Cheapest Place To Live in Canada: Top 8 Cities in 2022

While Canada is a fantastic place to live, the living costs can be quite high. Thankfully there are many small towns with very low living expenses and a high quality of life, so if you don’t want to be in a big populated city, there are certainly options to consider.

In today’s article, we will explore some of those places so that you can make an informed decision and find the perfect place for yourself and your family. If you’re looking for the cheapest place to live in Canada, read on!

The Costs of Living in Different Parts of Canada

The cost of living varies greatly depending on which part of the country you choose to reside in. In general, the further away you live from big cities, the cheaper your living costs will be. For example, Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada, while small towns in the Prairies or Atlantic provinces are much more affordable.

Also, living costs are generally more affordable in agricultural and rural areas compared to urban centres. That’s why you need to consider your circumstances carefully and start budgeting with a clear goal in mind.

Based on data collected by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the cheapest province to live in Canada is New Brunswick. As of September 2022, the average cost of houses here was $281,900. This is a 16.9% increase from the previous year, when the average was $241,100.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is also quite affordable, with an average house cost of $285,200. This is an 8% increase from the previous year when it was $264,000.

The Most Affordable Cities in Canada

Now, let’s see which Canadian cities are the best options for those living on a budget.

1. Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke is a city located in southeastern Québec. With a population of over 170,000, it is the sixth-largest city in the province and the 30th-largest in Canada.

Based on some stats on LivingCost.org, the cost of living in Sherbrooke is around $1,500, with rent included. Without the rent, the average goes around $850 per person, meaning you need somewhere in the vicinity of $650 to cover the rent and the utility bill.

At the same time, the average cost of living for a family of four is around $3,700, or $2,600-ish, without the rent.

The median after-tax salary in Sherbrooke is around $4,200, which is more than enough to cover all the expenses and have some money left over. The unemployment rate is just above 3%, which is below the national average.

2. Trois-Rivières

The next on our most affordable Canadian cities list is Trois-Rivières. This city is located in the Mauricie region of Québec, Canada. It was founded in 1634, and today it has a population of over 140,000 people.

Based on statistics on LivingCost.org, the cost of living in Trois-Rivières is around $1,400, with rent included. Without it, the average is a bit over $800 per person, meaning you need only around six hundred bucks to cover the other necessary expenses. And if you’re a family of four, you will have to budget around $3,300 monthly or $2,400 without rent.

The unemployment rate in this city is 2.8%, and the median after-tax salary is just over $2,800, which is enough to get you through two months.

3. Saguenay

Saguenay is a city located in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of Québec. It has a population of over 145,000 people and was constituted in 2002 by merging the cities of Chicoutimi, Jonquiere, and Dubuc. Now, let’s see what makes Saguenay one of the best places to live in Canada.

The living costs in Saguenay are around $1,300 per person, making it one of the cheapest cities in the country. You will need to budget around $500 for rent and utilities. For a family of four, you’ll need approximately $3,600 to pay all expenses, including the rent, food, and transport.

This might sound a bit high, but the median after-tax salary is above $4,200, enough to keep you warm and cozy for over three months.

The unemployment and crime rates are also significantly lower than the rest of Canada (53% and 48% lower than the national average, respectively).

4. Saint John

Saint John is located in the province of New Brunswick, in eastern Canada. It has a population of around 70,000 people and is the second-largest city in the province. As we already mentioned, New Brunswick is the cheapest and arguably best province to live in in Canada.

The cost of living in Saint John is relatively low, at around $1,800 per person. This amount covers all the expenses, including rent, food, and transportation. Without rent, the cost of living in this town is less than $950. If you have a family of four, you’ll need just under $4,500 to cover all these expenses.

The median after-tax salary is over $7,000, which is enough to cover all the expenses for nearly four months. The crime rates in Saint John are 23% lower than the New Brunswick average, which is another reason this city is such a great option.

5. Surrey

Surrey is a city located in the province of British Columbia. It has a population of over 560,000 and is the second-largest city in the province after Vancouver.

Surrey is a bit on the expensive side compared to the average cost of living in Canada. The monthly costs are around $2,600 per person, with the rent included. The rent and utilities will cost you a bit over $1,500, which means you’ll need approximately $1,100 to cover the other expenses.

If you’re a family of four, the monthly expenses will be just over $6,000, or around $3,100 without rent.

The median after-tax salary in Surrey is around $5,000, which is just short of covering all the expenses for one person for two months. The unemployment rate is 3.8% – 40% lower than the national average.

6. Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital city of Quebec and is located in the Capitale-Nationale region. It has a population of over 540,000 and is the twelfth-largest city in Canada.

The cost of living in Quebec City is around $1,700 per person, with rent included. So, if you’re looking for the most affordable city in Canada, Quebec City is definitely an option to consider.

The rent and utilities will cost you around $750 per month, leaving you with $950-ish to cover the other expenses. If you’re a family of four, you’ll need at least $4,100 monthly to cover all the expenses, or $2,800-ish without the rent included.

The median after-tax salary is around $4,700, which covers well over two months of expenses.

7. Red Deer

Red Deer is a city located in the province of Alberta. It has a population of over 100,000 people and is the third-largest city in the province.

The cost of living in Red Deer is slightly higher than in other cheap cities in Canada, at nearly $2,100 per person. This amount covers all the expenses, including rent, food, and transportation. Without rent, the living costs in this town are around $860 per person or $2,700 for a family of four.

The median after-tax salary in Red Deer is just over $4,200, which will get you through two months with no problems.

8. Kingston

Kingston is a small city located in the province of Ontario. It has a population of over 130,000 and is the 10th largest metropolitan area in the province.

The cost of living in Kingston is similar to that in Red Deer, at around $2,100 per person. This amount covers all the expenses, including rent, food, and transportation. Without rent, the cost of living is $860-ish per person or around $2,850 for a family of four.

The median after-tax salary in Kingston is around $4,400, which will last you for two months. As of October 2022, the unemployment rate in Kingston is just 5.4%, meaning there are plenty of job opportunities available.

Things We Considered While Choosing the Most Affordable Places To Live in Canada

If you look at the consumer spending numbers, you’ll see that Canadians spend almost 30% of their income on housing. This includes rent, mortgage payments, property taxes, and utilities. Therefore, we considered housing costs an essential element in this research.

We also looked at other big factors, such as the cost of living, unemployment, and median after-tax salary. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of our criteria:

Rent Costs

Rent is usually the most significant expense people have to pay monthly. That’s why finding a place where the rent is affordable is crucial.

Food Costs

Food is another essential expense you must consider when choosing a place to live. You’ll want to find a city where you can buy reasonably priced groceries.

Transportation Costs

Transportation is another expense that can significantly affect the cost of living in Canada. Public transportation is one of the best ways to save money and cut your everyday expenses. If you’re planning on using it to get around, you’ll want to find a place where transportation costs are affordable.

Unemployment Rate

This measures the percentage of people who are unemployed and looking for work. A lower unemployment rate means more opportunities to find a job.

Median After-Tax Salary

This is the amount of money that people earn after taxes. It’s important to consider because it will give you an idea of how much money you’ll have left after handling the taxes.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors to consider when looking for the best place to settle. The cost of rent, food, and transportation are some of the most important factors. You’ll also want to consider the unemployment rate and average income, as that will affect your ability to find a job and afford the cost of living.

Ultimately, the best way to find the cheapest place to live in Canada in 2022 is to compare different cities and see which one fits your budget and preferences the best.


FAQ

Which Canadian province has the lowest taxes?

The provinces with the lowest taxes in Canada are Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. The tax rate there is only 5%. This means you’ll only pay $5 in taxes for every $100 you earn. So, if you’re looking to save on taxes, these are the provinces that you should consider moving to.

What job in Canada is the highest paid?

The highest-paid jobs in Canada are in the medical field. Doctors, for example, can earn over $300,000 per year, which is significantly more than the average Canadian salary of $66,920 per year.

Other high-paying jobs include dentists, pharmacists, and psychologists. So, if you’re looking for a high-paying job, consider a career in the medical field.

What part of Canada has the cheapest rent?

The cheapest rentals in Canada can be found in New Brunswick and the Newfoundland and Labrador region. The average cost of rent and utilities in New Brunswick is just over $1,000 per month. Newfoundland and Labrador are even more affordable, at only around $950. Quebec comes in third, costing an average of just under $1,100 per month.

What is the safest province in Canada?

While it might not be the cheapest place to live in Canada, Quebec is the safest province. According to the Statistics Canada Crime Severity Index, the crime rate in Quebec is only 54.3 per 1,000 people.

On the other hand, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have crime rates of 146.76 and 126.92 per 1,000 people, respectively, making them the most dangerous provinces in the country.

So, if you’re looking for a safe place to live, Quebec should be at the top of your list. It offers a low crime rate and a variety of other benefits, such as affordable housing and a good job market.

Milica Milenkovic
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