Calgary is a city in the western Canadian province of Alberta. It is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province, in the transitional area between the foothill and the prairie, about 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, roughly 299 km (186 mi) south of the provincial capital of Edmonton and approximately 240 km (150 mi) north of the Canada–United States border. Calgary’s economy includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors. Calgarians enjoy more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city – 333 days per year in fact. Calgary residents are relatively young with a median age of only 37.2 years. Apart from this, Calgary has one of the best weekend getaways in the world with Banff National Park only a 2-hour drive away. 

Let’s breakdown the cost of living in Calgary in 2021
(These numbers represent an estimate of what it costs to live in Calgary based on external sources as well as our writers’ personal experiences. It’s entirely possible for people to live in the city for much less, while others may need much more to fund the sort of lifestyle they prefer.)

Summary: Your cost of living in Calgary can vary from anywhere between $2050 to $2950 monthly depending upon a lot of factors.

The sales tax in Calgary is only 5% compared to the 13% in Toronto and that is one factor that makes day-to-day expenses in Calgary lower than in Toronto. The numbers above are presented taking into consideration a family of 2 people. Take a look at our breakdown of these numbers: 

Groceries: $250 to $400
Monthly groceries can vary between $250 to $400 depending upon the lifestyle of a family. Groceries stores like Walmart, Sobey’s, No Frills turn out to be cheaper than specialty grocery stores or individual stores. 

Dining & Entertainment: $150 to $250
Eating outside in Calgary can become expensive quickly, a meal at a fast-food restaurant can cost around $20 for 2 people while a three-course meal at an expensive restaurant can cost around $60 easily.
Movie tickets or show tickets can easily cost about $15-30 per person. Don’t forget your monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Spotify.

Transportation: $150 to $200
A one-way fare for the Calgary Transit (Public transit) is about $3.5 while a monthly adult pass is only $109. You would want to use Uber/Lyft every once in a while and a 5 km ride will cost you around $12 to $15. The Calgary Transit has many lines and covers most of the city. You can easily get from point A to point B if you are in Downtown core. 

Utilities: $250 to $350
Utilities generally include your phone bill, internet (wifi), tenant insurance, hydro (electricity), and sometimes water usage. Smaller providers like PC Mobile or Chatr have decent plans starting from $25/m. (Pro Tip: Adding a line to an existing line is always suggested as you get a little discount on the second line). A standard WiFi 500 Mbps plan should cost you around $60/m. (Pro Tip: The cost of wifi plans shown on Telus and Shaw’s website will always be the highest, research on the internet forums, Facebook Groups, etc, or talk to building concierge or friends about WiFi plans before buying one.) Other utilities add up to $150 or more. 

Rent: $1250 to $1800
The rental prices in Calgary have gone down by at least 10% due to COVID-19 but they have begun to go back to their expensive normal. A standard 1 Bedroom Condo in Downtown Calgary should cost you about $1250 with a recent pricing drop but a 2 Bedroom can go above $1750 easily. A 2 Bed 2 Bath will cost you a lot more, hence if you really don’t need the extra bathroom then we suggest sticking to 2 Bed 1 Bath and saving some money there. (Pro Tip: Try to find listings that include parking and locker as you can rent out your parking if you don’t need it. Also, if possible get Hydro, Water & Heating included in the monthly rental to avoid extra monthly expenses.) 

 

Item

Lower End Estimate 

Higher End Estimate 

Groceries

$250

$400

Dining & Entertainment

$150

$250

Transportation

$150

$200

Utilities

$250

$350

Rent

$1250

$1750

Total

$2050

$2950

The above totals are just intended to provide you an estimate of the living costs in Calgary in 2021. To know more about life in Canada, keep an eye out for our latest blog series ‘Get to know Canada’ which is intended to help people understand and know more about life in Canada. 

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