Are you thinking about moving internationally to BC, Canada? Then you must be interested in the cost of living in Vancouver. Canada, particularly Vancouver, is considered one of the best residential property markets at the time. Not only because of its natural appeal, enticing work market, carefully regulated and well-developed infrastructure, but also because of the excellent quality of life, it offers.
If you are considering living overseas, this is not the cheapest city to live in. Why is Vancouver so expensive to live? Well, living in Vancouver has many advantages and a great quality of life, as we mentioned before. Moreover, it is globally recognized as one of the best places to live abroad for the quality of living for ten years straight. The Economist Intelligence Unit listed it as the first city to be rated as the most well-living city globally. However, it is also ranked as Canada’s most expensive city to settle in and the fourth most pricey housing sector globally. The city is preparing to become the world’s greenest area by 2020.
Population in Vancouver, Canada
This is a major city situated in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland area. The 2016 survey estimated it as the most populous city in the province with 676,000 residents. In 2016, the Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,400,400, making it Canada’s third-largest metropolitan area. With over 13,590 people per square mile, it has the largest population density in Canada, making it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 inhabitants in North America, after New York City and San Francisco.
Languages That are Used
This city is one of Canada’s most ethnically and linguistically diverse areas: 50% of its inhabitants are not native English speakers, 50% are native English or French speakers. This is a great city if you are thinking of learning a language abroad and breaking the language barrier.
Housing and Utility Prices per Month
This city isn’t one of the cheapest places to live in Canada, so if you don’t have work and are still looking for jobs in Canada, think twice about relocating here. Lately, for a one-bedroom flat, Vancouver rated “affordable housing” as $2,000. Numbeo, a website that measures the costs of living in global cities, confirms this and says that the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area is currently $1,900.
The median rental price is about $1,500 a month for a downtown one-bedroom apartment and $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment further away from the center. Without the bills, of course. Like always, it would be a lot better if you opt to share a three-bedroom apartment with a roommate, and then it is just over $1,000 per person per month for the city center, and in the suburbs around $600-700. The rental rates are more costly for both downtown and suburban properties than usual, but there are alternatives to locate cheaper housing options.
Although house prices are higher than most other Canadian cities and rate reasonably high in a global setting, utility costs are some of the lowest in the country and lower than most Europeans’ monthly utility bills. Estimated utility costs are:
- Heating, water, electricity, gas for an 860 square feet apartment is $100 per month.
- Heating, water, electricity, gas for a 430 square feet apartment is $77 per month.
- Internet at 60 Mbps is $75 per month.
- Monthly cell phone bills are around $50 per month.
The city is compact enough for many downtown residents to stroll from to work if they have a job in the town center. Transportation costs will usually be minimal, mainly because there are no such things as Uber. But for those that transit to and from work using Translink, a transit pass for one zone costs around $100 per month. Bike paths are fantastic and are used by downtown locals. If you come from outside the US, the fuel price would be reasonably low at just $1.30 – $1.50 a 1/4 gallon.
Currently, transport is based on a three-zone system, with one-way fares ranging from $2 to $5 for adults. You will travel with the same ticket for 90 minutes, regardless of the transport system you take, whether it’s a bus, SkyTrain or SeaBus. On Sundays and after 6:00 pm on weekdays, transfer fees within both zones are set at $2.75. By purchasing a monthly or weekly ticket, you will save time and money, and the price ranges are based on whether you apply for discount fares for kids, students, or seniors and where you travel.
Groceries and Other Related Items
A new study has found that people spend an average of $220 per person per month on groceries. This expense in Vancouver is increased by at least $100 a month, taking into account the higher prices of downtown supermarkets and adding some drug store products. That will be about $320 a month for essential products only.
When it comes to the cost of living in Canada, the grocery prices are 4% lower than the national average. A gallon of milk is about seven dollars, and a loaf of fresh bread is about three dollars. The fruit is moderately priced, but meat and dairy, particularly cheese, are more costly than average, and food prices are not reduced when they are near their expiry date. Buying in larger quantities and couponing will, however, ease your budget for food a little bit.
Cost of Education
British Columbia has one of the best schooling programs in Canada. Fortunately for expats, whether you remain in Canada as a citizen or on a temporary work visa, public schools are free. Also, there are plenty of choices if you would like to send your child to some of the most prestigious private schools. Still, you have to apply well in advance and be willing to compromise a lot, but it is worth remembering that the difference between the lowest and most costly annual rates is very substantial. Waldorf School was on the lower end of private schools’ scale, just $3,200 a year. On the other hand, the average price for St. George’s School ranges from $16,000 to $48,200 a year.
