Canada, dubbed as the Great White North, is one of the most prominent countries in North America. Spanning over 10 million square kilometers, it is currently the world’s second-largest country. Known for its sweet maple syrups, love for hockey, and almost yearlong winters, the country has thousands of tourists per year.
On the other hand, the country is also known as being one of the best places to live in. There are over 38 million Canadian residents, and the country is also known for being very welcoming with immigrants, where almost 300,000 are estimated to arrive every year.
There is a reason why many people consider the country as a great place to reside permanently. You can get many job opportunities, and they have all the necessary establishments to live a healthy lifestyle.
Canada has over 100 cities where you can choose to live permanently. But, if you are looking for the best places to live in, here are the top 5 Canadian cities to reside in.
Toronto: A Multicultural Metro
The city of Toronto is probably the most popular in Canada. It was once known as “Hogtown” due to the enormous meat industry in the town. It is the most populous city in the country, making it the capital location for international trading, business, and arts.
Most immigrants prefer to settle in this metropolitan city, as there are hundreds of job opportunities available. The city is one of the most diverse places in the world where international communities are readily accessible for new settlers. If you are wondering how much it would take to live in the city, check these estimates, whether your budget can accommodate it.
Due to the booming industries in Toronto, real estate does not come cheap. It is most likely better if you have an annual income of more than $30,000 to live in the city comfortably. It is arguably one of the most expensive places in Canada to live in, mostly because the city is the center of businesses and industries.
For those living alone, the average price of a decent one-bedroom apartment in the central costs about a whopping $2,000. Outside the city center, you can find cheaper rates at $1,500. In Toronto, the price range for a solo bedroom is said to be from $1,300 to $2,500, outside and inside the city center.
On the other hand, for a family of three, the monthly rental for areas inside the city is at least $3,500, while it would only cost $2,500 for outside the city center.
Being a cultural hotspot, there are hundreds of diverse restaurants and food choices in Toronto. It is safe to say that the city has every delicacy that you can find around the world.
If you do not like cooking your food, your daily three-meal courses will cost you at least $70 per day, as estimated by the food costs from several tourists. However, if you are working on a skimp budget, cooking your own food is the best way to go. It can save you at least $60 per day since the monthly cost of a decent grocery is only $319.
For the quickest and cheapest way to go around the city, using Toronto’s public transportation is the best option. Three transportation modes are available: subway, streetcar, or bus. You do not have to worry about getting change every time you go on a ride as you only need a ticket pass that has unlimited daily or weekly, which costs about $13 and $44, respectively.
Montreal: The Cost-Friendly City
Although English is the largest spoken language in Canada, French comes in a close second. Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in Canada and the world’s second, placing just behind Paris.
Unlike Toronto, Montreal has a more cost-friendly lifestyle. In fact, the city is part of the world’s most affordable cities to live in. The following are the surprisingly low rates of living in Montreal.
Montreal has the most affordable apartment rates in Canada. It has satellite cities such as Longueuil, with only 240,000 residents and the suburb of Brossard, where apartments are very much available.
Due to the increasing population in Canada, apartment rates have increased by more than 2% over the past years; however, as compared to other cities, housing in Montreal is still very much affordable.
A one-bedroom apartment will only cost half of the price in Toronto, the cheapest at $600, and the most expensive is only estimated at $1500, even when in the city center. For families, you can find a rental apartment for only $2,000.
Restaurant prices in Montreal have similar rates as that of Toronto at almost $60 for a three-course meal. However, groceries will make you save more as a monthly cost of only $200 is needed for a decent supply to last a month.
As always, public transportation is the best method of going around in Montreal. Most subways are right on time and can get you from one stop to another in a few minutes. A day fare costs about $10; however, for evening transportation, there is an unlimited option from 6 PM to 5 AM, which will only cost $4.
Vancouver: Canada’s Affordable Metro
Like Toronto, Vancouver is also a Canadian city that almost everyone is familiar with. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and local seafood delicacies, it is pretty much where Canadian residents and tourists go for a breath of fresh air.
In fact, the city is placed within the world’s best cities due to its affordable yet quality living conditions.
The rental rates in Vancouver may be considered high if compared to those in the suburbs. However, one has to think that it very much Canada’s other business and arts center.
That is why although the expenses may be high, as compared to Toronto, Vancouver does not cost much considering the establishments and booming industries located in the city.
