How much does a single person need to earn in major Canadian cities in 2023

Living isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely cheaper in some Canadian cities than others.

From rent and utilities to groceries and entertainment, we’re taking a look at how much someone living alone in five major cities across Canada would reasonably spend on all of the following items:

  • Rent: How much it costs to rent a one-bedroom apartment on average in the city.
  • Basic utilities, internet, phone: How much it costs to stay connected.
  • Transportation: How much it costs for a monthly bus pass.
  • Groceries: How much it costs to buy just the basics every week.
  • Dining out: The average cost of a nice meal for two.
  • Entertainment: The average cost of a movie ticket and three beers.
  • Health and fitness: How much gym memberships cost.
  • Coffee: How much you would spend if you bought a cappuccino daily before work.
  • Cost of living extras: How much one pair of Levi’s jeans and one pair of Nike shoes would cost.
Calgary Canada
Calgary Downtown

To find these prices, all shown in averages, we used rental data from, average cell phone cost data from the Government of Canada, and cost of living data from Numbeo. What you’ll see here is a snapshot of the realistic cost of renting and living alone in Canada.


Rent: $2,633
Basic utilities and internet: $206.23
Phone: $74.42
Transportation: $120
Groceries: $369.36
Dining out: $105
Entertainment: $44
Health and fitness: $60.57
Coffee: $101
Cost of living extras: $130

Total: $3,843.58


Rent: $1,473
Basic utilities and internet: $354.12
Phone: $74.42
Transportation: $112
Groceries: $353.08
Dining out: $95
Entertainment: $27.34
Health and fitness: $80.60
Coffee: $101.8
Cost of living extras: $180.41

Total: $2,851.77


Rent: $1,100
Basic utilities and internet: $336.65
Phone: $74.42
Transportation: $100
Groceries: $339.20
Dining out: $99
Entertainment: $26.04
Health and fitness: $60.77
Coffee: $103.60
Cost of living extras: $177.96

Total: $2,417.64


Rent: $1,572 for a one-bedroom apartment
Basic utilities and internet: $169.10
Phone: $74.42
Transportation: $94
Groceries: $339.52
Dining out: $90
Entertainment: $25.68
Health and fitness: $40.04
Coffee: $96
Cost of living extras: $211.23

Total: $2,711.99


Rent: $2,532 for a one-bedroom apartment
Utilities: $249.39
Phone: $74.42
Transportation: $156
Groceries: $361.60
Dining out: $120
Entertainment: $26.04
Health and fitness: $61.47
Coffee: $97.20
Cost of living extras: $203.10

Total: $3,881.22

So, while it’s cheaper to live in Alberta, Montreal is comparably affordable, while life in Vancouver and Toronto cost about the same. Of course, your budget will vary greatly based on your living situation, lifestyle, and background.


READ MORE: Is the Housing Market Bubble Bursting?

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