If you’re searching for the ultimate guide to Toronto’s cost of living, here is a comprehensive dive into this beautiful and modern city.
Toronto is ranked as one of the best cities to live in in the world. It is loved by locals and envied from afar. It has an open-minded attitude, it has convenient and sophisticated urban centers, and abundant natural surroundings.
With a population of 6 million people, it is Canada’s largest city. It is also known for its friendly immigration policies and multicultural environment.
There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs. As well as working and business class professionals.
Let’s take a closer look at the actual Toronto cost of living.
Toronto Cost of Living
Toronto is 64% more expensive compared to an average American city. It is estimated that the average Toronto resident needs to earn about C$250 000 per year before tax in order to live comfortably.
This amount includes all expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, transport etc. The cost of living for an average family of two adults and two children averages at around C$4,429 per month. Wages in Toronto are above the national average. The Toronto minimum wage as of October 2021 is around C$17 per hour. The average American wage per hour is $11.25 (September 2021)
Renting in Toronto, Canada
Moving in anywhere near the downtown area of Toronto is considered in the upper bracket of housing and apartment rental prices. Your monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in a normal area would be around C$ 2,500.
Basic monthly expenses like groceries, internet, and phone plans, as well as transport, are also higher in these areas.
For a young professional living in the downtown area, a furnished 45 m2 (480 sq ft) studio apartment will cost around C$ 2 211 per month.
Student accommodation either shared or in a dorm room costs around C$1900 per month.
As of September 2021, the four cheapest neighborhoods for one bedroom rentals, averaging around C$2017 are:
An apartment rental for a 3 bedroom home outside the city centre is around C$2635. Whilst in the city centre a 3 bedroom home is much higher at around C$3387.
It’s worth noting that although Toronto rental prices are some of the highest in Canada, they are still 49.58% lower than in New York.
Buying Real Estate in Toronto, Canada
The major benefit to Toronto being the big city that it is, is that it caters for all income brackets in terms of housing options available.
If you’re looking to buy an apartment in Toronto’s city center, set your budget at around C$10 710 per square meter. And around C$1000 less than that for an apartment in the suburbs.
From luxurious condos and lavish apartments in the city skyscrapers to small houses and studios. Townhouses and apartments on the periphery of Toronto have plenty of green spaces and ample parking for families.
Winters are not as cold as in other areas like Ottawa and Montreal in Canada.
One should however, budget for an increase in utility bills during winter to accommodate extra heat, electricity, and gas prices.
Your basic utilities that include electricity, cooling, heating, water and garbage removal for an 85m2 apartment is around C$165 a month.
If your apartment or house doesn’t have built-in air conditioning, you might need to invest in a window air-con as summers in Toronto can be rather humid.
A standard air-conditioning unit will cost you about C$250.
Increases in Canada and Toronto Cost of Living
Statistics Canada released numbers in November 2021 showing that inflation has increased to 4.4% — a number not seen in Canada for 18 years.
The average price of groceries and utilities has also risen compared with 2020.
Basic necessities like meat and chicken prices have increased. The cost of chicken is up 8.4%, pork 9.3%, and beef more than 5%.
The price of gas has increased by 32.5%.
Although Toronto might be one of the most expensive Canadian cities to live in, it is also one of the most rewarding places in terms of social lifestyle.
With its fantastic multicultural communities and focus on the arts and entertainment, there are many leisure and recreational options to choose from.
From theatre, dance and live music, the city’s nighttime establishments are some of the best in the world.
Toronto is also an LGBTQ+ friendly city and the Toronto Pride festival is an annual event that is important and well received by the community.
Outdoor activities and community spaces are another positive about the Toronto lifestyle.
It has ample green spaces, parks, and benches to escape the urban grind.
Trinity Bellwoods is a famous park in Toronto. It is situated by Queen Street West and Dundas Street. People can easily social distance and have a picnic with family and friends.
The Rouge National Urban Park is home to incredible biodiversity and is good for day tripping.
During the hot summers, locals tend to flock to the lake for water sport activities.
Toronto Islands are a group of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario which are popular with locals and tourists.
