How Much Do You Need?

Ontario is Canada’s most populated province and is home to Canada’s most expensive city – Toronto.

Currently, the province is home to over 14.5 million residents and more than 440,000 businesses. Toronto is widely regarded as the economic centre of Canada.

Curious about how much it costs to live in Ontario?

Below, I’ll break down the average cost of living in Ontario by explaining the consumer price index and common costs for housing, food, insurance, transportation, and other necessities. Let’s take a look at what the numbers say!

How Much Does It Cost To Live In Ontario?

Between 2016 and 2022, the cost of housing in Ontario rose dramatically, with 77.8% of homes in subdivisions increasing more than 50% in their value.

The cost of buying a home in Ontario isn’t the only factor to consider, though.

You also have to consider other factors that play into the overall cost of living in Ontario, including:

  • Food & groceries
  • Transportation
  • Insurance rates
  • Health & personal care
  • Recreation

The average cost of living in Ontario without rent is $2,014 for a single person. With rent included, it is around $1,400 extra, for a total of $3,414.

Of course, this number is merely an average. If you live closer to a big city like Toronto, your cost of living is going to be much higher than if you’re living somewhere more remote, like Thunder Bay.

What Is The Cost Of Living In Toronto?

Vancouver was once ranked as the most expensive city in Canada. While Vancouver is home to several notable billionaires, Toronto has since eclipsed Vancouver to become the most expensive city in Canada.

According to the latest economic data from Numbeo, the average cost of living in Toronto is $3,588 for a single person (including the cost of rent of a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center).

What Is The Average Salary In Ontario?

One important thing to keep in mind is that the average cost of living must also be balanced against the average income.

For example, living in Toronto can be expensive, but residents have a  higher likelihood of landing a high-paying job working for a major company in the city.

The average household income in Ontario is currently just over $80,000.

Average Cost Of Living In Ontario: Complete Breakdown

When examining the cost of living in any city or province, the key metric that’s used is the consumer price index (CPI). This metric measures the cost of goods, services, and living expenses compared to the national average.

The average cost of consumer goods and services is marked by 100.

Numbers above 100 indicate that the CPI in a given region is higher than average, while numbers below 100 indicate that the CPI in a given region is lower than average.

With this in mind, here’s a breakdown of the consumer price index for consumer goods, services, and living expenses in Ontario:

Consumer Goods Ontario CPI
Shelter & housing 99
Food 101
Transportation 100
Recreation 105
Health & personal care 102

This table is based on the latest available data from Statistics Canada, which was taken in 2019.

As you can see, the CPI in Ontario is fairly average, compared to other Canadian provinces. While most consumer goods and services in Ontario are a little bit more expensive, the difference isn’t all that drastic.

Now, let’s take a look at a more in-depth breakdown of the average cost of living in Ontario.

Cost Of Buying A Home In Ontario

Ontario (and all of Canada, for that matter) saw record home prices throughout 2021 and 2022.

However, the cost of buying a home in Ontario decreased a bit during the fourth quarter of 2022. Currently, the average cost to buy a home in Ontario is $836,300 in November 2022.

The cheapest city in Ontario to buy a home in is London, as the average cost of a home is $635,256.

The most expensive city in Ontario to buy a home in is, of course, Toronto, where the average home sells for over a million.

Cost Of Renting An Apartment In Ontario

Not everybody is ready to purchase a house outright. If you plan on renting an apartment in Ontario, then you can expect to pay a little over $2,000 to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

That being said, you can rent small one-bedroom studios and apartments for as low as $1,300, providing that you’re willing to live outside of the city.

Once you get into downtown Toronto, even small apartments can run upwards of $2,100 per month or more. Larger suites and units in the heart of the city can cost upwards of $4,000 per month in rent.

Cost Of Insurance In Ontario

Insurance is another important factor to consider when determining the cost of living.

In certain regions, auto and home insurance can be more costly, depending on the number of insurance claims originating in the region.

For example, auto insurance in a major city will always be more expensive due to the increased frequency of motor vehicle accidents.

Here’s a look at the average cost of auto and home insurance in Ontario:

If you have a car, truck, or motorcycle, you’re legally required to maintain an auto insurance policy.

While home insurance isn’t mandatory in Ontario, the majority of lenders require it for the duration of your mortgage.

Cost Of Groceries & Necessities In Ontario

Based on the Statistics Canada data, the CPI for groceries and food in Ontario is 101, which is just one point above the national average.

For the most part, the amount you’ll pay shopping in a Superstore or Walmart in Ontario won’t be much different compared to British Columbia or Quebec.

