Is it more expensive to live in Ottawa or Toronto?

Are you considering a move to Canada's capital city, Ottawa, or the bustling metropolis of Toronto? One of the most important factors to consider is the cost of living. In this article, we will compare the living expenses in Ottawa and Toronto to help you make an informed decision.

What you will find here 🍁

Cost of Housing

When it comes to housing costs, Toronto takes the lead. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto is around $2,300 per month, while in Ottawa, it is approximately $1,600. Purchasing a home is also more expensive in Toronto, with the average price being significantly higher than in Ottawa.

Transportation Costs

Both cities have well-developed transportation systems, but Toronto's TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) fares are higher compared to Ottawa's OC Transpo. The cost of a monthly transit pass in Toronto is around $156, while in Ottawa, it is approximately $116. However, it's worth noting that Toronto's transit network is larger and more extensive.

Food and Grocery Expenses

When it comes to food and groceries, both cities have a wide range of options. However, Toronto tends to have higher prices due to its larger population and higher demand. On average, expect to pay slightly more for groceries in Toronto compared to Ottawa.

Entertainment and Recreation

Toronto offers a vibrant entertainment scene with a wide range of concerts, festivals, and cultural events. While Ottawa also has its fair share of entertainment options, Toronto's scene is more extensive and diverse. However, keep in mind that the cost of tickets and admission fees for events and attractions in Toronto is generally higher than in Ottawa.

Education and Childcare

Both cities have reputable educational institutions, but Toronto has a larger number of universities and colleges. Tuition fees may vary depending on the institution and program of study. Childcare costs are also higher in Toronto compared to Ottawa.

Healthcare Costs

Canada provides universal healthcare coverage, so the cost of healthcare is relatively similar in both cities. However, it's important to note that healthcare services may vary depending on the availability of specialized facilities and clinics.

Utilities and Bills

When it comes to utilities, such as electricity, water, and internet, costs are generally comparable between Ottawa and Toronto. However, it's worth noting that Toronto may have slightly higher internet and cable fees due to a larger number of service providers.

Comparison of Overall Living Expenses

Overall, Toronto tends to be more expensive than Ottawa in terms of housing, transportation, food, and entertainment. However, it's important to consider your personal circumstances, such as job opportunities and lifestyle preferences, when making a decision about where to live.


Deciding between living in Ottawa or Toronto ultimately depends on your priorities and budget. While Toronto may have higher living expenses, it also offers more opportunities and a larger variety of amenities. On the other hand, Ottawa provides a more affordable lifestyle and is known for its quality of life. Consider your financial situation, career prospects, and personal preferences to make the best choice for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it really more expensive to live in Toronto compared to Ottawa?

Yes, generally speaking, Toronto has higher living expenses compared to Ottawa. This is particularly evident in housing, transportation, and entertainment costs.

2. Are there any cost-saving measures that can help reduce living expenses in both cities?

Yes, there are various ways to save money on living expenses in both cities. These include budgeting, searching for affordable housing options, using public transportation, and taking advantage of free or discounted entertainment options.

3. How do the housing prices in Ottawa and Toronto compare?

Housing prices in Toronto are generally higher than in Ottawa. The average cost of renting and purchasing a home in Toronto is significantly more expensive than in Ottawa.

4. What are some factors to consider when deciding between living in Ottawa or Toronto?

Some factors to consider include job opportunities, lifestyle preferences, cost of living, proximity to family and friends, and access to amenities and services. It's important to evaluate these factors based on your personal circumstances before making a decision.

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