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A young couple looking at the rising cost of food in a grocery store.
Rising food costs contribute to higher cost of living in Canada in 2022

The inflation rate in Canada is driving up the cost of living in Canada. Inflation is the process in which money loses some of its value. This results in paying higher costs for the same item. Because the inflation rate affects almost all goods and services you will need to pay more for essentials such as food and housing. And overall, this will increase your cost of living in Canada.

According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2022, many provinces can expect to see higher than average food inflation rates including Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. So this means the cost of living in Canada can vary greatly depending on the city as well as the region where you locate. For example, the cost of living in Toronto tends to be quite high in comparison to a smaller city in Canada such as Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The cost of living in Vancouver is also high. So, when you are deciding where to live in Canada, it’s essential to research the cost of living in various cities. This can help you assess how affordable the city will be for you and your family. As we head into 2022, we can see a continuous trend of a rising cost of living. The inflation rate in Canada is driving prices for a lot of goods and services higher, including the price we pay for food in grocery stores, restaurants, and delivery services.

FOOD CATEGORYEXPECTED CHANGE (%)
Bakery5 – 7%
Dairy6 – 8%
Fruits3 – 5%
Meat0 – 2%
Other2 – 4%
Restaurants6 – 8%
Seafood0 – 2%
Vegetables5 – 7%
TOTAL FOOD CATEGORIES FORECAST5 – 7%
2022 Food Price Forecasts (Source: Canada’s Food Price Report 2022)

Inflation Rate in Canada

Inflation affects all parts of the world but it affects some more than others. Within Canada, you will find that in some cities, goods and services are very expensive compared to other cities. Here are some benchmarks that indicate the cost of living in Canada in various cities. These costs can help you to create a budget for your first few months in Canada while you search for a job.

Cost of Living in Vancouver, British Columbia

Inflation rates are increasing the costs of food in grocery stores, restaurants, and delivery services.
Public Market Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia

Known for its mild climate, and scenic views, Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city. The real estate market is costly for an average Canadian family. Rent in Vancouver isn’t very cheap either. However, Vancouver does offer many benefits. For example, Vancouver provides many jobs so it may be easier to find a job here than in other cities in Canada.

If you love the outdoors, Vancouver also offers many outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, swimming, biking, etc. Another thing that people love about Vancouver is the weather. The city gets little to no snow with mild winters and cool summers. Overall, the city is a great place to live if you can afford the housing market.

While the cost of living in Vancouver may be high, you can find more affordable housing outside of Vancouver. The trade-off though is that it will add to your commute time if you work in Vancouver.

Summary of Costs in Vancouver:

Check out Rentals for Newcomers for average rent prices in Vancouver

Check out home prices in Vancouver: Vancouver Real Estate Trends

Monthly Transit Pass: $100.25

Monthly broadband internet: $86

Basic Dinner for two: $80

A loaf of bread: $3.40

Pint of beer: $4.32

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Cost of Living in Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is a beautiful city located in the prairies and it is also one of the most expensive if you exclude the housing costs. The real estate market is pretty affordable, lying just above the national average. One thing that people don’t enjoy about Calgary is its harsh climate.

Unemployment rates in Calgary have also risen due to the crash of the oil and gas industry. Unless you have a secure job in Calgary, it might be a bit risky to move there. In general, Calgary is a great place to live if you don’t mind the cold and have a secure job. Read more: What to Know About Living in Calgary, Alberta.

Summary of Costs in Calgary:

Check out average rental prices in Calgary at Rentals for Newcomers

Check out average home prices: Calgary Real Estate Trends

Monthly transit pass: $109 

Monthly broadband internet: $89

Dinner for two: $80

A Loaf of bread: $2.44

Pint of beer: $3.65Shortcode

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Cost of Living in Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada. With a population of almost 260,000, Regina is the second biggest city in the province. It has an affordable real estate market and rent is cheaper than most big cities as well. Like Calgary, Regina also has an extreme climate.

Regina has a rich culture and is often known as the Queen City, in honour of Queen Victoria. A big upside for moving to the city is that Regina is one of the only cities in Canada that is a buyer’s market. This means that buying a house is more favourable than selling one.

Check out average rental prices in Regina at Rentals for Newcomers.

Check out the average cost to buy a home in Regina: Regina Real Estate Trends

Adult Monthly transit pass: $88

Monthly broadband internet: $73.16

Dinner for two: $80

A loaf of bread: $2.83

Pint of beer: $3.68

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Cost of Living in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Known for its strong winds and often as the Gateway to the West, Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba. It has a large population that is spread out over a large area of land. This means that it is fairly easy to find a job in the city. Real estate is also quite affordable but is slowly increasing in value.

Summary of Costs in Winnipeg:

Check out rental costs in Winnipeg at Rentals for Newcomers.

Find out the average cost to buy a home in Winnipeg: Winnipeg Real Estate Trends

Adult Monthly transit pass: $104

Monthly broadband internet: $87.59

Dinner for two: $65.

A loaf of bread: $2.39

Pint of beer: $3.51

Cost of Living in Toronto, Ontario

Cost of living in Toronto can be more expensive that other smaller cities in Canada.
Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is the capital city of Ontario. It is the most recognizable and iconic city nationwide with the greatest population in Canada. The Greater Toronto Area accounts for more than 6% of Canada’s population. So naturally, Toronto is the main hub for economic activity. This means a lot of job and business opportunities.