Entry onto the islands is free, but you will have to pay for the ferry ride. These prices are around CA$7.71 per adult and CA$3.72 for ages 2-14.
There are a variety of transport options available in Toronto. Driving is the most popular form of transport.
In the city center, biking to work has also become popular. This is hugely due to the increase in traffic over the past few years as the city has grown.
There are a number of public transport options (numerous bus and train routes). For longer trips across Canada, air travel is preferable due to the size of the country.
A monthly transport card will cost around C$151, whilst a single-use pass will cost around C$3.
As of November 2021, a liter of gasoline for your motor vehicle costs C$1.33 in Toronto, which is about 33% more expensive than in New York.
But, the cost of a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline or similar new car works out to be around 17% cheaper than buying the same car in New York.
Extra Toronto Cost of Living Expenses
It’s possible to enjoy a high standard of living without spending too much in Toronto. In fact, Toronto’s grocery bills are cheaper than living in Europe but more expensive than in the USA.
There are lots of fresh vegetable outlets and farmers markets spread through the various neighborhoods. And a keen vegan scene in the more bohemian areas, as well as trendy independent food stores.
Food festivals like The Taste of Little Italy are popular during the summer.
Staple grocery items like a loaf of bread, eggs, beef, chicken, fruit and vegetables are all significantly cheaper than in major cities in the USA.
The average cost for a loaf of bread is C$2.88, a litre of milk is C$3 and a carton of 12 eggs is C$3.53.
An average Canadian living in Toronto spends about C$300 on food per month.
Eating out in Toronto
With regards to eating out at one of the thousands of restaurants in Toronto, you can expect to pay around C$19 for a simple lunch menu (including a drink) in the city center.
A neighborhood pub meal for two in the suburbs will cost you around C$53.
A combination meal from a leading franchise, like a hamburger, chips, and cooldrink will set you back around C$11.
Young people and university students love the Toronto craft beer scene as well as the city’s many independent coffee shops. A local beer will cost you on average C$7, and a cappuccino around C$4.67.
One of the most attractive reasons to move to Toronto is that the Ontario government offers free basic health insurance to all residents.
General practitioners, healthcare professionals, hospitals, and clinics are of the highest global standard.
To be eligible for health insurance, you must have resided in the province of Ontario for at least three months. All legal and residential permits must be valid when applying.
Governance And Utilities for Toronto Cost of Living
The Ontario government, especially in Toronto, offers an excellent range of community services.
These include libraries, public pools, community centers as well as skating and ice hockey parks.
Monthly utilities including electricity, gas, and heating averages around C$151 for 2 people.
Internet costs work out to about C$49 a month for 8mbps, while mobile call rates (mobile to mobile) per minute are C$0.40.
For more information on different municipalities rates, taxes, permits, licenses and government policies, please see the City Of Toronto’s website.
There is a fantastic selection of top-rated schools throughout Toronto. These include elementary, middle, and high schools.
As with reasonably priced and efficient transport for scholars, the public schooling system is rated very high. If you have residency status, schools are free.
Toronto is also filled with excellent colleges and universities that act as feeders into the thriving business and entertainment industries.
Depending on which part of the US/Canada you are moving from, an accurate estimation of your costs is essential.
Taking many factors into account, like packing up, moving and unpacking in your new home, Tower Moving can give you a free residential or commercial moving service calculation quote based on your moving needs.
You can also discover Toronto cost of living tips for moving from Tower Moving tips.
From nature to nightlife, Toronto is the pulse of Canada. With its liberal lifestyle philosophy, pro immigration policies, free public schools, national healthcare, and progressive government, Toronto encapsulates the contemporary Canadian spirit.
It has low crime rates and lots of job opportunities in its thriving business district.
Consistently viewed and rated internationally as one of the best cities to live in, Toronto attracts the best talent in all forms of business and entertainment.
It is also a perfect place to bring up children. Whether you choose to live in the bustling inner city with its excellent transport system, vibrant arts scene and ample opportunities for work and play; or the modern leafy suburbs with top rated schools, clean living spaces and safe, quiet neighborhoods.
The cost of living might be higher, but the overall perks of living in this beautiful city more than make up for it.
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