Ontario second most expensive province in Canada, with food, home repairs and furniture most costly
Published November 13, 2023 at 12:53 pm
If you live in Ontario, you aren’t only paying more than the Canadian average for housing; you’re also paying more for fruit and vegetables, home repairs and furniture.
According to a recent study conducted by Westland Insurance, Ontario came in second on the list of Canada’s most expensive provinces, just behind British Columbia.
Westland says the study considered 55 contributing factors sourced from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Real Estate Association. Each factor was sorted into seven categories (income, property prices, rent, bills, food, transport, health and personal care and other lifestyle costs) and assigned a score of ten.
Each score was weighted and indexed to produce a total score out of 100, resulting in the final ranking.
Ontario scored 71 out of 100, with the median price of a home in the province coming in at $931,870–more than $400,000 over the Canadian average of $490,520. The high house prices, which have soared since the early 2000s, make it harder for first-time buyers to enter the market.
While that price is high, it’s not as staggering as what buyers in B.C. are looking at, with the median price in that province sitting at $996,460.
According to the study, Ontario ranks most expensive for three factors: fruit and vegetables, home repairs, and furniture.
Over two-fifths (44 per cent) of other factors rank in the top three, including larger purchases such as renting and purchasing property, buying a car, and household appliances. Renters across the province are certainly feeling the pinch. According to a recent National Rent Report, the average asking rent hit $2,492 in October.
B.C. was ranked the most expensive province in Canada, ranking third most expensive or higher for almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of all factors and the most expensive for a quarter (21 per cent) of them, including buying and renting property, a plane ticket, public transportation, dental services, health care, clothing, and hotel accommodation, among others.
Alberta is the third most expensive. According to the study, Albertans pay some of the highest costs for childcare, water, fuel, electricity, parking, restaurants and groceries. Following Alberta is Manitoba, a province where the average home price is below the Canadian average and sits at $360,373. People in the province tend to pay more for parking, children’s toys and some foods, including cereal and fruit.
Saskatchewa residents pay less for housing (about $303,261) but more for groceries, gas, vehicle maintenance, childcare and pets. That said, residents pay less when buying and leasing cars, as well as for internet access, furniture and household utility bills such as water, fuel and electricity.
Nova Scotia ranks sixth, with house prices sitting at a median of $411,784. Residents in the province pay less for food, health and personal care items and dental care. New Brunswick comes in seventh, boasting the most affordable housing ($289,786). Residents spend less on airfare, public transportation, rent, alcohol, haircare, and school supplies. However, the study notes that gas and electricity costs are some of the most expensive in the nation.
Quebec ranks eighth. The study says that while the median house price is $483,573 (in line with the Canadian average), health and personal care expenses are particularly high, with over half (57 per cent) ranking third most expensive or higher. Living costs such as rent, utility bills, alcohol, and household appliances rank among the top three most expensive.
That said, the study notes that residents save on pet expenses, internet access, gas, public transportation and air travel.
Prince Edward Island ranks second cheapest with an average house price of $388,844. Residents also spend less on food, personal care services and dental care. That said, people in PEI tend to pay more for vehicles, gas, internet and pets.
Newfoundland and Labrador has the cheapest cost of living in Canada, with a median house price of $291,807–two-fifths below the national average. Residents also pay less for childcare, pets, rent, eye care, dental services, car buying, and restaurants. Things that cost more in the province include bakery and meat products and utility bills.
“Data from Statistics Canada shows that British Columbia has the highest cost of living in Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest. It’s clear that the two most expensive provinces have exceptionally high house prices, but general living costs tend to be higher, too,” a Westland spokesperson said in a statement.
“British Columbia ranked among the top three most expensive provinces in every category, except accommodation, bills, and utilities expenses, where it placed fourth. Newfoundland and Labrador’s data paints the exact opposite picture. Of the seven categories analyzed, Newfoundland and Labrador’s expenses ranked among the cheapest three, except for accommodation, bills, and utilities. With remote working becoming increasingly popular, enabling more job opportunities outside of metropolitan areas, this province may be the easiest way to get on the property ladder to enjoy comparatively lower living costs while saving to buy”.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising