The liberal policies – such as free healthcare and legalization of Cannabis – often serve as motivating factor for much of the young population. Canada stands among the list of Top 10 countries Indians prefer to immigrate to for a better quality of lifestyle and living.
At a total of nearly 4% of its total population, Canada stands as one of the countries hosting the highest majority of members of Indian origin in comparison to the rest of the Western World. So much so, that in present-day it is commonly termed by many as “Mini India”.
Home to the Toronto Blue Jays and the Toronto Raptors, the sights of CN Tower and the Great Ripley’s Aquarium and being the provincial capital of Ontario, Toronto is one of the most metropolitan cities of Canada. At a total of 10-12% of the Indian Population constituting total population area, Canada hosts a majority of Indo-Canadians, comparatively more as compared to other Canadian cities.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Toronto Every Year?
But how much money does one need in order to stay well and comfortable and survive in the city of Toronto? After extensive research, here is what I found.
How Much Money Do You Need to Spend on Rent?
Like any other metropolitan, location and demand and value plays a major significance in determining housing and rent value. Here is what you need to live in Toronto when it comes to rent.
- How much do people spend on rent?
People often end up spending 50-75% of their total income on rent and mortgage payments. It costs around C$1,700 per month at an average to rent a minimally equipped and basic 1-Bedroom Apartment outside of Toronto Centre. Whereas the same apartment type and model in the City Centre can go as high as C$2,130 per month at an average.
- Where do they rent?
To cope with such skyrocketing prices bachelors, singles and students often find it much more cost-effective to share apartment and living spaces, so as to ensure easy access to urban and utility facilities, without having to pay off heavy amounts from their wallets.
- What does it cost?
According to Numbeo, in January 2020, a 3-Bedroom Apartment outside of Toronto Centre can cost around C$2,560 at an average per month. Whereas a similar apartment located in the heart of the City Centre can go as high as C$3,500 per month. Buying Apartments can entail catapulting rates as well. The Price per Square Meter outside of the City Centre can cost as much as C$8,295 at an average. The Price per Square Meter for a similar apartment in the heart of the City Centre can reach as high as C$10,742 at an average.
Like any other metropolitan, homelessness is one of the most prevalent social evils evident in the city. The most premier and predominant reason is the housing market. Rent has reached escalating prices over the past 10 years and the lack of affordable housing has contributed to the matter. Although most shelter users receive aid also known as Ontario works or Ontario Disability Support, it fails to serve as a permanent resolution.
How Much Money Do You Need to Spend on Food and Grocery?
The cost of living in Toronto is more expensive than in 87% of cities in the world. The same goes for monthly food and grocery bills. With such escalating prices, a majority of Canadians, be it of any income and economic level, are finding it harder and harder to feed themselves and their families.
- How much does it actually cost?
The statistics vary across different parts of the country. In Toronto, being a cosmopolitan, costs tend to go quite high. At an average it would cost a ‘Torontonian’ around C$250 – C$300 a month on grocery and food bills. For a family of four, the cost can go as high as C$800 – C$1,000 a month. An average Toronto citizen spends around C$150 a month on takeout and dining out.
- Why does it cost so much?
The price of vegetables has escalated the most, between four and six percent whereas due to an oversupply and lesser demand for animal protein, the price of meats and poultry have either remained the same or comparatively fallen. The plant-based and the vegan trend has taken a rising toll and most food chains and restaurants have also started including vegan and vegetarian options to their entire menus. An overwhelming sense of health consciousness and the need for a healthy lifestyle and living have further contributed to the matter. It’s expensive to live in Toronto for sure.
The monthly costs for grocery and food often come out as more expensive for singles and bachelors as compared to families as buying for families and large groups often requires buying in bulk and comes off as a cheaper option.
A majority of the grocery bill is spent on buying processed and prepared food, that often comes off as a harmful option both for personal health and the wallet. Shopping at Costco is often a cheaper alternative as compared to others. When shopping for fruits and vegetables it is always economically preferable to look for those that are in season, as they tend to be cheaper than those that have to be exported.
