Have you heard those notorious rumors about Toronto, claiming that the city is too expensive and that no one knows how Torontonians make it till the next paycheck? Could it be that this place is really that expensive? If you want to find out the actual cost of living in Toronto, we have the numbers you are looking for.
The Cost of Living in Toronto, Canada – How Expensive Can It Be?
Did your friends try to warn you about something once you told them you are looking to move to the Great White North and live like a Canadian? No, we are not talking about their sense of humor or something hockey-related. It is the price of living up there. But don’t worry too much; this place is not the most costly one in Canada, nor in the world. Just for the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at some other places known as the most pricey in the Great White North:
- Vancouver (British Columbia)
- Montreal (Quebec)
- Calgary (Alberta)
- Ottawa (Ontario)
Besides, even though this metropolis appears in some lists of the ten most expensive cities in the world, it is never at the top of them. It is far behind the Asian giants, and even some European cities. So here is a brief list of places across the globe that are known for being more expensive than the capital of Ontario:
- Hong Kong
When checking out similar lists, for example, the richest cities in the world, you have to keep in mind that not all of them use the same criteria for ranking. Some are based on the costs of housing; others rely on income, etc.
But one thing is sure – if people could not afford to work and live in places with such high costs and standards, then they wouldn’t have millions of residents, a stable economy, and crowds of tourists and expats willing to go there. Now that the affordability myth is busted, we can break down the prices in several categories.
There are some things you need to consider when moving to another country from the US, from finding a reputable international mover to provide packing services, storage, and vehicle shipping, to house-hunting and finding a job. But if you have decided to move to Canada, luckily, breaking the language barrier is not one of them. Probably the biggest advantage of going there is the fact that it is close, in addition to the shared language and culture. In fact, so close that it is no wonder why so many people who are moving from New York to Canada choose to settle in Little York.
Little York is, as you may assume, one of many nicknames for this place, besides The Six, 416, T-Dot, Hogtown, Queen City, or The Big Smoke. The story about Little York goes back to 1796 when the town was known simply as York. In 1834, York was incorporated and renamed Toronto. The town continued to expand during the 19th century and became a popular destination for immigrants. By the end of the 20th century, it came to be the largest city in the country and its economic engine. Therefore, the nickname Little York is an homage to its larger American counterpart.
Today, Little York has around 3 million residents, but the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has a population of slightly more than 6 million. The diverse population shows how important a role this place played throughout history, and even today, it remains a popular destination for expats from all over the globe. Check out our short guide to Toronto neighborhoods you should move to, and pick the best one for you.
Among the things you need to know when moving to Canada is that although it is often considered as too pricey, Canada’s most costly places are regularly featured in the top ten most livable cities in the world. So you will often find our Little York on those prestigious lists, too.
Let’s Check out the Prices
Whether you are moving on a low budget or you are wondering how to find a new job after the relocation, your priority are probably the living expenses in Little York, including the rent, prices of groceries, utilities, etc.
Although the average wage in Little York is $2,595 after taxes, if you do not have a job waiting for you, balancing the finances when moving abroad is paramount. And since a single person can spend almost $1,000 per month without the rent, let’s check out what the costs are, and how much you will have to add for rent.
The Cost of Housing in Toronto, Canada
According to the data provided by Numbeo, for a one-bedroom apartment in the center, you will have to pay approximately $1,654 monthly. The numbers are slightly lower in the suburbs and outside of the center. So you can get the same-sized apartment for around $1,320. If you are relocating with your family and you are looking for something more spacious, a three-bedroom apartment in the center will cost you $2,636. If you go further from the center, you can find much more affordable options and the same type of family accommodation for $1,962.
Those of you looking to purchase a property will be glad to know that home prices here are almost two times cheaper than in NYC.
The Cost of Everyday Living
Is there a better way to adjust to a new country than exploring its national cuisine and experimenting with local dishes? That is why the Canadian Government has come up with its food guide through which you can find out more about recommended eating habits, recipes, tips, etc.
