If you’re on the hunt for the cheapest cities in Canada, you’re not alone. As the economy continues to fluctuate, it’s no surprise that many searches for the most affordable places to call home in Canada. With the cost of living reaching new heights in most major cities, finding a budget-friendly yet desirable place to settle down can be quite a challenge.
Spanning ten provinces, Canada is a vast nation filled with numerous cities and towns. One effective way to save money is by choosing a city with a lower cost of living, which can help extend your budget and contribute to long-term savings.
In this article, we present our selection of the top 20 cheapest cities in Canada, taking into consideration factors such as housing affordability, job growth, rental market affordability, and overall low cost of living.
Catering to a variety of lifestyles, Canada’s cheapest cities are a true haven for families, professionals, and retirees, newcomers immigrating to Canada alike.
Some main points:
- Many of the most budget-friendly cheapest cities in Canada are situated away from large urban population centers.
- The most affordable city in Canada is located in Quebec, which overall is the most cost-effective province in the country.
- A majority of the most economical cities in Canada boast an attractive housing market and exceptional rental rates.
Skip to any city ranked on our list of Canada’s Cheapest Cities:
Discover the Top Cheapest Cities in Canada: Unveiling the Best Destinations for Housing Affordability and Job Growth
1. Sept-Îles, Quebec
Situated along the attractive north shore of the Saint Lawrence Gulf, Sept-Îles is a charming town offering a serene lifestyle. Boasting a close-knit community of approximately 28,500 predominantly French-speaking residents, Sept-Îles is a scenic 8-hour drive from the bustling Quebec City.
As one of the cheapest cities in Canada, Sept-Îles enjoys a robust economy driven by metalworks, public services, and a flourishing cruise port. This coastal gem is the ideal destination for those seeking an affordable, tranquil living experience by the sea.
Average home price: $204,042
Property tax rate: 1.15% (below the national average)
2. Bécancour, Quebec
Located along the beautiful shores of the Saint Lawrence River, Bécancour is a vibrant industrial city with a small yet thriving population of around 12,500 residents. This economically dynamic community is home to numerous high-paying jobs within the aerospace and petroleum sectors.
Despite the impressive incomes of its inhabitants, Bécancour boasts remarkably affordable housing prices, making it one of the cheapest cities in Canada. The city is just a short 1 hour and a 45-minute drive from Montreal.
Average home price: $206,748
Property tax rate: 1.26% (below the national average)
3. Quesnel, British Columbia
Quesnel, a hidden gem in British Columbia, ranks among the cheapest cities to live in Canada. With its remarkably low average home prices, this enchanting town of approximately 12,000 residents offers an appealing prospect for young families seeking a safe and welcoming community. Nestled amidst the breathtaking natural beauty of the northern Rocky Mountains, Quesnel is a haven for skiing and mountaineering enthusiasts. The bustling city of Vancouver is just an 8-hour drive away from this budget-friendly sanctuary.
Average home price: $209,133
4. Cornwall, Ontario
Situated at the easternmost edge of Ontario, near the US and Quebec borders, Cornwall is a thriving small city with a population of fewer than 50,000 residents. This up-and-coming community has become increasingly attractive to young families, thanks to its low average real estate prices and overall cost of living. As one of the most affordable places in the country, Cornwall continues to be an economical alternative to larger cities in Ontario.
Average home price: $211,715
Property tax rate: 1.71% (below the national average)
5. Timmins, Ontario
Discover the tranquility of Timmins, a peaceful community in Northern Ontario with a population of around 42,000. Primarily driven by the mining industry, this town is situated approximately 8 hours from Toronto and boasts some of the lowest living costs, and is among one of the cheapest cities in Canada.
Average home price: $212,922
Property tax rate: 1.88% (below the national average)
6. Saint-Georges, Quebec
Embrace the charm of Saint-Georges, a French-speaking community just 3 hours from Montreal, with a population of roughly 31,000. As the largest city in Quebec’s Beauce region, Saint-Georges offers both affordability and significant economic potential. Renowned for its thriving manufacturing sector, the city presents ample job opportunities for those seeking work in the industry.
Average home price: $219,124
7. Rimouski, Quebec
Experience the innovation of Rimouski, a thriving city in Quebec with a population of nearly 47,000. Known for its excellence in marine research and conservation, Rimouski is gradually becoming a leading hub for science and engineering in the region. The city is located approximately 3 hours from Quebec City.
Average home price: $227,673
Property tax rate: 1.10% (below the national average)
8. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Discover the energy of Sault Ste. Marie, the third-largest city in Northern Ontario, with a population of over 73,000 residents. As a vital economic hub of Northern Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie has a bustling economy driven by the renewable energy and tourism industries.
Average home price: $238,013
Property tax rate: 1.64% (below the national average)
9. Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
Discover the charming city of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, an affordable and welcoming community with over 40,000 residents. Nestled along the Ontario border, this city boasts a predominantly French-speaking population, giving you an authentic cultural experience. Brush up on your French and immerse yourself in this vibrant, unilingual city.
Rouyn-Noranda is also famous for its thriving copper mining industry, adding a unique flair to the local economy. With an average home price of just $240,191, this city is an attractive option for those seeking affordable living without sacrificing the allure of a bustling town.
Average home price: $240,191
10. Sainte-Marie, Quebec
Welcome to Sainte-Marie, Quebec, one of the most picturesque and cheapest cities in Canada. This quaint town is home to approximately 13,000 residents who cherish the peaceful atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings. Located just 45 minutes from Quebec City, Sainte-Marie offers the best of both worlds: tranquility and easy access to a major urban center.
