Cost of Living in Vancouver

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As one of the most expensive cities in Canada, the cost of living in Vancouver is high and expats will need to plan their budgets accordingly. According to the 2017 Mercer Cost of Living survey, Vancouver ranks 107th out of 209 cities.

Cost of accommodation in Vancouver

The cost of living in Vancouver is highVancouver is a cosmopolitan city, with promising job prospects and a great lifestyle. Each year, scores of expats as well Canadian citizens head to the city in search of new opportunities. As a result, the demand for accommodation is high and rent is expensive. In fact, Vancouver has the highest housing prices in the country. 

Cost of food in Vancouver

Eating out can be expensive in Vancouver. However, the city does have some excellent dining opportunities and expats should take advantage of Vancouver Restaurant Week, where many of the city’s top dining establishments reduce their prices. 

Cost of entertainment in Vancouver

Vancouver is not known for its lively nightlife due to the city’s strict licensing laws. Therefore, it is unlikely that expats will party away all their hard-earned dollars.
In terms of activities, much of what there is to do in Vancouver is based outdoors and is often free to enjoy. Popular pursuits include hiking and biking at Lynn Canyon National Park and enjoying a day relaxing at Stanley Park. In the summer months, Vancouver residents tend to head straight for one of the city’s many beaches. In the winter, expats can visit Vancouver’s museums and galleries, where entrance fees are generally quite reasonable.


Cost of transport in Vancouver

Vancouver has a fairly extensive public transport system, which is made up of buses, trains, the SkyTrain, street cars and ferries. Travel by public transport is cost effective if passengers purchase a monthly pass.
Having a car is not a necessity in Vancouver, especially if expats live in an area close to the city centre. Nevertheless, the cost of running a vehicle is fairly reasonable in Canada. Those who do need to drive around for work will be glad to know that petrol costs are also quite cheap in British Colombia.

Cost of education in Vancouver

Expats moving to Vancouver with children will be pleased to know that they have the option of sending their child to a public school in the area at no cost. Furthermore, the standard of schooling in British Colombia is generally excellent and the province has one of the top-rated school systems in Canada. 
Parents who choose to send their child to a Canadian private school in Vancouver can expect to pay heavy fees. Those who would prefer to have their children continue education under their home country’s curriculum can send their child to one of Vancouver’s many international schools. However, expats should bear in mind that international school fees in Vancouver are especially expensive.

Cost of living chart for Vancouver

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for August 2017.
Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)
One-bedroom apartment in city centre CAD 1,700
One-bedroom apartment outside city centre CAD 1,400
Three-bedroom apartment in city centre CAD 3,500
Three-bedroom apartment outside city centre CAD 2,400
Eggs (dozen) CAD 3.70
Milk (1 litre) CAD 2.40
Rice (1kg) CAD 3.85
Loaf of white bread CAD 3.13
Chicken breasts (1kg) CAD 14.50
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) CAD 13
Eating out
Big Mac Meal CAD 9
Coca-Cola (330ml) CAD 2.05
Cappuccino CAD 4.10
Bottle of local beer CAD 6
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant CAD 70
Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute) CAD 0.33
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) CAD 60.45
Basic utilities (per month for small apartment) CAD 80
Taxi rate (per kilometre) CAD 1.85
Bus/train fare in the city centre CAD 2.75
Petrol/Gasoline (per litre) CAD 1.30

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