How The Cost of Living in Toronto Compares With Other Major Canadian Cities

People in Toronto, like many in Canada, are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.

Canada’s major cities appear to be getting bigger and more expensive, with rising costs forcing many people to look for cheaper alternatives. But is life really so much cheaper elsewhere?

Using the Cost of Living website Numbeo, Debt Relief Canada has compared the cost of living in Toronto to Canada’s other major cities. For a more accurate comparison, we’re only looking at Canadian cities with a population of over 1 million people, which leaves Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

Numbeo canvases its users for information on the price of everyday items and experiences in cities across the world and uses that information to create aggregate consumer goods prices for things like restaurants, groceries, transportation, and utilities.

Numbeo also gives each city an overall score out of 100 for the cost of living, excluding rent. The Numbeo Cost of Living Index takes New York City as the standard, assigning it a score of 100. In this model, a city that scores 65 is around 35% less expensive to live in than New York.

We can use this information to determine how expensive Toronto is when it comes to things like groceries, utilities, and transportation, and where it ranks among Canada’s other major cities in terms of the overall cost of living.

Toronto Hits the High

When it comes to grocery prices, Toronto is by far the country’s most expensive major city. The Numbeo model uses the price of a litre of milk as a rule of thumb, and with a price of C$3.63, it’s over 56% more expensive to buy groceries in Toronto than in Calgary (C$2.32), and 28% more expensive than the next most expensive major city, Vancouver (C$2.84).

While it may be more expensive for groceries, energy prices are relatively affordable in Toronto when compared to the other major cities.

At a price of around C$289.25 per month, the average cost of basic utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, and water is around 66% more expensive in Calgary than Toronto (C$174.29), and 42% more expensive in Edmonton (C$247.53 per month). It should be said that the price difference may be in part due to the fact that it’s typically much colder in Calgary and Edmonton than it is in Toronto.

Toronto tops the table when it comes to transportation costs in Canada. The average cost of a monthly travel pass in the city is C$156, which is nearly 66% more expensive than in Montreal at C$94.00. Even in the next most expensive city, Ottawa – the nation’s seat of Government – monthly travel costs are around 20% cheaper than Toronto at C$125.00.

Dinner & Drinks Costs

Eating out is an important part of living in any major city, and once again it’s most expensive in Toronto. The cost of a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant in Toronto is C$117.50. In Vancouver, the next highest on the list, it’s 15% less expensive to eat out – C$100.00 per meal – whereas the equivalent meal will cost you nearly C$30 less in Montreal (C$90).

Considering the city is the most expensive in 3 of the 4 subcategories we’ve looked at, it’s no real surprise that Toronto is considered the most expensive major city to live in Canada according to Numbero’s model for the overall cost of living.

With a cost of living score of 73.0, it’s 1.3% more expensive to live in than Vancouver (71.7), and nearly 8% more expensive to live in than Montreal, the most cost-effective city on our list with an overall score of 65.3.

Given the Numbeo model excludes rent prices, and that average rent prices have historically been highest in Toronto and Vancouver, adding them to the equation would likely make the cost of living gap between Toronto and other major Canadian cities even wider.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Sam Allcock is the founder of PR Fire. His team help small to medium-sized businesses achieve coverage in publications like Yahoo Finance, Daily Mail, Metro, USA Today, MSN News, The Huffington Post, and The Telegraph through smart press release distribution.