20 Cheapest Cities to Live in Canada (2023)
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Looking at the state of the economy, we don’t blame you if you’re hunting around for the cheapest place to live in Canada. With a high cost of living in most major urban centres, trying to find the best possible place to live in the cheapest province can sometimes be complicated.
Canada is a large country with many cities and towns located in its ten provinces. If you’re looking to save money, one way to do so is to live in a city with a low cost of living. This can help you stretch your budget and allow you to save more money over time.
Below, you’ll find our list of the 20 cheapest cities to live in Canada based on housing affordability, job growth, rental market affordability, and low cost of living.
- Many of the most affordable cities in Canada are away from large urban population centres.
- The most affordable city in Canada is found in Quebec and the region is generally the cheapest province to live in Canada.
- Many of the cheapest cities to live in Canada have a very affordable housing market and fantastic rental rates.
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10 Best Canadian cities for Housing Affordability and Job Growth
1. Sept-Îles, Quebec
Sept-Îles is a quaint town sitting on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence Gulf. With a population of around 28,500, the town has a sprawling community of mostly French-speaking inhabitants. Sept-Îles is a roughly 8-hour drive from Quebec City.
The city’s economy is mostly in metalworks, public services, and a thriving cruise port. Sept-Îles is a one of the most affordable cities in Canada and is a perfect town for folks who want a quiet live near the ocean.
Average home price: $204,042
Property tax rate: 1.15% rate (lower than national average)
2. Bécancour, Quebec
Bécancour is a largely industrial city on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. With some 12,500 inhabitants, Bécancour is a small yet economically mobile community with plenty of high-paying jobs to be found in the aerospace and petroleum industries. House prices remain very low despite the high incomes of its residents. Bécancour is around an hour and 45 minutes away from Montreal.
Average home price: $206,748
Property tax rate: 1.26% (lower than national average)
3. Quesnel, British Columbia
Quesnel is among the cheapest place to live in Canada and is certainly one of the most affordable cities in British Columbia. With a low average cost for a home, this town of around 12,000 residents is an attractive proposition for young families who want to settle in a safe community. Surrounded by natural beauty in the northern Rocky Mountains, the town is popular with skiers and mountaineering enthusiasts. It’s a roughly 8-hour drive to Vancouver from Quesnel.
Average home price: $209,133
4. Cornwall, Ontario
Cornwall is a the easternmost city in Ontario located near the US and Quebec borders. It’s on the smaller side with fewer than 50,000 residents but is an up-and-coming community for many young families thanks to generally a low average price for real estate and cost of living. Overall, Cornwall is one of the cheapest places to live in Canada and tends to remain affordable compared to larger cities in Ontario.
Average home price: $211,715
Property tax rate: 1.71% (lower than national average)
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5. Timmins, Ontario
The second Ontario town to make it on this list is Timmins, a quiet community of around 42,000. The economy of Timmins is mostly based around mining. The town is in Northern Ontario, around 8-hours drive from Toronto. Timmins boasts some of the lowest cost of living in Canada.
Average home price: $212,922
Property tax rate: 1.88% (lower than national average)
6. Saint-Georges, Quebec
Saint-Georges is a French-speaking community around 3 hours from Montreal that is home to rogughy 31,000 people. Saint-Georges is very affordable and has plenty of economic potential as the largest city in the Beauce region of the province. The city is an important manufacturing centre and has plenty of opportunities in that industry for those looking for work.
Average home price: $219,124
7. Rimouski, Quebec
Rimouski is home to nearly 47,000 people and is famed for its innovation in marine research and conservation. Rimouski is slowly growing to be a hub for science and engineering in the region. The city is located roughly 3 hours away from Quebec City.
Average home price: $227,673
Property tax rate: 1.10% (lower than national average)
8. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
As the third largest city in Northern Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie feels like more of a big city than any of the others on the list. With more than 73,000 people calling to Sault home, it’s considered as one of the economic hubs of northern Ontario. The renewable energy and tourism industries are among the main drivers of the economy.
