Are you wondering about cheap places to live in Canada? Because you’ve heard the classic line, live in Canada; save your money, right? Well, it’s true! Canada boasts some of the lowest living costs in the world, which makes it a great place to call home if you want to save money.
That being said, not every city in Canada offers the same cost savings. That’s why I found eight of the cheapest places to live in Canada and highlight their cost-saving attributes. Read on to see if one of these cities made our list.
Top 8 Cheap Places to Live in Canada
01: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
One of the fastest growing cities in Canada is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Although it’s further north than some other Canadian cities, Saskatoon is actually hot year-round and enjoys less extreme winter weather.
Saskatoon is a great place for young people and families who want to get away from city life. There’s a lot of farmland around it, so it’s perfect for nature lovers. If you like sunshine, Saskatoon has an average of 220 sunny days per year.
You don’t need a car because public transportation is good. In winter (from December through March), temperatures drop below -30 C, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.
It also boasts a large economy based on potash mining, leading to great job opportunities for people looking for work. The city itself is small and easy to navigate by bike or foot, making it possible for residents to avoid using cars all together.
The city has a high population of young people, so there are lots of bars and live music venues. If you’re looking for more low-key activities, check out a Saskatchewan Roughriders game or take part in an outdoor activity such as canoeing, kayaking or camping.
For nature lovers, Saskatoon is also home to Wanuskewin Heritage Park the site of human habitation dating back over 10,000 years. It’s also close to many national parks and includes special areas dedicated to preserving native culture and history.
In fact, Saskatoon is a great destination among cheap places to live in Canada if you’re looking for warmer weather and affordable rent.
The median rent in Saskatoon for a one-bedroom apartment is around $862. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find an affordable place to live.
You can rent a three-bedroom townhouse for $450 per month, or pay $550 per month for a four-bedroom house, which usually also comes with two bathrooms and a garage.
Basic utilities will cost you around $120 per month and groceries run about $320 each month (estimates).
02: Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec City is ranked by Mercer as one of North America’s most affordable cities, with an overall cost-of-living index (including rent) similar to that of New York. The city is home to a large student population. Approximately 70,000 students are enrolled at Quebec’s three main universities.
While Quebec City is on par with other large North American cities, for the overall cost of living, rent is a bargain. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just $685, making Quebec City one of cheap places to live in Canada for migrants, students and professionals looking for affordable housing.
03: Fredericton, New Brunswick
It’s true that it can get cold here, but Fredericton is home to some of Atlantic Canada’s warmest temperatures, with on average 17.5 hours of sunshine every day. It’s also affordable.
The average cost of a home here is about $159,000 USD, compared with about $350,000 for Toronto or $433,900 for Vancouver. On top of all that, New Brunswick recently implemented a tax-free savings account (TFSA) program and unlike RRSPs and other tax-saving programs there are no limits to how much you can save each year.
Canadian banks like TD Canada Trust and Scotia Bank have created special TFSAs just for expats, which let them invest up to $10,400 USD annually, having no income taxes withheld from their earnings.
04: Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John is a city and coastal port on Bay of Fundy, as well as an outlet of Fundy and Kennebecasis rivers. The temperature ranges from 7.4 degrees Celsius at winter’s end, to 23.6 degrees Celsius during summer’s peak. In reality, Saint John is a beautiful city on New Brunswick’s east coast and maybe one of Canada’s cheapest places to live.
The city is served by several highways, one being Highway 1 and another being Route 8 that runs through it. The city also has various residential neighbourhoods and communities, including College Park, Lansdowne Park, and Woodstock and several shopping malls such as McAllister Place Mall, Champlain Place Mall and Regent Mall.
As per average temperatures, January is when snowfall reaches its peak. The temperature ranges from -9 degrees Celsius during winter’s coldest month to 20 degrees Celsius during summer’s hottest month. December, on average receives 147 millimetres of rain, while July receives 60 millimetres of rain on an average.
