Cost of Living in Calgary

Summary of cost of living in Calgary, Canada:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 25.00 C$ 12.50-50.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 100.00 C$ 70.00-200.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 14.50 C$ 12.95-15.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 7.50 C$ 5.00-12.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 8.00 C$ 6.00-14.00
Cappuccino (regular) 5.26 C$ 2.50-8.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.91 C$ 2.00-4.50
Water (12 oz small bottle) 2.47 C$ 2.00-3.60
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 9.71 C$ 5.69-18.93
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 3.01 C$ 1.81-5.44
Rice (white), (1 lb) 2.32 C$ 1.36-5.43
Eggs (regular) (12) 4.98 C$ 3.79-7.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 8.40 C$ 4.53-27.22
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 8.07 C$ 4.54-13.61
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 9.09 C$ 4.54-15.42
Apples (1 lb) 2.62 C$ 1.29-3.63
Banana (1 lb) 0.85 C$ 0.52-2.15
Oranges (1 lb) 2.39 C$ 1.13-4.54
Tomato (1 lb) 2.57 C$ 1.36-3.63
Potato (1 lb) 1.59 C$ 0.61-3.18
Onion (1 lb) 1.35 C$ 0.90-3.00
Lettuce (1 head) 3.64 C$ 2.97-5.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.40 C$ 1.25-3.50
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 19.00 C$ 13.00-26.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 3.66 C$ 1.75-6.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 4.76 C$ 2.66-8.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 19.50 C$ 15.20-23.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.70 C$ 3.50-3.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 115.00 C$ 112.00-130.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 4.50 C$ 3.80-6.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 5.07 C$ 2.69-6.44
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 52.50 C$ 38.00-60.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 5.43 C$ 4.62-6.13
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 33,978.00 C$ 30,000.00-37,650.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 29,080.47 C$ 27,382.58-32,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 313.30 C$ 200.00-485.71
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data 62.16 C$ 35.00-100.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 92.65 C$ 65.00-135.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 78.02 C$ 45.00-150.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 47.17 C$ 20.00-60.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 18.00 C$ 14.50-25.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 1,270.91 C$ 650.00-2,300.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 27,525.00 C$ 15,000.00-43,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 84.22 C$ 49.00-149.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 70.35 C$ 30.00-130.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 123.48 C$ 70.00-199.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 172.92 C$ 70.00-300.00
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,949.15 C$ 1,500.00-2,500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,583.59 C$ 1,100.00-2,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,982.50 C$ 2,200.00-4,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,498.97 C$ 1,900.00-3,200.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 431.90 C$ 278.71-929.02
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 399.42 C$ 260.13-696.77
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,901.30 C$
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 6.43 4.65-8.91

Prices in Calgary

This city had 2408 entries in the past 12 months by 368 different contributors.
Last update: April 2024
Sources and References
Distribution of Expenses Using Our Statistical Model:
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23 Comments so far
Newlife changer on Mar 31, 2024:
Most comments are depressing as if calgary is the worst place to live ! for those who were born in canada and the ones who moved from overseas. do a comparison with most asian and north african cities , even European ones.
It is a great city , the best in Canada I think comparing to other major cities.
Rodney E. on Oct 08, 2023:
Calgary is a great place to live, if you hate yourself.
Ehrin on Jul 21, 2023:
Absurd energy bills because of harsh cold winters in this area, most stuff is ridiculously priced.
Jordan on Jan 17, 2023:
I cant afford a car but I really need it in Calgary the bus never comes on time and doesnt run late
Mat on Jul 09, 2022:
Calgary is once again listed one of the best cities in the world to live in according to multiple sources including the economist.

Although media and a few individuals like to suggest oil and the economy is a problem, and I agree we eventually do need to move away from oil, it is not going away anytime soon, as we still need to heat our homes, build any plastics for our iphones and Teslas and virtually everything else with oil.

I’m not certain how much more mining friendly lithium (etc) is for the planet, it does however allow us to have vehicles that are cleaner which is a good thing.

Now that Russia has caused world stability concerns, its even more important that an ethical oil source like Canada’s is available from places like Calgary.
Melody on Apr 09, 2022:
Thank you Annonymous who posted on Mar 24, 2022. Now I want to move to Canada even more. I think people are using these comments to bash countries they don't like
Shol on Feb 22, 2022:
Will probably move there in a few months any neighbourhood or specific condos around downtown (or a bit out) that anyone can recommend. Will probably want to rent 6-12 months before purchasing once settled, initial funds not an issue.

Don't need a big place, just relatively modern and safe and decent. Most likely will be working from home though not 100% set in stone so near a train area or whatever with transp would be great since I am not sure I will get a car. (Though I might rent one upon requirement.)

