Cost of Living in Vancouver: Canada's Most Expensive City

By Remitbee - May 30, 2022

Vancouver is well-known for its lush woods, beautiful beaches, and vibrant city. In a list of the world's 50 most beautiful cities, the travel website Flight Network just ranked Vancouver as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

However, according to a poll done by Demographia International Housing Affordability, Vancouver is the third most expensive city globally, after only Hong Kong and Sydney. The poll was based on median multiples, which is a price-to-income ratio.

The high expense of living in this beautiful city is due to the high cost of housing. If you want to survive in Vancouver, you'll have to work hard on your budget. Let's look at why Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada.

Cost Of Renting Vs. Buying Your Home

Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live, with housing expenses exceeding the national average. The highest rental rates in Canada are found in Vancouver. Purchasing a property is also expensive.

The average price of a single-family detached house is $1,248,000, which is way above the cost in other areas. The same house in other areas of Canada would cost $531,000.

You might find the mortgage payment for a two-bedroomed condo going for $ 3,127 per month without considering the downpayment. At the same time, the same condo will cost you $1,913 as the rent price.

Depending on your income, you can rent or buy a house. If you own a home, your home insurance rate is more than if you rent. Home insurance will cost you roughly $25-$30 if you rent a house or an apartment.

You may expect to pay $51-$155 in home insurance if you own your home. In most cases, the value of your home determines your home insurance rate.

Let's see if rent or homeownership decreases due to a new tax rate that lowers property taxes for homes with an assessed value of up to $1.5 million.

Cost Of Food And Other Utilities

You might be startled to hear that the price of other goods might drive up the price of food. The high transportation, rent, and fuel costs will inevitably lead to high food prices.

Other factors include weather, food production, and demand for a food product, influencing price.

In Vancouver, a single individual's average monthly grocery bill is $227.35. Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and heating cost $297 per month.

In Vancouver, 60 Mbps phone and internet costs around $80-$85. A prepaid phone minute will set you back $0.38 if you don't have a plan or a discount.

Cost Of Transport

Taking public transportation in Vancouver is less expensive than driving your car. Translink is the regional transportation authority in Vancouver. Seabus, the West Coast Express Commuter Train, buses, and sky trains are all operated by it.

You can get a monthly pass for all three tariff zones costs between $98 and $177. You can even drive your car merely to get a sense of how much a litre of gasoline costs. The current gas price is $2.

A public bike-sharing system is also an option. BIXI is a company that provides bike rental services. You can rent a bike from their 600 stations or use a smartphone app. They charge the following rates for the bikes:

30 minutes= $2.99 24 hours= $5.25 72 hours= $15

Annual membership =$ 97

Cost Of Entertainment In Vancouver

The cost of entertainment in Vancouver is not cheap, but it is less expensive than in some other cities. The list below is a rough estimate for someone who only needs basic entertainment.

  • Local Beer=$7
  • Meal for one person in a mid-range restaurant= $38.75
  • A ticket to the cinema=$15
  • Taxi to take you home 7 miles away = $21
  • The average cost of a typical evening out for one person is roughly $81.75. If you do it once a week for a month, the total cost will be roughly $327.

Cost Of Childcare and Education

Both residents and ex-pats who are permanent residents or on a work visa are entitled to free public education in Vancouver. If you want your child to attend a private school, be prepared to pay a lot.

Even though public education is free, the quality of education is high, and it is ranked among the finest in Canada. From the age of five to sixteen, your child is expected to attend school.

Residents are also entitled to free high school or public secondary education. Most of these schools will charge international students. The annual costs might range from CAD 8000 to CAD14000. High school students are not entitled to free meals, and some activities, such as school outings or sports, will require payment.

Child care can cost anywhere from $780 and $900 per child (based on 2019 estimates). Let's see what happens now that the British Columbia government, whose province Vancouver is located, has promised child care rate reductions.

Cost Of Personal Care And Fitness

While Canada Universal Healthcare takes care of your primary medical costs, it is good to get personal insurance to cover other medical costs. In terms of fitness, a gym membership in Vancouver costs an average of $55.

You can also join the YMCA or YWCA, which have fantastic amenities in their health, aquatic, and exercise centers. Your membership will cost you $51 per month or $612 per year as a young adult.

Extras like the dry sauna, steam room, and towel service can set you back an extra $20 per month or $240 per year.


The cost of living in Vancouver can be intimidating, especially for international students. The majority of students are unaware that they are eligible for the same perks as domestic students. Applying for financial aid, scholarships, and higher education savings programs are good options.

If you're not a student, simply attempt to live within your means to avoid getting into too much debt. If you're in Vancouver and need to send money to another country or exchange currencies, Remitbee is a fantastic choice.

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