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CANADA Living Cost
Vancouver is the most livable city in the world, but with so much to offer for living, the expenses do not come easy. Even with the minimum wage at $10.25, living costs are sky high. According to Statistics Canada, the average household expenditures in Vancouver are as follows:

housing $17,449
personal taxes $15,700
transportation $9,506
food $7,920
personal insurance payments and pension contribution $3,499
recreation $4,491
household expenses $3,188
health care $2,432
education $2389
tobacco/alcoholic products $1,393.

On the other hand, the most populated city in Canada, Toronto is not as expensive as Vancouver. At first glance, it may seem as if Toronto is the most costly city in Canada, however, that is far from the truth. The minimum wage of Toronto is also $10.25, same as Vancouver. The statistics of average household annual expenditures in Toronto are as follows:

shelter $17,185
personal taxes $18,488
transportation $10,676
food $8,132
personal insurance payments and pension contribution $5,734
recreation $3,549
household operation $4,053
health care $1,824,
education $2,435
tobacco/alcoholic products $1,331.

If we add all of Toronto’s household expenditures, the total comes to $73,407. And by adding all of Vancouver’s household expenditures, the total comes to $67,967. Keep in mind that these statistics were last updated in 2009. During that time, Toronto ranked higher than Vancouver as one of the most expensive cities to live in. Now that Vancouver has surpassed Toronto, its living expenses have dramatically increased from the given numbers. And it seems that Vancouver will keep climbing the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world and might even come at number one position in couple years.

If one was looking for a city with affordable living, Edmonton and Montreal would be the right choice. What make Edmonton and Montreal so affordable and two of the cheapest cities to live in Canada? Well it is the low price of housing, automobiles, insurance, tax and food. According to The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the comparison of house prices in all these cities explains the overall rate of living expenses in each city:

Vancouver $806,094
Toronto $502,508
Calgary $405,687
Edmonton $329,820 and Montreal $320,243.

If the price of an average condo is compared, the result is quite the same:

Vancouver $403,200
Toronto $326,400
Calgary $254,500
Montreal $227,200 and Edmonton $199,500.

Comparing a one-bedroom apartment is even more interesting:

Toronto $977
Vancouver $964
Calgary $899
Edmonton $857
Montreal $641

Minimum wages also play a factor in determining the living expenses of a place. Vancouver and Toronto, with a minimum wage of $10.25 are higher than Edmonton and Calgary with a minimum wage of $9.40 and Montreal with a minimum wage of $9.65 (general rate and clothing industry) and $8.35 (employees receiving tips). The secret is that the cities with lower wages have to pay less for their daily needs as compared to the cities with higher wages, which again makes Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton cheaper cities to live in for general expenses.

There is another factor that puts Edmonton above all the other cities when it comes to the most affordable city to live in Canada. Yes, it’s the tax expense. According to Revenue Canada, Alberta is the only province in Canada with no Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

Factors that determine where a person lives vary from person to person. It isn’t easy to move from one place to another. Now that the facts have been put on the table, would you still live where you’re living or intending to live in? Or given the choice, would you move to another city? 
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