Cost of Living in Calgary

Summary about cost of living in Calgary, Canada:

Restaurants
[ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 20.00 C$ 12.00-30.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 75.00 C$ 50.00-120.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 11.00 C$ 9.00-13.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 7.00 C$ 5.25-8.50
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 8.00 C$ 6.50-10.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.45 C$ 2.00-5.50
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.18 C$ 1.50-3.00
Water (12 oz small bottle) 1.91 C$ 1.50-3.00
Markets
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Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 9.43 C$ 5.00-16.05
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 2.33 C$ 1.54-4.08
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.38 C$ 0.68-2.27
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.53 C$ 2.64-5.50
Local Cheese (1 lb) 5.92 C$ 3.63-15.88
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 6.15 C$ 3.18-9.07
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 6.71 C$ 3.63-10.00
Apples (1 lb) 1.96 C$ 0.91-2.72
Banana (1 lb) 0.85 C$ 0.73-1.36
Oranges (1 lb) 1.83 C$ 0.91-2.99
Tomato (1 lb) 2.00 C$ 0.91-2.99
Potato (1 lb) 1.25 C$ 0.45-2.27
Onion (1 lb) 1.09 C$ 0.68-1.81
Lettuce (1 head) 2.59 C$ 1.97-3.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.15 C$ 1.00-3.30
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 C$ 12.00-25.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 3.68 C$ 2.50-5.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 4.09 C$ 2.00-6.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 17.00 C$ 15.00-20.00
Transportation
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One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.50 C$ 3.25-3.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 109.00 C$ 104.00-115.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.80 C$ 3.50-5.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 3.22 C$ 2.41-5.18
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 30.00 C$ 28.80-35.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 3.71 C$ 3.03-4.13
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 27,000.00 C$ 22,100.00-30,000.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 22,803.64 C$ 20,000.00-25,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
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Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 201.75 C$ 145.00-300.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.27 C$ 0.05-0.30
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 78.40 C$ 60.00-100.00
Sports And Leisure
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Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 66.75 C$ 49.00-94.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 23.36 C$ 15.00-30.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.00 C$ 13.00-18.00
Childcare
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Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 1,197.50 C$ 1,000.00-1,500.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 15,930.00 C$ 12,000.00-22,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
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1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 63.54 C$ 35.00-90.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 52.60 C$ 30.00-80.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 97.30 C$ 60.00-130.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 132.17 C$ 80.00-230.00
Rent Per Month
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Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,211.35 C$ 1,000.00-1,500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,008.40 C$ 800.00-1,200.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,148.84 C$ 1,700.00-3,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,642.42 C$ 1,400.00-2,100.00
Buy Apartment Price
[ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 398.20 C$ 278.71-550.00
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 272.25 C$ 222.00-333.00
Salaries And Financing
[ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,402.80 C$
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.25 2.33-5.00

Prices in Calgary

This city had 2699 entries in the past 12 months by 358 different contributors.
Last update: November 2020
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24 Comments so far
Kaci on Sep 07, 2020:
I recently entered data into Calgary. I believe that the "utilities" section is highly misleading (for all cities). Almost all apartments for rent in Alberta have the cost of garbage, water, and heat included in the rent. You usually only pay your own electricity. Therefore, the data that specifies utilities are on average $200 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment in Calgary, is highly misleading. This would be true, if the apartment was owned, but not in the case of renting. As someone who has lived in a new one or two bedroom apartment every year, for over 12 years, on average my renting utility bill (only electric) is about $40.00 a month. I believe this could easily be rectified by adding in another data point to specify what is being paid and in what type of household.
Sharie on Aug 14, 2020:
Who are the ugly, hostile, foul brained people leaving messages on this site? Are you insane?

Have someone put you down
April on Jul 18, 2020:
For people wondering if you can live here on minimum wage. Yes.

I make less than $20,000 a year and have lived here all my life. You can get away with more square feet for your money by renting basement suites over apartments. They average $800-$900 and some of them even include utilities, although ours don't. We live in the SW, the most expensive part of the city and we can still get by on less than $20,000. My husband and I only work part time on minimum wage. We also have a dog and 4 Parrotlets. Very hard to find a decent pet friendly place in this area but you have WAY more options if you don't have pets. You can live in more luxurious houses if you go to the cheap areas of the city: NE and NW, but especially NE. Skip the apartments and save more. Don't even think about renting a basement suite that costs more than $1000, they are such a ripoff (unless they include utilities). I've lived in 3 different rentals in the SW:

First one was $700 plus utilities. A 900 square foot basement suite. That was the cheapest one I ever found.

Second one was a whole duplex for $1590 Phys utilities. 1000 square feet. Also on the cheaper end.

Third one, another basement suite, prices rose this year. The cheapest I could find in this area was $900 ($200 more than they were two years ago) but I bargained it down to $875 plus utilities. 800 square feet.

Having a family on minimum wage is hard, but if you have no children it's quite easy. I still have enough money to camp in the summers and do fun events/restaurants once or twice a month.