Situated along the breathtaking Chaudière River, Sainte-Marie’s charm is undeniable. With an average home price of only $243,980, you’ll find the perfect balance between beauty and budget-friendly living in this enchanting Canadian town.
Average home price: $243,980
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Most Cheapest Cities in Canada for Affordable Rental Markets and Less Expenses
1. Trois-Rivières, Québec
Welcome to Trois-Rivières, one of the cheapest cities in Canada for renters. Nestled in Québec, the most affordable province, this vibrant city of 140,000 offers a rich arts and culture scene. Trois-Rivières also ranks in the list of safest cities in Canada. With low average monthly expenses and rental costs, Trois-Rivières is an attractive option. Plus, you’re just a 2-hour drive from Montreal and Quebec City.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $670
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $560
2. Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
Experience the quaint, rural atmosphere of Lloydminster, a budget-friendly gem among Canada’s cheapest cities. Its low cost of living makes it perfect for those seeking an affordable lifestyle. Although the city’s 20,000 residents enjoy a quieter life, you’re conveniently situated between Edmonton and Saskatoon for the occasional urban adventure.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $695
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $750
3. Saint John, New Brunswick
Step into the historical charm of Saint John, New Brunswick, the oldest incorporated city in Canada and the province’s second-largest city. With a storied past rooted in maritime shipbuilding, today’s Saint John is home to around 70,000 people and is evolving into a regional technology and tourism hotspot. Experience the city’s unique blend of history and innovation while enjoying its budget-friendly living costs.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $698
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $873
4. Saguenay, Quebec
Find your affordable haven in Saguenay, Quebec, known for its breathtaking natural landscapes and world-renowned national park. Ideal for young professionals, the city boasts a population of 150,000, offering a lively atmosphere without the chaos of big-city life. Embrace the tranquility and budget-friendly living in Saguenay.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $756
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $500
5. Sherbrooke, Quebec
Get ready to be captivated by Sherbrooke, a vibrant student town offering a low cost of living and an easily accessible location. With a population of around 162,000, Sherbrooke provides a perfect blend of city excitement and cozy charm, making it an excellent choice for young renters in search of Canada’s cheapest cities. Sherbrrok is also one of the safest cities in Canada.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $788
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $613
6. New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Discover the charm of New Glasgow, a small town in Nova Scotia with a population of 9,000. Situated on the East River banks of Pictou, this idyllic town boasts picturesque marinas and a peaceful lifestyle. Its growing popularity as a retirement destination keeps rents and living costs low, making it an attractive choice.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $795
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $800
7. Kitchener, Ontario
Experience the lively atmosphere of Kitchener, a city of 233,222 located near Waterloo. Home to the largest music festival in Ontario, the KOI Music Festival, and the renowned University of Waterloo, Kitchener offers a dynamic experience for young renters searching for affordable living in Canada’s cheapest cities.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $819
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $1,642
8. Quebec City, Quebec
Immerse yourself in the historic charm of Québec City, the capital of Québec province and home to 705,103 residents. Known for its safety and UNESCO World Heritage Site status, Old Québec offers a unique, affordable living experience in Canada’s cheapest cities.
Quebec City is also one of the safest cities in Canada and is home to several safe and attractive residential areas that cater to different lifestyles.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $835
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $942
9. Kelowna, British Columbia
Although one of the pricier options on this list, Kelowna’s 153,000 residents can attest to its allure. As the third-largest metropolitan area in the region, Kelowna boasts a thriving service industry, making it a desirable destination for those seeking affordable living in Canada’s cheapest cities.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $856
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $1,731
10. Red Deer, Alberta
Give Red Deer a chance and let it surprise you with its diverse economy, including oil, cattle, and agriculture. Home to 108,000 residents, this city may lack a university but offers a unique urban experience for those seeking an affordable living in Canada’s cheapest cities.
Average Monthly Expenses (excluding rent): $861
Average Monthly Cost of 1-Bedroom in the City: $948
As demonstrated in our list, the most affordable and cheapest cities in Canada are often found in smaller towns rather than large urban centers. However, this doesn’t have to be a drawback. With a keen eye and some determination, you can uncover numerous work and economic opportunities even in the smallest of Canadian cities. Embrace the potential these budget-friendly locations offer and enjoy the unique advantages of living in these hidden gems!
Frequently Asked Question
What is the most affordable city in Canada?
The most affordable city in Canada is Sept-Îles, Quebec, with an average home price of $204,042 and a property tax rate of 1.15%, which is below the national average.
Which province in Canada is considered the most cost-effective?
Quebec is considered the most cost-effective province in the country, with several cities offering affordable housing, low property taxes, and overall low costs of living. Quebec also has the safest cities in Canada.
What factors were considered in selecting the top 20 cheapest cities in Canada?
Factors considered in selecting the top 20 cheapest cities in Canada include housing affordability, job growth, rental market affordability, and overall low cost of living.
Which cities are the cheapest in Canada for affordable rental markets and less expensive?
Some of the cheapest cities in Canada for affordable rental markets and fewer expenses include Trois-Rivières (Québec), Lloydminster (Saskatchewan), Saint John (New Brunswick), Saguenay (Quebec), and Sherbrooke (Quebec).
Are the cheapest cities in Canada mostly located in large urban centers or smaller towns?
The cheapest cities in Canada are mostly found in smaller towns rather than large urban centers, offering unique work and economic opportunities while maintaining budget-friendly living conditions.