The cost of living in Toronto in 2023
Disclaimer: These numbers represent an estimate of what it costs to live in Toronto based on LowestRates.ca data, external sources, as well as our writers' personal experiences. It’s entirely possible for people to live in the city for much less, while others may need much more to fund the sort of lifestyle they prefer. Due to the addition of a new category, “seasoned homeowner,” we’re not comparing last year’s total to this year’s total cost of living.
Homeowners aren’t the only ones facing higher living costs.
According to an April 2023 report from Rentals.ca, the average cost of a one-bedroom rental unit in Toronto was $2,506/month in March. This represents a 22.2% year-over-year increase. The average cost of a two-bedroom rental was $3,286, representing a 19.7% year-over-year increase. For our monthly calculations, we are using only the average cost of a one-bedroom unit.
If you’re a renter, you may want to purchase renters insurance to protect your belongings. Using our tenant insurance quoter, we ran a test quote for a 30-year-old and their family renting in the Bloorcourt Village area of Toronto and found that tenant insurance would cost them $15.75 a month.
Housing: $5,282.48 (New homeowner)
According to the most recent market data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average selling price for all home types in the GTA in March 2023 was $1,108,606.
In Toronto specifically, the average price for all home types was $1,054,563.
Let’s assume you have a down payment of 20% ($210,913), the minimum down payment required for a $1-million home. Since the home is worth $1 million or more, mortgage insurance through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation isn’t available, so you won’t need to factor in the cost. That gives you a total mortgage of $843,650.
Going with a 25-year amortization period and a five-year fixed interest rate of 4.24%, which was the lowest rate on our site at the time of this writing, monthly mortgage payments for such a home in Toronto would cost about $4,548, according to the LowestRates.ca Mortgage Payment Calculator.
Then, of course, buyers must also consider home insurance. While it isn’t mandatory, most lenders won’t give you a mortgage without it. Using our home insurance quoter, we determined that home insurance for a 30-year-old and their family living in the Bloorcourt Village area of Toronto in a two-storey detached home would cost around $179.14 a month.
Homeowners must pay property tax, which is determined based on the following factors: Toronto’s municipal tax rate, the education tax rate (determined by each province), the city building fund, and the value of your property. Using the City of Toronto’s Property Tax Calculator, on a $1,054,563 home, you’d be paying $6,664.13 a year in property tax, which works out to about $555.34 a month. It’s important to know that your property taxes will be based on your MPAC valuation — which could asses your home at approximately half its market value.
Don’t forget about land transfer tax, either — both municipal and provincial. Using the LowestRates.ca Land Transfer Tax Calculator, we see that a home that sells for $1,054,563 would produce $35,132.52 in land transfer tax, which is paid in a lump sum at the time of the transfer. As such, we haven’t included this in our monthly total.
- Mortgage payments: $4,548
- Home insurance: $179.14
- Property tax: $555.34
That gives us a monthly total of $5,282.48
Housing (Seasoned homeowner)
If we consider homeowners who purchased their properties at least a year ago, monthly totals can differ.
While the costs of buying a new home decreased slightly due to lower housing prices, the cost of actual ownership for variable-rate holders has risen since rates started increasing in March of 2022.
Similarly, for fixed-rate holders, monthly mortgage payments have increased from when they started their term to their renewal date.
Variable-rate mortgage holder: $3,804.48
Average insured variable mortgage rate of March 2022: 1.25%
Old monthly payment: $1,941 (based on $500,000 mortgage, 25-year amortization)
Average insured variable mortgage rate of Q1 2023: 5.50%
New monthly payment: $3,070 (+58%)
Home insurance: $179.14
Property tax: $555.34
Fixed-rate mortgage holder: $3,531.48
Average insured fixed mortgage rate of Q1 2018: 2.89%
Old monthly payment: $2,338 (based on $500,000 mortgage, 25-year amortization)
Average insured fixed mortgage rate of Q1 2023: 4.99%
New monthly payment: $2,797 (+20%)
Home insurance: $179.14
Property tax: $555.34
Because of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)’s plans to restore service to pre-pandemic levels and enhance infrastructure, fares increased 10 cents on April 3, 2023, from $3.25 to $3.35.
Here’s a list of the latest TTC/Presto fares.
- Single adult cash fare: $3.35
- Presto adult fare: $3.30
- Presto one-ride ticket: $3.35
- Presto two-ride ticket: $6.70
- Presto day pass ticket: $13.50
- Monthly TTC Pass (adults): $156.00
- Monthly TTC Pass (youth, seniors, and post-secondary students): $128.15
- 12-month Pass (adults): $143.00
- 12-month Pass (youth and seniors): $117.45
Cabs/Uber/Lyfts: Maybe transit’s not your thing. If that’s the case, there’s an abundance of ride-sharing services in Toronto.
One UberX ride from Midtown to the Yonge-and-Dundas area costs about $34 per round trip. Since some people never take Uber and others take it often, we’ve gone with four trips a month for our calculations.
