Top 5 Cheapest places to live in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2024

Home to a population of more than 40 million people, Canada has a lot to offer — from the wide-open spaces of the great plains to the hockey games, Niagara Falls, the Canadian Rockies and maple syrup. Canada is well-known for its cultural diversity and can be a home for anyone!

Before moving to Canada, it is suggested to research the cost of living in Canada so you have a better understanding of your potential new home. In our ranking we did not include the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia due to their high cost of living.

In our ranking of the top 5 cheapest places to live in Canada, we have focused on two specific provinces being New Brunswick and Saskatchewan given their quality of life and reasonable affordability. Here are the lists of the top 5 cheapest places to live in Canada with the best quality of life in 2024.

Top 5 Cheapest places to live in Canada with the Best quality of life 2024

Methodology

We based our ranking of the 5 cheapest places to live in Canada on the average cost of buying a property and the average cost of rent for a 1-bed apartment in December 2023, and the quality of life. We collected the data from Realtor.ca and Zumper. To help you compare, as of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Canada is $646,134 and the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,890 as of December 2023. 

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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1. Edmundston, New Brunswick

Apartment in Edmundston, Nouveau-Brunswick
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $875
  • Average property buying cost: $234,834

From art galleries to the Grey Rock Casino, you won’t be disappointed by the variety of activities you can enjoy in Edmundston. What makes Edmundston unique is that it is one of the most Francophone towns outside the province of Quebec. Over 90% of the population in Edmundston are French speaking, as their first language.

Edmundston is not only known as a university town but as the business centre for Madawaska. Locals appreciate that the city is located right next to the United States border, making Maine easily accessible by car. It is also conveniently close to the province of Quebec, making day trips to Quebec City possible. Residents have noted that the city is a great place to raise a family, thanks to educational institutions like Saint Mary’s Academy and École Notre-Dame.

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $875, and the average property price is $234,834 as of December 2023.

Zillow (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Edmundston, New Brunswick

2. Lloydminster, Saskatchewan

Apartments in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,211
  • Average property buying cost: $234,900

Lloydminster is located directly on the border of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Equipped with its own airport known as the Lloydminster Municipal Airport, the city offers its residents close shopping in Edmonton, which is a two-hour drive, or in Saskatoon, which is a three-hour drive.

Locals have noted that there aren’t many entertainment options in Lloydminster, but this is what adds to its beauty as residents are surrounded by nature. There are plenty of outdoor summer activities for children to enjoy at Kinsmen Participark, and for adults, the city has its own golf course, the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre.

As of December 2023, the average property price is $234,900 and 1-bed apartments are renting for around $1,211.

Zumper (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Lloydminster, Saskatchewan

3. Regina, Saskatchewan

3. Saskatchewan - Top 7 Cheapest Provinces in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,139
  • Average property buying cost: $285,900

Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, is known as the perfect family haven due to its easy accessibility to the city in less than 20 minutes. Not only is Regina an affordable city to live in, but it also has a small-town feeling, as noted by many locals. If you are looking to integrate into the community, Regina is the perfect city due to its large golf culture at the Royal Regina Golf Club.

It is important to note that many residents have explained that Regina is a city for a more mature audience as it is a government town. Residents also mentioned that the University of Regina is very focused on the fine arts department, so there are always art galleries open to the public, making for a perfect pastime.

As of December 2023, the average property price is $285,900 and 1-bed apartments are renting for around $1,139.

Zumper (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Regina, Saskatchewan

4. Winnipeg, Manitoba

4. Manitoba - Top 7 Cheapest Provinces in Canada with the Best quality of life – 2024
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,181
  • Average property buying cost: $265,254

Winnipeg, also known as the Gateway to the West, is the capital and largest city of Manitoba. As noted by many locals, if you are looking to settle in a city that has a small town feel, Winnipeg is the perfect place for you. The weather here can be quite extreme, with winters as cold as -21 °C and summers as warm as 26 °C, so be prepared to dress accordingly!

Many locals rave about Winnipeg’s fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities, especially at Assiniboine Park. The city also offers numerous high quality educational institutions, such as Sisler High School and Gordon Bell High School.

