As a globally recognized city, Toronto is a vibrant and exciting place to call home. But what does it cost to live there?

From Mississauga to Markham, the Greater Toronto Area – commonly referred to as simply the GTA – is one of the most densely populated regions in Canada. It offers an abundance of employment opportunities, and relatively easy access to the downtown core of Toronto. And with so many people choosing to live here, it’s clearly a desirable place to call home.

Before you pack up your things and rent moving trucks, however, you may want to know a bit more about the average cost of living in Toronto.

In this article, we break down the monthly costs of:

  • Housing
  • Childcare
  • Education
  • Entertainment and fitness
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Read on to learn more.


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Toronto’s Cost of Living

Whether you’re a single person or part of a family of four, below you’ll find information on the cost of living in Toronto, based on statistics provided by Numbeo.

Housing

Regardless of whether you’d like to rent or own your home, housing costs typically play a large part in most people’s monthly budgets. In this section, we break down how much you’re likely to spend on rent or mortgage payments when living in the GTA.

How much is it to rent in Toronto?

If you want to live in the city, the price to rent a one-bed apartment will be over $2,000 per month on average. Outside of the city centre, the cost doesn’t drop much for approximately the same size unit, with the average rent ringing in around $1,800 per month.

When it comes to calculating your rent, remember that some places will include utilities and parking in your monthly payment. However, it will not include additional expenses like your renter’s insurance.

How much is it to own in Toronto?

Alongside Vancouver, BC, Toronto is one of the most expensive places to purchase real estate in Canada. Buying a condo or townhome in the big city will cost you a whopping $12,800 per square metre, with prices dropping only slighting in the more residential neighbourhoods.

If you’re looking to buy a detached home, the average price of a house in Toronto is just under $1.2M.

As with a rental unit, it’s important to remember to budget for additional costs that aren’t included in your purchase price or mortgage payments. For example, you’ll also want to consider the cost of home insurance or condo insurance, annual property maintenance, and property taxes.

Childcare

If you’ll require childcare, the first decision you’ll want to make is whether you’re looking for a spot in a private childcare facility, like a licensed daycare, or a full-time childcare provider, like a nanny.

In Toronto, the average monthly cost for one child to attend a full-day, private daycare or preschool is around $1,600. A nanny, on the other hand, would set you back a little more, with the average price being around $18 per hour or $2,400 per month.

Education

Public school in Toronto is free for Canadian residents. However, if you’d prefer to send your child to a private school, annual tuition in Toronto costs between $17,000 and $26,000.

When looking into post-secondary education, tuition fluctuates between colleges and universities. For example, the average annual cost of attending a college is a little over $3,000. That number jumps up closer to $9,000 when considering the average tuition of universities.

Entertainment and Fitness

While not always the first thing we think of when it comes to cost of living, leisure activities should be a part of anyone’s budget. These monthly expenses usually include things like local events, concerts, fitness activities, and movie tickets.

An adult movie ticket will cost you about $15, while a kid’s admission is closer to $12.50. This is a steal when compared to sporting event prices in the city. For example, the average cost of a Toronto Maple Leafs ticket is just over $60. A ticket for a CFL Toronto Argonauts ticket averages closer to $95.

In addition to entertainment costs, if you’d like to belong to a gym, the average cost of a fitness membership for one adult in the city is typically around $60 per month.

So, if you attended one of each of these activities every month, your leisure expenses would be around $230.

Food

With the rise of food cost in recent years, residents of Toronto can expect to pay about $360 per month on average for groceries. This is assuming that you purchase your groceries on a weekly basis, and buy staple food items like milk and meat with each shop.

Of course, dining out at a restaurant or ordering take-away will typically cost you more money than if you were to make your own meals at home. On average, the price of eating out at a mid-range restaurant in Toronto will be around $50 per person. You can save money by choosing less expensive restaurants, where the average price per person is closer to $25.

Transportation

When establishing how much commuting will cost you in Toronto, you must first determine whether you will be taking public transportation or your own vehicle.

If you decide to use the transit system, a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Monthly Pass for an adult is $156. You can load this pass onto the TTC’s PRESTO card.

Paying for a car will, of course, cost you more. When it comes to owning a vehicle in Toronto, you’ll want to consider your maintenance costs, car insurance rates, gas expenses, and parking fees. All of these costs will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as where you’d like to park your car. However, on average, you can expect to pay about $28,000 to purchase a new car similar to a Volkswagen Golf.

Utilities

The first step in identifying your utility costs will be determining the ones you want or need. For example, you may want wi-fi but never use cable. Or, if you’re renting, some of your utilities may be rolled into what you pay your landlord each month.

Below are a few average costs of common utilities:

Cell phone prepaid talk time: $0.42 per minute (no plan)
Internet and cable: $76.39
Electricity, heating, and hydro: $165.45

Previous City Series Articles

Want to know how much 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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