So what's the cost of living in Toronto for renters?
If you're living alone, it's around $1,450 per month for rent, transportation, groceries and utilities. If you've got roommates, you'll save $300-500 each month!
If you’re relocating to this area, you’ve probably been warned about the outlandish average cost of living in Toronto, Canada. It’s true that it’s pricey; you need to be prepared before you move here. But how much, exactly, should you plan to spend on common amenities?
Image source: porternovelli.com
Toronto, Ontario, ranks highly among the world’s most expensive cities.
In 2014, it ranked as the 32nd most expensive city in the world, according to Expatistan, ranking it above Chicago, Dubai, and Montreal. On the other hand, New York City and London rank above Toronto. Cost-of-living comparison data also shows us that it’s the second most expensive city in Canada, behind only Vancouver.
There is one saving grace: The rent is not as high as one may expect in a city like this. The fairly low and often controlled average rent pricing keeps it off of the lists of most expensive cities. If you take the relatively low rent prices out of the situation, though, it’s the 12th most expensive city in the world.
You have to save before you move.
If you’re planning to immigrate to Canada from America or another country, you need to prove that you have a certain amount of money saved if you don’t have a job lined up. That can give us a good idea of what the Canadian government thinks is near the average cost of living in Toronto.
For one person, the figure is $10,833 Canadian, and for a family of four, you have to have $20,130 saved up. (That’s roughly $8320 and $15470 in U.S. dollars, respectively, depending on the exchange rate.)
So what are the common expenses like?
We can throw around lofty figures for the cost of living in Toronto, Canada, but that won’t necessarily tell you how much you should expect to pay. Here’s a breakdown of how much you’ll spend per month (in Canadian dollars):
- Rent: According to the local government, the average rent in Toronto is $942 per month for a studio/bachelor apartment, $1,110 per month for a one-bedroom, and $1,301 per month for a two-bedroom.
- Transportation: A monthly Metropass good for travel on all public transit is $141.50 for one adult. Gas is at about $1.10 per liter (around $4.15 Canadian per gallon).
- Groceries: How much should you expect to pay for a nutritious diet in the city? Use this calculator. According to the city’s reports, one single woman between the ages of 19 and 30 should expect to pay $46.99 per week. That ends up to be about $188 per month. (A man of the same age, who would have a faster metabolism, would expect to pay $244 per month.)
- Eating out: Expect to pay around $17 per average plate in Toronto. A sit-down dinner for two people averages $70. If you’re a fan of drinking, pints and cocktails are notoriously pricey in Toronto: The average is around $10 per drink.
- Taxes: Taxes are the thing that really hikes up the cost of living. Toronto, Canada, has some of the highest taxes in North America. Paying more than 30 percent of your income in taxes is very common here. Federal taxes start at 15 percent, and provincial taxes start at 5 percent for the lowest-income residents. Combining all income taxes together, the average Canadian family reportedly spends 42 percent of their incomes on taxes. The sales tax is also much higher than anything in the US: a 13 percent value-added tax in Ontario. Property taxes are nothing to sneeze at, either.
- Utilities: Utilities are like those in many other cities in terms of living cost. In Toronto, you’ll pay around $100 to $150 per month (for electricity, natural gas, and water together).
With the cost of living in Toronto, Canada, being so high, you can understand why so many locals have been pushing for an increase in the minimum wage, which is $11.25 per hour now.
And just for fun, check out this infographic on the cost of living in the world's most expensive cities (including Toronto).