Average home price: $238,013
Property tax rate: 1.64% (lower than national average)
9. Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Home to more than 40,000 people, Rouyn-Noranda is one of the larger Quebec towns to border Ontario. 95% of the residents are French-speaking, making it one of the most unilingual cities out there. If you’re planning on settling in Rouyn-Noranda, you’ll have to brush up on your French. The city is renowned for its copper mining industry.
Average home price: $240,191
10. Sainte-Marie, Quebec
Considered one of the most beautiful towns in Canada, the quiet community of Sainte-Marie is home to roughly 13,000 people. Only 45 minutes from Quebec City, it’s a perfect town for people who want to live a peaceful life without much of a commute to get to a major urban centre. Located on the shores of the Chaudière River, Sainte-Marie is a stunning little town with plenty of charm.
Average home price: $243,980
10 Best Canadian Cities for Rental Market Affordability & Fewer Expenses
1. Trois-Rivières, Québec
For renters, Trois-Rivières is probably one of the least expensive places to live in Canada. The city is also located in the cheapest province in Canada, with perhaps the lowest monthly cost of rent for a 1-bedroom apartment for a large urban centre. Home to over 140,000 people, Trois-Rivières is a young and vibrant community with a thriving arts and culture scene. Plus, it’s only around 2 hours away from both Montreal and Quebec City.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $670
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $560
2. Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
Llyodminster is the place to be if you’re looking for rural small town vibes with inexpensive rent. Boasting some of the lowest cost of living in Canada, Llyodminster is the perfect place to settle if you’re on a budget. With an aging population of around 20,000, not much goes on in Llyodminster. If you want some excitement, Llyodminster sits between Edmonton and Saskatoon.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $695
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $750
3. Saint John, New Brunswick
As the second largest city in the province and the oldest incorporated city in Canada, Saint John has a rich history and is known as a hub for the maritime ship building industry. These days, the city of Saint John and its roughly 70,000 residents are focused on becoming a hub for technology and tourism in the region.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $698
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $873
4. Saguenay, Quebec
Saguenay is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, a world-renowned national park, and it’s very affordable cost of living. It’s a perfect city to settle down if you’re a young professional because there are enough people (some 150,000 of them) for the city to have a pulse but is far enough away from the hustle and bustle to be quaint and quiet.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $756
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $500
5. Sherbrooke, Quebec
Sherbrooke is known to be a vibrant student town with a low cost of living and highly accessible location. It’s pretty easy to be charmed by Sherbrooke. With around 162,000 residents and enough of a big city feel to it so that you’ll never be bored, Sherbrooke is an excellent place to live as a young renter.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $788
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $613
6. New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow is a small town in Nova Scotia with a population of around 9,000 people. It is situated on the East River banks of the Pictou and is known for its marinas, peaceful lifestyle, and charming town center. These attributes have made it a popular retirement destination in recent years, keeping rents and the cost of living low.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $795
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $800
7. Kitchener, Ontario
Kitchener is a city located near Waterloo and has a population of 233,222 people. It is known for hosting the largest music festival in Ontario, the KOI music festival, and for its top-ranked university, the University of Waterloo. With the university and the music festival, why miss out on Kitchener if you’re young and looking to rent a place?
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $819
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $1,642
8. Quebec City, Quebec
Québec City is a city in Canada with a population of around 705,103 people. It is the capital of the province of Québec and is known for being one of the safest cities in the country. The oldest part of the city is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you live in an ancient colonial city, you’d do well to rent an apartment in Old Quebec.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $835
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $942
9. Kelowna, British Columbia
Though it’s one of the most expensive places to rent on this list, people living in Kelowna will tell you that its worth every penny. The city has a rapidly growing population of around 153,000 and is the third largest metropolitan area in the region. Its service industry is the main source of employment.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $856
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $1,731
10. Red Deer, Alberta
Red Deer might have a bit of reputation, but if you give it a chance, it could surprise you. The city is known for its oil, cattle, and agricultural industries. The majority of its 108,000 population resides in urban areas but the city lacks a university so it might not be ideal for students.
Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person (excluding rent): $861
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $948
As you can see, many of the cheapest places to live in Canada are located in smaller towns away from huge cities but that’s not always a bad thing. You can find plenty of work and economic opportunities in even the smallest Canadian cities if you look hard enough!
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