Calgary vs Toronto Cost of Living

Planning a province to province moving? It's crucial to understand the differences in cost of living between these two Canadian cities. Our detailed comparison covers housing, income tax, entertainment, and outdoor activities costs to help you decide which city might be a better fit for your lifestyle and budget. Get ready to delve into the financial implications of such a move!

Toronto Cost of Living

Toronto vs Calgary Housing Costs

The most price-friendly categories of homes can be found in Calgary. Despite the recent surge in housing costs across Europe and America, houses still remain price-friendly in Alberta City. As an example, you'd need around $1,231 to rent a one-bedroom apartment and $1580 to get a two-bedroom. The situation is far hotter and more competitive in Toronto owing to several factors.

While it costs just around more than five hundred million dollars to get a home in Calgary, you'd need around more than a million dollars to get one in Canada's largest city. The market is quite stiff, and the supply is very limited as around half of the population are immigrants. These immigrants are in constant search of properties to acquire, and this means that you'd hardly see a house stay more than two weeks on the market. Hence, you should be ready to spend far more on housing if you choose to move to the country's largest city.

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What Kind of House Can You Buy in Calgary Compared to Toronto?

A quick comparison between the various home types and categories in both cities will shed more light on the housing situation. With a total sum of about five hundred million dollars, you'd comfortably get a five-bedroom two-story house in Alberta's most populous city.

The situation is different in Toronto, as most homes in the core residential areas go for more than five hundred million dollars. However, you can buy a one-bedroom condo with that budget. If you wish to acquire cheaper homes in both cities, you might consider exploring the outskirts or less population-dense areas.

Calgary vs Toronto Living Costs & Affordability

Ontario and its cities house the major financial hubs of Canada. It's the epicenter of commerce and sport in Canada. The setting in the city is majorly cosmopolitan, and this comes with a high living cost. The situation is fairer in Calgary, a diverse environment that's about three hours from the US border. It's Alberta's largest city in terms of population, with a rich cultural background. The living cost is fairly conservative in Alberta when compared to other places.

You'd pay 3.9% more for restaurants in Toronto than choosing to stay in Calgary. You'll also pay 6.8% more for groceries and 11.1% more for transportation in Toronto. You'll also pay more for childcare but a bit less for clothing in Toronto. Overall, you'd need a fat monthly budget if you wish to live with comfort in Canada's largest city. However, you should also expect to earn more on average in Toronto.

Comparing Ontario vs Alberta Income Tax

Before now, the income tax system in Calgary makes it an inviting place to move to. This is because every earner in Alberta paid the same tax percentage. Today, the tax rate in Alberta is between ten to fifteen percent of income, while the tax rates in Ontario range from 5.05% to 13.16%. However, the combined federal and provincial tax rate is between 25% and 48% in Alberta compared to 20.05% and 53.53% in Ontario. The after-tax remuneration in Calgary is enough to cover up to 2 months of living expenses, compared to 1.4 months in Toronto.

Entertainment Cost in Calgary & Toronto

Without a doubt, Toronto is Canada's most entertaining and fun-filled city. This claim is partly due to its around eight million residents, which is more than what you will find in most cities. Besides, Toronto is home to several art galleries and museums where you can experience the rich culture of Canadians.

In terms of cost, a typical movie ticket to a cinema costs around $16.42 in Calgary compared to $15.43 in Toronto. You'll also spend around $76.54 for a monthly membership at a local gym in Calgary compared to $64.38 in Toronto. Overall, you'd spend 2.6% less on entertainment in Toronto when compared to Calgary.

Calgary Cost of Living

Outdoor Activities Cost in & Around Calgary & Toronto

Overall, Calgary has a rich outdoor profile when compared to Toronto. This is partly due to the fact that mountains surround Calgary. Besides, the city houses more than a thousand playgrounds and up to six thousand parks. Toronto is not far behind in outdoor activities and fun avenues. It has several natural attractions like Niagara Falls and the city is close to Lake Ontario. 

The ticket fee for visiting most parks in Calgary ranges from $90-$120. The cost is a bit higher in Toronto. Some parks, like Heritage Park, admit people for around $11. Horseback riding costs an average of $60 in Calgary and a bit higher in Toronto.


Overall, the cost of living in Toronto is a bit on the high side when compared to Calgary, as Toronto is about 7.2% more expensive. However, both cities have their fair share of job opportunities, school, and fun avenues. While Toronto is more cosmopolitan owing to the large amount of skyscrapers and explosive growth in the number of residents, Calgary is a more laid-back, fun city.

You'd enjoy more of the city life with balanced weather conditions in Toronto. On the other hand, in Calgary, the experience is more balanced between its busy days full of hustle and its quite entertaining nights.

High Stream Moving has you covered and will guide you through the whole moving process in Toronto for a successful move at an affordable cost. Contact us at (800) 430-1537 to get a free estimate!

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