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cost of living in calgary
Hex Element
Apr 14, 2022
Published by Ammoree Amankwah
Category: Buying, First Home

Is Calgary Affordable? Cost of Living in Calgary Explained

Are you planning to move soon but having a hard time deciding where you should settle? Calgary just might be the place for you.

The biggest city in the province of Alberta has a lot to offer for all kinds of people. There are a lot of places to visit and things to do in Calgary. You’ll surely have a memorable time in Canada’s CowTown whether you’re settling in or just visiting.

Before we delve into the average cost of living in Calgary and how it compares to other cities and provinces across Canada, let’s look at the factors that affect these living costs.

Header Image source: Pexels

Factors that Affect Cost of Living

Rent

Rent usually takes up about half of your monthly expenses. Whether you’re renting a condo unit or a single-family house, rent is a big factor that affects your cost of living. And even if you’re not renting, you still have to pay for the monthly amortizations of your mortgage.

Food and Groceries

Another basic expense is food. Whether you’re cooking your own meals or eating out at a restaurant, you’ll end up spending on both food and groceries. The amount changes depending on how frequently you eat out or cook. It also depends on what type of food you usually order or make at home.

Utilities

Apart from rent, you’ll also have to pay for utilities monthly. These usually include electricity, water, and internet bills. There are also garbage collection fees in some areas. If you live in a condo or a gated community, you might also have to pay association fees.

Transportation

If you commute to and from work, transportation also plays a big part in your monthly expenses. And if you own a car, you’d have to pay for gas monthly. You can reduce transportation expenses by carpooling to work or walking if your destination is close by.

Other Expenses

Besides basic expenses, people also tend to spend on other things. These can include things such as gym memberships, clothes, doctor’s visits, haircuts, and many other things. If you frequently go to the cinema or buy a cup of coffee, your expenses also increase.

Your house may also need repairs or renovations every now and then. These things should also be considered in other expenses you might have.

Cost of Living in Calgary

Rent in Calgary is usually around $1,000 per month for a studio apartment in the downtown area. You may find cheaper units at around $750 outside the downtown area or in smaller neighbourhoods.

For food and groceries, you can expect to spend around $500 monthly. This could change depending on how often you eat outside and what you order. It also changes depending on whether you buy more meat or vegetables when you go grocery shopping.

Utilities are fairly cheap in Calgary. They only play around a total of $200 per month for electricity, water, and garbage bills. For internet bills, the amount barely costs more than $90.

For public transportation, you might spend around $110 monthly, considering you have a C-Train Transport Pass. If you have a car, monthly fuel expenses are around $225.

Gym memberships are around $60–$100. Cinema tickets are around $15. Clothes could be around $100–$200, depending on what you buy and how often you buy them.

This puts the average monthly cost of living in Calgary at around $2,000–$2,500. Compared to bigger cities across Canada, Calgary has a lower cost of living.

Cost of Living in Alberta

Rent in Alberta is also around $1,000 monthly. With a bigger property type and more bedrooms, the amount becomes larger.

When it comes to food, the monthly average when eating out in restaurants is $250. This includes meals in both fast-food and mid-range restaurants. For groceries, you could also expect a total of $250 monthly.

For utilities, the amount averages at around $150 across Alberta. These include electricity, water, and heating. The internet bills in the province are only around $60.

Public transportation in Alberta costs around $150 monthly. For monthly fuel expenses, you can expect around $225 as well.

Gym memberships in Alberta average $50 monthly. Cinema tickets are around $12. Clothes cost around $150.

This drives the total monthly cost of living in Alberta to also be around $2,000–$2,500.

Cost of Living Elsewhere in Canada

When it comes to renting a one-bedroom apartment, here’s how different cities in Canada compare with each other.

Canadian CityRent for a One-Bedroom Unit
Toronto$1,755
Vancouver$1,925
Montreal$1,375
Quebec City$714
Ottawa$1,400

When it comes to groceries, the average monthly cost per family is around $642 in Canada. This, of course, depends on where you live and which groceries you buy. Some provinces in Canada have a provincial sales tax on top of the Goods and Services Tax required by the federal government.

As for the utilities, the average cost in Canada is around $300 per month. Electricity bills cost around $174, assuming that you consume around 1,000 kilowatts per hour. Monthly internet costs in Canada are around $62 for 50 Mbps.

For public transit, here are the rates for the same five cities as above.

Canadian CityMonthly Pass
Toronto$156
Vancouver$100.25
Montreal$90.50
Quebec City$89.75
Ottawa$122.50

Gym memberships average $50–$60 per month. Other expenses like cinema tickets and new clothes may amount to up to $190 per month.

This makes the total monthly cost of living in Canada around $2,000–$3,000.

Canadian CityMonthly Cost of Living
Toronto$3,103
Vancouver$3,217.25
Montreal$2,657.50
Quebec City$1,995.75
Ottawa$2,714.50

Buying a Home in Calgary

calgary living costs for a family home

Image source: Urban Property Boutique

Calgary has a lower cost of living than other cities in Canada. If you want to save some money while still living in a city, Calgary may be a good place to consider.

It has beautiful neighbourhoods that offer different charms. You just have to find the perfect community for you. Get in touch with a real estate agent to ask for assistance when you finally decide to buy a home in Calgary.

The cost of living in Calgary falls at around $2,000–$2,500 per month. Here’s a breakdown of your possible monthly expenses:

  • Rent: $750–$1,000
  • Food and groceries: $500
  • Utilities: $300
  • Public transportation: $110
  • Fuel: $225
  • Gym membership: $60–$100
  • Cinema tickets: $15
  • Clothes: $100–$200
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Ammoree Amankwah