The Average Cost of Living in Ontario in 2021



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Canada is viewed by many as one of the most expensive countries to live in, but there are many affordable and livable cities in this great country. The cost of living in Ontario, as well as the quality of life, is very much accessible to a lot of people, compared to some other provinces in North America.

There are numerous factors to consider when determining how cost-effective a city or province is, in comparison with other cities and regions in Canada. One of the factors that determines the cost of living in Ontario is the income you generate vis-à-vis your predicted expenses in terms of housing, food, transportation, and other living expenses

Ontario at a Glance

Ontario is one of the ten provinces of Canada and located in the east-central area of the country. Ontario’s largest city and capital is Toronto, and equally, the province of Ontario is home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa. The Ontario province is ranked as the second-largest in terms of total area and has the highest provincial population.

The capital city of Ontario, Toronto, is regarded as the most expensive city to live in Canada. The economic situation in Ontario strives as a result of diverse resources, export, manufacturing innovations, and several knowledge-based industries.

Ontario has a population of over 13.5 million people, the majority of who are residing in urban centers, and equally have over 6 million labour force.

Average wages in Ontario (What a good salary/ income would be?)

The average salary of an individual in Ontario and what could be regarded as a good salary is a factor of the kind of your career. Your salary structure is dependent on your job titles, as well as your location and various living expenses.

The average salary or earnings of an individual working in the Ontario province is around C$189,000 per year. The breakdown of this is that people working in Ontario earn between a minimum of C$25,600 per year (C$2140 monthly) and a maximum of C$839000 yearly (C$69,900 monthly).

This salary structure includes housing, transport, food, and other benefits, and varies between different professions in the state. Thus, the lowest salary earned in Ontario is C$2,140 per month and the highest being around C$69,900 per month.

Meanwhile, salaries vary significantly across the Ontario province, with each city or municipals, and each profession has its unique salary structure. For instance, the good average salary for an engineer is different from what a cook will earn. Similarly, the cost of living for Toronto varies from the cost of living in Ottawa, which is in the same state or province.

Cost of living in Ontario

The province of Ontario, with its many benefits and development in different sectors, is seen as one of the most expensive provinces to live in Canada. Ontario is home to Ottawa, the capital of the nation, and Toronto, the unarguably largest city in Canada.

Along with Vancouver, Toronto has been listed as one of the most expensive cities in Canada, based on housing and rent affordability. Just like salaries vary between provinces and cities, so it is with the cost of living in different cities across Ontario.

Some of the factors that should be considered in determining the average cost of living in any city, town or province, are the cost of housing/rents, food and groceries, clothing, transportation, entertainment, and others.

cost of living in Ontario

On Average here’s a quick monthly breakdown per person:

Rent: $1821 (1 bedroom)

Groceries: $300

Public Transport: $200

Phone and Internet: $140

Entertainment: $200

Insurance: $50

Average rent/housing in Ontario

An Ontario housing and rent price varies widely between the different cities in the province. The cost of an apartment or house in Toronto will be different from the value of the same type of property in cities like London, Oshawa, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Also, these prices change from year to year as a result of many financial and economic factors and government policies.


Toronto is the largest city in Canada and equally the most expensive to live in Ontario, and to a greater extent, one of the most expensive in Canada. The average cost of living in Toronto depends on a number of factors, ranging from housing cost to the cost of food and groceries, and cost of everyday living.

For instance, a furnished apartment of 85 square-meter sizes in a regular or average area in Toronto is expected to cost a little above C$2200 per month, and additional cost for utilities. This implies that it is now more expensive to find affordable housing in Toronto than other cities like London, Brisbane, etc.

The cost of renting a house in Toronto and other cities in Ontario depends on the size, location, and condition of the house or apartment. The only city as expensive as Toronto or more expensive is Vancouver. The cost of living in Toronto is more expensive than 75% of the cities in North America.

