How Much Does It Cost to Live in Calgary?

The city of Calgary is situated in the province of Alberta at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers. With a population of over 1,285,711 residents (in 2019), it was the most populous city of Alberta and western Canada. The city is famous for activities pertaining to financial services, energy, manufacturing, logistics, health and wellness, aerospace, technology, retail, and tourism industries. The city also houses counties with 800 largest corporations and has the country’s second-highest number of corporate offices. The city of Calgary is decorated for being the first Canadian city to have held the Winter Olympics Games. The city has an area of over 825.3 km2 and has been ranked the ”Most Livable City in North America” consecutively for 2018 as well as 2019 by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The city is also ranked as the best city for drivers in the entire world in 2019.

 

Cost of living in Calgary - 2021

Housing Cost in Calgary

Given below is a table that lists down the average prices of different types of apartments, their rents, and their costs in the city of Calgary.

City DistrictStudio1 Bedroom2 Bedroom3 + Bedroom
Downtown Calgary$974$1208$1450$2595
Beltline$925$1210$1446$1650
Mission$950$1100$1506
Bankview$875$950$1263$2145
Mount Royal$870$973$1295$2430
South Calgary$950$1010$1325
Lakeview$913$1045$1245$1659

 

Housing

Average rent price for 1 Bedroom apartment

$1058

(* Zumper)

Average Cost of Utilities

Electricity, Water, Energy and more

As Calgary is situated in Alberta, the average rate of electricity is the same as for the whole province i.e. 16.7¢/kWh*. If your apartment or house is averagely consuming around 1000kWh, your electric bill will come around $167. Many other provinces are providing somewhat better or similar rates of electricity including Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec.

For a 915 sq. foot apartment, the collective bill of all the utilities is averaged around $200 which includes electricity, heating, cooling, garbage, water, etc.

Home Insurance Rates

As for monthly expenses,  home insurance rates throughout the province of Alberta, it is determined by the value of the home. If you are living in a rented apartment or house, you will be paying around $25-$30 as your home insurance per month. But if you own property, consult the table below for the average rates of insurance.

Home Services

Property Value

Average Home Insurance Rate

<100K

$23

100 – 300K

$76

300 – 700K

$80

700K – 1.5 M

$157

1.5 – 5 M

$167

Housing

Average monthly cost for 1 Bedroom apartment : Utilities + Insurance

$230

Cost of Public Transport and Parking Rates

The public transit network of Calgary consists of two LRT lines (Light Rail Transit) called the C-Train and busses. You can easily purchase tickets and/or passes from both,  payments by cash as well as credit cards are accepted from all C-Train stations. You can also pay with cash on the buses however don’t expect change to be handed out to you. Additionally, you can purchase tickets and passes from a number of grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores all over the city. One-time fair is valid for 90 minutes whereas a pass is valid for a whole day. you can find all the information on the Calgary Transit website. Three major transit providers in the city are Airdrie Transit, On-It Regional Transit and ROAM Transit.

 

For the average cost of public transport in the city of Calgary, consult the table below.

Rates for fair

Category

Cash fares (90 minutes validity)

Tickets (cash fares bought in books of 10)

Adult (Ages 18 and older)

$3.50

$35.00

Youth (Ages 6 – 17) or students 18 to 21 attending high school full time. (School ID required)

$2.40

$24.00

Children

Ages 5 and under

Free

Free

Passes

Category

Day Pass (Valid from the time of purchase until
the end of service that day)

Monthly Pass (Valid for 1 calendar month)

Adult (Ages 18 and older)

$11.00

$109.00

Youth (Ages 6 – 17)

$8.00

$79.00

Special

Airport

$11 (from Calgary International Airport to Downtown, provided by Route 300)

Low Income Monthly Pass

The cost of the pass is determined based on the income

Senior monthly regular (ages 65 and above)

$ 145

Senior monthly low income (ages 65 and above)

$ 25

Pets

Free

Car Parking Rates

There are different rates for parking cars in different areas of Calgary. Official hours for car parking that are charged are from 9 am to 6 pm (Monday to Saturday). Car parking after 6 pm and on Sundays, as well as holidays, is free.  Visit Calgary Parking website for more information.

Rates for the long stay on street.

Area 

Weekdays

Saturday

Area 1: 16 Avenue SW

$6.00

$4.00

Area 2: Beltline

$11.00

$2.00

Area 3: West Village

$7.00

$2.00

Area 4: East Village

$14.00

$2.00

Area 5: Mission

$8.00

$2.00

Area 6: Park Road

$8.00

$2.00

Area 7: Olympic Way

$10.00

$4.00

Residents can also park their vehicles in CPA surface lot parkade in the following areas and at the following rates.