Saint John have an impressive number of bars and restaurants for such a small city. Plus, real estate is cheap here. You can get an apartment with two bedrooms for $1,000/month or bargain. A four-bedroom house will cost you about $90,000.
In terms of food, the average price for a haircut here is $40, while a cup of coffee will cost you about $3. Saint John is a great place to live if you’re looking for an affordable city with plenty of restaurants and bars.
05: Trois-Rivières, Quebec
At first glance, Trois-Rivières, Que., doesn’t look too different from most other small Canadian cities. It’s got a storied past and a central location along one of North America’s longest rivers. What makes it special is its affordable cost of living, which beats out almost all other spots on the continent.
Cost of Living
Fortunately, the city of Trois-Rivières is one of inexpensive places to live in Canada. Statistics Canada estimates it would take just over C$52k per year to meet your basic needs while living in Trois-Rivières. Meanwhile, average salaries are typically between C$38k and C$45k per year depending on the sector.
Also Read: Cheapest Places to Stay in Turkey
06: Peterborough, Ontario
Located about two hours from Toronto, Peterborough is a good place for business owners or people who want to work remotely. The cost of living is considerably lower than most major Canadian cities, and it has a small-town feel but with big-city amenities. Thanks to its location on Lake Ontario, there are plenty of recreation opportunities available year-round.
One potential downside is that many residents work outside Peterborough because of its position between Toronto and Ottawa. For example, over 20% of residents work in Toronto alone. Still, it makes for a good place to live because there’s always plenty going on around town.
Cost of Living
So you’re moving to Peterborough, Ontario? While it’s a relatively cheap place to live in Canada, there are certain things that might catch you off guard. For example, a typical family of four will expect their living costs (including rent) will come out to about $3,200 per month. Of course, that’s an average figure.
Depending on your housing situation (rent or owning a home), you may end up spending more or less each month. For example, a single person living alone is likely to pay $1,200 per month for rent and utilities (compared with $2,400 per month for a family of four).
Utilities are expensive here, about $200/month for a one-bedroom apartment. Food isn’t too expensive overall, groceries typically cost less than $500/month for a family of four.
07: Waterloo Region, Ontario
Near to Toronto and yet still affordable, Waterloo Region is often considered one of Canada’s best places to live. It has more bars and restaurants per capita than any other Canadian city except Montreal.
Most importantly, perhaps, it’s also a great place for millennia since the region has one of Ontario’s youngest populations.
With a median household income of just over $70,000, Waterloo Region is fairly affordable compared to other Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Waterlooville on Kitchener’s west side offers some of Canada’s most affordable homes at an average cost of just $285,000.
In short, Waterloo Region is a great place for students and young professionals who are looking for their first taste of city life at an affordable price.
Also Read: Benefits of Canadian Permanent Residency
08: Surrey, British Columbia
Surrey is another moderately affordable option for those looking to make their home in British Columbia. One reason for Surrey’s affordability is its proximity to Vancouver, one of North America’s most expensive real estate markets.
If you’re worried about being too far from Vancouver, don’t be. You can easily commute into Vancouver by car or transit and enjoy most of its perks without paying a lot for housing.
The median rent price for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,300 in Surrey, significantly less than its neighbour Vancouver (where it’s $2,259).
Some residents even commute from Surrey to Seattle, which is only 56 miles away. From there, they have access to some of North America’s best tech jobs and world-class entertainment and culture.
Another bonus for Surrey is its access to nature. You’re only a 15-minute drive from either Guildford Park or Mud Bay Park and you’ll find plenty of hikes, biking, and other outdoor activities at both locations.
A living in Canada doesn’t have to break the bank. With its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and respected medical system, it can be one of the most attractive countries in the world to make your home.
If you’re looking to move to Canada and make it your permanent residence, or if you just want to take a trip here and explore what it offers.
I featured estimated cost of living for those who are looking for cheap places to live in Canada. So, the highlighted links will help you figure out latest trends of living expenses in Canada.