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The 27 Cheapest Places to Live in Canada in 2024

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Canada isn’t the cheapest place to live, but it’s certainly not the most expensive. A world data index based on the average cost of living has Canada sitting at number 18 out of 108 countries.

Within the country, certain cities prove to be incredibly cheaper than others, making them ideal for those looking for affordable places to move to.

This article covers the cheapest places to live in Canada, including their average cost of living, house prices, and main employment drivers.

Cheapest Cities To Live in Canada

You can compare some of the cheapest places to live in Canada below and look at what it costs for a single person, as well as the average home prices and the median income.

The cost of living data is sourced from Numbeo.

1. Sherbrooke, Quebec

  • Population: 151,157
  • Highlights: Nature, heritage sights
  • Main employment drivers: Electronic parts, clothing, textile, education
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,193.4, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $434,450

Sherbrooke is one of the cheapest cities to live in southern Quebec. It is 11.5% cheaper to live here than in Montreal, and on average, the rent is 41.8% lower than in Montreal, according to Numbeo.

The local purchasing power in Sherbrooke is 35.5% higher than in Montreal, making it truly one of the cheapest cities to live in Canada.

2. Quebec City, QC

  • Population: 733,156
  • Highlights: Fort City, which dates back to 1608, quaint cobblestone streets, bistros, boutiques, on the Saint Lawrence River, and UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • Main employment drivers: defence, services, public administration, and tourism.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,464.5, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $468,300

This safe, quaint city is full of interesting sites dating back hundreds of years. It has a European feel with the towering Château Frontenac Hotel and imposing Citadelle of Québec at the center of the old city.

Thanks to some of the cheapest places to rent in a downtown core anywhere in Canada, it’s a fantastic place to be right in the middle of the action.

For all its attributes, it’s hard to believe it’s so cheap to live here. It’s 5.50% lower than the cost of living in Montreal and 26.9% cheaper for rent.

3. Saint John, New Brunswick

  • Population: 63,447
  • Highlights: Historical, Bay of Fundy
  • Main employment drivers: One of the oldest and largest shipbuilding industries, IT, education.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,547, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $272,400

Saint John has a lower cost of living than Toronto, and the rent is a whopping 62.7% lower. While restaurant prices in Saing John are 1.8% higher than in Toronto, groceries are 6.5% lower.

This city is located on the Bay of Fundy, which has the fastest tide change in the world. There’s a lot of history here, and you can enjoy the farmer’s market in a heritage building dating back to 1876.

4. Laval, QC

  • Population: 446,476
  • Highlights: Suburb of Montreal, set on Île Jésus, Nature Center, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul historic district
  • Main employment drivers: Retail, industrial, pharmaceutical, technology.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,113.5, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $471,968

Laval is part of the Greater Montreal Area and is set on Île Jésus on the Prairies River. There are waterfront trails and a Nature Center with gardens, ponds, and farm animals.

The historical district has neoclassical buildings and cafes. Employees include SAP, Intact, and the University of Montreal.

As one of the cheapest places to live in Canada, it’s 12.5% less than Montreal for the cost of living and 27% lower for rent.

5. Halifax, NS

  • Population: 348,634
  • Highlights: 11th best university in Canada, Dalhousie University. Port City.
  • Main employment drivers: Port, agriculture, fishing, and forestry.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,481.20, not including rent.
  • Average home costs: $528,200

As the capital of Nova Scotia, this university city is a major economic center in eastern Canada.

Halifax is 5.7% cheaper than Toronto in the cost of living, and rent prices are lower by 30.3%. It’s also cheaper to eat out, but groceries can be expensive.

Related: Best Places To Visit in Nova Scotia.

6. Montreal, QC

  • Population: 3,675,219
  • Highlights: European feel, largest underground complex in the world, second-largest economy.
  • Main employment drivers: Electronic goods, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and telecom.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,359.4, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $516,000

Montreal is the most populated city in Quebec, and many people living here have European roots. It boasts an “indoor city” and is the entertainment and media center of the province.

It has the fifth-best University, the University of Montreal. Five big banks also have their corporate headquarters here.

