Cost of Living in Vancouver

A lot of people ask, how expensive is it to live in Vancouver?

So, here you go.


Well, here is how my basic expenses break down:

$500 – My portion of rent (we pay $750 for a 2-br apartment within a 10-minute drive or 20-minute transit ride away from downtown, which is a pretty good deal)

$200 – Groceries;
$47.25 (Insurance) + $30-50 (gas) – Basic insurance for my motorcycle and fill-ups (I commute from East Vancouver to North Vancouver via Downtown);
$45Cell phone plan;
$22Internet and TV;
$55 – Rock-climbing pass;

   According to The Economist’s latest livability report, Vancouver is the third most livable city in the world; and now it holds the dubious title of the most expensive city in North America to live in, ahead of New York and Los Angeles.

Cost of accommodation.

   Vancouver, while breathtakingly beautiful, is less than ideal for anyone on a budget (which is the most of us). It has the most expensive housing in the country by far. The average price for a home is now a frightening $882,000, and don’t expect anything under a million to be very nice, or even in a good part of town.

Prices for rent will vary, but generally, they are:

$350 – $650 for a room in a shared house / apartment

$650 – $1200 for a bachelor / studio / 1-bedroom;

$750 – $1800 for a 2-bedroom;

$1050 – $2500 for a 3+ bedroom;

Expect to pay $200+ more, if you are renting for a temporary period (typically, 1 less than 1 year).

Cost of groceries and eating out.

The cost of food is more-less comparable to neighbouring countries. 1 lb of potatoes is ~$0.50, a loaf of bread is anywhere from $2.00, a gallon of milk (~3.75 liters) is about $4. One visit to a grocery store (I shop at Superstore) is $100 and lasts me 2 weeks. I try not to buy processed food (except for bacon), and sometimes have to make occasional food runs, when I run out of meat and fresh veggies. I also started a small veggie garden, which has not produced any crop yet.

The cost of eating out really depends on the location. Generally, I consider $10-25 an average amount for a cafe visit, and $15-50 for a dinner visit (per person). Some prior research on Yelp, or a Groupon may help you save extra.

Wiki on Canadian Finances – noob-friendly:

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