The largest of Canada’s thirteen provinces by area and the second-largest by population, Quebec is a thriving area on the eastern side of Canada. It’s a predominantly French-speaking province that’s known for having the lowest cost of living in Canada.
While Canada isn’t one of the cheapest places to live in the world, it’s considered more affordable than many similar countries, including the United States.
Quebec, its most affordable province, has a competitively priced housing market and affordable rental rates.
Are you looking for the cheapest place to live in Canada’s most affordable province? You’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll cover the ten (10) cheapest places to live in Quebec, including cities like Sherbrooke, Lévis, and Quebec City itself.
According to Canadian Real Estate Magazine, when it comes to the cost of living, “the farther east you go, the better.”
That’s why these cities in Quebec are some of the most attractive in Canada when it comes to creating an affordable lifestyle for yourself and your family.
1. Thetford Mines
The city of Thetford Mines is located in the Appalachian Mountains in south-central Quebec. Before Canada banned the use of asbestos in schools and homes, it was a popular material that was used for insulation – and it was the main export of Thetford Mines.
Since asbestos production has slowed to a stop, the living costs in Thetford Mines have decreased significantly. The average cost of living for a single person in Thetford Mines is $1,634 per month, which is 16% lower than Quebec’s overall average.
The capital of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Sherbrooke is the province’s sixth city of importance. It’s located at the junction of the Magog and Saint-François Rivers.
The city has a long history, and it has preserved some of its colonial beauty in its old buildings and streets. It’s also home to several universities and colleges.
The monthly cost of living for a single person in Sherbrooke who rents amounts to $1,113. The student population in Sherbrooke makes living here especially affordable.
Related: Quebec minimum wage.
Located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, Lévis is just across the waterway from Quebec City. A ferry also links Old Quebec to Lévis, making it easy to travel back and forth from the province’s capital. Lévis itself is a small city with a village-like feel that gives the whole area a quaint ambience.
Due to its proximity to Quebec city, the cost of living in Lévis is slightly higher than that in Sherbrooke or Thetford Mines. The monthly living cost in Lévis amounts to $1,720 for a single person who rents. But that still puts it 8% lower than the Quebec average.
Located on Osisko Lake, Rouyn-Noranda was once two cities that combined in 1986. Copper and gold mining and refining are the chief economic activities of the area, but there is also lots of lumber and dairying going on there. The city is home to 42,000 people.
The cost of living in Rouyn-Noranda is about $1,304 per month for a single person who rents. That price is slightly less expensive than what one might expect to see in cities that are closer to the U.S.-Canada border and to Quebec’s major cities of Quebec City and Montreal.
Sitting on the edge of a river with the same name, Saguenay is known for the Saguenay Fjord National Park, which leads to the St. Lawrence River.
The city is home to 145,900 people, and it has many museums and other interesting cultural attractions. It’s about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City.
The average cost of living in Saguenay is $1,022 per month for a single person who rents, making it one of the cheapest places to live in Quebec. That value is close to the world’s average, and it’s significantly lower than Quebec’s average.
With a population of just under 50,000, Shawinigan is one of the smaller cities on this list. It’s located on the Saint-Maurice River and is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Jean Chrétien, Canada’s 20th prime minister. Chrétien served as prime minister from 1993 to 2003.
The cost of living in Shawinigan is about $1,700 per month for a single person who rents. This price is comparable to what it would cost to live in Lévis.
7. Quebec City
The capital of the province, Quebec City, sits on the St. Lawrence River opposite the city of Lévis. Founded in 1608, it’s known for its fortified colonial core, cobblestone streets, and quaint bistros and boutiques.
But in addition to its historic center, Quebec City is also a bustling, modern metropolis with plenty of contemporary amenities.
The cost of living in Quebec City is surprisingly low, especially since prices in urban centers can often be driven higher. For a single person renting an apartment in the city centre, the cost of living comes in at about $1,313 per month.
Related: Best places to live in Quebec.
Located about 420 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, Baie-Comeau sits in the Côte-Nord region of the province. It’s home to just over 21,000 people.
The city is also the birthplace of Brian Mulroney, another former prime minister of Canada. He held the position from 1984 to 1993 and was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Relative to the other cities on this list, Baie-Comeau is slightly more expensive. The cost of living comes out to about $1,850 per month for a single person who rents. Part of this increased cost is due to the area’s beautiful natural scenery.
The economic and cultural hub of Quebec’s Mauricie region, Trois-Rivières is home to over 137,000 people.
It’s considered Canada’s oldest industrial city and has a foundry that was established in 1738. That forge produced iron and cast for 150 years, shipping much of it to France to help them build their navy ships.
As an added bonus on top of its rich history, Trois-Rivières is a relatively inexpensive place to live. The average cost of living for a single person who rents is $1,079 per month. That’s close to the global average.
On the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, Longueuil sits directly across the water from Montreal. Among other things, Longueuil is known for its massive shopping mall, which is located on Rue Saint-Charles. It has over 140 shops and services. The city houses over 246,000 people.
The cost of living in Longueuil is quite attractive, especially considering its close proximity to Montreal. For a single person who rents, the cost of living clocks in at just about $1,411 per month. That’s lower than Quebec’s average by a few hundred dollars.
When you’re looking to choose the cheapest place to live in Quebec, look no further. We’ve compiled the top five cheapest cities in Quebec in our easy-to-read table so you can easily compare prices.
As you can see, Quebec is home to some of the most affordable places to live across the whole country of Canada.
Top 5 Cheapest Places To Live in Quebec Compared
|Cheapest Places to Live in Quebec||Monthly Cost of Living (1 person)|
We researched the cost of living statistics throughout the province of Quebec to determine the top 10 cheapest places to live. Each of these places offers a variety of unique opportunities, including beautiful natural vistas, cosmopolitan shopping, gourmet food, and quaint atmospheres. Every city on this list offers something special.
Saguenay, Quebec, is the cheapest city in Canada to live in. With the cost of living coming in at just $1,022 per month, it’s hard to find another city that’s safe, modern, and still reasonably affordable in the way that Saguenay is.
Sherbrooke, Quebec, is considered one of the nicest and yet still affordable places to live in Canada. Its quaint atmosphere and beautiful streets make it quiet and pleasant. It’s 12.8% cheaper to live in Sherbrooke than it is to live in Montreal.
Saint John, New Brunswick, is known for having affordable housing. The average home price in Saint John is under $200,000, coming in at $199,853. For today’s standards, that price is extremely affordable.
Quebec is generally considered to have the lowest cost of living in Canada. This is due to not only having low rent but also subsidized child care and electricity prices that are significantly lower than those throughout the rest of Canada.