10 Canadian Cities With High Salaries & Low Costs Of Living To Move To ASAP

Spoiler alert: A bunch are actually in Ontario!

Quebec City. Right: Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Quebec City. Right: Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

If you've ever considered moving to another part of Canada, a low cost of living and high average income might be some of the factors on your radar.

But, it's not often that those two metrics come together in a meaningful way for those looking for the best place to live in Canada.

However, there actually are a number of Canadian cities that have both a low cost of living and a good median salary for individuals. Sounds like the dream, right?

To calculate this, Narcity looked at the cost of living calculated by Numbeo, which gives cities a number that represents a percentage of the cost of living in New York City.

So, a city with a ranking of 50 would mean it has a cost of living that is 50% of New York's. The lower the figure, the better.

This was then compared with the median individual income in 2020, as calculated by Statistics Canada, providing a good picture of which places have a good ratio of these two data points.

So, here are 10 cities in Canada that have high median incomes and a low cost of living — places you should consider moving to ASAP.


The capital of Canada is in the bottom 20 cities when it comes to the cost of living, but it actually has one of the highest median incomes.

In 2020, Ottawa had an individual median income of $50,000 with a cost of living index of around 65.

So, you might be pretty well off with a move to this Ontario city.


Next up on the list is Regina. Although it had a median income of just $46,400, it also has the lowest cost of living figure for all of Canada – 59.11.

While residents here aren't earning as much as people in other cities, the low cost of living helps to make life feel much more affordable.

Quebec City

Quebec City comes third, where residents earn $44,400 on average. The cost of living is pretty low here compared with other places in Canada too, scoring 59.66 per Numbeo.

Of course, there are other draws to living in Quebec City, including its historic downtown area and winter carnival.

Just make sure you brush up on your French if you're planning a move!


Next up is the smaller city of Guelph, Ontario, located just a few hours outside of the metropolis of Toronto.

It has a median income of $44,400 and a cost of living index of 65.38. Not too shabby!

Other major draws to this city are its prominent university and overall chilled-out vibe.


With the province's most recent push to draw in Canadians from bigger cities like Vancouver or Toronto, it seems Calgary wouldn't be that bad of an option for outsiders.

With a median income of $44,400 and a cost of living index of 66.32, it definitely seems enticing from a financial standpoint.


This city is more than just the "Waterfall Capital of the World," it's also an affordable place to live when you consider median income and the general cost of living.

In 2020, the average income for residents of Hamilton was $44,400, whereas the cost of living index is rated 66.34.


You can do a lot worse than living in Edmonton, Alberta's capital city.

With a median income of $44,000 and a cost of living index of 66.64, it doesn't quite have Calgary beat, but it's pretty darn close.


The second Saskatchewan city to make the list, Saskatoon promises a relatively affordable lifestyle for those who move there.

This major Prairie city boasts a median income of $43,200 for individuals in 2020 and a cost of living index of 61.60 — one of the lowest in the country.

Red Deer

Nestled between Calgary and Edmonton is the city of Red Deer, Alberta.

It has some stunning Prairie vistas, as well as a median income of $42,800.

Couple that with a cost of living index of 60.79, and you've got a pretty affordable place to live.


More good news for Ontarians. Kingston has a median income of $41,600, which is not too bad, especially considering the cost of living index of 61.19.

It seems like an excellent place to make your abode, with a historic downtown and a prominent university.

Hopefully, with these figures, you can consider if you'd be better off packing your bags and relocating somewhere a bit more wallet-friendly.

Or, if you already live in one of these cities, perhaps you can feel a little bit better about your home!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.