There’s a lot to do here, with plenty of entertainment venues, art, and culture. For young people, it’s one of the best places to live in Canada.

Montreal is approximately 10.2% cheaper than Toronto for the cost of living and 39.7% less for rent.

Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

7. Lethbridge, AB

  • Population: 92,563
  • Highlights: 130 parks, Lethbridge Viaduct, longest, highest steel trestle bridge in N. America.
  • Main employment drivers: Agriculture, hospitality, retail, education, healthcare.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,525.6, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $374,909

In many ways, Alberta is the cheapest province to live in Canada and Lethbridge is one of the cheapest cities to live in within the province.

It has very cold winters and hot summers in a dry climate. The main employment sector is agriculture, but it is also a leader in the transportation, industrial, and financial sectors.

There is a lot of green space with over 130 parks. The cost of living in Lethbridge is 5% more than in Toronto (without rent), but is 54.4% cheaper for rental costs.

8. Abbotsford, BC

  • Population: 132,300
  • Highlights: Close to US border, farm country
  • Main employment drivers: Agriculture
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,848 (not including rent)
  • Average home costs: $1,149,000

Abbotsford is close to Vancouver and is the cheapest and largest city in BC. It is 17% less when it comes to the cost of living.

The rent is 15.6% lower than in Toronto. It has the same kind of moderate temperature and is one of the warmest places to live in Canada on this list.

9. Regina, SK

  • Population: 224,996
  • Highlights: Parks, Wascana Lake, Saskatchewan Science Center.
  • Main employment drivers: Potash, oil, and natural gas.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,131.34
  • Average home costs: $279,925

Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan, with some great Canadian cultural exhibits, including The Royal Saskatchewan Museum and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The RCMP Heritage Center celebrates the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

According to Numbeo, Regina is 15.5% cheaper than Toronto in terms of cost of living, and rent is an average of 30.8% lower.

While it’s on our list as one of the cheapest places in Canada to live, it may not necessarily be the best, as it’s been dubbed the most dangerous city in Canada for the crime rate.

10. Edmonton, AB

  • Population: 1,151,635
  • Highlights: Capital of Alberta, University of Alberta, festival city of Canada.
  • Main employment drivers: Oil and gas, petrochemical, financial.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,402.4, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $419,731

Alberta is up there for the cheapest province to live in Canada. You can make quite a lot of money in Edmonton with plenty of opportunities in oil and gas, the University, and its regional financial center.

It’s where many of the most prominent employers are based in the petrochemical industry. The entertainment scene here is alive with multiple heritage and cultural festivals.

According to Numbeo, Edmonton has a cost of living that is 3% lower than Toronto and rent prices that are 47.5% lower.

11. Nanaimo, BC

  • Population: 106,079
  • Highlights: Harbor city, Vancouver Island University campus.
  • Main employment drivers: Coal, forestry, government.
  • Cost of living: $1,489.30, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $719,890

Nanaimo is right on the water on the east coast of Vancouver Island and is one of the cheaper cities for international students in Canada.

There’s a great climate here, and while the cost of living is 3% higher than in Toronto, rent is 28.8% cheaper, according to Numbeo.

12. Kitchener, ON

  • Population: 522,888
  • Highlights: German heritage, 8th best university in Canada, University of Waterloo, KOI Festival.
  • Main employment drivers: Manufacturing
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,373, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $734,808

Kitchener is a twin city of Waterloo and includes major employees like Research In Motion, Toyota Manufacturing, Manulife, and Sunlife Financial.

Kitchener is 10.6% cheaper than Toronto for the cost of living, with rent being 27.9% cheaper.

13. Windsor, ON

  • Population: 5,514
  • Highlights: Waterfront, vibrant
  • Main employment drivers: Casino, engine plants for Ford
  • Cost of living: $1,342.90, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $499,900

As per Numbeo, Windsor is 14.8% less expensive than Toronto in terms of living costs. And rents are 40.3% lower.

Windsor is famous for producing engine parts for Ford and is right across the water from Detroit city. There is plenty of waterfront with monuments dedicated to the armed forces at Dieppe Garden.

