and Yaletown


Main street and Olympic village



Is tax cheaper in Edmonton vs. Vancouver?

In the province of Alberta, they have GST which is set at about 5%. They do not have a provincial taxe. 

  • Income tax rates in Alberta

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 10% on the first $131,220 of taxable income, +.
  • 12% on the next $26,244, +.
  • 13% on the next $52,488, +.
  • 14% on the next $104,976, +.
  • 15% on the amount over $314,928

For Vancouver, they have the standard GST set at 5% and the PST set at 7% as a provincial sales tax. 

  • 5.06% between $0 to $43,070
  • 7.70% between $43,070 to $86,141
  • 10.50% between $86,141,070 to $98,901
  • 12.29% between $98,901 to $120,094
  • 14.70% between $120,094 to $162,832
  • 16.80% between $162,832 to $227,091
  • 20.5% on the amount over $227,091

Federal tax rates

The federal tax rate is the same in both cities. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $50,197 of taxable income, plus
  • 20.5% on the next $50,195 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 50,197 up to $100,392), plus
  • 26% on the next $55,233 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $100,392 up to $155,625), plus
  • 29% on the next $66,083 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 155,625 up to $221,708), plus
  • 33% of taxable income over $221,708

(*Alberta.ca, Canada.ca & Gov.bc.ca)


Vancouver has costs of living substantially higher than Edmonton, but offer a milder climate and a diversity in its culture and food that you can’t find in Edmonton! However Vancouver is more densely populated and Edmonton can offer the advantage of a big city while being on a smaller scale. If you plan to move check out the 5 best moving companies in Edmonton and the 5 best moving companies in Vancouver.

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