As of December 2023, the average property price is approximately $265,254, with 1-bedroom apartments renting for around $1,181.

Zumper (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Winnipeg, Manitoba

5. Saint John, New Brunswick

Apartment in Saint John, Nouveau-Brunswick
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $975
  • Average property buying cost: $299,000

Saint John is a beautiful city with a view of the Bay of Fundy. It has many beaches that are perfect for outdoor activities, such as Saints Rest Beach and McLarens Beach. Locals have noted that Saint John is not a walkable city, so it is suggested to have a vehicle on hand if you are thinking of moving here.

It is recommended to visit uptown Saint John, as this is where you will find restaurants and bars—perfect for a weekend activity. Saint John is also full of history and culture, being Canada’s oldest incorporated city!

As of December 2023, the average property price is $299,000, and the cost of renting a 1-bed apartment is around $975.

Zumper (Dec 2023) & Realtor.ca (Dec 2023)

Saint John, New Brunswick

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Affordable Housing Options in Canada

Even though we’ve looked at some of the cheapest places to live in Canada, you might want to know other affordable housing options. To avoid breaking the bank, check out the affordable housing options below.

Tiny Houses in Canada

Tiny houses are small houses of around 400 sq ft. that are usually on wheels so they can easily be parked and transported. A tiny house can cost anywhere from $10 000 to $150 000 depending on who built it, the materials used and how big it is. However, it is nearly impossible to find a legal place to park a tiny house full-time in Canada. Advocates are pushing to create more tiny house communities across Canada so that people can call their tiny houses their primary residences.

Some of the tiny house communities and movements in Canada:

Getting Roommates in Canada

Depending on which provinces you are living in, rent can be expensive if you live on a tight budget. The rent price is particularly high in British Columbia and Ontario. Getting roommates is a wonderful way to reduce your housing costs each month. Students in Canada mostly get roommates so they can be near their university without having to overspend on their rent or travel far.

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive in Canada

The First Time Home Buyer Incentive was initiated in 2019 by the Canadian Government to help home buyers afford the down payment on their first home.

The type of property you want to buy determines the amount that the government will help you with.

  • 5% of the purchase price of an existing or mobile home.
  • 5% or 10% of the purchase price of a newly constructed home.

You’ll have to repay the incentive within 25 years and there is no interest attached to it.

 

How Much Mortgage Can I Afford in Canada?

Mortgages given to you by a bank depend on the amount of money you earn, debts incurred, and your general living expenses. The higher mortgage you can afford, the more expensive a home you can afford to purchase.

The price of homes can vary depending on which province you are living in Canada. However, you might want to find out how much mortgage you can afford with this Mortgage Calculator Tool based on your household income, debts, and down payment amount.

Household Income 

before taxes, no debts 

Down Payment Maximum Mortgage You Can Afford in Canada
$45,000 $30,000 $192,987
$55,000 $40,000 $244,022
$65,000 $50,000 $295,058

 

Why Do People Move to Canada?

People move to Canada for the following reasons:

  • Stunning nature views
  • Low crime rates
  • Employment and investment opportunities
  • Top-notch educational institutions
  • Cultural diversity
  • Outdoor recreational activities: skiing, hiking, fishing, mountain biking and more!
  • Quality of life
  • The kindness and tolerance of Canadians
  • Free health care
  • Women’s rights
  • LGBTQ+ rights

 

Conclusion

Canada is home to many lakes, mountains, and natural parks, making it perfect for nature lovers. The country also offers excellent job opportunities. With this list of the 10 cheapest places to live in Canada, you should be able to make a choice after determining what type of housing you can afford based on your income and lifestyle. If you are moving across Canada soon, you might also want to check out the 5 best long distance moving companies in Canada.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Edmundston, New Brunswick
  3. Trenton, Nova Scotia
  4. Weyburn, Saskatchewan
  5. Thetford Mines, Quebec
  6. Summerside, Prince Edward Island
  7. Steinbach, Manitoba
  8. Quesnel, British Columbia
  9. Lloydminster, Alberta
  10. Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

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 higher 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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