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Quick Guide to the True Cost of Living in Calgary, Canada

 In Living Abroad

Moving internationally to Alberta’s most populous city also means you will be staying in a metropolis whose income and inheritance taxes are among the lowest in Canada. However, before settling in one of the fastest-growing cities, go over the cost of living in Calgary. It will help you figure out just how much you need to earn to stay here.

When moving to Canada, especially to a metropolis like Calgary, be prepared for a variety of entertainment, employment, and education opportunities. Furthermore, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll get to enjoy the Canadian Rockies, prairie, and foothills. Colorful scenery and high quality of life attract not only families but also career chasers and students. However, before hiring an international moving company to help you relocate, go over our guide and find out Is it expensive to live in Alberta and What is a good salary in Calgary.

What Are the Things You Should Consider Before Moving Abroad to Canada

Even though CA is a neighboring country, relocating there will put you in an unfamiliar environment. That’s why if you want to adjust and fit in faster, do your homework long before you officially become a resident of Calgary (CGY) and learn some basics about the area:

  • The metropolis is home to 1,336,000 people,
  • CGY is an area with large expat communities and a diverse population,
  • It is the largest city in Alberta,
  • Most people speak English in the province, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the language barrier,
  • CGY is only 160 miles from the US border,
  • It has 332 sunny days a year.
Downtown skyscrapers

Before relocating, learn a thing or two about CGY

Is It Expensive to Live in Alberta

When you started planning the relocation, you probably went over the cost of living in Canada. But, since the country is huge, prices vary depending on the province you opt to settle in. If you choose Alberta as your next destination, you will save up because the overall expenses in this province are among the lowest in CA.

Data from the government agency StatCan shows that Alberta residents pay less for housing than the residents of provinces like Ontario and British Columbia. Furthermore, Albertans pay the least in Canada for food. Nevertheless, if you are still pondering Is Calgary a good place to live or even Is it expensive to live in Calgary, all you have to do is put down on the paper monthly expenses in some of the bigger cities and compare them to CGY.

Which One Is More Affordable – Cost of Living in Toronto vs Calgary vs Vancouver

Are you thinking about moving to Toronto at the same time when you are planning on relocating to CGY? Living in Toronto might seem tempting at first, after all, it is the most populous city in the country, but becoming Torontonian comes with a price. Data from the website Numbeo shows that the metropolis is more expensive than CGY when it comes to housing. Also, if you are considering moving to Vancouver, know that on average, Calgarians earn the same as Vancouverites. However, even though living in Vancouver will put you in place with cheaper utilities, housing expenses are almost 40% higher. To be sure you made the right decision when opting for CGY, take a look at the table below where we compared housing and average salaries in these three cities.

LocationPrice per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of CentreRent per month - Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of CentreAverage Monthly Net Salary
Calgary$210$775$3,340
Toronto$840$1,360$3,200
Vancouver$670$1,215$3,400

Data from the website Numbeo

How Does the Housing Affect the Cost of Living in Calgary

When looking for accommodation in a new country, you shouldn’t be hasty. Take your time, do the research, and you will eventually find a place that fulfills all of your needs. When looking for a home in CGY, know that there are 197 neighborhoods to choose from.

Since this metropolis is more affordable than most big cities in CA when it comes to housing, you will be able to save up. On top of affordability, the city offers everything from studio flats to family homes when it comes to real estate. If you plan on becoming a homeowner, know that the median price for a single-family home is $365,400, according to the website CalgaryHomes. On the other hand, if you are thinking about buying a condo, you will need $172,850. However, those that are on a tight budget should consider renting instead of buying.

Where You Should Find an Apartment if You Hope to Save Up

Let’s face it, some neighborhoods are just more affordable than the others, and if you are looking to rent in CGY, check out these renters-friendly areas:

  • Brentwood – if you are relocating with dogs, this northwest area can be the perfect place. It has plenty of parks and recreational facilities, and on top of that, its rental options are very diverse. In Brentwood, you’ll need between $1,400 and $1,700 for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Edgemont – low crime rates and its position close to Downtown make Edgemont very attractive for expats. Furthermore, with a rent of $1,650 for a two-bedroom apartment, it is highly affordable.
  • Bridgeland Riverside – with food markets, shopping centers, schools, and restaurants, this area can attract families but also young professionals. With a rent of around $1,500 per month for a two-bedroom flat, it is one of the most affordable spots in the metropolis.

How Do Prices of Utilities and Food Affect Costs in CGY

No matter if you are moving overseas or just across the border, some things never change, no matter where you live. One of those things is paying monthly utilities. According to Numbeo, CGY residents pay $155 a month for basic utilities such as heating, cooling, garbage, electricity, and water. On top of those expenses, if you’re wondering how to keep in touch with friends, get unlimited ADSL internet for $60 or a phone plan with limitless minutes for a price of $35.

