Cost of Living in Canada 2024: Everything you should know

Today’s article about the cost of living in Canada will be very useful for all those who are about to travel or are interested in doing so, either with the Work and Study visa or with the Working Holiday Canada.

Below, we leave you all the details regarding accommodation expenses, transportation, food and more. In this way, they will be able to have a snapshot of what it would be like to study or work in Canada, more precisely in Vancouver.

Cost of rent in Canada

One of the most important points regarding the cost of living in Canada is accommodation. The first thing you need to know is that in Vancouver, the city we will use as a base, there is a lot of demand for accommodation due to its high quality of life.

Therefore, we do not recommend that you arrive with a reservation for one or two nights, but rather that you guarantee accommodation for at least 3 weeks. This way, they can rest easy and focus on starting to work to raise money.

Below, we will list the different types of accommodation that you can choose from if you choose to live in Canada:

  • Hostel: as we have said on previous occasions, for the first days we always recommend a bed in a hostel. This way they can get to know the city and adapt to their new place. A bed in a shared room costs around CAD 50 (USD 37) per night in the heart of Vancouver.
  • Airbnb: You can get accommodation for approximately CAD 320 (USD 236) per week.
  • Homestay with Family (rent a room): it is one of the cheapest options to live in Canada because you can get a room for CAD 750 (USD 552) with access to a shared kitchen and bathroom. 
  • Room in a shared apartment: there are options from CAD 650 (USD 478) on the outskirts of the city and if you want to live in the center, it will cost you around CAD 1,100 (USD 810).

We leave you some pages to search for rooms to share:

Average accommodation costs CAD 800 (USD 442)

Cost of food in Canada

Something important regarding the cost of living in Canada is purchasing food and cleaning and hygiene items.

If you live in the suburbs, there are many inexpensive supermarkets. As for expenses per month, these vary according to the area where they buy and can range from CAD 350 (USD 258) to CAD 500 (USD 368).

The cheapest supermarkets are:

  • No frills.
  • Walmart.
  • Save on Foods.
  • T&T supermarket.
  • Real Canadian Superstore.

Average supermarket expenses CAD 400 (USD 294).

Cost of Transportation in Canada

Vancouver has an excellent transportation network that runs around the clock and we are sure you will use it during your stay in this country. Therefore, we are going to detail the plans and subscriptions, so that you can make all the calculations of the cost of living in Canada correctly.

In this city you will find the Translink-SkyTrain system, which works wonderfully. The first thing you have to do is buy your Compass Card. They will use this card to access the transportation system (bus and metro), either with a monthly plan or with payment per trip. If you are going to live in Canada you have to have it!

The Compass card can be purchased at drugstores such as London Drugs or Shopers and also at some tube stations, where they can also be loaded. Regarding the zones, Vancouver is divided into 3 and it is likely that you will move through Zone 1 (for the most part) and/or Zone 2.

  • Monthly subscription: Zone 1 CAD 102.55 (USD 75.47) and Zone 2 CAD 137.10 (USD 100.90).
  • Payment per trip: Zone 1 CAD 3.10 (USD 2.28) and Zone 2 CAD 4.45 (USD 3.27).
  • Pay per trip (load with credit): Zone 1 CAD 3.10 (USD 2.28) and Zone 2 CAD 4.45 (USD 3.27).

Which is the best option? Everything will depend on where they are living. In many cases, it is advisable to live in the outskirts and buy your pass, since in Vancouver you can get everywhere with public transportation.

Average transportation costs CAD 100 (USD 74).

Personal care

Costs related to health and personal hygiene should also be considered:

  • Cold medicine for 6 days: CAD 13 (USD 75.47).
  • Short visit to a private doctor (15 minutes): CAD 115 (USD 75.47).
  • Basic haircut in the expensive part of the city: CAD 31 (USD 75.47)


To enjoy life in Canada, you’ll also want to have fun:

  • Normal dinner for two at a neighborhood restaurant: CAD 67 (USD 75.47).
  • 2 movie tickets: CAD 31 (USD 75.47).
  • 1 pack of Marlboro cigarettes: CAD 17 (USD 75.47).

Extra expenses in Canada

In extra expenses we will consider different expenses related to leisure and everyday life, which, although they are not essential, must always be taken into account.

  • Outings: to give you an idea, a beer costs CAD 7 (USD 5) and a dinner is around CAD 20 (USD 15).
  • Gym: Gyms in Canada generally charge a monthly fee of approximately CAD 53 (USD 39). In the more expensive areas of the city, on the other hand, they charge around CAD 60 (USD 44) per month.
  • Telephone: The cell phone plan that we recommend is from the company Freedom. It is one of the cheapest on the market, with plans starting at CAD 50 (USD 37) per month. We always recommend that you hire a local line, as it is the easiest way to communicate if you have a job interview.

Average extra expenses CAD 200 (USD 147).

Read Also: Minimum Wage in Canada – Complete and Updated Guide

We clarify that these amounts are an estimated average that may vary according to the lifestyle that each person leads and the job they get, among other factors.

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