Toronto offers a multicultural life filled with opportunities and energy. The hubbub of big city life is thrilling, with growth at every corner and in every profession. More than half its population was born outside Canada, so calling Toronto their home is a common notion. When it comes to living expenses, it has increased in recent years due to increased inflation rates around the world. The average cost of living in Toronto for one person is around $3990, while for a family of four, it is about $6729. The cost of living in Toronto is higher than 82 percent of cities globally.
Let’s take a closer look at the expenses and cost of living in Toronto, one of the world’s most modern, multicultural, and advanced cities.
What is Toronto like?
Being the largest city in Canada, Toronto is home to about 3 million people. It is also the largest city in North America, after New York, Los Angeles, and Mexico City. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) alone has over 6.5 million people. Toronto stretches along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, with more suburban communities settling inland.
Toronto is famous for being a city of many colours, races, ethnicities, and languages. More than 140 languages are spoken in the city, with more than half the population born outside Canada. This cultural diversity makes life in Toronto interesting with never a dull moment!
The city is the main attraction for new immigrants and offers several job opportunities. Toronto is the centre of Canada’s main industries, which is why it is the first choice for new immigrants. What attracts new immigrants to the city is the fact that it has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world several times.
The reputation of Toronto precedes as clean, safe, exciting, and diverse for setting up a new home. Another attraction of living in Toronto is that the city also offers the tranquillity of nature and outdoor activities. People living within the GTA area have access to 50 kilometres of waterfront with parks, beaches, waterfront trails, and marinas.
Cost of living in Toronto
Living anywhere near downtown Toronto can be very expensive. House rents are the highest in Canada, while other monthly expenses like grocery, phone plans, and transits come at an expense. According to LowestRates.ca, a person living in Toronto should at least earn an annual salary of $40,583 in order to meet the costs of living. Keep in mind that this annual salary includes taxes as well.
The following table shows the approximate monthly bills (in US dollars) of an individual living alone in the city.
|Phone & Internet
|Transit (including taxi, Uber and Lyft)
|Health & Fitness
The approximate total cost to live in Toronto for one person is $2689.
The good news is that the average wages in Toronto are also high, which meets the expenses of individuals living in the city. As of the end of October, the minimum wage is $14.25 an hour across Ontario. However, this wage is slightly lower for students and bartenders.
Average housing rent
The average rent of a two-bedroom apartment approximately starts at $1650. When making a down payment on a lease for a house or an apartment, keep in mind that it will be unfurnished. Therefore, the cost of furnishing your home is an additional expense.
Average transportation cost
Although most people get by just fine without owning a vehicle in Toronto, this is because of the impeccable public transport run by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). People living in Toronto use these services to get across the city with ease. Two main subway lines are present in the city where line 1 takes passengers north/south and line 2 east/west of the city.
Moreover, subways are frequent, with as little as two minutes gap during rush hour and five minutes at all other times. This service starts at 6 am on weekdays, and 8 am on Sundays. The last subway every day leaves at 2 am.
Residents of Toronto usually get a monthly pass, which costs about $156 with unlimited travel on the TTC. These passes are available for purchase at any collector’s booth across the stations and are valid for one calendar month. This is only cost-effective if you use the pass to travel 12 times a week or make 45 trips in a month. It is ideal for people who work five days a week.
PRESTO is a new fare payment card system launched by Toronto transit, also contactless. The benefit of using the PRESTO card is many, and the most important one is that it is cheaper. Moreover, this card can be used in other cities in Ontario like the York Region, Brampton, and Mississauga. The card only costs $6, which can be topped up online or via phone.
Opting to use public transit is a lot cheaper than buying a car as that comes with the regular payments of insurance, road taxes, maintenance, fuel, and so on. Then comes the issue of parking, which is hard to come by. A special parking permit is required from the neighbourhood’s city before you can park your car anywhere else.
The cost of getting a parking permit goes up from $200 and more for places closer to Downtown Toronto. For this reason alone, many residents of the city forego the option of keeping a car and instead choose the carsharing options in Toronto.
Average childcare cost
Toronto’s best thing is a multicultural environment where children learn tolerance and co-existence. The city is wonderful for raising children and has the best childcare offered in the country. Toronto is safe and clean, with third-level education offered across the province of Ontario. Children seem to enjoy their life in Toronto generally.
However, childcare is among the most expensive things residents experience in Canada. For infants, childcare will cost a monthly $1,758 on average. The Toronto School Board is very helpful in finding the best schooling options in your vicinity.
Average food and entertainment
When it comes to monthly groceries, the average cost of groceries for an individual cost around $284. Similarly, the cost of groceries for a family of three will go upwards of monthly $500. Dining out means experiencing the cultural diversity on every budget throughout Toronto. So many things are on offer that will meet the lowest to the highest budgets possible.
Dine.to and Toronto.com is a great place to get recommendations about the places to eat, complete with ratings. However, each neighbourhood has its own selection of specialities that are great for a budget-friendly family dinner.
When it comes to other forms of entertainment, two tickets to the movies cost around $30 while two tickets to the theatre with the best seats go as high as $250. Moreover, a monthly gym membership starts at $61 and goes high depending on the neighbourhood and the type of gym you choose.
Average medical-healthcare cost
While healthcare in Canada is one of the best in the world, it comes with associated costs. The healthcare system of Canada is one of the main attractions for immigrants. The cost of one cold medicine for six days will cost around $15. This includes all over-the-counter medication for the common cold.
However, a box of antibiotics with twelve doses will be around $ 25, while a short 15 minutes visit to a private doctor will be upwards of $90. The public healthcare facilities in Canada are top-notch and recommended internationally for many treatments.
Average phone bills
Like any other country, Canada offers similar phone and internet packages. While the average monthly cost of a phone and internet is around $128, the individual mobile tariff for prepaid connection is $0.50 per minute. This rate does not include any discounts or plans, which can further reduce the rates depending on the connection you use. The WI-FI connection for a 128 GB iPad is quite expensive. It can go as high as $600 a month.
Average utility cost
The monthly utility cost varies according to the size of the accommodation. Utilities include heating, electricity, gas, and water. For an apartment that is 85m2 and perfect for a family of two, the cost is around $155. However, utilities for a studio apartment are lower at $95. Bear in mind that only single individuals are allowed to rent a studio apartment. If you have a family of three, you can always rent a basement. However, if you have a family of four and above, you will not be allowed to rent anything less than a two-bedroom apartment or house.
The cost of living in a top city in the world is certainly expensive. However, considering Canada’s high wages and employee rights, the cost is worth it! While the city is somewhat expensive, with an average cost of living starting at $3990, it offers so much more. Life in Toronto is an experience in itself because of its cultural diversity. There is never a dull moment in Toronto!