It is improbable that you will have grandparents or friends to look after your children when you move to another country, in which case you will have to pay for additional child care services. When your kid is a baby or preschool age, it will take quite a hole in your monthly income plan five days a week, so it is essential to calculate it into your monthly budgeting. The total cost of childcare in Vancouver is the country’s second-largest. The research was carried out by the Canadian Centre for Policy and showed that the median price of childcare is $1,300 per month for babies and $1,400 for preschoolers, which is a whopping $16,800 a year.
Entertainment and Dining Out
Walking to every bar or cafe in Vancouver neighborhoods is one of the most entertaining things about choosing to live in the city center. However, this can also affect your savings. The average price of a meal for two at a restaurant is $60. Add another $10 if you like a drink, and the lowest you’ll spend is about $70. And that’s only for one night. A month, realistically, entails at least one fine dining, a couple of coffee dates, and a few movie nights. You’re looking at $300 a month at least, and that’s if you’re encouraging yourself to stay at home most of the time.
The City Nightlife
Many downtown residents like going out for a beer (or a couple.) Expect to pay $10 per drink downtown, on average. And because there are four weekends a month, if you go out one night a weekend on average and have two or three drinks per night, it will be at least $100.
The Public Healthcare System
The healthcare system in British Columbia is named the Medical Services Plan. Your citizenship and visa in Canada will affect the cost of public healthcare. The established criteria are:
- International students – $58 per month,
- International workers – free,
- Canadian citizens – free.
Health and Fitness
The healthy lifestyle the city provides is one of the most enticing qualities for those who live here. There are several ways of staying fit and at zero cost, from camping to paddleboarding in the summer. But in terms of exercise courses, the city also has lots of options. Yoga and CrossFit are some of the possibilities. According to recent surveys, residents spend around $70 a month on health and fitness, on average.
The Cost of Living in Vancouver – Comparison to Ottawa
When comparing these two cities, different costs are more significant in one and lower in the other. However, the overall cost of living in Vancouver Canada, is 23% higher than the cost of living in Ottawa, according to the average expenses per month. On the other hand, the annual salary in Ottawa is $3,000, and in Vancouver $3,500. Look at all of the costs in the table below:
What Salary Do You Need to Live in Vancouver?
If you’re a single adult living downtown and looking to rent alone, everything under $40,000 a year means you’re definitely broke, and you ought to search for a roommate somewhere. But if you’re able to earn more than this, it’s still a fantastic place to live in. So start looking for work in Vancouver.
Is 50k a Good Salary in Vancouver?
If you are planning on moving to Vancouver, we listed the top job openings. Also, we did a detailed analysis of the total annual salary that professionals working in these sectors earn. The results are:
- Physician – $97,200
- Dentist – $56,800
- Business executive – $68,500
- IT manager – $50,500
- Lawyer – $100,000
- Police – $100,000
- Architect – $55,000
- Teacher – $40,000
- Accountant – $48,000
- Pharmacist – $100,000
- Realtor – $80,000
- Truck driver – $17 per hour.
What Is The Average Salary By Gender?
Unfortunately, there is a significant wage gap between men and women in this city. On average, men get paid around $70,000 per year, while women earn around $49,000 in gross annual wages.
Is Vancouver an Expensive City?
The fact is housing isn’t cheap. On the other hand, with fantastic residential neighborhoods where you can afford to enjoy a great life, Vancouver is an extremely established business industry center. Since the city has a vast and well-connected transit network that is cheap to use, the cost of living is heavily decreased. Also, because residents have access to a national medical health plan provided free of charge to all Canadian residents, the cost of living is further diminished. However, it is essential to remember that the lifestyle you prefer will decide whether you can afford to live in this city. And if you are in the lower salary range, you can still enjoy a good, convenient, and quality lifestyle here by making savings where you can, for example, by going out to bars and restaurants less.
Overall if you have decided on moving overseas to one of the best countries to live in, you should consider hiring an international moving company that will help you with the relocation process and things such as documents needed to travel abroad or questions about how to live in another country. Maybe it is an additional cost on your expenses checklist, but it will save you money and reduce moving stress in the long run. You should check out the moving services an overseas moving company can provide you with, such as packing services and overseas vehicle shipping, and see for yourself. Don’t forget to ask for a free quote if you are planning on moving across the world to one of the friendliest countries in the world. Overall, moving to Canada could be the best decision you have made so far.