Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With home to beautiful snow-capped mountains on one side and the ocean on another, it is a true marvel of a city. However, it is also one of the most expensive cities in Canada to live in. So how much does it cost to live in Vancouver? To put it simply, the average cost of living in Vancouver is $2850 per month. Let’s take a look at this figure in detail.
All about Vancouver
Vancouver has consistently been making it to the top ranks of the most liveable cities in the world. Recently, it was also ranked as the best city to live in North America. Vancouver is great for those who love exploring and outdoor adventures because of its unique location. Adventure calls all year round!
Moreover, the coastline offers scenic views with some of the best beaches in Canada, while the mountains offer hiking trails in every season. Residents also enjoy snow sports with festivals throughout the four seasons. Vancouver is known in the world for its beauty, and immigrants choose this city for their love of the outdoors.
Vancouver offers the best of both nature and metropolitan city taste, with cultural diversity being the cherry on top. People who come to Vancouver, being sceptical, quickly fall in love with the city and settle down quickly. Life in Vancouver is truly delightful!
Cost of Living in Vancouver
A very common opinion heard when talking about Vancouver is that it is an expensive city. The cost of living in Vancouver is certainly higher than in any other city in Canada. The city is considered expensive because residents have to pay high rent.
A one-bedroom apartment is up for rent at around $1950. Similarly, the phone plan for residents in Vancouver goes up to $75 a month. Moreover, public transport is also expensive, with an average monthly expense of $93. Grocery costs about $315 per month for one person. These figures are as low as it gets and goes up depending on the number of family members.
Average salaries and hourly wages in Vancouver
The current average annual salary of Vancouver residents is around C$56,603. On the other hand, the hourly wage of those living in the Vancouver Metro area is $20.91. These wages and yearly earnings are high compared to the rest of Canada. Therefore, while the city is expensive, it is also competitive when it comes to jobs and opportunities offering higher pay rates.
Average housing rent in Vancouver
The monthly rent for a 900 sqft accommodation in a busy, expensive area with views of the ocean and the mountains can cost upwards of $2,494. However, getting the same accommodation in a normal area can cost around $2,119. When it comes to a furnished studio apartment in a good locality, it can cost you around $1,887, while the same in a normal locality will be around $1,377.
Average transportation cost in Vancouver
The public transport in Vancouver is excellent, offering comfort and high standards for the residents. It is also easy to save time on trips using public transport. The main operator is Translink, which runs a network of buses, while SkyTrain is the rapid transit train offering quick transport services. Moreover, residents also have access to the commuter rail by the West Coast Express and a sea ferry (called SeaBus) that sails between Vancouver and North Vancouver.
In 2015, Vancouver introduced the Compass Card for public transport across this intricate network. Like the Leap Card in Ireland and the Oyster Card in London, the Compass Card proved beneficial for the residents. Passengers can pre-load money into their cards and travel. They simply tap their card on the dedicated booth, and the fare is deducted automatically. Making the card costs $6, which also gets included in the total amount on the card.
Those planning on using the transit on a regular basis can purchase the Compress Card from a vending machine. These machines are available at transit stations and several convenience stores and drugstores across the city. Using the card, residents simply “tap in” to pay the fare and “tap out” to avoid overcharging. People can also use their contactless credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay to make these payments.
One ticket is valid for 90 minutes and costs $2.95 if paid using cash when using the bus. When paying using the Compress Card, users get a discounted rate of $2.30. Your travel distance does not matter; the fare will remain unchanged as long as you use the bus as the only means of transport.
In June 2020, the cash fares were revised and are valid today. The cash fares cost $3, $4.25, and $5.75 for buses, SeaBus, and SkyTrain. However, the same fares paid using a Compress Card are reduced to $2.40, $3.45, and $4.50. This indicates much savings compared to paying by cash.
2. Monthly passes
Residents of Vancouver can also enjoy the facility of a monthly pass. The monthly passes follow a calendar month on the pass and give access to unlimited travel on SkyTrain, SeaBus, and buses. Depending on the zones the residents need to travel to, the monthly pass costs $98, $131, or $177. The best thing about a monthly pass is that it can be loaded on the Compress Card.
For more information and planning your trips across Vancouver, visit translink.ca. Moreover, you can get real-time information about buses in Vancouver at nb.translink.ca, where ‘nb’ stands for ‘next bus.’ Although this is an unofficial app, you can also use the Radar app for Metro Vancouver Buses.
When people travel from the YVR airport into the city, an additional charge of $5 is added to the standard fare. When traveling by bus, they have the capacity of carrying a limited number of bicycles. Most of the routes and stations are equipped to assist wheelchairs. Residents can text at the stop number 333-33 and get the times for the upcoming six buses.
Like all other countries, taxis in Vancouver have a meter, so there is no use in trying to negotiate. However, keep in mind that these fares will not include gratuities. It is customary to tip 10% to 15% of the fare to the taxi driver. Using a taxi from the airport to the city is ideal because they charge a flat fare depending on the city’s zone.
Driving in Vancouver can be a bit tough considering the traffic situation and parking troubles in the busy city. This is especially difficult when your office is situated in the core and busy downtown. Residents instead choose the car-share programs, Car2Go and Evo, to travel to and from downtown Vancouver. These options are very convenient for one-way trips with endless parking options.
Average Medical-Healthcare costs in Vancouver
The healthcare system of Canada is one of the finest in the world. Health insurance covers almost everything and provides state-of-the-art medical facilities for Canadians. However, when buying over-the-counter drugs for the common cold can cost about $8. On the other hand, purchasing a box of antibiotics that offers 12 doses costs around $18. If the need arises and you need to visit a private doctor, a 15-minute consultation can cost as high as $115.
Average food and entertainment expenditure
Vancouver offers a high variety of food options, which several travel articles have praised. The New York Times states that the number of restaurants in Vancouver is astonishing while the prices are low compared to other big cities of the world.
On the other hand, The National Geographic Traveller praises the fusion of restaurants where one can find everything from Japanese, Indian, Italian and Chinese. Moreover, Vancouver has been voted as the best dining city in North America. Compared to London, Paris, and New York, it has consistently been on top.
With new restaurants opening up almost every week, it is much cheaper to dine out in Vancouver. This is the reason why residents of Vancouver dine out more than any other Canadian city. Restaurants offer all kinds of menus for all types of budgets. A fulfilling, tasty main course can cost as little as $5.
Average phone bills
The phone and internet bills for those living in Vancouver vary as compared to the rest of the country. A monthly internet connection of 8mbps is around $56. The WI-FI connection for a 128GB iPad can cost as high as $422. However, one minute of mobile tariff for a phone call without any discount or plans is $0.32. When these rates are multiplied by the number of family members one has, it can get more expensive.
Average utility cost
The utility cost in Vancouver is higher than in other cities in Canada. For a family of two people, the monthly cost of heating, electricity, water, and gas can cost around $126. This is if the accommodation is an 85m2 flat. The cost of utilities comes down when used by one person living in a 45m2 studio apartment. It can cost around $80, which is quite reasonable.
Average childcare cost
The average childcare cost in Vancouver is similar to the rest of Canada. It is on the higher side, but the value and quality are commendable. The monthly average childcare cost goes upwards of $1560. Check the Vancouver School Board for more information related to schools and daycares.
While Vancouver is considered an expensive city to live in, it also offers many entertainment options. Moreover, the salary bracket of the city is higher than in other Canadian cities. This makes Vancouver a liveable city with access to both metropolitan excitement and finding solitude in nature. Life in Vancouver is truly delightful!