Being a big city, transportation and mobility can often be a hectic and expensive utility. A minimal designing and utility car can go as 26,000 C$ at an average. In order to avoid such hefty costs, public transportation is often seen as a much more reliable, quicker and cheaper mode of transport.
When it comes to public transportation, Toronto is by far the most expensive city in Canada – even when compared to other cities like Vancouver and Ottawa. The monthly bus pass costs as much as C$150 and a single one-way ticket priced at C$3 at an average. A taxi trip on a hectic business day, running on basic tariffs and covering a distance of 8.5 km can cost as much as C$20 – C$21.
The Public Transportation System that operates buses, streetcars, subways and paratransit services is the quickest, fastest, easiest and safest mode of commuting from place to place and save much more money as compared to renting a taxi or buying a car.
How Much Does it Cost for Utilities?
To answer this question constructively, let’s take a look at what we need to factor in for a typical utility bill.
- Repair and Maintenance.
Other optional utilities include :
Here is the Government of Toronto site that talks about the utility rates.
The cost of electricity is comparatively higher in Toronto as compared to other Canadian provinces. There are different factors responsible for this, including a higher ratio of population density and the type of energy source provider. Toronto Hydro, which is currently the 2nd largest Municipal Electricity Distribution Company in the country, is responsible for supplying electricity to this city.
- How much does it cost?
A 3-Bedroom House in Toronto with an average monthly consumption of 1000 kWh can entail an electrical bill ranging between C$125 to C$205 per month. A similar household in Montreal or Quebec City, consuming similar voltage of electricity, can cost you as much as C$85 to C$100 per month.
Water, Sewage and Garbage collection:
These bills which can be paid monthly or after every 3 months, can cost one as much as C$600 to C$750 per annum, depending on your water consumption and the amount of waste you dispose of and the waste bin you use.
The monthly bill for gas utility can cost one an average of C$125 to C$200.
This is an extra utility that tenants always have the choice to go for (or not). An affordable Cable TV Package can cost one an average of C$25 to C$100 per month excluding equipment rental and service charges.
Internet and Phone:
The cost per month is dependent on how heavy Internet usage is and the cost of equipment. When it comes to Phone, the cost differs greatly depending on personal needs and the package that individuals subscribe to and opt for.
Leisure and Recreation
Elaborated above is how much it costs one to avail basic facilities and requirements while living in a cosmopolitan city like Toronto. Living in a metropolitan city also means that one has easy access to and would search for different recreational and leisure facilities, such as Fitness and Sports Club Memberships that can cost one around C$50 to C$60 per month. A 1-Seater movie ticket is easily available for a price of C$14.99, depending on movie popularity and show timings. A
3-Course Meal for 2 people at a Mid-range price restaurant, according to Numbeo.com, can cost around C$75 to C$80, which is subject to further change depending upon factors such as cuisine and the locality. The annual cost for admission to a private school can cost between C$15,000 to C$31,150 depending upon factors such as the reputation of the school, surrounding locality, and curriculum prescribed.
How to Budget Your Expenses and Spending?
Living in a city like Toronto, can often put a lot of pressure on one’s wallet and financial spending. With such skyrocketing prices and salaries that often feel insufficient to fulfil basic spending, life can feel quite difficult. However, with the help of these simple strategies, you can make the process easier and less stressful.
- Buying groceries and cooking on your own is a much more practical alternative. Coupons and discount apps can help save money to a large extent.
- Although taxis and Ubers are personally convenient, public transport or biking or walking is a much more economical alternative.
- Explore places like Kensington Market, Chinatown or St. Lawrence Market for a different cultural experience, without having to spend much from your pockets.
- Yonge & Dundas Square and Mel Lastman are places known for organizing free fun-filled events.
- Start no-fee-high-interest Savings Accounts to save money that can have long term benefits for the future.
- Invest in a Tax-Free Savings Account(TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan(RRSP). These will help you invest funds while shielding investment returns (such as Interest, Capital gains) from taxes permanently.
Knowing how much money you need to live in Toronto can help you plan well, especially if you are thinking to move there. Take a look at all the costs, and add them up. While you can be frugal, like sharing a room to save money, you wouldn’t want to take a look at it in the long term.