Toronto is the most expensive city in Canada to live in, according to a new study from The Economist. The cost of living in Toronto is 13% higher than in Vancouver, the second most expensive city in Canada. This means that you need a higher salary to afford the same standard of living in Toronto as you would in other Canadian cities.
Before you make the decision to relocate, it’s important to understand how much it may cost you and what salary you should aim for at a minimum to be able to live comfortably here.
In this post we only discuss about the rent cost because housing expense varies widely.
One-bedroom apartments in downtown Toronto are on average $1,968.96 a month, according to Numbeo, a real estate search engine.
However, if you are single and willing to compromise for privacy, you can rent a room in an apartment/house for $1,000 or less, or a studio (smaller but private enough) for $1,300
If you have a family- the average 2 bedroom apartment can cost you from $2,100 to $2,600 depending on location.
Adding in utilities to that rental fee raises the monthly cost by an additional $160 per month. Do you want WiFi? Prepare to pay an additional $60- 75 each month on top of that.
Depending on your phone plan, be prepared to pay from $40 to $100 a month. Have I told you Canada has one of the highest phone plans in the world?
Eating out can be expensive in Toronto, with the average meal costing around $15. A coffee from Starbucks will set you back about $5-6 dollars. If you want to cook at home, the cost of groceries for one person is about $200-250 per month on average. A Uber meal may cost around $30-$50 after everything (tax, tip, delivery etc)
If you rely on public transportation, a monthly TTC pass will cost you $153.75 or $3.35 per one way (valid for two hours).
If you drive, the average cost of gas per month is from $200-$250 / month.
Needless to say, if you have a car, car insurance is a must and it can come at a hefty price at $300-400 per month.
Parking: If you have a car, it can cost around $150 per month if your condo doesn’t include a parking slot.
Entertainment and dine out
A movie ticket in Toronto costs around $15. If you want to go to a bar, expect to spend at least $40 for two drinks and appetizers. A nice dinner for two with wine can cost upwards of $100.
Health and fitness
A gym membership in Toronto can cost you from $60-$100 per month. If you want to join a yoga studio, the average cost is around $120 / month.
If you have a coffee machine at home like I do ( I just switch from Nespresso to Lattego 3200 to be more cost-effective in the long run) , the cost for coffee bean per month is very decent- I use a 454 gr bag for almost 4 weeks – which cost me around $15.
However, if you like to enjoy a cup at Tim Horton or Starbuck, the cost of one coffee is almost $3-6
Let’s just say you would need other $100 for any miscellaneous expense
The Grand Total
So, how does it all add up? See the table below
|Health and Fitness||$50||$140||$95|
What does this all mean to you?
All of the above numbers would help you estimate how much you need to make per year, or per month to sustain your lifestyle comfortably and reasonably.
Using this website, I’ve saved you some time.
Here you can just input your gross income per year and have an estimation of monthly net pay.
As you can see, to be able to maintain a lifestyle in Ontario (without any savings), you should aim at least $48,000 to $62,000. The higher your income, the higher the tax (as a matter of fact), and your take-home pay will never increase at the same rate as your gross salary. So higher salary equals higher responsibility but not necessarily proportionally higher take home.
If you want to think of saving for the future, you need to have a salary of $70,000 or higher!
All in all, the cost of living in Toronto is high. However, it is still possible to live a comfortable life here if you are smart about your spending. If you are moving to Toronto, be prepared to budget for a higher cost of living than other Canadian cities. It could be true that the average salary here is higher than in other towns and provinces, but you should expect to pay much more for living expenses.
Therefore, you have to become smarter and wiser with your budget and spending strategies. That’s why I’m here, pouring my heart out on this blog. I’ve been there done that and I really want to help people to become more financially savvy and make smart decisions.
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