Toronto is the most expensive place to live in Canada, though expats moving to the metropolis from major cities in the US or Europe may find the cost of living considerably cheaper.

The 2024 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked Toronto 92nd out of 226 cities surveyed worldwide, placing it ahead of Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary.

Cost of accommodation in Toronto

The largest expense expats relocating to Toronto will likely incur is the cost of accommodation. For new arrivals looking to rent a property, prices vary considerably in Toronto, and there are many options to suit any budget. Generally, properties in the city centre will be the priciest, while those further out will cost slightly less. 

The process of buying a property in Toronto is fairly straightforward, even for expats. Those planning a long-term stay will find that it's worth looking into purchasing a home. However, prices have continued to skyrocket with no signs of letting up. 

Cost of groceries in Toronto

It's possible to maintain a good standard of living in Toronto without spending a fortune. The cost of groceries is cheaper in Canada than in Europe but steeper than in the US. Expats can also reduce their monthly grocery spend by shopping at discount supermarkets such as Costco and Freshco. Buying seasonal produce at farmer's markets is another fantastic way for expats to save money while supporting local businesses. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Toronto

It's also possible to eat out in Toronto without breaking the bank. Thanks to Toronto's diverse population, the city is home to plenty of wonderful restaurants serving delectable cuisines from all over the world.

Plus, as a vibrant cultural hub, Toronto has a good deal of low-cost entertainment and nightlife options to entice revellers without breaking the bank. Nature-loving expats will also find plenty of free outdoor activities to engage in.

Cost of transport in Toronto

While the public transport network in Toronto is extensive, it is also one of the priciest in the world. That said, commuting with a monthly pass can bring down costs. Expats who choose to buy a private vehicle will need to budget for the considerable (and rising) costs of running a car. Insurance premiums are notoriously high in Toronto, while petrol (gas) prices continue to increase.

Cost of healthcare in Toronto

Although the Ontario government offers free basic health insurance to Toronto residents, the conditions for eligibility state that recipients must have lived in the province for at least three months. It's therefore best to purchase a comprehensive health insurance policy before moving to Toronto.

Cost of education in Toronto

Expats relocating to Toronto with children may need to factor in the cost of schooling. While expat students with a residence permit can attend public schools in Toronto at no cost, those without this permit will be required to pay fees, which can be pricey.

Cost of living in Toronto chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in June 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent in a good area)
One-bedroom apartment in city centreCAD 2,500
One-bedroom apartment outside of city centreCAD 2,120
Three-bedroom apartment in city centreCAD 4,000
Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centreCAD 3,200
Milk (1 litre)CAD 3.70
Loaf of white breadCAD 3.46
Chicken breasts (1kg)CAD 16
Rice (1kg)CAD 4.18
Dozen eggsCAD 4.61
Pack of cigarettesCAD 18
Eating out
Big Mac MealCAD 13
Coca-Cola (330ml)CAD 2.72
CappuccinoCAD 5.04
Bottle of beer (local)CAD 8
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantCAD 115
Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and dataCAD 55
Internet (average per month)CAD 76
Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)CAD 201
Taxi rate/kmCAD 1.75
City centre bus/train fareCAD 3.30
Petrol (per litre)CAD 1.51

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