Torontonians Revealed What A Comfortable Salary In The City Is & It Might Be Time To Move
Low six-figures just isn't cutting it anymore 💰.
With the high cost of living in Canada these days, a bigger salary can't come soon enough for many people who just want day-to-day life to be a bit more comfortable.
So what exactly does it take to live comfortably these days?
We took that question to our Facebook page and asked the Narcity audience, "What salary do you need to make in order to 'comfortably' live in Toronto right now?"
To our surprise, not only did the question receive hundreds of reactions and nearly one thousand responses, but the numbers people were throwing around are enough to make you want to move out of one of Canada's most expensive cities and opt for something a bit more affordable.
But before we dive in, let's establish the baseline.
The minimum wage in Ontario is currently $15.50 per hour. It is set to rise by $1.05, or 6.8%, to $16.55 as of October 1, 2023. Roughly 500,000 workers in Ontario currently earn the minimum wage, which accounts for about 7% of the province's overall workforce, according to TVO.
Meanwhile, the average salary in Toronto is $71,000 per year, according to payscale.
Sandwiched right in the middle of these two numbers is Ontario's latest living wage report, which suggests people living in the Greater Toronto Area need to make at least $23.15 an hour to afford a "basic" life.
So, keep these numbers in mind as we comb through what salary Torontonians feel would allow them to live "comfortably" in the city right now.
What is a comfortable salary in Toronto?
For starters, most people who weighed in admitted the answer heavily depends on someone's personal situation. Are you single? Do you have a family?
Do you rent an apartment or own a home? Do you have a car or opt to take public transit to get around?
Still, no matter the situation you may find yourself in, the responses made one thing crystal clear — a six-figure salary in Toronto is barely enough for most people to get by these days.
"100k and living a minimalist lifestyle," Mestre commented, while Mari chimed in to share what they believe to be the difference between living with the basics and being a bit more comfortable.
"100k a year minimalist lifestyle [and[ 225k a year comfortable lifestyle!" they wrote.
The six-figure debate was brought up by several others, including Arafat, who referred to a $100,000 salary as the "minimum" it would take to live comfortably in Toronto right now.
But, the data and the comments on this post show despite these feelings, many people are making it work with much less.
"I make around 60 to 70k and I can only afford a room at this point," Leeann shared.
"If you never hope to buy a house or even a car, you can live off 60k," Ilya added. "If [you have] any hopes and dreams…100k minimum."
Another person debating the need for a salary close to or above the $100,000 mark said for anyone with a family, "Best to move out of the city."
Is 100k a good salary in Toronto?
It wasn't too long ago that making $100,000 was a goal that would leave many Canadians feeling like they had 'made it.'
We even have the Ontario Sunshine List that reveals all the public sector employees in the province who make that much, but nowadays, many people consider the list and the six-figure salary benchmark to be outdated.
One response to our social media post may have hit the nail on the head.
"250k is the new 100k," Aaron wrote.
A salary that high might be outrageous or seem unattainable for some, but many people agreed with the sentiment, sharing they felt a comfortable salary in Toronto right now would be somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000 a year.
"I would say about 20k a month to live comfortably," Zeshan wrote, while Bryan agreed with the take on what would be a $240,000 annual salary.
"I was going to say the same," Bryan commented. "Toronto is one of those places where the objectively rich can still feel relatively poor."
And if you do happen to make this much, you also have to think about taxes.
"Remember more than half is going in taxes," someone else said about earning a $250,000 salary. As an example, someone making $250,000 annually in Ontario would lose $101,735 or 40.7% of their salary to taxes. Ouch.
Gord joked in order to live comfortably in Toronto, you "need to play on the Maple Leafs 🤣."
Maybe it's time to start doing some research on some of Canada's highest paying jobs.
What is a good salary to live comfortably in Canada?
Looking outside of Toronto and around the rest of Canada, the high cost of living has a lot of people struggling with affordability no matter what province they call home.
In response to our question about living comfortably in the 6ix, Anne said, "Nevermind Toronto....EVERYWHERE!"
"I'm an hour away from Toronto and you need to make 150k to 200k to live comfortably," Crystal commented.
Another person referenced the Alberta is Calling campaign that has attempted to attract Ontarians to move out west in their search for more affordable housing.
But, as one TikToker recently shared, the cost of living in Calgary isn't treating her much better.
"‘Comfortably’ sounds like royalty now," Manasa wrote. "With the salary we get we can barely scrap through necessities."
The cost of living is most commonly blamed on government officials and politicians, and another person suggested looking at the salary of an MP.
"That's how they measure the cost of living," Samuel wrote.
If that has you curious at all, MPs (know as members of the House of Commons) make a base salary of $189,500 and can make more is they hold positions as cabinet ministers of leaders of the opposition.
So, if you go based off the Torontonians we asked, a comfortably salary in Toronto is somewhere between $150,000 and $300,000 a year, depending on the person.
Unfortunately, earning that much is no easy task and, according to moneygenuis.ca, only about 11% of Canadians make more than $100,000 a year.
Sorry to be the bearer of more bad money news.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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