Country Guides November 19, 2020

What is the Cost of Living in Ottawa, Canada

By Blake Shaw

Canada’s capital is an excellent choice for people looking to start a new life in a different country. From job income, housing, and utilities, to comparisons with other cities, everything you need to know about the cost of living in Ottawa is right here. When moving overseas, it’s essential to look up how much you’ll need to earn to afford a comfortable life.

What Is a Good Salary in Ottawa?

When moving internationally to any country, you need to have some knowledge of the job market. According to the job searching website Neuvoo, good jobs in Canada pay about $50,132 per year ($4,178 per month), about $25.71 per hour. When starting at entry-level, you’ll earn about $18,431, while experienced professionals make up to $85,440 a year (*note that all of the numbers represent gross income).

The best jobs will earn you more than enough to live a comfortable life

How Much Will You Earn After the Tax Deductions

There are a few income taxes in the country that you should be aware of. Canada’s taxpayers pay both the federal and provincial income tax. A certain amount of your gross income will also be spent on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Further deductions are going to be made if you have Employment insurance (EI). When we apply all of these to the good income of $50,132, you’ll spend $12,419 on taxes, leaving you with a net yearly salary of $37,713 ($3,143 a month).

Calculate how much you’ll earn after tax deductions

Are the City’s Housing Opportunities Good

The real estate market in the country is overall affordable unless your plan on moving to Vancouver. Many great Ottawa neighborhoods provide affordable housing opportunities. According to Numbeo (applies for all data unless differently stated), average prices per square foot go around $347.16 in the center and $215.87 in the suburbs. Renting costs are about $1,223 and $2,053 for a one and three-bedroom apartment in the center per month and $943 and $1,532 if you’re looking for a place in the suburbs.

What Is the Average House Price in Ottawa?

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the city’s median house price in April 2020 was $364,000. In a special Housing Market Outlook, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation stated that the home value is expected to drop in early 2021, but the prices should recover later in the year.

Where Should I Live in Ottawa?

If you were wondering which neighborhoods to look up in the city, check out the video below.

Basic Utilities Can Vary a Lot

Essential utilities, like heating, cooling, electricity, water, and garbage disposal services, can go anywhere from $63.79 to $190.14 (averaging at $111.97). A good internet service package with at least 60 Mbps and unlimited data can cost from $38.03 to $76.06, averaging at $48.79. Without a discount, you’ll spend about $0.19 per minute on prepaid mobile services when not under a deal.

Don’t forget to transfer your utilities

What Are Transportation Costs Like

The city’s transportation monthly pass costs about $90.89, with a one-way ticket for local transport going for $2.74. If you plan on using a taxi often, start costs about $2.93, and each mile beyond that adds $2.28 to the bill. By asking a taxi driver to wait for an hour, you’ll have to pay about $16.73. Finally, the gasoline price for 1 gallon is $3.15. If you already have a car, unless you plan to drive all the way to Canada’s capital, consider vehicle shipping overseas.

Get an overseas moving company to transport your car

Here’s a List of Average Prices for Groceries in Markets

Canada is one of the best places to live abroad with a family, so it’s only natural you want to know how much you’ll need to spend on everyday groceries. Here’s how much you’ll need to spend on average on the most typical groceries:

  • Milk (1 gallon) – $7.18.
  • A loaf of fresh white bread – $2.1.
  • Pack of eggs (12) – $2.48.
  • White rice (1 lb) – $1.34.
  • Beef (1 lb) – $6.01.
  • Chicken fillets (1 lb) – $4.49.
  • Apples (1 lb) – $1.38.
  • Potatoes (1 lb) – $0.77.
  • Bottle of wine (mid-range) – $11.41.
  • Imported beer (12 oz) – $2.12.
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – $12.17.

Are you moving abroad alone? Or are you moving to another country for love? No matter what your reasons are know that the best way to fit in with Canadians is to dine out. Data from StatCan shows that almost 54% of all Canadians eat out at least once a week. The capital might not be one of the best vegan cities in the world but it surely can offer you plenty of different cuisines.

Your grocery expenses will depend on the number of people in your household

How Does the Cost of Living in Ottawa Canada Compare to Other Major Cities

Although it’s not the cheapest place to live in Canada, we can safely say the city’s costs are more than affordable, especially for a capital. If you’re still on the fence about moving to Ottawa, look at how the city’s expenses compare to some other popular major locations.

Expenses in the Capital vs Toronto and Montreal

Toronto’s cost of living compared to Ottawa’s is higher in multiple categories. The most notable difference is the housing value. Rent is also relatively lower depending on the place’s size and location. Preschool is 27% cheaper while elementary school costs are 45% lower, respectively. If you were thinking about moving to Ontario’s capital city, know that living in Toronto ain’t cheap since the monthly incomes are about the same as in Ottawa.

If you were thinking about moving to Montreal, know that Canada’s capital is somewhat more expensive. Even though bills are higher, monthly income compensates for these differences. However, breaking the language barrier is also required in Montreal, so you might be better off in the capital. To help you compare prices we made a table showing the monthly costs of renting, preschool, utilities as well as incomes in all three cities.

Location Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the center The average monthly price for full-day private preschool for one child Average cost of basic utilities for a 914 square foot apt Average monthly net salary (after-tax)
Ottawa $950 $870 $110 $3,040
Toronto $1,375 $1,210 $115 $3,160
Montreal $655 $520 $75 $2,420

The City Is Cheaper Across the Board When Compared to United States’ NY

Ottawa’s costs are lower across the board when compared to New York City. Housing costs are substantially lower and renting is significantly cheaper. Of course, we have to mention that the purchasing power is substantially higher in NYC, with monthly incomes being around 45% lower in Canada’s capital. Take a look at the table below where we compared renting expenses, utilities, and incomes in both places.

Location Average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the center Average cost of basic utilities for a 914 square foot apt Average monthly net salary (after-tax)
Ottawa $950 $110 $3,040
New York City $2,010 $140 $5,820
The area is a lot more affordable if you are currently living in some of the biggest United States cities

Is Ottawa a Good Place to Live?

Besides the affordable expenses, living in Ottawa provides numerous benefits like high wages, low crime rates, high-quality healthcare, and many more. If you are unsure how to move abroad look for a reputable overseas shipping company. These offer various services, like international moving by sea, and can even help you with the packing. With plenty of exciting things to do in Ottawa, you certainly won’t regret your decision to move here.

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