And shop at Superstore, it's cheap! Skip the Safeway. Buy what's on sale and in bulk and freeze. I actually eat pretty luxuriously though. I buy whatever food I want, excluding the most expensive things like lamb, lobster and prime steak for special events.

All my extra money disappears on my pets, they are the real money suckers lol.
Ary on May 17, 2020:
If you exclude housing costs, cost of living almost same across Canadian big cities. Difference in Calgary is higher average salary and lower housing costs. Calgary ranked most affordable city in North America, look it up. Right now, hard times with oil slump and covid. Moved many years ago from Vancouver. Joined a trade and raised a large family. No regrets.
FormerCalgarian on Apr 16, 2020:
I am baffled by the number of people who continue to call Calgary home. All those years of riding the oil economy have come to an end. City housing prices are falling faster than any other location in Canada and all kinds of businesses are closing. Reminds me of what happened to Houston in the early 1980s but much much worse. My advice to anyone thinking about relocating to Calgary is DON'T. And my advise to those who live there today is to GET OUT. Sell your property for whatever you can get as it will only drop in the months and years ahead.
Too bad really, because Calgary is a beautiful place to live.
Hokkes on Apr 10, 2020:
Better than toronto or vancouver..you dont have to work just to pay rent and insurance.. you might have money and time to do something else..
mrbylaw mrbylaw on Dec 08, 2019:
Hahahaha the cost fir utilities fir a home is approximately $350 per month ! The$180 is the cost for utilities in 1 bedroom apartment.
Californian Resident on Oct 11, 2019:
This all looks about the same even with the exchange rate for me. Heck, an American style studio apartment goes for about $1,100 USD and that can be for something that is only about 850sqf (about 78.97km) and that's just rent. Gas, electric, Petrol, and food are just as bad depending on the time of year. Living in this state puts us at roughly $200 USD more than the average of the entire USA country, and that's only on the average. City to city there are huge discrepancies. TBH I'm not even shocked.
John on Aug 05, 2019:
The government takes half of your paycheck , very high taxes here so unless you have some side hustle it’s tough
Fotoxic on May 04, 2019:
Hello there :)

If my family get 7K to 8K per month, with one 4-year old child, can we afford the life in Calgary?

How much does it cost for rent a two bed room apt, and what will be the housing price(per square meters) in a good district/neighborhood with good primary school?

Thanks~
Jennifer on Apr 18, 2019:
My hubby and I lived on 32000 In 2018 out lowest year in a lo g time ..... we were lucky to find a place to rent for 1000 mth with utilities included for a 1000sqft upper unit in a four plex with a big yard ... we supported 2 young adults on that.... it was very tight to live comfortably..... once u ad in cable internet 2 cell food and food for 2 weiner dogs.... but we made it threw .

The challenge with Calgary is the government that'sin office .....
And striped alberta of jobs and any an all extra financial gains we had ..... to suport there frivolous spending for easterner provinces that really relied on its province to cover there way.... and enable people to not work or be able to fully suport them self .....

Alberta and its people are very self reliant and in many ways very redneck farming mantality
If you dont have this you will.find calgary and many other places in alberta challenging
To live as out siders find many rude and not friendly but in àll honesty we are quite friendly . As for the people here that are from other war torn countries... many of them have brought there religious issue and criminal ways and has made calgary crap.

We use to beable to allow are kids play freely... now we are unable because it have become unsafe ....
Anonymous on Mar 26, 2019:
@art
It’s definitely more expensive here
The prices you mentioned are very cheap compared to what you would pay here
I make very good income about $8000 a month clear I go on vacation every 3 months I go eat in restaurants a lot but most people don’t make that most people only make around 3 or 4000 a month
Art on Mar 04, 2019:
Is it really going that bad in Calgary? Just to give you an idea of other places in the world. I live in the capital of an Eastern Europe country and I've got a pretty good income of 920 CAD after taxes (i'll translate in CAD our currency) there, it's above average. And here are the costs for 2 adults and 1-year old baby:
380 CAD for a 2bd apartment
120 CAD Utilities
40 CAD 2 cellphones and internet
80-100 CAD gas and car maintenance
250 CAD groceries
100 CAD clothing
no leisure, no holidays, no entertainment, no restaurants, no savings...barely make ends meet

is it kinda the same in Canada?
Anonymous on Jan 21, 2019:
Calgary is the most boring city on earth with the most horrible rude selfish drivers , it sucks here , thanx to Trudeau the whole county sucks .
Pete on Jan 21, 2019:
$4000 a month ha ha is that a joke ? Maybe around $3000 after taxes if you are lucky , economy is bad , high unemployment , Canadian loonie has very low value compare to euro or u.s dollar , people are awful here so fake , if you coming from Eastern Europe you will hate it hate its boring here and fake people , the only good thing here are the shopping malls nothing else .
Sanjiv Gupta on Jan 16, 2019:
Apartment rent usually includes utilities (condo fees) borne by the landlord
Weather man on Sep 15, 2018:
It's only September 15th. Calgary is already nearing zero (C)! WTF LOL!

