cost of living toronto

Toronto is getting more expensive but it depends on how you live

Toronto real estate may have cooled from record levels seen in 2022, but the city still ranks as one of the most expensive places in the world to call home.

Home prices and rising interest rates are the most obvious factors driving unaffordability in the region, but they don't account for the rising price of things like groceries, gas, public transportation, and just about every basic necessity needed to get by.

It's only growing more expensive to afford life in Canada's largest city, according to a new Cost of Living report from LowestRates.ca, which compares how different lifestyles affect how much you need to earn to get by in the 6ix.

According to the report, housing in 2023 costs average out at $2,521.75 per month, transportation will run you an average of $279, and food adds on another $749.41 monthly, rounding out the three most significant monthly expenses.

Phone and internet are must-haves that will run you an average of $177.65 per month, and once you have those, you're going to be spending a median of $151.43 on entertainment like streaming services. Add on $63.19 for health and fitness and you finally reach the total bill.

When you add up all the rising living costs, it will now take an average of $7,133.69 per month, and a yearly income of $85,604.28.

However, that figure swings wildly based on lifestyle, showing a significant difference in living costs between renters and homeowners, as well as drivers vs. public transit users.

If you rent and use public transit, that monthly figure is almost halved, falling to $3,942, while homeowners willing to ditch the car will only need to make $6,703 per month to make ends meet — roughly $700 more than last year.

Drivers will have to fork over even more than transit users for the luxury of avoiding the TTC.

Experts found that both homeowners and renters are facing double-digit increases in overall living cost measured against 2022, rising 58 per cent and 22 per cent year-over-year increases.

Here is the breakdown of costs of living based on lifestyle in the 2023 report:

  • Renters who commute: $3,942.43 monthly, or $62,500 before tax annually.
  • Renters who drive: $4,372.96 monthly, or $70,000 before tax annually.
  • New homeowners who commute: $6,703.16 monthly, or $114,000 before tax annually.
  • New homeowners who drive: $7,133.69 monthly, or $122,000 before tax annually.
  • Seasoned, variable-rate mortgage holders who commute: $5,225.16 monthly, or $$85,000 before tax annually.
  • Seasoned, variable-rate mortgage holders who drive: $5,655.69 monthly, or $92,000 before tax annually.
  • Seasoned, fixed-rate mortgage holders who commute: $4,952.16 monthly, or $80,000 before tax annually.
  • Seasoned, fixed-rate mortgage holders who drive: $5,382.69 monthly, or $88,000 before tax annually.
Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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