Is Calgary cheap to live in?

Calgary, located in the province of Alberta, is a vibrant city known for its booming economy and high standard of living. If you are considering moving to Calgary or are curious about the cost of living in this Canadian city, this article will provide you with valuable insights.

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What is the Cost of Living in Calgary?

Before diving into the specifics, it's important to note that the cost of living in Calgary is generally higher than the national average in Canada. However, compared to other major cities like Vancouver and Toronto, Calgary offers a more affordable lifestyle.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Living in Calgary

Several factors contribute to the cost of living in Calgary. These include housing, transportation, utility expenses, food and groceries, entertainment and recreation, as well as healthcare and education costs.

The Average Cost of Housing in Calgary

Housing prices in Calgary can vary depending on the neighborhood and type of accommodation. On average, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $1,300 to $1,600 per month. If you prefer a more affordable option, renting outside the city center can save you a significant amount.

Transportation Costs in Calgary

Calgary has a well-connected public transportation system that includes buses and a light rail transit (LRT) network. Monthly passes for public transportation cost approximately $97, making it a cost-effective option for commuting. However, if you prefer driving, keep in mind that fuel prices and vehicle maintenance expenses should be factored into your budget.

Utility Expenses in Calgary

On average, utility expenses in Calgary for a standard 85 square meter apartment can range from $150 to $200 per month. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage services. It's important to note that actual utility costs may vary based on consumption and the size of your residence.

Food and Grocery Costs in Calgary

When it comes to food and groceries, Calgary offers a wide range of options. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost around $15, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can average around $70. Grocery expenses for a typical household can amount to approximately $300 to $400 per month.

Entertainment and Recreation Expenses in Calgary

Calgary is home to numerous entertainment and recreational activities. Watching a movie at a local cinema can cost around $15, while admission to a fitness club averages around $60 per month. Additionally, enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and biking in the city's beautiful parks is free of charge.

Healthcare and Education Costs in Calgary

Healthcare in Canada is publicly funded, which means that residents of Calgary have access to medical services at no additional cost. However, it's important to have private health insurance to cover additional expenses and medications. Education costs in Calgary vary depending on the level of education and whether you choose public or private institutions.


While Calgary may have a higher cost of living compared to the national average, it offers a more affordable lifestyle compared to other major Canadian cities. By carefully budgeting and considering the various factors affecting the cost of living, you can enjoy all that Calgary has to offer without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How affordable is housing in Calgary?

Housing in Calgary can be expensive, especially in the city center. However, renting outside the city center can provide more affordable options.

2. Are transportation costs high in Calgary?

Transportation costs in Calgary are relatively reasonable, with public transportation being a cost-effective option. However, owning a car can lead to additional expenses.

3. What are the average utility expenses in Calgary?

On average, utility expenses in Calgary for a standard apartment can range from $150 to $200 per month.

4. How much do groceries cost in Calgary?

Grocery expenses in Calgary for a typical household can amount to approximately $300 to $400 per month.

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