According to some online surveys, an adult person spends about $100 per week on groceries. So that is around $400 per month, without other necessities such as detergents, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. Keep in mind that when preparing their meals, Torontonians prefer to eat healthy, fresh, and locally produced food.
When it comes to eating out, it all depends on your lifestyle. Will you prepare your lunch at home and bring it to work, or will you order something. A meal for one person at an average, inexpensive restaurant is usually around $15. A cup of regular cappuccino is $3.42, while a small bottle of imported beer can be purchased for $6.
Getting Around the City and Enjoying It
Public transportation functions pretty well, and the local TTC has three modes: bus, subway, and streetcar. All lines go through the center and the suburbs, and you can opt between daily passes and monthly tickets.
- Subway – Even though there are only two subway lines, the Yellow and the Green line, they run every few minutes between 6 AM and 1:30 AM on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, they start at 8 AM. A single ride is $2.5, but there are also daily, weekly, and monthly passes, which can help you save up some money if you plan to use public transportation frequently. The monthly pass is around $100 for adults.
- Streetcars and buses – these lines cover all the areas where subway lines do not go, and unlike buses, most streetcars operate 24/7. There are ten streetcar routes, and they are focused mainly on downtown. In 2019, the majority of old trams were replaced with newer, modern models.
If you prefer to drive, keep in mind that 1 gallon of gas is $3.41, and the traffic can be hectic sometimes. If you like bike riding, you can rent one of the 3000 bikes that are waiting for you at nearly 300 stations. There are also cabs, Uber, and Lyft apps.
We Hope You Watched This Video
Little York is a place that has a lot to offer, which you can tell from the video above. From sports, museums, galleries, shopping centers, and plenty of other activities, this place has it all. But at what cost? An average Torontonian spends around 37% of its expenses on rent, 29% goes to markets. They spend 12% on restaurants, 9% on transportation, 4.9% on utilities, and the same amount on sports and leisure. Finally, what is left goes on clothing and shoes.
Phone and Other Related Expenses
The phone is generally a pretty costly service in Canada, and some companies keep raising their fees just because they can. It is one of the things you will learn when moving internationally. Some things just do not make much sense, but you learn how to live with it over time. Think about it as a part of the culture shock that will strike you sooner or later once you move abroad.
There are several service providers here, and they offer various packages and deals, so choose the one that fits your needs. Some of them also offer cable TV, home phone, and internet.
An average phone plan with 5 GB can be found for between $36 and $75 monthly, and that is not a lot of data, especially today. Overall, take your time and carefully research all the deals and promo offers.
Compared to mobile phones, regular utilities like electricity, water, garbage, heating, and cooling can seem pretty reasonable. On average, they are $106 per month for a 915 square meter apartment. If you have children or are planning to raise them here, you may also want to research the costs of education. For example, private kindergarten can be anywhere from $1,100 per month, while international primary schools can be around $19,900 per year.
How Much Will You Spend on Entertainment and Leisure?
Your lifestyle dictates how much you will spend above the bare minimum and allow yourself to splurge from time to time. There are plenty of options to spend your money on, so if you do not want to watch a movie on Netflix, you can pay $23 for two tickets. If you want to grab a drink or a cocktail after work, you’ll have to set aside $10. A fine dinner in an Italian restaurant with the main course, dessert, and wine can cost $88 for two people.
If you are looking to start living healthy and hit the gym, monthly membership in the business district is around $51. If you want to visit the famous Royal Ontario Museum, the tickets are $17 for adults, and the fees are similar for the Museum of Illusions, Hockey Hall of Fame, and Art Gallery. And one last thing; don’t forget about the price of international moving by sea.
Why Choose Toronto When It Is Pricier Than Other Canadian Cities?
If your head is getting dizzy from all the numbers and calculating all the costs, remember that life in places like this comes with some advantages and privileges. The median salary is $2,595 after taxes. If you are single, you can save up on rent if you live with a roommate. Or, if you are relocating with your significant other or a family, the situation is much easier when there are two people bringing money to the table and providing for the family.
The thing is, over the past several years, living here did not get cheaper, but the fact that so many people still want to move and live there tells us that the quality of life justifies its high price.