Alberta’s most populated city falls into the middle-ground when it comes to cost of living calculations compared to its major Canadian counterparts. Toronto and Vancouver are more expensive places to live, especially when it comes to housing, but cost of living in Calgary isn’t all that far behind when it come to these rankings.
The cost of housing is, of course, one of the primary financial concerns when it comes to choosing a city to set up roots. Calgary relies heavily on the oil and gas industry, and housing costs generally fluctuate according to the economy’s performance. The industry is recovering from recession at the moment, making rent and house prices very competitive.
So, what else can you expect if you’re interested in making a move to this vibrant city by the Rockies? From housing to nightlife, and from healthcare to recreation, here’s the Moving2Canada guide to cost of living in Calgary.
If you are looking for a reasonably affordable city to call home then you’ll be pleased to hear that the cost of living in Calgary when it comes to housing is fair. In fact, it’s a good time to rent or buy in Calgary right now, with prices at relatively low levels. If you’re looking to live on your own downtown, you’ll find studio apartments for anywhere between $750-1,000. A full month’s deposit is standard for most listings (which might come as a surprise to former Quebec residents), while you’ll also need to budget to get the accommodation furnished in most cases.
A three-bed rental property in the city averages at around $1,200-1,800 (as of late 2018), which is very reasonable. Rent will be on the higher end of that scale if you’re looking for accommodation in the popular Southwest and Northwest areas.
It’s also a buyers market at the moment, with plenty of supply if you’re looking to set up long term roots. Average house prices are generally between $420,000-470,000, and there’s little or no house price growth at the moment.
Bills are also fairly reasonable here. You should expect to be paying between $200-250 per month in a three or four bed property for heating and electricity, even in winter. Monthly broadband costs set residents back anywhere between $50-70 per month.
In brief, when it comes to living costs in Calgary around housing you should be prepared to pay more than you would in most other Canadian cities but less than if you were in Toronto and Vancouver.
Having a car in Calgary is a significant asset because the public transport system isn’t as comprehensive as that of other major Canadian cities, and this can add significantly to your overall cost of living expenses in the city. That said, if you find yourself near C-Train or bus routes, a monthly pass ($103) is good value. An individual bus or train fare sets you back $3.30 per journey, but the C-Train is free to use between downtown stops.
Living costs in Calgary when it comes to running a car are relatively cheap, and a litre of gas costs around $1.25 (as of November 2018). The city is well served with Uber and taxi services, while you should also consider Car2Go if you want to drive but don’t feel like buying a car. Hiring one of these shared cars for short journeys can work out much cheaper than a taxi alternative.