If you can't afford rent in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, join the club. But, don't fret, millennials. New data from BMO's labour market third-quarter report card has revealed those cities might not even be where it's at when it comes to finding jobs and settling down.
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BMO ranked 33 Canadian cities by their job markets. Surprisingly, the top 10 markets in Canada happened to be in smaller, more affordable cities around the country. We did the math, and there's good news on the horizon for young Canadians getting pushed out of unaffordable big cities. Cheaper costs of living + booming job markets = millennial paradise.
Check out BMO's top 10 Canadian job markets in the country right now.
Abbotsford, British Colombia
The city of Abbotsford has a young median age of only 37 years old. Over half of the workforce there is in knowledge-based or trade-related industries. 60% of the workforce is under 44 years of age. You can rent in this city for as low as $937/month and their cost of living is 7.6 percent lower than the Canadian average. Abbotsford is one of the cheapest cities to live in in BC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is a hot spot for those in the information and communication technology industries. Other popular industries include agriculture, construction, fishing, and health care. Renting in this city can cost as little as $1,013/month. Monthly transit is over 46 percent cheaper in this city than in Toronto.
Booming industries in Peterborough include tourism, aerospace, manufacturing, agriculture, and water. You can rent a one bedroom apartment in this small city for as little as $800/month and the city's cost of living is 5.4 percent less than the national average.
Victoria, British Colombia
Victoria is desperately looking for skilled workers in 2018, specifically in the tech sector. If you're a techie looking for an affordable city, this is it. You can rent here for as little as $1,108/month and their gas right now is over 5 percent cheaper than it is in Vancouver.
Despite the city having an increase in the jobless rate, their economy continues to boom. London is the hub of a number of fast-growing Canadian companies, including video game developers as well as product manufacturers. Rent in this area can cost as little as $736/month and London's cost of living is 2.6 less than the national average.
At the end of 2017, the Kitchener-Waterloo area was named Canada's fastest growing market for tech talent. In the last five years, they have added more than 8,000 jobs to the region. Those talented in the tech field could move to the city for cheap monthly rent as low as $828/month and enjoy a cost of living that's 0.5 percent less than the Canadian average.
Residents in Sherbrooke have an average salary of nearly $50,000 per year. They have a diverse manufacturing industry, producing everything from machinery to furniture. A one bedroom apartment rental can cost you as little as $431/month in this small city. Sherbrooke's cost of living is a whopping 17.9 percent less than the national average.
In the Guelph area, manufacturing employs more people than any other local industry and they're currently looking for workers. Employers have stated finding qualified workers has been a struggle. If you are qualified, why not set up shop in this small Ontario city, where rent can run you as little as $801/month?! The cost of Internet services is over 9 percent cheaper in Guelph than Toronto.
Edmonton has seen some serious employment gains over the last while. Since July, the city has gained 7,600 more full and part-time positions. The growth was mostly seen in construction, public services, and administration sectors. Rent can be as cheap as $1,056/month in Edmonton and utilities are almost 24 percent cheaper here than they are in Calgary.
BMO's data found that Ottawa is the number one city in the country right now, based on their job market. Strong sectors include health care, education as well as government jobs. Cheap rentals in Ottawa can be as little as $929/month. Monthly transportation in this city is over 20 percent cheaper than Toronto.
So, there you have it - you don't need to break the bank to live in Canada's biggest cities when there are so many amazing options out there. On BMO's list, Montreal ranked 19th, Toronto ranked 16th and Vancouver ranked 15th for their job markets.
It sounds like our best bet as millennials is to get out of the big smokes and into the booming economies smaller cities have to offer. Cheap rent is just the cherry on top!
Sources: Numbeo, Nova Scotia Immigration, Times Colonist, Welcome Peterborough