Real Estate

20 Cheapest Cities to Live in Canada (2024)

20 Cheapest Cities to Live in Canada (2024)

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    With the current state of the economy, we don’t blame you if you’re on the hunt for the cheapest places to live in Canada. With the high cost of living in most of Canada, finding the best place to live in the most affordable province and city can be challenging.

    Living in a city with a low cost of living can help you stretch your budget and save money over time. The Globe and Mail recently published their top 100 most liveable cities list. Among the published list were the top cities based on housing affordability. Coupled with the most recent data from the Rentals.ca report, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 cheapest cities to rent and own.


    Key Highlights

    • Many of the most affordable cities in Canada are located in Quebec. 
    • The most affordable cities to purchase a home are almost 4x less expensive than the national average home price.  
    • The most affordable cities to rent a home are nearly 2x cheaper than the national average rental price.

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    10 Best Canadian Cities for Housing Affordability 

    1. Thetford Mines, Quebec

    Thetford Mines is a city in south-central Quebec located on the Becancour River in the Appalachian Mountains. With a population of around 26,000, it is best known as the Asbestos capital of Canada. Though the mines are now closed, Thetford Mines was one of the world’s largest asbestos mining and production centres in the 20th century. 

    Average home price: $172,189

    Average household income: $75,971

    2. Edmunston, New Brunswick

    Located near the Madawaska and Saint John Rivers, the city was once a small logging settlement that has grown into a cultural hub of local cuisine, craft breweries and theatre. With a population of approximately 17,000, the area is close to the Quebec and U.S. borders.  Located close to the northeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains, the area has many outdoor activities, such as skiing, mountain biking, and camping.  

    Average home price: $177,839

    Average household income: $78,251

    3. Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

    With a population of approximately 21,000, this small city is in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. The city is a traditional stopping point between Quebec City, the Maritimes, and the Gaspé Peninsula and is a prime tourist destination for whale-watching on the St. Lawrence River. 

    Average home price: $276,874

    Average household income: $88,059

    4. Tracadie, New Brunswick

    Tracadie is an Acadian community with around 16,000 residents. The city, while remote, is a well-known tourist destination that comes alive in the summer months when the area’s beaches attract tourists from neighbouring Quebec. The area is prime for outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking and camping. 

    Average home price: $173,111

    Average household income: $76,142

    5. Sainte-Marie, Quebec

    Considered one of the most beautiful towns in Canada, the quiet community of Sainte-Marie is home to roughly 14,000 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 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: $274,031

    Average household income: $97,128

    6. Montmagny, Quebec

    Located 45 minutes outside Quebec City, Montmagny has a population of around 11,000 and is a hub for manufacturing and production facilities. The city is aptly situated for those who want to live in a small town with city amenities nearby. The city is Canada’s Snow Goose Capital and hosts the festival of Snow Geese each year in October. 

    Average home price: $246,630

    Average household income: 76,566

    7. Miramichi, New Brunswick

    With a population of around 18,000, Miramichi is a small city known for being friendly and hospitable. The Miramichi River is one of Canada’s most famous salmon rivers, making it the ideal location for fishing. The proximity to nature makes this city the perfect location for those in agriculture or forestry trades.  

    Average home price: $193,621

    Average household income: $85,720

    8. Saint-Georges, Quebec

    Saint-Georges is a French-speaking community located around 3 hours from Montreal. The area is home to approximately 35,000 people. Saint-Georges is affordable and has plenty of economic potential as the province’s largest city in the Beauce region. The city is an important manufacturing centre providing opportunities in this industry for those looking for work. 

    Average home price: $231,095

    Average household income: $86,987

    9. Bathurst, New Brunswick

    With a population of close to 12,000, Bathurst has a close-knit small-town community. The city is the 4th largest metropolitan area in New Brunswick and is the major centre for shopping and services for surrounding areas. The city becomes the Snowmobile Capital of Atlantic Canada in winter, with 1,000km of groomed trails. 

    Average home price: $179,592

    Average household income: $74,337

    10. Rimouski, Quebec

    Rimouski, located roughly 3 hours from Quebec, is home to nearly 50,000 people and is famed for its marine research and conservation innovation. Rimouski is slowly becoming a hub for science and engineering in the region. 