Food is also one of the main expenses you’ll have no matter where you settle in. Data from StatCan shows that a family of four spends around $270 on groceries every week in Alberta. Nevertheless, this amount can change depending on your lifestyle and eating habits.

Enjoying Dining Out Is an Additional Expense You Should Think About

Are you wondering how to live abroad and what is the easiest way to fit in? Becoming a true Canadian means you should indulge in dining out more often than not. A survey done by StatCan shows that 54% of Canadians eat out at least once a week. That’s why you should consider grabbing a bite in a restaurant once in a while. This will cost you around $15 if you visit the inexpensive establishment and around $30 if you are buying a three-course meal in a mid-range eatery.

Hanging light bulbs

Utility and grocery costs are something to think about when relocating

What Are Other Expenses That Go Into Overall Calgary Cost of Living

No matter if you are moving for love or pursuing a dream job and higher education, there will be some expenses you cannot escape. However, some of those day-to-day costs will depend on your lifestyle. For example, will you be driving or using public transportation? How many times a week would you go out? Are you in need of special medical care? All of these affect your overall monthly budget.

Should You Drive or Use Public Transportation in CGY

Are you planning on shipping your car to CGY? If so, the prices of gas will affect your monthly budget. You will need around $2.86 for a gallon of gas, according to data from Numbeo. However, if you want to save up, you can use public transportation, and since the city has the 2nd shortest commute time of major cities in CA, you won’t spend your whole day stuck in traffic. All you need is to get a monthly pass that is around $85, and you will be able to go wherever you want to.

How Much Does the Healthcare Cost

CA is one of the best places to live abroad as an expat because it has a universal and publicly funded healthcare system called Medicare, that you, as a legal resident, can use. This is a very affordable and highly rated system. Each province has its own insurance plans, so when you settle in CGY, you’ll be expected to pay $50 for a short doctor’s visit.

What Are the Entertainment Expenses in CGY

You will be relocating to one of the friendliest countries in the world so take advantage of all group and fun activities it offers. Settling in CGY will put you in a spot with vibrant nightlife and plenty of micro-distilleries. Here grabbing a beer will knock $5.75 out of your pocket, but it will be worth it. If you are a passionate moviegoer, you can enjoy blockbusters for a price of $12.50, and if you love theatre, you’ll need $152 for the two best seats.

C-Train in CGY

Prices of public transportation tickets can affect your budget

What Is a Good Salary in Calgary

When you are figuring out how to live in another country, one of the first things you should think about besides how to find a job in Canada is the salary that comes with it. Luckily, CA is one of the best countries to live in the world, especially for ambitious, career-oriented people.

Settling in CGY will put you in a place that is a leader in the oil and gas industry, but it also can offer you employment in tech, healthcare, and trade. Nevertheless, before accepting a new position, look into average incomes, that way, you’ll know if you are paid enough. Data from the website PayScale states that an annual salary in CGY is $50,500, which is higher than the national average.

That’s why if you are a career chaser, one of the reasons you should move abroad to CGY should be employment opportunities. However, no matter what kind of job you get, one of the most important relocation questions to ask an employer should be, how will they help you adjust and overcome culture shock.

A person holding Canadian dollars

You can earn more than enough when living in CGY

How Much Money Will You Need for International Relocation

Have you wondered until now how do you move to another country? You might not be moving across the world, but still, you are relocating to another country, even the neighboring one, and that entails a lot of planning.

One of the main challenges of moving abroad is how to save time during relocation. Let’s face it, you’ll have a lot on your plate, from gathering all the documents needed to travel abroad to figuring out how to find a job in a foreign country before relocating. Avoid one of the most common mistakes during the relocation – doing it all on your own. Instead, when it comes to international moving to Calgary, consider hiring an overseas shipping company to help you with the task.

Allowing an international moving company to help you with the relocation means you will have enough free time to tie loose ends while professionals are not only providing moving services but also packing and even storage if you need one. Having assistance is an excellent way to conquer moving stress. You won’t have to stress about all the heavy lifting and shipping overseas, professionals will do it instead of you.

Nevertheless, since nothing in the world is free, write down the costs of hiring professionals as one of the mandatory relocation expenses. Data from the website WorldFreingtRates shows that you’ll need around $3,000 to ship things from Los Angeles to CGY. On the other hand, if you are shipping from the East Coast, you’ll need somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 for the relocation.

Movers carrying a carpet

Movers will help you relocate to Canada without a fuss

Is Becoming a Calgarian Worth the Trouble of Moving Internationally

When you start planning on your international relocation, go over everything, from the cost of living in Calgary to employment and education opportunities. When you put it all down on paper, you will see that this metropolis has plenty to offer to newcomers. This highly diverse and friendly area is widely popular among expats because it can provide you with a decent salary and highly-rated health care. On top of that, lower than average monthly expenses mean you get to save up. Don’t hesitate to relocate to CGY, it will be worth the trouble in the long run.