Pre-tax median household income Vancouver area Toronto area
All dwellings 77.3 % 65.6 %
Single family detached 104.9% 78.6%
Apartment condominium 47.6% 43.0%

Average house price in Ontario

Months 2017 2018 2019 2020
January 706,700 741,700 761,800 828,200
February 728300 750,200 767,800
March 772,400 759,300 779,100
April 807,900 764,800 789,100
May 816,400 770,900 794,800
June 810,700 770,600 798,500
July 773,000 766,900 800,900
August 753,900 764,800 802,400
September 750,200 765,400 805,500
October 746,600 766,300 810,900
November 743,300 763,600 815,800
December 742,000 764,200 819,700


The capital of Canada, Ottawa, has better living affordability, compared to Toronto, but it is still ranked among the highest in Canada. As a result of its mega status, the city of Ottawa is home to a lot of government officials and attracts different kinds of people every day. For instance, the monthly rent for a furnished 85 squared-meter apartment can cost around C$1500 and over C$140 monthly utility cost.

Average house price in Ottawa  

Months 2017 2018 2019 2020
January $345,400 $370,000 $398,800 $453,600
February $346,600 $373,100 $400,800
March $349,900 $376,700 $405,500
April $352,600 $381,900 $411,600
May $357,100 $389,100 $420,300
June $361,000 $391,800 $424,400
July $363,900 $393,400 $428,200
August $365,000 $394,500 $431,600
September $367,300 $395,700 $434,100
October $369,100 $396,600 $437,700
November $369,300 $393,100 $441,800
December $369,300 $397,500 $447,000

These homes or house prices are subject to the location, the size, the condition of the house or apartment, the age of the property, and the amenities in the house or apartment.

Cost of rent in Ontario  

1 Toronto $2,315 $2,926
2 Etobicoke $2,093 $2,584
3 North York $1,997 $2,461
4 Mississauga $1,919 $2,292
5 Richmond hill $1,904 $2,379
6 Vaughan $1,882 $2,352
7 York $1,795 $2,396
8 Ottawa $1,653 $2,119
9 Hamilton $1,492 $1,722
10 London $1,153 $1,609

The average cost of public transportation in Ontario


The public transport system in Toronto involves buses, streetcars, and subways. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the commuter rail and bus service is provided by GO Transit. At the same time, the entire mass transit system is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

Payment for your fares can be made with a presto card. In case you don’t know, the presto card is used for automated fare collection on public transit systems in Ontario (Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa).

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) public transit fare 

Single fare paid with presto card $3.10
Single fare cash fare $3.25
TTC monthly rates $151.15
TTC weekly pass $64.95
TTC daily pass $13


Canada’s capital city bus transport system is under the operations of OC Transpo in Toronto, which also operates the O-Train rail system. The other side of Quebec is managed by the Societe de Transport de l’Ontaouais (STO)

Ottawa public transit fare (OC Transpo)

Presto card $6
Single trip $3.55 (presto card) or $3.60 cash
Monthly pass $119.50
Daily pass $10.75

The average cost of food and entertainment in Ontario


Food prices and entertainment cost is a bit cheaper than the average in Toronto. According to the city of Toronto Nutrition Food Baskets Calculator, a single man of around 19 to 30 years old spends about $65 per week on food, while a female counterpart of the same age range spends around $51 per week. A couple of the same age will spend around $120 a week.

Restaurants meal and non-alcoholic drink $20 – $25
Alcoholic drinks (beer) $7
Cocktail $13 – $15
Movie ticket $15
Cigarettes $15 for a pack of 20


The price of food, farm produce, and groceries is a bit expensive in Ottawa than other Canadian cities.

Restaurants meal and non-alcoholic drink $20
Alcoholic drinks (beer) $7
Cocktail $10 – $15
Movie ticket $15
Cigarettes $15 for a pack of 20


The cost of living in Ontario varies from one city to another. The cost of living in smaller Ontario cities like London, Hamilton, York, Winston, and other smaller towns is much cheaper than in cities like Ottawa and Toronto.

Therefore, if you are planning on moving to, settling or even buying a home in Ontario or any of its cities, this guide will help you make informed decisions and organize yourself to enjoy what benefits the province has to offer.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.