Before You Arrive

Cost of Living in Toronto

Budget Considerations

There are several areas that you will have to think about to understand how much it will cost to live in Toronto. There are six main areas of financial expenses. You should see if they apply to your situation and how you can put them into your monthly or yearly budget.

  • Proof of Funds
  • Food Costs
  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Transportation
  • Job Search

Proof of Funds

The government of Canada expects you to be financially independent when you arrive in Canada. One of the most important things they will be looking for is your ability to financially support your family members.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides information telling you how much you should expect to spend on your family each year.  If you have not arranged for employment here in Canada, you will have to prove that you have specific amounts of money saved.

Number of Family MembersFunds Required (in Canadian dollars)
1 $10,833
2 $13,486
3 $16,586
4 $20,130
5 $22,831
6 $25,749
7 or more $28,668

More information:

Citizenship & Immigration Canada – Proof of funds

Health care

The Ontario government provides free health insurance to residents of this province but you will not be eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan benefits until you have been here three months. That's why it is recommended that you buy private health-care coverage. For example, pregnancy-related costs may not be covered. So, make sure that the plan you choose suits your needs. For some companies, you might have to buy insurance within a certain number of days after arriving in Ontario.

These private insurance companies have individual health insurance for new immigrants and people who do not have OHIP:

  • Blue Cross - 1-866-732-2583 (For calls outside Canada, call collect 514-286-8411)
  • ETFS - 1-800-267-8834 (For calls outside Canada, call collect 819-566-8839)
  • TIC - 1-800-670-4426 (For calls outside Canada, call collect 416-340-0049)

*This list comes from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) and is provided as an information service only. We do not recommend or endorse any particular company.

To find other insurance companies, you can browse CLHIA's membership or look in the Yellow Pages.

Job Search

When you apply for a job in Canada you may need a resume and a cover. Especially within the professional levels of employment, both of these items are expected. Your application will not be taken seriously if you don’t have a resume and cover letter. There are many agencies that can help you write them for free.

You can also so hire a professional resume writer to do it for you. The fees for these services depend on the writer you hire but here are the price ranges you can expect

Resume writing $150 - $500
Cover letter $75 - $100

Food Costs

A family of four

The average weekly cost for food for a family of four in Toronto is $136.28 ($590.09 per month average). These amounts are based on the province of Ontario's 2008 Nutritious Food Basket. Included in these figures are 66 items from the four food groups recommended in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Living.

There are many different types of fruits and vegetables available in Canada. Some may be different from what you are used to but they are still very good to eat. Toronto Public Health provides a listing of fruits and vegetables available in our city. Quite often in the grocery stores you will find a section called "produce". This is where the fruits and vegetables are sold.