How Much Does It Cost to Live in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of Canada’s most densely populated cities and of North America. Situated in the lower mainland, British Columbia, it has a population of over 2,581,000 and an area of about 115 Km2. It is Canada’s third-largest metropolitan city as well as the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities. The city has constantly been named in the list of top 5 worldwide cities for quality of life and livability. For ten consecutive years, the Economist Intelligence Unit has placed it at the top of most well-living cities in the world. The city is a permanent home to TED conferences since 2014 and has held the distinct honor of holding a number of international events.

Housing and Utilities Cost in Vancouver

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 Vancouver:

City Districts

1 studio

1 Bedroom 

2Bedroom

3 Bedroom 

Vancouver CMA

$2046

$1580

$3692

$2875

West end

$1590

$1850

$2600

$4350

South Granville

$1720

$2600

$3200

Kitsilano/Point Grey

$1770

$1878

$2465

$3650

Westside/Kerrisdale

$1649

$1845

$2375

$3855

Marpole

$1750

$1750

$2400

$2310

Mount Pleasant/Renfrew Heights

$1625

$2100

$2695

$4500

East Hastings

$1300

$1525

$1750

$2300

North Vancouver

$1916

$1960

$2518

$2980

Average Cost of Utilities

As Vancouver is located in the lower mainland region of British Columbia, the average rate of electricity is the same as for the whole province i.e. 12.4¢/kWh, which is on the more affordable side. If your apartment or house is averagely consuming around 1000kWh, your electric bill will come around $124. Other states providing similar or even cheaper rates of electricity include New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Quebec. You can always save a few dollars by tracking your electricity if the electric bill is one of your concerns. For an 85m2 apartment, the collective bill of all the utilities is averaged around $107 which includes electricity, heating, cooling, garbage, water, etc. As for monthly expenses, home insurance rates throughout the state of British Columbia, it is determined by the value of the home. In the case of uncertainty while shopping for your home insurance you can always use a few tips to guide through your process.  If you are living in a rented apartment or house, you will be paying around $25-$30 for your home insurance. However, if you own property, consult the table below for the rates of insurance:

Property Value

Average Home Insurance Rate

<100K

$43

100-300K

$51

300-700K

$87

700k-1.5M

$130

1.5-5M

$155

Cost of Public Transport and Parking Rates

Public transport in Vancouver is operated by Translink which is Metro Vancouver’s regional authority for transportation. It operates the public transit system that comprises a network of:

  • Buses.
  • SkyTrains.
  • SeaBus.
  • And West Coast Express commuter train service.

For fares, consult the table below:

zones

Adult 

Compass card

Concessions 

Day pass

Monthly pass

1 zone

$3 cash

$2.40

$1.95

$ 10.5

$98

2 zones

$4.25

$3.45

$2.95

$ 10.5

$131

3 zones

$5.75

$4.50

$3.95

$ 10.5

$177

Cost of The Public Bicycle Sharing System:

In terms of the public bike-sharing system, you will find a service provider by the name of Bixi. By using their service you can either rent a bike at one of their 600 stations or use their smartphone app. You can rent one of their bikes for a duration of 30 minutes at a price of $2.99 or you can rent it for a period of 24-hours at just $5.25. Then there is the option of renting a bike for 3 days (72-hours) at a convenient price of $15. Additionally, they are offering annual membership at $97, so if you are one to travel often by bicycle, this service is perfect for you. It will keep you going and healthy at the same time.

Car Parking Rates:

Though you may not like it, the parking meters are in effect 7 days a week, including holidays. The rates, however, vary; the rates for daytime 9 am to 6 pm are different from those from 6 pm to 10 pm. Depending upon where you park, the rates may vary from $1 to 7$ per hour, with some places charging more than that. You can find two different types of parking including:

  • Time-limited parking (allowing up to 2 hours of parking).
  • Metered parking (with varying rates).

Car Insurance Rates:

Unfortunately, the province of British Columbia holds the first place for most expensive car insurance rates, coming at a whopping $1832 on average. 

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Entertainment

Vancouver is a relatively affordable city in comparison to many other cities of Canada, but that doesn’t mean it is just cheap altogether. Considering the essentials only, the average cost of entertainment around the city of Vancouver includes:

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $18.00 
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: $80.00 
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $7.
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $31.
  • Taxi trip on a business day, basic cost, 8 km. (5 miles): $15.

 

Considering the 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 during the month, that can cost you about: $211.

Grocery Cost in Vancouver

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

Items 

Prices

Milk (1 liter)

$2.37

Loaf of bread

$3.20

Rice 1kg

$4.49

Eggs 12

$3.97

Local Cheese 1kg

$17.07

Chicken fillet 1kg

$16.39

Beef round 1kg

$22.05

Apple 1kg

$3.82

Banana 1kg

$1.74

Orange 1kg

$3.77

Tomato 1kg

$4.28

Potato 1kg

$3.28

Onion 1kg

$3.28

Lettuce 1 head

$2.74

Water bottle 1.5l

$2.42

Cigarette 20 Pack

$16

Phone and Internet

There are plenty of internet service providers in Vancouver as well as Cell Phone service providers with different packages that are sure to meet everyone’s needs. Considering a general 60 Mbps connection with unlimited download, it will cost you around $80-$85 on average. Whereas 1 minute of the prepaid cost with no plan or discount will cost you around $0.38. 

Fitness and Personal Care

In terms of fitness and personal care, a one-month fitness club fee averages around 50 to 60 $ 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.

Provincial Taxes

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of British Columbia, they have PST and GST that are set at about 7% and 5% respectively, coming to a total of 12%. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 5.06% on the first $40,707 of taxable income, +.
  • 7.7% on the next $40,709, +.
  • 10.5% on the next $12,060, +.
  • 12.29% on the next $20,030, +.
  • 14.7% on the next $40,394, +.
  • 16.8% on the amount over $153,900.

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

Conclusion

And there you have it, the living expenses in the beautiful city of Vancouver can be calculated by 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 Vancouver 

Category

Description

Cost

Housing

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

$2046 + $30 + $107

Transportation 

Transit rider: Transit Monthly pass option

98$

Food

Regular grocery basket

$218

Phone and Internet

Internet + mobile plan

130$

Entertainment

monthly cost (see above)

$211

Health and Fitness

The average cost of a Fitness membership

$55

Total

Sum

$2895

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