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    City Series: The Average Cost of Living in Calgary

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    cost of living Calgary Alberta

    Calgary, Alberta is known for its infamous Stampede rodeo and lively downtown core. But what does it cost to live there?

    As a Canadian city nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the expansive prairies, Calgary is both a modern town and a representation of old traditions. Having earned the nickname of “Cowtown,” this is a city known throughout North America for its western culture and annual rodeo festival – the Calgary Stampede. But what is the cost of living in this vibrant Albertan metropolis?

    Whether you’re an individual or a family with children, we break down the monthly costs of living in the city of Calgary.

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    Calgary’s Cost of Living

    Want to know what it costs to live in Calgary, Alberta? Below, you’ll find information on everything from housing expenses to the cost of utilities, based on statistics provided by Numbeo.

    1. Housing

    The amount that you spend on your living arrangements will entirely depend on the size, location, and manner in which you occupy your home. For example, a small studio apartment outside of the city centre that you rent will cost much less than a four-bedroom house that you own in a popular downtown neighbourhood.

    Related: What are the hidden costs of buying a house in Canada?

    How much is it to rent in Calgary?

    The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment downtown is about $1,360 per month. In comparison, you can rent a three-bedroom unit outside of Calgary’s city centre for an average price of $1,950.

    Utilities and parking are often included in a rental price, however, it’s important to remember that your renter’s insurance will always be a separate cost.

    How much is it to own in Calgary?

    If you’re looking to own a condo or house in Calgary, you’ll be paying approximately $4,215 pers square metre for a downtown apartment or $520,000 for a home.

    Other costs to consider if you’re looking to purchase a house in Calgary are your homeowner’s insurance, annual property maintenance, and property taxes.

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    2. Childcare

    Childcare through a private daycare or preschool provider will set you back around $1,180 monthly, per child. A live-out nanny, on the other hand, will cost you just under $3,000 per month.

    3. Education

    The cost of education in Calgary varies from institution to institution. Depending on whether you’re looking for a public or private school, the amount you pay will be extremely different.

    Here are the average annual tuitions for:

    • Calgary private schools: $15,000

    • Calgary public schools: $0 (for Canadian residents)

    4. Entertainment and Fitness

    If you have an interest in leisure activities, from going to the movies to attending a NHL game, here are a few examples of what you can expect to pay.

    Popular expenses, such as monthly fitness memberships, cost most Calgarians about $80. Whereas tickets to the movies are an average of $16 per person.

    If you enjoy sporting events, the average ticket price to attend a Calgary Flames game is around $46. However, if you prefer football, you’ll be paying more than double that. The average cost of a Stampeders ticket is about $113.

    Finally, if you’re hoping to attend the legendary Calgary Stampede each summer, the price of general admission is currently $23 per person.

    So, if you were to have a gym membership, see a monthly movie, attend one sports game a month, and go to the Stampede once a year, you’d spend an average of $2,129 annually.

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    5. Food

    How much you spend on food will be affected by how frequently you dine out versus make your meals at home.

    If you prefer to eat out at restaurants, you can expect to pay anywhere from $11 per person at a fast-food chain to just over $40 per person at a mid-range restaurant.

    The cost of groceries will run you about $340 each month, assuming you shop once a week and buy essential items like milk and cheese each time.

    6. Transportation

    What you pay for your transportation is another cost that will greatly vary based on your preferred method of travel.

    For example, a monthly pass for transit in Calgary is $112. A new Volkswagen Golf, on the other hand, would set you back $28,179. And that’s not including the cost of maintenance, car insurance, gas, or parking.

    7. Utilities

    Your utilities can include everything from your phone bill to your heating and electrical. Here’s a list of common costs and what you can expect to pay for them each month, on average:

    • Cell phone plan: $100

    • Internet: $89

    • Cable: $22

    • Electricity and heating: $237

    Previous City Series Articles

    Interested to know what it costs to live in other Canadian cities? Check out APOLLO Magazine’s previous articles in this series:

    No matter where you’re located, living expenses add up. Protect your finances with comprehensive insurance coverage from APOLLO.

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    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase in less than a minute, receive your policy instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Originally published June 20, 2022, updated September 5, 2023

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    Limited time offer: Get comprehensive Tenant Insurance starting at just $11/month

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase in less than a minute, receive your policy instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Limited time offer: Get comprehensive Tenant Insurance starting at just $11/month

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase in less than a minute, receive your policy instantly, and save when you buy online.

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