A decent one-bedroom apartment can cost only $1,800 even in the center of the city, while families can opt to shell out $3,000 for their monthly budget to be allocated in their housing. The rate of rentals in Vancouver may be pricier, but it is very much worth it since the city is close to many establishments and a popular tourist area.
Because there are hundreds of shops in Vancouver, it is essential to find one where you can afford their rates. Restaurants in Vancouver are as costly as those in Toronto, so the best way for you to save money is to cook your food.
A typical grocery shopping trip in Vancouver costs about $300 that will cover one whole month. However, there are also hundreds of Farmer’s Market in the city where you can get cheaper and organic vegetables and fruits, which can help you slash down your food budget.
Driving your own car can be pricey when in Vancouver, that is why most people would opt to ride public transportation. There are buses, Sky trains, and even seabus in Vancouver that can take from one place to another in no time.
A one-way fare would cost $2 for buses and trains, but you can get a day pass for $10 for those who will frequently be traveling. A sea bus would cost twice the price. However, Vancouver is also safe for cyclists, which is why it is better to live nearby your workplace or school so that you can save transportation costs.
Related: Cost of Living in Manila
Abbotsford: The City for the Simple Life
Foreigners would not be too familiar with the city of Abbotsford; however, for those who like seeing scenic views of nature, the city is probably the best place to settle. Known for its mountainous landscapes and farm lifestyle, a city is a place for a simple living condition with only an estimated 150,000 residents.
Abbotsford rental rates are unsurprisingly lower than in Vancouver despite almost having the same size and amenities available. It is more akin to the housing conditions in Montreal, being more affordable for single and family renters.
A bachelor apartment only costs $500, which is already a reasonable price, only 100 Canadian dollars shy of that in Montreal. Families also do not have to skimp on their budget as a three-bedroom apartment is very affordable, ranging only from $1000 to $1500, which is almost a third of the price in Toronto.
With much available local produce in the area, food expenses are certainly very affordable. You can already have a month’s supply from only a $150 budget. Further, your vegetables and fruits are much healthier and organic, being naturally grown from the farms in Abbotsford.
Getting around Abbotsford is easy even when you are driving your car. There isn’t much traffic in the area even during rush hours, and you can also opt for public transportation.
Central Fraser Valley, Abbotsford’s primary transit provider, is an affordable and viable transportation service that does not cost much. You can get a monthly pass with unlimited rides for only $25.
The city of St. Catharines may be unfamiliar to many, but for Canadians, it is known as widely known as The Garden City. It is one of the countries most economical cities to live with a margin of living cost rate below 0.05% of the national average.
Rental rates come very cheaply in the city, which is why some even opt to purchase a house and lot instead, which you can do for only $300,000. It is a bang for your buck if you plan to stay in the area for a long term considering that a solo bedroom costs $500 to $800 while a three-bedroom apartment costs about $1300 to $2500.
Much like Abbotsford, you can also survive in St. Catharines with a monthly grocery budget of $150. The cities food costs are just within the average rate that families with minimum wage can afford. It is a great place to settle for those who prefer a simple lifestyle.
The St. Catherines Transit Commission runs the bus routes in the city, which operates at an hourly pace. The transit’s buses cover every significant point in the town where you can purchase a 31-day pass for only $92 consisting of unlimited rides.
However, there are also train routes that you can use, although it is very much underserved, unlike the buses which are likely to be more convenient. Cars and vans remain to be the most dominant modes of transportation for residents in St. Catharines.
Canada’s cost of living varies from area to area
Like any place, Canada has a wide range of cities that you can choose to settle in, depending on your budget. If you are working in financial and large staked industries, then Toronto and Vancouver would be the best option considering that they are business and art centers.
On the other hand, if you are all about the simple lifestyle, surely Abbotsford, Montreal, and St. Catharines should be on your list as they are more nature-centered and free from the daily hustle that comes in living in the big cities.
There are other cities in Canada where you can choose to reside; however, these five cities are by far the best when it comes to accessibility and affordability. Ultimately what matters is that you are able to live comfortably and that you do not have to skimp on your budget severely.
Canada is a beautiful place not only for residents but also for immigrants. With its welcoming and diverse culture, it is a great place to settle in even for foreigners.
It is very exciting to see the country growing to be a hotspot cultural center. Canada, known for its hospitality and liberated views, is definitely one of the best countries in the world when it comes to living within a budget and being happily welcomed.