Using the adult 12-month Pass ($143.00) as our transit option, in addition to four $34 Uber trips a month (for a total of $136), our average monthly transportation cost works out to $279.00.
After 24 years of being the top-selling car in Canada, the Honda Civic sedan has been beat out by the Toyota Corolla. Due to a lack of inventory rather than a lack of demand, the Civic came up short in sales next to the Corolla last year, which sold more than 4,000 more units.
The mid-level trim for this car is the 2023 four-door Toyota Corolla Sedan LE. We base the monthly financing costs for this vehicle on the vehicle price of $26,805.
Financing rates vary from dealership to dealership. At Toyota, a 72-month (or six-year) term comes at an interest rate of 6.49%. Considering that and including a down payment of $2,369 (the recommended 10% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,690), our monthly car payment is approximately $469.20.
We looked at data from the LowestRates.ca car insurance quoter to determine what it would cost to insure a 2023 Toyota Corolla Sedan LE as a 30-year-old male driver in Toronto with a clean driving record and insurance history. Our total monthly payment, including financing and insurance costs, would be $709.53.
Other monthly expenses in Toronto to consider that aren't included in the total:
- Parking permit: If you own a home, you might have a garage or laneway, but if not, you might need to park on the street. For your first residential on-street parking permit, where you have no access to on-site parking, it will cost you $17.70 every month. The costs rise if you want to park off-street, such as on your front yard or city boulevard.
- Maintenance: This line item is tricky. Essential maintenance is usually done only a few times a year and depends on the vehicle’s specifications. But to offer an example, one of our writers spends about $467.98 a year on basic maintenance.
- Gas: Gasoline prices continue to climb this year. At the time of this writing, the average Toyota Corolla owner can expect to pay $1,700 annually in fuel costs, or about $142 per month, according to the Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption ratings search tool.
Note: As of March 13, 2022, the Ontario government eliminated the licence sticker renewal fee, so we’ve removed it from our list.
The rising cost of food has dominated news headlines across the country for the past year. Price increases can be attributed to record inflation in 2022 and the early part of 2023, as well as COVID 19-related supply chain delays, labour shortages and other factors.
This trend will unfortunately continue. The latest Canada Food Price Report from the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University forecasts that overall food prices will jump by about 5% to 7% this year, which will increase the cost of living in Toronto for a single person. A single male between the ages of 19 and 30 will spend roughly $365 a month on groceries and a single female between the same ages will spend $317.82, giving us an average of $341.41.
Families are also feeling the hit of rising food prices, which have pushed the cost of living in Toronto for a family of four even higher. The Canada Food Price Report predicts that the average Canadian family of four will spend $16,288.41 on groceries in 2023 —or about $1,357.37 a month. This is an increase of up to $1,065.60 from the actual expenditure for the same demographic in 2022.
Many Torontonians have yet to return to the office full-time. Presumably, a person who mostly works –from home might buy lunch once a week, so we’ve kept the cost lower than in previous years.
And while takeout was once more popular than dining-in within the last couple of years, restaurants are once again populated just as much as they were pre-pandemic.
- Buying lunch once a week: $12 each time = $48/month
- Getting takeout for dinner once a week, or four times a month: $20 each time = $80/month
- Visiting a restaurant up to three times a month: $80 each time = $240/month
- Buying a latte twice a week: $5 each time = $40/month
Dining out: $408/month
While grocery costs have increased, there are still ways to save money at the supermarket. Using a rewards credit card can help you earn free groceries or cash back on your produce and everyday essentials.
Phone and Internet: $177.65/month
Unlimited data is still a hot commodity in the cellphone space. The most economical plans available right now from Bell and Rogers, offer 25GB of data at high or maximum speed for $85 a month, with anything after running at a slower rate. Telus, however, offers 50GB of data at maximum speed for $75, offering the best value out of the three.
On the high-speed home internet front, many of us have opted for plans with boosted download speeds to cope with a work-from-home or hybrid model, or perhaps purely to improve the quality of our streaming services.
Like last year, we compared plans from two of the city’s larger providers, Bell and Rogers, and one smaller one, TekSavvy. We looked at comparable plans from each provider with healthy download speeds of 500 Mbps and anywhere from 20 to 500 Mbps maximum upload speed. (Note: Prices don’t include one-time installation fees or taxes.)
- Bell: $110
- Rogers: $109.99
- Teksavvy: $72.95
That gives us an average of $97.65 a month for internet and $80 for a phone plan, for a total of $177.65.
The city has been open for entertainment and free of public health restrictions for roughly a year now. Most people are venturing out to movies, grabbing drinks, and attending events again. However, many people have varying degrees of comfort in crowds or group activities.
For some, more time spent at home cooking, entertaining, and streaming online media is the new normal. We’ve tweaked this category from last year’s report to include one trip to the movies, two outings for drinks, one night of drinks at home with friends, and select at-home entertainment options.
