Is it cheaper to live in Calgary or Edmonton?

When it comes to choosing a place to live in Canada, affordability is often a top consideration. Calgary and Edmonton, two thriving cities in Alberta, are frequently compared in terms of cost of living. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the overall cost of living in these cities and determine which one is more affordable.

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Cost of Living in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Comparing the cost of living in Calgary and Edmonton involves analyzing several key factors, such as housing costs, transportation expenses, grocery prices, entertainment and recreation options, healthcare costs, job market, and overall economic factors.

Housing Costs

Housing costs play a significant role in determining the affordability of a city. In Calgary, the average cost of housing tends to be higher compared to Edmonton. However, it's important to note that rental prices can vary depending on the neighborhood and type of accommodation.

Transportation Expenses

When it comes to transportation expenses, both cities offer similar options. Both Calgary and Edmonton have well-developed public transportation systems, including buses and light rail transit (LRT). The cost of public transportation is relatively similar in both cities.

Grocery Prices

When it comes to grocery prices, Edmonton tends to have slightly lower costs compared to Calgary. However, it's worth mentioning that the difference is not significant. Both cities offer a wide range of grocery stores, allowing residents to find competitive prices.

Entertainment and Recreation

Both Calgary and Edmonton offer a plethora of entertainment and recreational activities. From museums and art galleries to parks and hiking trails, residents of both cities have ample opportunities to enjoy their leisure time. The cost of entertainment and recreational activities is relatively similar in both cities.

Healthcare Costs

Canada prides itself on its publicly funded healthcare system, which ensures that all residents have access to essential medical services. As a result, healthcare costs do not significantly differ between Calgary and Edmonton. Both cities offer high-quality healthcare facilities and services.

Job Market and Salaries

When it comes to job opportunities and salaries, Calgary often has a slight edge over Edmonton. Calgary is known for its strong job market, particularly in sectors such as oil and gas, finance, and technology. However, it's important to consider individual qualifications and the specific industry when evaluating job prospects.

Economic Factors

Various economic factors can influence the overall cost of living in a city. Factors such as taxes, inflation rates, and overall economic stability can impact affordability. Both Calgary and Edmonton have robust economies, but Calgary tends to have a slightly higher cost of living due to its thriving business and corporate sector.

Quality of Life

When it comes to quality of life, both Calgary and Edmonton offer excellent amenities, education options, and healthcare services. The decision between the two cities ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.


In conclusion, while Calgary may have a higher cost of living compared to Edmonton in certain areas, it also offers a stronger job market and more diverse economic opportunities. Edmonton, on the other hand, may have slightly lower housing and grocery costs. Ultimately, the decision of which city is more affordable to live in depends on individual circumstances and priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which city has lower housing costs?

Edmonton generally has lower housing costs compared to Calgary.

2. Are groceries cheaper in Calgary or Edmonton?

Edmonton tends to have slightly lower grocery prices compared to Calgary.

3. How do transportation expenses compare between the two cities?

Transportation expenses are relatively similar in both Calgary and Edmonton.

4. Which city offers better job opportunities and salaries?

Calgary typically offers more job opportunities and higher salaries compared to Edmonton, particularly in sectors like oil and gas, finance, and technology.

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