When moving to a new city, it is crucial to know ahead of time how much you can expect to spend. Rent, utilities, transportation, food, and other basic necessities all add up quickly before you even get to the fun stuff. That’s why we’ve put together this constantly updated guide on the cost of living in Hamilton, Ontario.

Everyone’s situation is so different that it can be hard to the exact cost of living in Hamilton for each newcomer. You may be renting an apartment downtown or getting a mortgage in the suburbs, driving or getting a bus pass, feeding numerous children or going out several times a week.

That being said, it is still possible to make some generalisations about the cost of living in Hamilton.

Cost of living in Hamilton vs Toronto

It’s no secret that the cost of living in Ontario has been on the rise, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). But, if you want to enjoy urban living in safe surroundings, Hamilton, which sits just outside the GTA, is a great option.

First of all, it is cheaper than Toronto. The overall cost of living in Hamilton is about 25% lower than the cost of living in Toronto. This is mainly because rents and house prices are lower, and there is more available property. You can expect to spend less on housing in Hamilton than you would in Toronto, so you may have more disposable income in Hamilton if your salary is comparable. Cost of living site Numbeo estimates that most things, from restaurants and cinema tickets to groceries and clothing, are cheaper in Hamilton than they are in Toronto.

Aside from a comparison with Toronto, what is the actual cost of living in Hamilton?

Cost of housing in Hamilton

The main expense you will need to consider is housing. House prices have been climbing in Hamilton recently. Nevertheless, it is still fairly common to find a two-bedroom family home near downtown for around $400,000. If you are considering renting rather than buying, as most newcomers to Canada do on arrival, one-bedroom apartments near downtown are usually available for just over $1,000 per month, and sometimes less than that.

The following estimate based on one person living downtown on their own may give you a clearer idea. Note that this does not include all expenses – you are sure to find many more ways to spend your money than on these basics alone!

Cost of living in Hamilton at a glance

ExpenseEstimated total cost per month
Two people eating out, once a week at a mid-range restauranr$75
Pint of domestic beer, three per week$70
Take-out cappuccino, three per week$50
Cinema, once per month$15
Groceries, monthly spend$400
Mid-range bottle of wine, twice per month$30
Monthly payment on small new car$250
200 litres gasoline at $1.30 per litre$260
Fitness club, monthly fee$50
Basic utility bill (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 apartment$155
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$70
Phone bill, monthly plan$50
Apartment rent, 1 bedroom downtown$1,400
Total$2,875

We hope this general guide to the cost of living in Hamilton has been helpful. To learn more about how to get your new life in Hamilton off to a great start, check out our Hamilton City Guide.