Parkade

Weekday evening rate after 4 pm

Weekend Rate (includes statutory holidays)

Hours of Operation

Centennial

823 – 5 Street SW

608 – 9 Avenue SW

$2.00 until 5am

$2.00 (5am to 6pm)

$2.00 (4pm to 5am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours

City Centre

221 – 9 Avenue SW

(premium short-stay area not included)

$2.00 until 6am

$2.00 (6am to 7pm)

$2.00 (4pm to 6am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours per day unless otherwise posted

City Hall

322 – 9 Avenue SE

$6.00 until 6 am

$6.00 (6 am to 6 pm)

$6.00 (4 pm to 6 am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours per day unless otherwise posted

Convention Centre

727 – 1 Street SE

$5.00 until 6 am

$5.00 (6 am to 6 pm)

$5.00 (4 pm to 6 am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours per day unless otherwise posted

Arts Commons

829 Macleod Trail SE

$6.00 until 6am

$6.00 (6am to 6pm)

$6.00 (4pm to 6am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours

Lot 40 Parkade

112 – 5 Avenue SW

115 – 4 Avenue SW

$3.00 until 6am

$3.00 (6am to 6pm)

$3.00 (4pm to 6am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours per day unless otherwise posted

McDougall

720 – 5 Avenue SW

$2.00 until 5am

$2.00 (5am to 6pm)

$2.00 (4pm to 5am)

Mon to Sun 24 hours

Car Insurance Rates

Annual car insurance rates in the province of Alberta is around $1316, which is the third-highest of all the provinces of Canada, with British Columbia being on the top of the list.

Transportation

Transit rider: Transit Monthly pass option

$109

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Entertainement

You will find it hard to get bored in Calgary as there several locations in Calgary that will keep you entertained for a long time including Prince’s Island Park, Calgary Zoo, the Glenbow Museum, WinSport, and Heritage Park Historical Village. Considering the essentials only, the average cost of entertainment* around the city of Calgary includes:

  • Inexpensive Restaurant Meal: $10-$17.
  • Mid-range Restaurant, Meal for 2 People, Three-course: $75
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $3.
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $32.
  • A business day taxi trip, basic cost, 8 km.: $24.
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $14.

Considering at average cost, if you have had 4 beers, 1 restaurant visit with friends, visited the cinema 2 times, and have had 4 regular restaurant meals per month, that can cost you about: $187.

Entertainement

Monthly Cost

$187

(*Numbeo)

Grocery Cost in Calgary

Grocery includes items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, and others. Cost for some regular groceries that may averagely be purchased include:

Items (1 kg)

Prices

Milk (1 Liter)

$2.50

Loaf of bread

$2.56

Rice

$3.03

Dozen Eggs

$3.54

Local Cheese 

$12.70

Chicken 

$13.52

Beef round 

$14.51

Apple 

$4.28

Banana 

$1.88

Orange 

$4

Tomato 

$4.44

Potato 

$2.66

Onion 

$2.38

Head of Lettuce

$2.56

Water Bottle 1.5L

$2.09

Cigarette 20 Pack

$17

 

Grocery

Monthly budget for 1 person

$214

Phone and Internet

If you are looking to get a decent internet connection at a speed of 60 Mbps or more with unlimited data, then it can cost you around $75 to $80 per month. 1 minute of the prepaid mobile cost with no discount or plan can be as much as $0.28. But there are a number of service providers in Calgary that can provide you with not just internet, but television and home phone service as well.

Phone and Internet

Phone with unlimited talk, text and data (Internet is included in Utilities)

$80

(*Numbeo)

Fitness and Personal Care

In terms of fitness and personal care, a one-month fitness club fee averages around 60 to 70 $ per month. As for healthcare, you are covered with Canada universal healthcare. Having personal insurance is still highly recommended for other personal care services such as the dentist and the optometrist.

Health and Fitness

The average cost of a Fitness membership

$65

(*Numbeo)

Provincial Taxes (Sales, city, and Income taxes)

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of Alberta, they have GST which is set at about 5%. They do not have a provincial taxe. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 10% on the first $131,220 of taxable income, +.
  • 12% on the next $26,244, +.
  • 13% on the next $52,488, +.
  • 14% on the next $104,976, +.
  • 15% on the amount over $314,928

One may argue that the taxes in some provinces are higher in comparison to others, but due to the additional services that are offered to the residents by the provincial government.

Conclusion

If you plan on moving to Calgary, then you can calculate the average cost of living in the city using the provided table and selecting the rates along with respective items, and finding the total sum which may vary from one person to another.

 

Average Monthly Cost of living in Calgary

Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Category

Description

Cost

Housing

Average rent price for a 1 bedroom apartment + Insurance + Average utility cost

$1058 + $25 + $200

Transportation

Transit rider: Transit Monthly pass option

$109

Food

Regular grocery basket for one person

$214

Phone

Unlimited mobile plan

$80

Entertainement

Monthly cost (see above)

$187

Health and Fitness

The average cost of a Fitness membership

$65

Total

Sum

$1938

Note: If you are sharing cost with someone, it will be significantly lower. Also, if you are budgeting for a family, you’ll need to add the cost of each family member.

This is an approximation. Price will vary.

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