Going out for drinks with friends twice a month: $40/month
Having drinks at home/friends’ house once a month: $20/month
Miscellaneous Outing (movie, event, show, etc.): $13.99/month
One standard movie ticket costs around $13.99 at Cineplex. However, a VIP ticket costs more. This price doesn’t include concessions.
- Netflix subscription (standard): $16.49/month
- Apple TV+: $8.99/month (three dollars more than 2022)
- Disney+: $11.99/month
- Crave: $19.99/month ($9.99 if you want to watch strictly on mobile)
- Amazon Prime Video: $9.99/month
- Apple Music/Spotify subscription: $9.99-$10.99/month
The chances are good that most people pay for at least one streaming service. Of course, many people take advantage of their friends’ and family’s subscriptions as secondary users, so this may not reflect everyone’s streaming situation.
Note: We aren’t averaging the streaming services because it’s highly likely that people have more streaming services now than they did before the pandemic and pay for more than one.
The cost of at-home and in-person entertainment is about $151.43 a month.
Some rewards credit cards now offer cash back or points for subscription purchases and streaming services. Earn rewards as you binge-watch your favourite shows or catch up on the latest flick with the right credit card.
Health and fitness: $63.19/month
While some people prefer sweating at home to online classes, others are loyal to their typical in-person fitness routines. Either way, many facilities still offer virtual and physical options.
Here are the prices of popular in-person and virtual gym and fitness memberships in the city:
- Goodlife Fitness: $67.98/month for its “essential” membership (plus a $49.99 joining fee).
- YMCA: $59/month (plus an $85 joining fee) for GTA-wide gym access or $14.99/month for unlimited virtual classes via its app.
- Modo Yoga: $159/month unlimited membership (with a 12-month commitment or $199 without).
- Planet Fitness: $15/month for a classic membership or free virtual classes via its app or Facebook page.
We averaged these costs at $63.19 (excluding taxes) — a $1.60 increase from 2022. This rise may be due, in part, to a return to in-person memberships, as most cost significantly more than virtual classes.
This is what it costs to live in Toronto in 2023
Renters who commute
Total: $3,942.43 monthly, or $47,309.16 annually.
Based on the current tax rate in Canada and Ontario, they'll need to be making at least $62,500 before tax ($47,532 after tax) to make ends meet in Toronto.
Renters who drive
Total: $4,372.96 monthly, or $52,475.52 annually.
They'll need to be making $70,000 before tax ($52,701 after tax).
New homeowners who commute
Total: $6,703.16 monthly, or $80,437.92 annually.
They'll need to make $114,000 before tax ($81,090 after tax).
New homeowners who drive
Total: $7,133.69 monthly, or $85,604.28 annually.
They'll need to make $122,000 before tax ($85,617 after tax).
Seasoned, variable-rate mortgage holders who commute
Total: $5,225.16 monthly, or $62,701.92 annually.
They'll need to make $85,000 before tax ($63,086 after tax).
Seasoned, variable-rate mortgage holders who drive
Total: $5,655.69 monthly, or $67,868.28 annually.
They'll need to make $92,000 before tax ($67,883 after tax).
Seasoned, fixed-rate mortgage holders who commute
Total: $4,952.16 monthly, or $59,425.92 annually.
They'll need to make $80,000 before tax ($59,586 after tax).
Seasoned, fixed-rate mortgage holders who drive
Total: $5,382.69 monthly, or $64,592.28 annually.
They'll need to make $88,000 before tax ($65,142 after tax).
Do you live in Toronto or want to move there? Check out the home and auto insurance quotes we offer.
Toronto car insurance
Shoppers who obtained a quote on LowestRates.ca in 2022 saved an average of $1,230* in Toronto.
*The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by LowestRates.ca from Auto and Property Products.
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Toronto home insurance
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Fill in your address and we’ll pull add information you might not know offhand: your square footage, distance to the nearest fire hydrant, and even when the roof was last replaced. Our process is quick and easy — and accurate.
Buying a home in Toronto is expensive enough. A savings of a few decimal points are worth tens of thousands of dollars over the years.
Connect with LowestRates.ca and instantly access to the best rates from lenders and mortgage brokers serving the GTA. Whether you’re looking short or long term, open or closed, fixed or variable, the best mortgage rate is at your fingertips.
Toronto renters insurance
Generating income from property is a popular investment strategy in Toronto. You may be renting the basement of your home to offset housing costs. Maybe you bought a condo as an investment — or maybe even a whole apartment building. Whatever the case, you need renter’s insurance to protect you from loss, damage and liability.
Comparing quotes on LowestRates.ca makes the job of finding coverage faster and more efficient.
Toronto condo insurance
Condos are great options for younger people to get into Toronto’s housing market. They’re also an excellent choice for traditional homeowners looking to downsize. No wonder they’re one of the fastest growing real estate sectors in the GTA.
Just remember: Condo insurance is different than home insurance. Shop for the best coverage at LowestRates.ca.
About the author
The LowestRates.ca writing team focuses on telling original stories and bringing you the latest news in the world of personal finance.