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Canada: Financial Considerations

2017-07-26
by GoinGlobal

The cost of living varies widely across Canada.

Introduction 

Canada has a high standard of living and consistently ranks among the top countries in terms of overall well-being. HSBC Bank’s Expat Explorer Survey, which surveys 45 countries based on metrics that include disposable income, wage growth, economic confidence and work/life balance, ranks Canada third overall as a destination for foreign nationals. However, its rankings slip to 20th for wage growth and 25th for disposable income.
 
The cost of living varies widely across Canada. Generally speaking, larger metropolitan areas, such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, are more expensive than smaller cities and towns. Much also depends on your lifestyle.
 
Consulting firm Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey compares 209 cities with New York, measuring their currencies against the US dollar (USD). Canadian cities have been sliding in the rankings over the past several years. The latest report found Vancouver to be the most expensive Canadian city (142nd – down from 119th), followed by Toronto (143rd – down from 126th), Montreal (155th – down from 140th), Calgary (162nd – down from 146th) and Ottawa (171st – down from 162nd). The decrease in positions is due to a significantly weakened Canadian dollar (CAD) against the USD. 

Average Prices 

Prices in Canada have gone up by 1.6 percent over the past year, according to Statistics Canada. Transportation and energy costs saw the highest increases. Clothing and recreation costs decreased; and costs for food and housing have remained about the same year over year. The country’s inflation rate is expected to climb by 2 percent next year.
 
International students can expect to spend anywhere between 20,000 CAD and 30,000 CAD annually on tuition and living expenses, depending on where they settle and study, and what lifestyle they lead.
 
Typical Average Costs (prices in CAD) 

  Toronto Vancouver Montreal
Groceries      
Bread for two people for one day 2.25 2.87 2.16
Toilet paper, four rolls 2.53 2.90 3.29
Toothpaste, one tube 2.41 3.10 2.52
Dining out/entertainment      
Lunchtime meal in the business district 17 17 17
Combo meal in fast-food restaurant 10 9 10
One bottle of good-quality red table wine 17 19 17
One beer in local pub 7 7 7
Two movie tickets 28 28 24
Basic dinner out for two in local pub 56 48 49
Services/memberships      
Monthly rent for 85-square-meter/900-square-foot furnished accommodation in average area 1,871 1,906 1,135
Utilities for two people in 85-square-meter/900-square-foot apartment (monthly) 178 101 119
Internet 8MB (monthly) 55 56 43
Gym membership in business district (monthly) 66 54 58
Clothing      
One pair of jeans 69 73 66
One pair of sport shoes 115 124 106

Source: Expatistan

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