The cost of living in Canada: the pros and cons

Before deciding to relocate to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, you would like to have a good idea of ​​what that might cost in relation to your current life. We talk a lot about the quality of life in Canada. But what is the cost of this quality? To help you see it clearly, here we offer you major trends and precise comparisons, both in terms of the cost of daily living, labor and business costs.

The figures we give you are averages. Things and situations do indeed change quickly, especially these days.


For years, Montreal has been considered one of the most affordable metropolises in North America. The real estate market is changing, however. According to a recent Statistics Canada report, residential property prices in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria have indeed increased by an average of 4.4% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of the year. previous. In February 2021, the price of single-family homes in the Montreal area had even jumped 28% in one year according to the Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers of Quebec (APCIQ).

Average monthly rent for a 4 1/2 (2 bedrooms) in the city center

3500$1200$2200 $2600 $

Average purchase price of a 4 ½ apartment in the city center

ParisMontrealToronto Vancouver
From 1 200 000$ 400 000$620 000 $700 000 $

Average purchase price of a single-family home

Paris (140 m2)MontrealToronto Vancouver
2 300 000 $600 000 $1 050 000 $1 300 000 $

Note that in Canada, in addition to the price of the property, you must add the notary fees, the costs of inspection by a professional, the Welcome tax (transfer duties according to the purchase price) and, each year , municipal and school taxes.


It is often said that in Canada gasoline and electricity are not expensive, while cheese and wine cost a fortune. It’s a bit of a caricature, but it’s not far from the truth. The list of price differences is long. We give you here as examples some elements of everyday life that will give you a good idea. In Canada, as in all countries, prices can vary by city or province.

Mobile telephony package70 $/month30 $/month
Internet, landline telephone, television150 $/month60 $/month
Electricity13,7 ¢ / kW24,3 ¢ / kW
WaterFree (included in taxes)4,25 $/m3
Baguette$ 2.90 (but $ 0.80 per bagel :))1,30 $
Essence1,26 $/L2,28 $/L


If you are moving to Canada with your family, you will also have to consider the costs of education for the children. Public elementary and secondary school is free to all residents of Canada. Permanent residents pay the same fees as Canadians for higher education or university. In addition, for the university, French citizens pay the same fees as Canadians outside Quebec. Quebec has also signed several international cooperation agreements with countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, etc. so that their nationals pay reduced tuition fees.

Average registration fees

Primary / Secondary (Canada)Primary / high school / college (France)
Baccalaureate (Quebec)License (France)
3 300 $/year275 $/year
Masters (Quebec)Master (France)
2 600 $/year380 $/year
HEC(Quebec)Business Schools (France)
$ 227 / year (Quebec student) $ 412 / year (Non-resident of Quebec, French student, French-speaking Belgian) $ 1,040 / year (Foreign student)25 000 $/year


For an entrepreneur, the price of labor, payroll taxes, operating costs and even taxes can become important issues.

We take the example of Quebec here, the costs vary slightly from one province to another.

Average employee contributions (employers employed)20 %80 %
Minimum wage13,50 $/h15,18 $/h
Average annual salary (manager)77 000 $73 000 $
Average annual salary (administrative assistant)38 000 $35 000 $
Average annual salary (machinery)48 000 $31 000 $
Average office rents per square feet24,57 $43,16 $27,88 $

Sources: Statistics Canada, Regroupement des committees logement et associations de tenants du Québec (RCLALQ), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Protégez-vous, Numbeo,