For reference, Toronto +23, Chicago +21, Boston +18, New York +22

Oh how glaaaad i am got out that frozen deadland hellhole called Alberta YUCKKK!!!
caden on May 29, 2018:
thanks this helped a lot for a school projected keep this website up because it helped me a lot and I hop to use it again
SJ on Feb 04, 2018:
Chris, try living in BC. Everything is way more expensive and people are even less friendly. My husband and I moved out there to a smaller city (10th the size) for a more friendly, community feel and on top of paying so much more for everything and making so much less (average wage for my profession was $13-15 where as it's $20+ in Calgary), people completely ignore you, scowl at you, yell at you, threaten to beat you up, simply because you went to the coffee shop they don't like or happen to be walking down the wrong side of the street. And people forgetting how to drive when it snows happens everywhere. At least, everywhere in Western Canada. I'm assuming you moved to YYC from the east coast, since you think everyone here is so unfriendly and its all so expensive. Just thank god you didn't go to BC.
DANIEL on Oct 16, 2017:
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lauren on Jul 04, 2017:
Despite my numerous health problems lol Gin ya nailed it. Calgary has the highest MS rate in the world. Everything is backwards here,the people are dim witted and lazy. Calgary is a rascist city run by chubby flat footed inbred rascists. You are probably benefiting from govt hand outs Gin.I would bet my ass on it. I don't know any Calgarians who would survive in the real world.
Gin on Jun 09, 2017:
I have to live on $19,000/year. If I can do it, anyone can. Calgary is the most amazing city I've ever lived in. Been here almost 30 years. I'll never move, no matter how expensive it gets.
A bachelor suite can be found for $480 if you don't care what it looks like or what area you're in...
A nice bachelor in the beltline you can find for $670. A small 1 bedroom for $700. Again, they won't be fancy, but most will include your heat, water and electricity which will save you about $170/mth.
I buy most of my "needs" from the dollar store. And I grocery shop on Tuesday's to get the 10% discount.
I drive a newer car too! So yes, it can be done if you aren't spending your money like a lunatic. I have a full and happy life (despite my numerous health problems). I don't feel as though I'm missing anything because I live below the poverty line. It's all about priorities.
Chris on May 15, 2017:
Calgary is a joke. Stay Away. Half a million dollars for a shit home, $50 for one bag of groceries, a handful of grapes is $8. It's cold, from Sept-April you have to deal with snow, cold weather, horrible road conditions, massive transit delays, accidents everywhere every time it snows people seem to have completely forgotten how to drive.

Insurance is nuts. Crime is on the rise. Police are scary/mean/abusive/racist. People are far less friendly and most will just ignore you now. You are crammed into over packed trains/bus's like sardines, never mind a seat. There is some new carbon tax so all things energy is now even more expensive, gas, electric bill, rent.

Massive layoff's, low pay, and huge increase in cost of living = Failing City

The biggest problem is the housing, it has gotten out of control, if you are of Gen X or lower you won't be able to pay off a mortgage in your lifetime, let alone get approved for a $500,000+ loan.

Years ago this was a wonderful friendly rich place with affordable housing, plenty of work, lots of money (oil), cheap groceries, cheap gas, a helpful cheerful community feeling that is now replaced with that big city coldness.
Lex on Nov 02, 2016:
After going through the comments, I've noticed a lot of people claiming that fairly high sums of money per month won't go very far in Calgary, and I have to disagree. I've lived, studied and worked in Calgary all my life, and I've experienced the hefty prices of other cities (ie. New York City/Manhattan) and it's not at all comparable. My boyfriend and I lived on about $3000 a month for a while when he was at school and this paid for the mortgage, groceries, car payments, insurance, cell phone bills, debt payments, pet insurance (for three big dogs), dog food/toys/treats and vet bills. We might have struggled a bit every now and then, but had we been a little smarter with our finances, we probably could have gotten by quite comfortably.

We make more now, and have enough for all the "luxuries", like vacations, date nights, etc. We don't make close to 8k a month though, and if we did, we would probably be laughing.

That being said, Calgary's been hit with a bit of a recession, and oil companies are dropping employees like flies. It can absolutely be difficult to find a job here, especially if you're not educated in a specific field. I wouldn't say its dangerous - not by a long shot - but there have been more break-ins now than in the past. Chestermere, for example, is a "town" (slash suburb) outside of Calgary, known for being well-off, and they suffer break-ins with vehicles weekly. I've also noticed petty vandalism is being reported more and more there. If anything, Calgarians and Chestermerians might feel more violated than afraid.

Groceries are expensive, but you can save if you shop smart and stick to a budget. Vets within the city are VERY expensive, and if you're looking to save there, I recommend both Pet Insurance and visiting the Strathmore clinic. The housing market is suffering, so rent/mortgages may dip down to sell, but moving to Calgary without a concrete job can be a risk.

Living beyond your means is possible, regardless of salary. 3K/month may not be a lot - especially if you're depending on that for two people - but it's not impossible. Be smart with your money, trim the fat where you need to, and you'll be fine!