Thanks - Any other tips/thoughts for newcomers (my wife and I) as I will have never lived there though will be getting some help from family for the first few months.

EVLX on Feb 19, 2022:
Yes the condo prices in Calgary, say in prime downtown, averages around 2000-2500 for 1 or 2 bdrm condo, fair vertical rise.. that is as much as a luxury estate neighborhood in Outer Calgary like Sage, Panorama and such. Downtown is not all that great, its a bit over glorified, like any city. just conveinient for some places.. hard to find parking if u need to go places. and condo fees... headache.
EVLX on Feb 19, 2022:
I had checked the rental vacancy rates across Canada. Average around 200-400 per city. Calgary had at a few points over 6500 available units in the city of over 1.2M that is high.. It is improving though.. Meaning the Economy of Calgary is always Fragile, volitile when its good its really good and bad, its really bad.. unfortunately. Not the best place to live if you don't like the cold.
sharie on Feb 19, 2022:
So in summary, the western provinces, espcially Alberta, Calgary, and Edmonton, is like the Texas of the USA. And all those convoy trucks of Convoy freedom 2022, come from Alberta.... What a shame.. Anyways I've said enough, maybe a bit pessimistic, but this is the worst part of Alberta. Yes I am one of those people that made that comment of who puts these comments in here, its me, Sharie :)
Sharie 2nd on Feb 19, 2022:
But hey any competative office environment is like that right? Which leads to another bad thing... There is much polarization on how people approach work here. Maybe this is a personal opinion, but many people will share it.. Read on > The energy sector is unstable in calgary and so that means the Calgary Economy is unstable in my opinion. If you want to have stable employment, you got to do the things that will ensure your job security, anyway you have to do it. I cannot live like that, so I move on to other jobs. The job environment here is not bad, its good for the most part.. But the higher paying jobs like the Energy sector ones, are quite pressured, but then again, any high paying job with competative interests can be high pressure. its a working persons reality.
genel on Feb 19, 2022:
To answer Sadeghi, the minimum rent you will find in Calgary is around $600. and that is an average, borderline acceptable place.. It is about the right price for 1 room, and usually it will be shared. Sure you will save money, but you might have to live with strangers and they will likely think the same. The taxes are high in Canada generally, however, there is really no provincial tax.
kdubs on Feb 19, 2022:
The major thing about Calgary is the cold weather, but since global warming is happening, it really doesn't seem as bad as it was years ago, and it will be warmer and warmer, meaning the winters will be less and less severe..

Plus it is higher altitude, and not a humid as other cities. The cost of living is a bit higher I personally feel.. and well, I would rather live in a more open, laid back city like Italy where things are easy going and very relaxed.. Some of the downtown, work is very uptight and very tight orificed.
M sadeghi on Feb 08, 2022:
Hello. I am Iranian. Forty years old and single. I will come to Calgary, Canada next year to work as a carpenter. I have a question. Can I find a place to stay under $ 300 for a single stay in the suburbs? Have a lot and rent it to me at a lower price? Thank you.
Rob on Jun 10, 2021:
I lived in Calgary for 30 years and loved it. Great city. Sold my house for a nice profit and retired to a small community. It's nice here but I'm still missing the big city.
Christian on Jun 01, 2021:
Calgary is very car-centric. Things are changing somewhat (despite much political resistance), but it is still currently not easily navigated via transit, bike, or on foot. If you wish to move here without a car, you should make sure to pick a neighbourhood that actually has all the things you need, like walking distance to an LRT, grocery store, etc. These neighbourhoods tend to be more expensive, but that's the trade off you get for not owning and maintaining a vehicle. Even then, it can be pretty tough to live in this city without one.

Calgary's ranking as an 'affordable' city is misleading. A very specific middle-class lifestyle is perhaps more 'affordable' here than in other Canadian cities, but otherwise I'm not really sure what the draw is. The best part about Calgary seems to be its proximity to mountains and hiking trails, meaning the best part of the city is actually driving away from it (which again usually requires a car).
Stef on Mar 08, 2021:
I love calgary for its amazing people and opportunities. I love calgary for so much that it has to offer. This province to me is the best in Canada. Yes it’s cold in winter, yes it’s Canada we have seasons. We cannot have it all. Survival is same every where and love calgary after living in Ontario for 4o yrs and British Columbia Vancouver island for 1 and half years.

Calgary is far from what it is was like when oil was booming but like all provinces that have negatives.
I feel calgary is the best place overall to live.
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 dont have to work just to pay rent and insurance.. you might have money and time to do something else..