Most expensive cities to live in Canada

Top 10 Most expensive cities to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2024

Canada

Canada is known for its beautiful scenery and urban sophistication, but some cities really stand out for both their beauty and the cost of living. Living in these cities might be pricey, but it comes with an amazing lifestyle. These cities continue to shape Canada’s global image, and they play a big part in the ongoing connection between cost and excellence in the Canadian city scene.

Whether it’s the bustling feel of Toronto or the relaxed vibe of Vancouver, each city adds something special to Canada’s worldwide charm. They don’t just have a high cost; they also offer an overall high quality of life. For those looking for the ultimate Canadian living experience, these cities are where it’s at.

If you’re wondering what the most expensive cities are in Canada, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve highlighted 10 of the most expensive cities in Canada with the best quality of life.

most expensive cities to live in canada infographic map

Methodology

We ranked Canada’s top 10 most populated cities from most expensive to most affordable based on three factors: the average monthly cost of buying a property, the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment, and the overall cost of living per month.

To gauge housing affordability, we’re considering both the cost of buying a property and apartment rentals. We’ve collected statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association from November 2023 regarding property pricing, and Zumper’s data from December 2023 for the average cost of renting one-bedroom apartments.

Additionally, we’re using Numbeo’s data to understand the cost of living in each city, which helps us grasp the amount needed to comfortably maintain a certain standard of living and comprehend the economic dynamics of these regions.

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Most expensive cities to live in Canada

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1. Vancouver

vancouver
  • Population: 2,642,825
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $2695
  • Average property buying cost: $1,185,100
  • Cost of living per month: $3,119.88

Vancouver is our number one most expensive place to live in Canada and also one of the most populated cities in Canada, with a population of 2,642,825. According to the Vancouver Economic Commission, Vancouver has the fastest-growing and most diverse economy in Canada, which stayed strong even during the pandemic. The city’s economy relies on various competitive sectors like technology, film, digital entertainment, and the green economy.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Vancouver is $1,185,100, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,695 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this expensive city with high real estate prices, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $3,119.88 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023)Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Vancouver, British-Columbia

2. Toronto

toronto
  • Population: 2,794,356
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $2,483
  • Average property buying cost: $1,081,300
  • Cost of living per month: $3,252.45

Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is a global powerhouse in business, finance, technology, entertainment, and culture. Known for its immense multiculturalism, with a diverse population of immigrants from around the world, Toronto stands as one of the most culturally varied cities globally. Moreover, Toronto is surrounded by natural beauty, with the great lakes, parks, and picturesque landscapes providing a balance to its urban vibrancy.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Toronto is $1,081,300, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,483 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this expensive city, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $3,252.45 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021)Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Toronto, ON

3. Mississauga

mississauga
  • Population: 717,961
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $2,282
  • Average property buying cost: $1,042,100
  • Cost of living per month: $3,161.67

Mississauga is a thriving economic hub, hosting numerous businesses, corporations, and industries. The city’s economic prosperity attracts a skilled workforce and contributes to a higher cost of living. However, it offers a range of amenities, services, and cultural attractions, contributing to the overall quality of life. 

The Credit River Valley, with its clean waters, provides scenic parkland for recreational activities, and with over 500 parks and 71 scenic trails in the Mississauga area, it ensures a memorable stay, whether for an activity-packed weekend or a relaxing getaway.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Mississauga is $1,042,100, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,282 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this vibrant city, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $3,161.67 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Missassauga, ON

4. Brampton

Most expensive cities to live in Canada - Brampton
  • Population: 656,480
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $2,092
  • Average property buying cost: $1,081,300
  • Cost of living per month: $3,000.40

Brampton’s real estate market, similar to much of the Greater Toronto Area, faces strong demand coupled with limited housing supply. This imbalance frequently results in higher home prices. According to CBC News, rental costs are going up faster in Brampton than any other Canadian city. Data shows Brampton is not only one of the most expensive cities to live in Canada but also ranks as Ontario’s most expensive city for car insurance.

However, Brampton’s proximity to Toronto provides locals with access to the economic and cultural offerings of a major metropolitan area while enjoying a more suburban lifestyle.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Brampton is $1,081,300, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $2,092 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this beautiful place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $3,000.40 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Brampton, ON

5. Hamilton

hamilton
  • Population: 785,184
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,701
  • Average property buying cost: $805,700
  • Cost of living per month: $2,812.34

Hamilton’s proximity to the breathtaking Niagara Falls and the scenic Bruce Trail appeals to nature lovers, offering abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. Hamilton stands out for its strategic location between Toronto and Niagara adds to its appeal, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a harmonious blend of city life and natural beauty.

