10 Most Expensive Cities in Canada
Find out which city costs the most (and which ones came pretty close) with this top 10 list of Canada’s most outrageously expensive cities to live in.
The Economist ranked Vancouver as the most expensive city to live in North America, with the average price of a house a whooping $748,651! Fortunately for visitors, experiencing Vancouver is worth the cost, and you might even stumble across a Hollywood celebrity in your hotel (the city now ranks at the third largest film industry centre in North America). With more than 450 km (279 miles) of bike routes, Vancouver has the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America – and is striving to be “the world’s greenest city” by 2020!
Toronto is the second-most expensive city to buy a home in Canada (average price January 2013 $482,648). What you’re going to love about the country’s largest city is many residents live in the downtown core, which has encouraged a vibrant dining, theatre and entertainment scene that you can easily explore on foot. Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods – we like to say you to eat in any language. Want a real thrill? You don’t have to leave the city for a unique outdoor adventure: you can take an ‘Edgewalk’ around the 5 ft (1.5 m) wide ledge of the CN Tower at a height of 116 storeys!
Victoria is the third most expensive city to buy a house in Canada, with an average price of $421,939. But, just think about what they save in heating! While much of Canada is still shoveling the white stuff at the beginning of March, Victoria smugly holds an annual flower count. In early March 2012 they claimed they already had over 2 billion blooms!
If you tried to buy a home in Calgary, a.k.a. Canada’s Energy Capital, the average cost would probably be around $418,983. The plus side? You don’t have to pay provincial sales tax, you’re within sight of the Rockies, and only 120 km from Banff National Park. For a break afterwards drop by the bar at the Westin Hotel, where the Bloody Caesar was invented!
Canada’s fifth most expensive urban home centre is Hamilton-Burlington (average home cost $349,943.) Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, if the traffic is cooperating, you’re less than an hour west of Toronto. Burlington has nine golf courses within the city, the 7th largest art gallery in Ontario, and a wonderful family friendly waterfront. Its jewel is The Royal Botanical Gardens, where you can see more than 800 varieties of lilacs bloom mid-May. And, from here you are just a short drive to the 50 wineries of the Niagara region.
Settling in Canada’s capital and fourth largest city, Ottawa will cost the average new home buyer $343,382. But that also buys you easy access to some of the country’s top museums, galleries and events. Ottawa was fourth in Forbes.com’s cleanest cities in the world list, and in May you can watch more than 1 million tulips burst into bloom at the largest tulip festival in the world! In the winter enjoy the largest skating rink in the world, the Rideau Canal, and during the summer take part in the biggest party of all: Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.
Owning a new home in Edmonton will cost you on average $323,541. But, you’d be in Canada’s Festival City, which features a year-round schedule of events. Edmonton’s International Fringe Festival, which is held in mid-August, is second only in size to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival. You also have easy access to Edmonton’s river valley – the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America. It’s 22 times larger than New York City’s Central Park, with eight golf courses, five lakes, and 150-km of multi-use trails.
A new home will set you back an average of $320,812 in Saskatoon. On the bright side: you’ll be in one of Canada’s sunniest cities. Saskatoon basks in about 2,381 hours of sunshine annually. The city is on the South Saskatchewan River, enabling residents and visitors to enjoy that sunshine while using 120 hectares of riverbank parklands. And, when you want some entertainment, there’s even a riverside Shakespeare Festival.
A home in Montreal will set you back an average of $318,982, but the bonus is the city’s festive spirit! In 2004 the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal drew a crowd of 250,000, which the Guinness World Records designated “The World’s Largest Jazz Festival”. The annual early summer event usually includes 300-400 free shows, while the Just For Laughs Festival is known for drawing star performers to the city.
Fort McMurray, Alta
Located 4.5 hour drive from Edmonton, Fort McMurray housing prices are the highest in Alberta. Fortunately that’s offset by what many residents earn: The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation projected the average 2011 household income in this region to be over $177,000 a year. For residents and visitors, there’s fishing, hunting, and a host of outdoor activities. But what’s really special is the city’s breathtaking view of the Northern Lights. Because Fort McMurray is on the 56th parallel (within what is known as the auroral band), the shimmering sheets of light can be seen on many cold, clear nights between October and March.