    Average home price: $282,364

    Average household income: $88,205

    Today’s Best Mortgage Rates as of June 21, 2024

    10 Best Canadian Cities for Rental Market Affordability

    1. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Saskatoon serves as the cultural and economic hub of central Saskatchewan. With a population of approximately 273,000, the city is a major transit hub served by national railroads, provincial highways, and an international airport. The city is home to the University of Saskatchewan, making it an affordable city for students. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,109

    Average household income: $103,445

    2. Regina, Saskatchewan

    Regina, with a population of around 229,000 residents, is the second-largest city in Saskatchewan. The area is one of the fastest-growing major cities with a strong manufacturing, agriculture and food, tourism, mining and oil and gas economy. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,191

    Average household income: $104,401

    3. Fort McMurray, Alberta

    With a population of approximately 67,000, Fort McMurray is one of the most affordable cities in Canada in terms of cost of living. The city’s economy centres around the oil and gas industry, with opportunities in the energy industry to enjoy a low cost of living and higher salaries. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,226

    Average household income: $189,458

    4. Red Deer, Alberta

    Red Deer, located halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, is known for its oil, cattle, and agricultural industries. Most of its approximately 103,000 population resides in urban areas, but the city lacks a university, so it might not be ideal for students.

    Average monthly rent: $1,249

    Average household income: $160,842

    5. Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Winnipeg is the capital city of Manitoba, boasting a population of around 797,000. The size of the city leaves the door open for many employment opportunities and has a rapidly growing IT industry. The city has a vibrant arts, culture, and culinary scene. Winnipeg was ranked the third best place to live on the Globe and Mail’s 100 most liveable cities list. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,282

    Average household income: $107,532

    6. Edmonton, Alberta

    Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city, has an approximate population of 981,000. Known as the festival city, Edmonton hosts over 50 unique festivals each year. The city has a strong technology sector and is quickly becoming a leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

    Average monthly rent: $1,284

    Average household income: $121,600

    7. Quebec City, Quebec

    Québec City is a city in Canada with a population of around 558,000. 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 a European city, you’d do well to rent an apartment in Old Quebec. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,288

    Average household income: $96,301

    8. Windsor, Ontario

    Windsor, with a population of approximately 234,000, is located in southwestern Ontario and is in close proximity to Detroit. The city is known as the Automobile Capital of Canada and is a major manufacturing epicentre, with many of its residents working in the auto industry. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,545

    Average household income: $85,624

    9. Abbotsford, British Columbia

    With a population of around 150,000, Abbotsford is one of British Columbia’s most affordable major cities. Located on the banks of the Fraser River, the area is known as the Farming Capital of Canada and is the perfect blend of rural and urban living. With approximately 72% of the land located on an Agricultural Land Reserve, Agriculture is a significant part of the local economy. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,594

    Average household income: $88,291

    10. Laval, Quebec

    Laval, with a population of around 437,000, is the perfect combination of a family-friendly suburb with all the amenities of city life. The city is a short 30-minute commute to Montreal, making it ideally located for those who want to work in Montreal but prefer more affordable living. 

    Average monthly rent: $1,601

    Average household income: $95,154

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the most affordable city with the cheapest taxes?

    Alberta has the lowest tax rate in Canada, so if you want to live in an area with low personal taxes, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Edmonton are the best cities.

    What is the most affordable province in Canada?

    Quebec and New Brunswick are Canada’s two most affordable provinces for purchasing a home.

    Which city is more likely to maintain its low cost of living?

    Abbotsford, on our list, is the best city to rent in if you want to keep your cost of living low. This city has some of Canada’s lowest property tax rates, making it the ideal place to live if you eventually want to become a homeowner.

    Final Thoughts

    Many of the most affordable cities in Canada are located outside of major cities, but some affordable cities remain. With many diverse communities, you can still find an affordable area that matches your lifestyle and budget. 

    Contact a mortgage expert today if you’re ready to start your homeownership journey in a budget-friendly city.

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