However, like Vancouver, Toronto’s real estate market is quite expensive. Toronto has the second most expensive real estate market after Vancouver. While the cost of living in Toronto can be expensive, it is possible to budget and minimize your expenses.

Summary of Costs in Toronto:

Rental prices in Toronto change often. To get the most up-to-date rental costs, check out the average rental prices in Toronto for one, two, and three-bedroom apartments on our Rentals for Newcomers site.

For average house prices, check out: Toronto Real Estate Trends

Adult Monthly transit pass: $156

Monthly broadband internet: $73.20

Dinner for two: $80

A loaf of bread: $2.92

Pint of beer: $3.19

Cost of Living in Hamilton, Ontario

Located 70 km south of Toronto, along the western tip of Lake Ontario, Hamilton is Canada’s industrial centre. Its iron and steel industries have grown to become Canada’s largest. You might expect Hamilton to have a lot of jobs because of the industry factor but you would be wrong. Hamilton has enough jobs to employ only 89% of its workers. The rest have to commute to nearby cities. Read more: What to Know About Living in Hamilton.

Common places that workers commute to include Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, and Toronto. Hamilton’s real estate market is on the rise. It is expected to become out of reach for an average-income family in just a few years.

Summary of Costs in Hamilton

Check out the cost to rent apartments in Hamilton at Rentals for Newcomers

Find out the average cost to buy a home in Hamilton: Hamilton Real Estate Trends

Adult Monthly transit pass: $112.20

Monthly broadband internet: $63

Dinner for two: $75

A loaf of bread: $2.86

Pint of beer: $2.45

Cost of Living in Ottawa, Ontario

Welcome to the capital of the country! Ottawa is considered the most beautiful city in Canada. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the country due to all its historic sites and landmarks.

Ottawa’s real estate market has seen rapid growth in the past few years and is expected to keep growing. Real estate might and most probably will become very expensive in Ottawa as the city grows. Read more: What to Know About Living in Ottawa, Ontario.

Summary of Costs in Ottawa:

Check out the average cost to rent apartments in Ottawa at Rentals for Newcomers

Find out the average cost for a detached home in Ottawa: Ottawa Real Estate Trends

Monthly transit pass: $122.50

Monthly broadband internet: $76

Dinner for two: $80

A Loaf of bread: $2.94

Pint of beer: $2.80

Cost of Living in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax has a rich and fascinating history and is the capital of Nova Scotia. It is also the biggest city in the Maritimes. In recent years, Halifax’s real estate market has seen constant growth which isn’t expected to stop any time soon.

Halifax shares a similar climate to Vancouver; mild winters and cool summers. However, unlike Vancouver, Halifax has no dry season. Financial services, IT, and ocean technology as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing are among the biggest sectors in Halifax.

Summary of Costs in Halifax:

Check out the average rental costs for apartments in Halifax at Rentals for Newcomers

Learn more about the average costs to buy a home in Halifax: Halifax Real Estate Trends 

Monthly transit pass: $82.50

Monthly broadband internet: $95.54

Dinner for two: $75

A loaf of bread: $2:90

Pint of beer: $4.05

Cost of Living in Moncton, New Brunswick

Moncton is the most populated city in New Brunswick but it is the cheapest city to live in on this list. The real estate market is affordable to even low-income families and the city has unbelievable low car insurance rates.

An average family living in Toronto that has a monthly income of $6500 would only need $4500 to live a similar life in Moncton.

Summary of Costs in Moncton:

Check out the average rental costs for apartments in Moncton at Rentals for Newcomers

Check out the average cost to buy a detached home in Moncton: Moncton Real Estate Trends

Monthly transit pass: $68

Monthly broadband internet: $85.28

Dinner for two: $80

A loaf of bread: $3.51

Pint of beer: $3.27

Cost of Living in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton is the capital city of New Brunswick and the province’s third-largest city. The price of real estate in Fredricton lies around the national average so an average-income family can afford the lower-end of properties in the city.

Fredericton is often known as the Beer Brewing Town of Canada. As the name suggests, the city has the highest concentrations of breweries in the country. New Brunswick has a resource-based economy depending largely on agriculture, forestry, mining and fishing. Tourism and Manufacturing are also growing in the province. If this sounds like something that matches your profession, Fredericton (or any big city in New Brunswick) might be a good option.

Summary of costs in Fredericton:

1-bedroom apartment in the city centre: $1040

Check out the average cost to buy a home in Fredericton: Fredericton Real Estate Trends

Monthly transit pass: $80

Monthly broadband internet: $93.75

Dinner for two: $70

A loaf of bread: $4.03

Pint of beer: $5.14

As you can see there is variation in the cost of living in Canada from city to city.  And, the cost can vary by region. With the rising inflation rate in Canada, it’s important to know what you can expect to pay for goods, services, and housing. This can help you to prepare and budget for essentials such as food and housing costs. So if you are choosing where to live in Canada you need to think about every aspect of your lifestyle and budget.

For more information about your financial first steps in Canada, visit our banking in Canada resource page. Get the essential information you need to manage your finances in Canada!