It is the third most populated city in southern Ontario. Although Windsor house prices have risen recently, it’s still one of the cheapest places in Canada to buy a house.

14. Charlottetown, PEI

  • Population: 52,390
  • Highlights: Historical, coastal, Victoria Row, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Gothic Revival St. Dunstan’s Basilica
  • Main employment drivers: Agriculture, fisheries and tourism, aerospace, bioscience, information technology, and renewable energy.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,394.3, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $389,900

Charlottetown is the Birthplace of Confederation. This historical city has a variety of stunning old buildings and green rolling hills. It’s got the feeling of living on an island but enough to sustain you with a city vibe.

Regarding friendliness and hospitality, PEI is one of Canada’s best places to live.

Related: Best Things To Do in PEI.

15. Winnipeg, MB

  • Population: 758,515
  • Highlights: Historic intersection of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, plenty of green space, festivals in the summer. Longest skating rink in the world.
  • Main employment drivers: Aerospace, advanced manufacturing, ICT, and agribusiness
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,357.6, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $340,300

Winnipeg is the most expensive city in Manitoba, but it’s still one of the cheapest places in Canada to live.

It is the 7th largest city in Canada and gets a lot of snow in winter, but it has hot summers. Employment opportunities include trade, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and education.

According to Numbeo, Winnipeg is 8.8% cheaper than Toronto in terms of living costs and 47.8% cheaper for rent.

16. Red Deer, AB

  • Population: 99,846
  • Highlights: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, Bower Ponds, Red Deer College.
  • Main employment drivers: Oil, cattle, agriculture.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,270.2, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $374,900

Red Deer is halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. It’s got some great outdoor attractions like Bower Ponds near the Red Deer River, where you can paddle a boat in the summer and ice skate in the winter.

Most of the population is in urban areas of the city, but there’s a lot of agriculture on the outskirts.

17. Prince George, BC

  • Population: 67,339
  • Highlights: Art galleries, Eskers Provincial Park, Fort George Canyon Provincial Park.
  • Main employment drivers: Forestry, Central BC Railway.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,285.9, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $349,825

Prince George is in the interior of BC on the mighty Fraser River and the Nechako River. There are quite a few museums here, and Prince George is truly the hub of the Cariboo Country.

There are plenty of natural attractions, including the Fort George Canyon Provincial Park, with its dramatic whirlpools.

The University of Northern British Columbia is located here and is another one of the cheapest cities for international students in Canada.

It’s also one of the cheapest places to rent in Canada. According to Numbeo, it’s 8.8% more than Toronto for the cost of living and rent is 43.3% cheaper.

18. Surrey, BC

  • Population: 568,322
  • Highlights: Rural and urban, diverse ethnicity, plenty of jobs.
  • Main employment drivers: Advanced Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Clean Energy, and Healthcare
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,348, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $1,231,911

On our list, this is one of the warmest places to live in Canada. While it’s certainly not the cheapest, it’s very close to the highly expensive city of Vancouver.

It’s an urban area with a mix of agriculture and rural areas. It’s also the industrial hub of BC, so there are plenty of jobs here.

You’ll also enjoy a variety of ethnic foods as the area is largely made up of different ethnic Asian minorities.

19. Moncton, NB

  • Population: 171,608
  • Highlights: Transportation Discovery Center, Capitol Theatre, Magnetic Hill.
  • Main employment drivers: Wholesale, retail, tourism.
  • Cost of living: $1,293.9, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $394,950

Moncton is a vibrant maritime city close to the Atlantic Ocean. Tourists visit Magnetic Hill, the Bay of Fundy Tidal Bore, and the RCMP Memorial.

There are many outdoor attractions, and it’s one of the cheapest places to rent in Canada, with a great retirement community.

According to Numbeo, Moncton is 8.3% cheaper than Toronto for the cost of living and 24.5% lower for rentals.

