Toronto is Canada’s largest city and a world leader in such areas as business, finance, technology, entertainment, and culture. Its large population of immigrants from all over the globe has also made Toronto one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Toronto – the name derived from the Huron word for “fishing weir” – is on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario. Located on a broad sloping plateau cut by numerous river valleys, Toronto covers 641 sq. km. and stretches 43 km from east to west and 21 km from north to south at its longest points. The perimeter is approximately 180 km. Toronto ranks 98th out of 209 in terms of the most expensive world city according to Mercer’s 26th annual Cost of Living Survey.

Let’s breakdown the cost of living in Toronto in 2021
(These numbers represent an estimate of what it costs to live in Toronto 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 Toronto can vary from anywhere between $2700 to $3750 monthly depending upon a lot of factors.

The numbers above are presented taking into consideration a family of 2 people. Take a look at our breakdown of these numbers: 

Groceries: $350 to $500
Monthly groceries can vary between $350 to $550 depending upon the lifestyle of a family. Groceries stores like Walmart, Freshco, Whole Foods turn out to be cheaper than specialty grocery stores or individual stores. 

Dining & Entertainment: $150 to $300
Eating outside in Toronto can become expensive quickly, a meal at a fast-food restaurant can cost around $25 for 2 people while a three-course meal at an expensive restaurant can cost around $80 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: $200 to $250
Toronto has one of the best public transportation systems in North America. A one-way fare for the TTC (Public transit) is about $3.25 while a monthly adult pass is about $156. You would want to use Uber/Lyft every once in a while and a 5 km ride will cost you around $15 to $20. If you live in Downtown Toronto, most of the places are within walking distance, and hence our estimation of transportation is somewhat conservative but if you know you will be taking the TTC a lot then the monthly pass makes absolute sense.

Utilities: $300 to $400
Utilities generally include your phone bill, internet (wifi), tenant insurance, hydro (electricity), and sometimes water usage. Smaller providers like Freedom have decent plans starting from $40/m. (Pro Tip: Adding a line to an existing line is always suggested as you get a little discount on the second line). WiFi prices vary a lot in Toronto and it depends on your location and the building you live in. A standard 150 Mbps plan should cost you around $50/m. (Pro Tip: The cost of wifi plans shown on Bell and Rogers’ 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: $1700 to $2300
The rental prices in Toronto 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 Toronto should cost you about $1700 with a recent pricing drop but a 2 Bedroom can go above $2300 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

$350

$500

Dining & Entertainment

$150

$300

Transportation

$200

$250

Utilities

$300

$400

Rent

$1700

$2300

Total

$2700

$3750

The above totals are just intended to provide you an estimate of the living costs in Toronto 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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