However, being close to Toronto, Hamilton experiences spillover effects from Toronto’s high housing costs, impacting the overall cost of living. 

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Hamilton is $805,700, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,701 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $2,812.34 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Hamilton, ON

6. Ottawa

Moving to Ottawa – Best Neighborhoods in Ottawa with the Best Quality of Life
  • Population: 1,017,449
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,907
  • Average property buying cost: $628,900
  • Cost of living per month: $2,707.62

Ottawa joins the list of expensive cities in Ontario, making it one of the most expensive places to live in Canada. Although it is cheaper than other cities on this list, it still ranks above most places in Canada. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, which makes it home to Parliament Hill. 

For this reason, many people who desire to work for the Government of Canada relocate here. Its status as the national capital attracts a high concentration of government and diplomatic activities, contributing to a higher cost of living.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Ottawa is $628,900, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,907 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $2,707.62 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Ottawa, ON

7. Calgary

Real estate lawyers in Calgary
  • Population: 1,481,806
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,883
  • Average property buying cost: $557,400
  • Cost of living per month: $2,586.80

Calgary’s allure is heightened by its proximity to Banff National Park, just over an hour’s drive away. Banff offers residents of Calgary easy access to outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and wildlife watching. This proximity to breathtaking natural settings enhances the overall lifestyle of Calgary, making it an appealing choice for those who value the beauty of nature and seek outdoor adventures.

Calgary’s economic success, particularly in the energy sector, has led to increased demand for housing and services, impacting the cost of living. According to Calgary News, rent is rising in Alberta due to a significant population boom. In the fourth quarter of 2021 and 2022, net migration surged by 221%, bringing in 120,000 people to the province, driving up demand for housing and contributing to increased rent. 

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Calgary is $557,400, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,883 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $2,586.80 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Calgary, Alberta

8. Montreal

Apartment in Montreal
  • Population: 3,675,219
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,759
  • Average property buying cost: $514,300
  • Cost of living per month: $1,977.01

Montreal thrives on its diverse population, creating a multicultural vibe that embraces different traditions, languages, and customs. The city’s bilingual nature, using both French and English widely, gives a special cultural experience, encouraging diverse interactions and language growth. Famous for its lively cultural scene, Montreal holds countless festivals, art spots, theaters, and a variety of delicious foods, making life here vibrant and exciting for residents.

While this city is part of our list of expensive cities, it is relatively more affordable than others. Additionally, it offers numerous parks and green spaces, providing locals with areas for relaxation, recreation, and outdoor activities.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Montreal is $514,300, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,759 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $1,977.01 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023)CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Montreal, Quebec

9. Edmonton

edmonton
  • Population: 1,418,118
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,305
  • Average property buying cost:: $368,200
  • Cost of living per month: $2,084.79

The cost of living in Edmonton is cheaper compared to other cities such as Toronto or Vancouver. It is however more expensive than other cities like Winnipeg. Edmonton offers a growing cultural scene with museums, theaters, and events throughout the year, it is a calmer city. 

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Edmonton is $368,200, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,305 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $2,084.79 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Edmonton, Alberta

10. Winnipeg

  • Population: 834,678
  • Average 1-bed apartment rent: $1,287
  • Average property buying cost: $332,700
  • Cost of living per month: $2,135.10

Winnipeg is known for its affordable housing, making it an attractive option for those locals seeking a reasonable cost of living. The city is also known for its cultural diversity, evident in its festivals, food events, and community events. 

Despite being more affordable than some other cities, Winnipeg’s stable economy and job market can still contribute to a higher cost of living compared to smaller cities.

As of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Winnipeg is $332,700, while the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,287 in December 2023. If you want to live comfortably in this place, it is essential to know that the cost of living here is $2,135.10 per month.

Statistics Canada (2021), Zumper (Dec 2023), CREA (Nov 2023) & Numbeo (Dec 2023)

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Conclusion:

Our Top 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in Canada in 2024 show a mix of high costs and great living. Living in these cities can be pricey because of factors like housing markets and the overall quality of life. 

The cost of living in Canada is high, and it is important to plan on how to balance your expenses to avoid financial difficulties. These cities are costly, but you will experience a comfortable living. Are you moving to Canada soon? Check out the best long-distance moving companies in Canada.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

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

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with lower average housing prices in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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