If you’re trying to get ahead financially, it makes sense to move to a town with a low cost of living. However, if the average wages in that town are so low that you’re spending half your pay just to cover the rent and utilities, relocating might not be such a great idea after all. According to data from Numbeo, the popular cost-of-living database, Canada still has quite a few towns where you can live well for less while earning more. We’ve rounded up 14 Canadian towns with a low cost of living and high-paying jobs. Note: all numbers are in CAD and are subject to change over time.
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If you want to look for Government of Canada jobs that are in demand but can’t afford Ottawa prices, a great option is to look just across the river in Gatineau. Here a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre goes for an average of $1,272 per month, with an extra $105 for utilities. The average net salary in Gatineau is $3,098 per month, with jobs in sectors like manufacturing, IT and government.
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Castlegar, British Columbia
Castlegar is located in the Selkirk Mountains, where the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers meet in British Columbia’s West Kootenay region. Here, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the town centre is $1,725 on average, with an extra $222 for basic utilities. The average monthly net salary in this town – where the economy is based on forestry, mining and tourism — is $4,300.
See also: Top 20 cheapest cities to live in Canada.
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Welland is located about half an hour’s drive from both St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. The cost of living calculator in Canada shows the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in a city centre in Canada is $1,528 , while the average monthly net salary is $4,653. In Welland, however, a one-bedroom apartment in the town centre goes for an average of $1,000 a month, with an added $172 for basic utilities.
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Most of Canada’s major cities are quite expensive to live in, but Calgary is an exception. Here, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is still cheaper than the national average, at $1,350 a month, plus $218 for utilities. The average monthly net salary in Calgary is $5,149. Many companies have their Canadian corporate headquarters here, and Calgary is also one of the candidates to become Canada’s next tech hub.
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Toronto boasts some of the highest salaries in Canada, but it’s also one of the most expensive cities to live in. If you don’t mind commuting, however, you can earn Toronto money but live much more cheaply. In Whitby, some 55 km east of Toronto, the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the town centre is $1,835 (compared to $3,517 for a similar three-bedroom in Toronto), with an extra $250.0 for basic utilities.
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Calgary may be one of the best places to visit in July but if you can’t cope with the stampedes of the Stampede, you’ll be happy to be able to retreat to your space in Airdrie. Only some 30 km north of Calgary, Airdrie is a bedroom community of Alberta’s largest city. A one-bedroom apartment in the town centre will set you back $2,700 a month on average, with an added $207for basic utilities. The average monthly salary in Airdrie is $6,000.
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Located about 76 km from Toronto, Bowmanville is a good option if you want to work in the big city but live in a smaller town. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the town centre will cost you about $1,100 per month on average, with an additional $222 for basic utilities. You can also opt to work here, for instance at the new headquarters of Ontario Power Generation. The average net salary in Bowmanville is $4,922 after tax.
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Duncan, British Columbia
Duncan is Canada’s smallest city by area and lies about halfway between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Here, you can expect to pay $1,333 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre, with an extra $159 for utilities. The economy here relies heavily on tourism.
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St. Albert, Alberta
Immediately adjacent to Edmonton, St. Albert is perfect if you want an easy commute to work in the larger city. A one-bedroom apartment in St. Albert’s centre will set you back $1,200 on average to rent, with an additional $237 for basic utilities. The average monthly net salary here is $4,750 per month.
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Quebec is home to many of the cheapest cities to live in Canada — and the cost of housing is likely a big contributor to this. In Rimouski, you can expect to pay only $600 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre, with an added $92 for basic utilities. The main employers in this area are the health, maritime, transport and tourism industries.
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Cochrane lies some 18 km west of Calgary and makes for an easy escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Here, basic utilities will run you an average of $145 per month. The average monthly net salary is $5,806. Another good reason to live and work in Cochrane is that there is no business tax here.
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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
The Annapolis Valley is one of the best Canadian bike tours to ride and it is here that you’ll find the popular tourist town of Wolfville. A one-bedroom apartment in the town centre costs an average of $850 per month, with an added $175 for basic utilities. Acadia University and the tourism and wine industries some of the major employers in the area.
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Armstrong, British Columbia
In Armstrong’s town centre, you can get a one-bedroom apartment for an average of $1,250 per month, with an added $204 for basic utilities. This town in the North Okanagan is a good option if you want a rural lifestyle, with agriculture and tourism driving the local economy. The average monthly net salary here is $1,500.
Related: Must visit Canadian beaches.
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Prince George, British Columbia
Prince George is the largest city in northern British Columbia. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will set you back an average of $1,133 per month, with an additional $187 for basic utilities. The economy here is so diversified that you can look for work in anything from healthcare to call centres.