20. St. Catharines, ON

  • Population: 421,000
  • Highlights: Niagara Region, the sixth-largest urban area in Ontario.
  • Main employment drivers: Shipbuilding, mills.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,361.8, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $649,400

Known as the “Garden City” of Canada, this city gives you a peaceful feeling and doesn’t feel overcrowded.

Close to Toronto and Hamilton, it also has a multicultural community and is one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario while still being central.

St. Catharines is a growing community, and house prices continue to rise. The stats show that it’s 7.4% cheaper than Toronto for the cost of living and 37.4% lower for rent.

21. Niagara Falls, ON

  • Population: 94,415
  • Highlights: Wine country, famous waterfall attraction.
  • Main employment drivers: Tourism, gambling, hydroelectric power.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,438.9, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $724,153

The Regional Municipality of Niagara is on the west side of the Niagara River. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are both nearby. There are plenty of vineyards nearby as well.

It’s one of the most touristy spots on our list and much cheaper than Toronto. Niagara is about 12.7% lower in the cost of living and 37.9% cheaper for rent than Toronto.

22. London, ON

  • Population: 423,369
  • Highlights: Close to the US border, home to the University of Western Ontario, museums, parks, and Thames River.
  • Main employment drivers: Healthcare, finance, education.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,363.3, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $699,900

This university city is north of Lake Erie and close to the US border. There are a variety of museums, many parks, and greenways to be enjoyed.

It’s the regional center of healthcare and education, with the main employers including Western University and TD Canada Trust Bank.

London is also one of the cheapest places to live in Ontario and is 9.1% cheaper than Toronto in the cost of living. Rent is also 23.2% lower than in Toronto.

23. Kingston, ON

  • Population: 127,943
  • Highlights: Limestone City, on Lake Ontario, military history.
  • Main employment drivers: Healthcare, public education, government, tourism.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,343.9, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $646,500

Kingston is a beautiful city with many old buildings. It’s a great spot to live if you want quality healthcare solutions.

It’s much cheaper than Toronto regarding transportation, dining out, and leisure activities. While it boasts cheap places to rent, childcare and utilities can be expensive.

Numbeo reveals the cost of living is 6.5% lower than in Toronto, and rent is 29% cheaper.

24. Thunder Bay, ON

  • Population: 95,266
  • Highlights: Lake Superior, historic Mount McKay, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
  • Main employment drivers: transportation, manufacturing, education, mining, and forestry.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,305.2, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $364,900

Thunder Bay has plenty of lakefronts and boasts many outdoor attractions. You can take the trail up to the summit of Mount McKay for amazing views.

There is also the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, with trails and a chance to glimpse moose and wolves. This is a great place for nature lovers looking for the cheapest rent in Canada.

It’s 11.5% cheaper than Toronto (general cost of living), and rent is 35.5% more affordable, according to Numbeo.

25. Weyburn, SK

  • Population: 10,883
  • Highlights: On the Souris River, the largest inland grain gathering point.
  • Main employment drivers: Oil and gas, grain.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,000, not including rent
  • Average home costs: $219,000

Weyburn is located on the Souris River and is a quaint little prairie town.

The cost of living is on par with other areas in Saskatchewan and is lower than the national average. For housing, Weyburn is a lot cheaper than the national average.

26. Quesnel, BC

  • Population: 12,110
  • Highlights: On the Fraser River, friendly, and quaint.
  • Main employment drivers: Education, healthcare, forestry.
  • Average home costs: $330,655

Quesnel is in the Cariboo Region, and outdoor lovers have plenty of access to lakes and rivers for hiking or fishing. It’s a quiet town but has everything you need. It’s close to Prince George, the area’s main hub.

Groceries and dining out are more expensive as Quesnel is quite out of the way from the main areas of BC. However, as one of the cheapest places for rent in Canada or buying a home, it evens out.

27. Barrie, ON

  • Population: 154,676
  • Highlights: Kempenfelt Bay, Urban.
  • Main employment drivers: agriculture and natural resources, manufacturing, and retail.
  • Cost of living for a single person: $1,496.8, (not including rent)
  • Average home costs: $796,850

Barrie is special in that it’s a politically independent single-tier municipality.

