Living In Canada

How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Calgary?


Are you thinking about moving to Calgary or already living in this beautiful city and wondering how much money you need to live comfortably here? 

Well, you are not alone, understanding how much you need to survive in an area is essential before moving to the area.

A few years back, I moved to Manitoba, and thank goodness, it would have been a horrible experience for me if I had no idea about the cost of living in the province before moving.


Calgary is one of the most popular cities in Canada, known for its beautiful landscapes, bustling downtown core, and friendly people. 

It’s a city that offers a high quality of life (and plenty of opportunities), attracting people from all over the world. 

However, before packing up and making the move to the city, it’s important to have a good understanding of how much it costs to live here.

When it comes to living comfortably in Calgary, there are several factors to consider. 

From housing costs to transportation and food expenses, the cost of living can vary widely depending on your lifestyle and needs. 

That’s why it’s crucial to do your research and plan your budget accordingly.

To make an informed decision about your move, here is a look at what you should expect if you wish to live in this city.

Though living comfortably is subjective, it simply means having enough money to cover your basic needs, such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare, with some additional funds for leisure activities.

For a family of four, the average cost of living is around $7,500 per month, including rent.

  • Housing 

Housing is usually the biggest expense for most people, and it’s no different in Calgary. 

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the average price of a home in Calgary is $504,084 as of February 2023. 

This is up 3.3% from the same time last year. However, this is just the average price, and the cost can vary depending on the neighborhood and the type of home you’re looking for.

If you’re planning on renting, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1,300 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment in the same area can cost around $2,400 per month, according to RentCafe. 

Of course, this won’t be the same depending on the location, amenities, and other factors.

  • Transportation

Calgary has an extensive public transportation system, which includes buses and a light rail system called the CTrain. 

A monthly pass for the CTrain costs around $106, while a single fare is $3.60. If you prefer to drive, you should factor in the cost of gas, which is around $1.10 per liter, as well as the cost of insurance and maintenance for your vehicle.

  • Groceries 

On groceries, Calgary has several different grocery stores to choose from, including Safeway, Co-op, and Superstore. 

The cost of groceries in Calgary is about 14% higher than the national average. 

However, this can vary depending on your dietary preferences and where you shop. Other expenses to consider include utilities,

  • Utilities

The cost of utilities in Calgary can vary depending on the size of your home, your usage, and the time of year. 

If you live in a big house, you’ll pay higher than those in a smaller apartment.

According to the City of Calgary, the average monthly cost for utilities for a single-family home is $205.15, while a condo or apartment averages $112.11 per month. 

This includes water, sewage, waste, and recycling services, electricity, and natural gas are also included which can be quite expensive during the colder months. 

According to ATCO, a major utility provider in Calgary, the average monthly cost of electricity during the winter months (December to March) is $99.84, while the average monthly cost of natural gas is $103.69. 

Don’t forget that these costs can vary depending on your usage.

  • Internet Services

In today’s digital age, internet services are essential for most people. If you want to live comfortably in Canada, you need the internet.

The cost of internet services in Calgary can vary depending on the provider and the type of plan you choose.

The two major internet providers in Calgary are Shaw and Telus. Shaw’s internet plans start at $50 per month for their “Value” plan, which offers download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. 

Their most expensive plan, the “Total” plan, costs $120 per month and offers download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. 

Telus offers similar plans, with prices starting at $45 per month for their “Fibre 25” plan (download speeds of up to 25 Mbps) and going up to $150 per month for their “PureFibre Gigabit” plan (download speeds of up to 940 Mbps).

The plan you choose will determine how much you pay monthly.

  • Light

The cost of light, or electricity, is included in your monthly utility bill. As mentioned earlier, the average monthly cost of electricity during the winter months in Calgary is $99.84, according to ATCO. 

  • Leisure

Calgary has plenty of leisure activities to offer, from visiting the Calgary Zoo to taking a stroll through Prince’s Island Park. 

The cost of these activities can vary, but here are a few examples:

  • The Calgary Zoo: General admission for adults is $29.95, while admission for children (ages 3-15) is $19.95. Seniors (65+) can get in for $27.95, and children under 2 are free.
  • Prince’s Island Park: Admission is free, and the park is open year-round.
  • Calgary Tower: General admission is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (65+), and $9 for children (ages 4-12). Children under 4 are free.

In addition to visiting the parks and zoos, there are plenty of free events and activities in Calgary throughout the year that you can attend, such as the Calgary Stampede and various festivals.

Aside from the necessary expenses you’ll be making monthly, it’s important to note that how much you need to live comfortably in Calgary will also be affected by your lifestyle.

Is it expensive to live in Calgary?

Calgary is not expensive to live in, when you compare the city to other major cities in Canada, such as Toronto or Vancouver, Calgary can be seen as more affordable.

Utilities and other daily expenses, such as groceries and transportation can add up quickly in Calgary. 

However, there are also plenty of free or low-cost activities and events in Calgary that can help you save money while still enjoying everything the city has to offer.

What wage do you need to live in Calgary?

The wage you need to live in Calgary depends on several factors, such as your lifestyle, housing needs, and family size.

If you are a single person, you’ll be just fine with a $2000 per month wage, if you’re a family, you will need a higher wage to live in Calgary.

Is Calgary expensive to rent?

It is not expensive to rent in Calgary however, the price of rent varies depending on where you live. Rent is higher in the city center than in other areas.

How much does it cost to live in an apartment in Calgary?

The cost of living in an apartment in Calgary as of 2021 is $1,200 to $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment while a two-bedroom apartment costs around $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

However, the rent can be significantly higher or lower depending on the neighborhood and the age and condition of the building. 

Other factors that can affect the cost of living in an apartment in Calgary include utilities (electricity, gas, water, internet, etc.), transportation costs, and food expenses. 


Calgary is a nice city in Alberta, Canada, with a population of over 1.3 million people. It is known for its beautiful scenery, diverse economy, and high quality of life. 

It’s a great place to live, work, and play, but like any other city, the cost of living can get high, especially for low-income earners.

Therefore, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to the cost of utilities, housing, internet services, light, and leisure before deciding to live here.


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