As you may know, Canada markets itself aggressively to immigrants. This results in the highlight of the great things about living here, which are many. Canada is a great place to live, but the cost of living in Canada needs more external attention. Nowhere is perfect, of course, but many immigrants are told that Canada needs people to work and not that challenges are present as they do this.
Despite Canada’s need to increase its labour force. For example, Canada’s ambitious immigration goals are not keeping pace with housing available. When a country with a lower population suddenly sees a sharp increase in its people that the rate of new construction is unable to fill, well, the cost of housing skyrockets since demand becomes much higher than supply.
Some professionals find challenges with their education and work experience being recognized by employers despite the vetting and certification Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does to ensure they are equal to their Canadian counterparts during the immigration process.
My goal isn’t to deter anyone from immigrating but rather to provide information to help others plan their transition more accurately with more details on the cost of living in Canada.
There is one thing anyone looking to move to Canada should understand. It is the reason the proof of funds requirement is so rigorously enforced. It is the reason international students in Canada pay up to 300% more for tuition than Canadian citizens and permanent residents for programs. Understand it’s a revenue stream for the schools and Canada. Outside of that, though, the truth is…
Canada is expensive.
Whatever you do, keep that in mind. Necessities like food and clothes are more expensive than in the United States. Housing costs in Canada largely depend on where you live.
Cost of Living in Canada – Saskatchewan
If you live in one of the three larger cities – Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, housing is costly and, for the average person, will eat through a significant portion (as much as half) of their monthly budget. If you have goals like owning a home, saving aggressively, etc., they are harder to achieve in the larger metropolitan areas. That’s not to say they are impossible, though. It’s more manageable but still expensive in a medium or smaller city. The Bank of Canada aggressively increased interest rates to cool the inflation rate, and while it does appear to be working, it is slow. Consequently, mortgage rates are sky-high. However, housing prices in the prairies declined in 2023, so there is that.
You May Also Like: Regina Saskatchewan As a Newcomer
I live in Regina, Saskatchewan. A small city in the prairies with a population of around 250,000. It’s not the most fast-paced place to live, but it’s beautiful, family-friendly and has a lovely sense of community. It is more suited to family life than a single person. Here’s a peek into what my family of three spends every month living here.
You can rent a one-bedroom apartment in Regina for as little as $700 and as much as $1300. You can also rent a three-bedroom apartment for as little as $1000 and as much as $1800. Similarly, a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is about $2000 on the lower end and $3500 on the high end.
Food is expensive everywhere. Global pressures resulting form the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other factors affecting the economy are very evident here. It is increasing at a horrible rate. Meat, fruits, vegetables, all of it. In addition, you may find that buying food for a family is cheaper. How the food is packaged forces you to spend more if you are single: meat. Here’s a list of some food items (from Superstore) as of May 2023, when I wrote this post.
- Milk (2%) – 4L, $5.49 | 2L, $4.49
- Orange Juice – 2.6L, $5.99 | 1.5L, $5.29
- Eggs – 12 (1 doz), $3.89 | 30 (1 tray), $9.49
- Chicken – 3 Chicken Breasts, $15.00 | 8 pk Drumsticks, $8.00 | Whole Chicken, $4.99/ lbs
- Bread – Sliced loaf $3.49
- Carrots – 2 lbs, $2.99
- Potatoes (Irish) – 5 lbs bag, $6.79
- Sweet (Bell) Pepper – 4pk, $6 | 1, $1.53
- Rice – 2kg, $5.49
- Water – Case (24 100ml), $3.29
- Tomatoes – 100g, $6.00
- Detergent – 100ml $16.00
Utilities, of course, are dependent on your usage. It is also heavily reliant on the province. Here are some averages I found on Moving Waldo.
Healthcare is free. There are however limitations on what that free care covers and you do pay for it though you taxes.
Education is also free up to the secondary level. You can, however, opt for private schooling, which costs. At the tertiary level, what and where, the level at which you study and your legal status in the country comes into play. For example, the domestic cost of $5000+ is for the same program — a postgraduate certificate is $16,000+ for international. The prices below are for a Master of Business Administration program at the post-graduate level.
All in all, it is expensive to live in Canada, but life can be made comfortable if you make the right choices. You must know your unique situation and make sensible decisions that fit your lifestyle and goals.
I hope this post provided some insight to the cost of living in Canada, specifically in Saskatchewan. Are you surprised by the numbers? Let me know in the comments.
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