According to the latest Canada Food Price Report, the average male spends $296.61 per month on groceries, while the average female spends $266.13 per month on groceries and food.

Other necessities include:

  • Paper products
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Pet food

The cost of these essentials may increase a bit in larger cities like Toronto, but thankfully there are still plenty of ways to save money on groceries.

Cost Of Health & Personal Care In Ontario

The cost of health and personal care includes things like:

  • The cost of a gym membership
  • The cost of personal hygiene products
  • The cost of a haircut
  • … and other personal/health-related items

According to Ontario’s CPI report by Statistics Canada, the CPI for health and personal care items in Ontario is 102, which is slightly above the national average.

Here, though, there’s a lot of variation, so it’s hard to put an exact number on these items.

For example, in Toronto, you could register for a small $20/month gym or become a member at an exclusive fitness club for $120 per month.

The same goes for something like a haircut, which could vary between $20 and $100, depending on how skilled of a barber you’re going to.

Cost Of Recreation In Ontario

Ontario’s CPI for recreation is 105, which is five points higher than the national average. Recreation costs include:

  • The cost of public parks
  • The cost of museums
  • The cost of outdoor activities
  • … and more

Ontario has a lot of beautiful natural parks, and its cities offer plenty of museums and public parks for residents to take advantage of. This is likely why the cost of recreation is a bit more expensive in Ontario than in other Canadian provinces.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Ontario For A Single Person

The average cost of living in Ontario is $3,414 for a single person. To keep up with this, you would need to earn at least $41,000 per year after taxes.

That being said, single individuals have plenty of opportunities to save money. For example, you don’t necessarily need a whole apartment for yourself and can save a lot of money that way.

If you’re single, you can easily split a bachelor pad with several roommates and save hundreds of dollars per month in rent.

If you avoid expensive nights out, invest your money wisely, and do your best to save money, then you shouldn’t have any problem keeping up with the cost of living in Ontario.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Ontario For A Family

According to the latest data from Numbeo, the average cost of living for a family of four in Toronto is $4,826, not including rent. That breaks down to about $2,413 for both of the adults, including what they pay to take care of their children.

4 Tips To Save Money Living In Ontario

Are you still finding it hard to keep up with the cost of living in Ontario? Here are a few practical tips that you can implement today to save money and lower your overall cost of living.

1. Take Advantage Of A Budgeting App

If you haven’t created a budget for yourself yet, then you’re probably spending too much money on non-essential items. A $4 Starbucks every day adds up to over $100 at the end of the month.

Without setting a budget, though, you’ll never truly know how much you can afford to spend.

It can be all too easy to mindlessly spend small sums of money that add up to larger sums.

That is why I use a budgeting app to keep track of all of my expenses and income. Whether you earn minimum wage or you’re a multi-millionaire, creating a budget is one of the best things that you can do to improve your finances.

Thankfully, technology makes this easy. The market is full of easy-to-use budgeting apps that scan your bank accounts and card records, categorizing where you spend your money, so you can see where you need to cut back.

2. Use Couponing Apps To Save Money

Growing up, my mom used to always cut coupons out of the local papers. Sometimes she’d save over $100 at a time while buying the family groceries!

Today, couponing is a lot easier, though. Couponing apps automatically scan your receipts and cross-reference them with local and national coupons to save you money.

Once you build your savings up, you can cash out for real money.

3. Plan Your Grocery Shopping

Planning out your grocery shopping is a great tip that has helped me save a lot of money on groceries. Consumers who shop on a whim (especially while you’re hungry) are proven to spend more on groceries compared to consumers who make a detailed list and stick to it.

4. Avoid Expensive Nights Out

Toronto offers some of the best nightlife in Canada. From fine dining to craft cocktail bars and massive nightclubs, a fun time is just a block away. The only thing is – Ontario’s nightlife scene can be a bit expensive.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself from time to time. But if you’re having trouble paying the bills or saving money, you shouldn’t be partying every weekend.

Final Thoughts – Is Ontario Expensive To Live In?

Average Cost Of Living In Ontario

Compared to other provinces in Canada, Ontario isn’t that expensive. The overall CPI for goods and services is 101, which puts it just slightly above the national average.

While Ontario, as a whole, isn’t expensive to live in, larger cities like Toronto and London can be very costly.

So, if you’re trying to save money, I recommend moving to the suburbs.

If you’re set on living in the city, then creating an additional stream of income could be your key to staying on top of expenses.

Keep on reading to see my list of 11 quick and easy online businesses to start in Canada!

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