It is part of the extended urban area known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In terms of general consumer prices, it’s 4.9% higher than Toronto, but rent is 24% cheaper.

What is the Cost of Living in Canada?

As per Numbeo, Canada sits as the 25th most expensive country. Compared to the United States, the cost of living in Canada is lower, as shown below.

Consumer prices in the United States are 11% higher than in Canada (without rent)
Consumer prices, Including Rent in the United States, are 20.50% higher than in Canada
Rent prices in the United States are 40.90% higher than in Canada
Restaurant prices in the United States are 16.7% higher than in Canada
Groceries prices in the United States are 12% higher than in Canada
Local purchasing power in the United States is 17% higher than in Canada

On average, in Canada, you can expect to spend $1,267.70 per month as a single person and approximately $4,512.50 as a family of four. These costs do not include rent.

How To Choose an Affordable City in Canada

You should first understand the cost of living in Canada by province. If you can move wherever you want, consider the cheapest places in Canada to live.

Even if you choose the cheapest places in Canada to buy a house, it may not be cheap for groceries and other everyday expenses.

Also, provincial taxes should be a consideration, especially if you’re looking for the cheapest places to retire.

This extensive list covers the cheapest places to live in Canada based on various parameters.

Cheapest Places to Live in Ontario

When it comes to the cheapest places to live in Ontario, there are quite a few, including:

  • Thunder Bay
  • Windsor
  • Barrie
  • Kingston

Cheapest Cities to Live in BC

While BC can be expensive in terms of taxes, these are some of the cheapest cities to live in BC:

  • Surrey
  • Prince George
  • Abbotsford
  • Quesnel

Warmest and Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

When it comes to the warmest places to live in Canada that are still cheap, this includes Hope, just outside of Vancouver. Abbotsford is another option.

They are both in BC near the west coast, which boasts the warmest temperatures on average throughout the year. They’re not cold in the winter, and it’s not too hot in the summer.

If you’re looking for super hot summers with cold winters, you can enjoy places like Rimouski, Quebec, or Brockville, Ontario.

Cheapest Places To Rent in Canada

The cities that boast the cheapest places to rent include:

  • Quebec City, Quebec
  • Laval, Quebec
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cheapest Provinces to Live in Canada

Manitoba

When looking at the cost of living in Canada by province, Manitoba is one of the cheapest. You can find some of the cheapest places to live in the country here, and the economy is strong and stable. Manitoba has more than 1.3 million residents.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is an Atlantic province, with the cost of living being 6 percent lower than the national average. It is one of the cheapest places in Canada to buy a house with an ocean view. The main city is Moncton.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is the most eastern province of Canada and is 16 percent cheaper in terms of cost of living when compared to the city of Toronto. While it is probably the cheapest province to live in Canada, there is a lack of jobs. However, it works well as one of Canada’s best and cheapest places to retire.

Nova Scotia

When it comes to the best places to live in Canada for less, Nova Scotia fits the bill. The cost of living is 6 percent less than the national average, making it one of the cheapest places to live in Canada.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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7 thoughts on “The 27 Cheapest Places to Live in Canada in 2024”

  1. Gravatar for Vasile

    Excellent article. Thank you.

  2. Gravatar for Michael James

    I like this newsletter a lot. I no longer live in Canada but look fwd. to reading this each time is posted. have learned a lot, more than when we lived there. Thanks a bunch! Michael/Ling.

  3. Gravatar for gagan

    very informative.. but i feel some of the statistics have vastly changed in just last 2 years due to housing bubble

  4. Gravatar for Diane

    Very good information for retirees looking to relocate. Nova Scotia here i come!

  5. Gravatar for Jeanne

    Great article

  6. Gravatar for Bernice

    While the “world is my oyster”, unfortunately mine didn’t come with pearls. This will certainly help in my decision making process on staying put, or being able to move and begin anew. Looking forward to more updates.

  7. Gravatar for Jill

    Kitchener is experiencing homelessness and much poverty drugs are a problem and rent is sky high Noone should move here unless they bring a tent I am in one and I work my fingers to the bone in construction

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