Canada is Cheap!!!

Canada is cheap

Canada is Cheap!!!

Today I’m going to discuss a very critical part of living in Canada a lot of new immigrants do not consider, or they simply underestimate through no fault of theirs. Most immigrants choose Canada for a plethora of reasons spanning safety, healthcare, economic, social, etc. Getting to Canada is the easy part but how does one survive and how does the standard of living compare to similar countries? Read on…

So, where’s a good starting point? The Canada Immigration (CIC) website suggests figures on how much an immigrant will require to get settled, depending on your family status. I dare say those figures are grossly underestimated. The figures range from $12,000 (1 person) to $33,000 (family of 7). Toronto is one of the more expensive cities in Canada but for reasons like job availability, it attracts the highest number of immigrants. Comparisons in this post are based on Toronto, other cities may be 20% to 30% cheaper.

People following these CIC guidelines are usually under the assumption that they will get a job and start earning as soon as they land or within the first month or they assume that figure is enough to sustain them for a whole year without a job, mistake number one. Landing any job in the first month rarely happens, let alone a good paying one. Even when you do start working, how much money would you need to have a regular standard of living?. Regular meaning no luxury items, 5-star vacations, 7 course meals at lavish restaurants. No, just regular standard nice accommodation, decent car, eat out a few times a week and be able to wear decent clothes. 

Statistics Canada reports that the median income after tax of a family (two or more) is $76,900, and the average expenditure is $84,489…. Do the maths!


There are things in Canada that are cheaper but in general, Canada is significantly more expensive than the USA for instance. Basic things like gas (fuel), even though produced and refined in Canada is higher. Most consumer electronics are imported from Asia and subject to tariffs. Once Canadian technical standards are factored in, the price is hiked even further. Household goods, internet, cable TV and groceries are more expensive because the stores/businesses need to make a profit. The cost of accommodation, cars and luxury items are higher. 

You might think, it doesn’t matter but when you compare the salaries for the same jobs in the US or UK, it starts to put things in the right perspective. 

Canada trumps the USA with fantastic social benefits system such as healthcare, paid maternity leave (1 year) and greater subsidization of post-secondary schools. However, the cost of living in the United States is remarkably less. While Canadians may pay less for larger-life events, Americans pay less for day-to-day expenses such as eating and housing costs. 

The trick here is to be aware of the price you have to pay for a basic standard of living and plan accordingly. It may mean changing your career, getting a supplementary job, choosing a cheaper city in Canada to live in, etc. Canada is definitely NOT cheap and should be factored in when planning your move.

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