Cost of Living in Ontario vs Quebec : A Comprehensive Guide

cost of living in ontario vs quebec

There are several factors to consider when choosing your city of residence in Canada. You would want to live in a city that offers competitive salaries in your line of work. Another essential factor to consider is if you currently earn enough to live in any of the cities you’re considering. Ontario and Quebec are two of Canada’s finest cities. Quebec is the capital of la belle province and is filled with historical places to visit. The city has one of the lowest crime rates in North America and was also named the safest metropolitan area in Canada to raise kids. So, what is the cost of living in Ontario vs Quebec?

Cost of living: Ontario vs Quebec 

Ontario is bordered by the US to the south and Quebec to the east. It’s home to big metropolitan cities and small, quieter ones. Two of Canada’s biggest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, the country’s capital city, are in Ontario. In Ontario’s northern region are Chatham-Kent, Cornwall, and Belleville. And all three are away from the hassle of the megacities. But what’s the cost of living in Ontario and Quebec like in comparison? The cost of living in Ontario vs Quebec depends on a lot of factors including accommodation, transportation, food and health care. Keep reading to learn the expenses for each of these cities.

Cost of living in Ontario

With a large student population, the cost of living in Ontario varies in range. Below, we cover the costs of accommodation, food, transportation, and healthcare.

  • Accommodation costs in Ontario

Short term stay

Accommodation Type Price Range Per Night (CAD)
Hotels 96 to 120
Bed and Breakfast stay 50 to 150
Hostel 35 to 90


Long term stay 

Accommodation Type Price Range (CAD)
Homestay 600 to 1,100/month
Rented Apartment 600 to 2,000/month
Residence/Dormitory 3,000 to 7,500/year


  • Food expenses in Ontario

Below is a typical overall estimate of what a household living in Ontario consumes. 


Estimates Rates
Alcoholic beverages 1,994 (monthly)
Grocery (vegetables and fruits) 95 (per kg)
Milk 2.31 (per litre)
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 9,198 (monthly)
Mid-Range Restaurant 65 (three-course meal)
Water 1.68 (0.33-liter bottle)


  • Transportation charges in Ontario


Mode of Transport Adult Charges (CAD)
Monthly Metropass 146
Weekly Pass 43.75
Self–Driven Vehicle 8,500 to 13,000 per year
Downtown Express 3.25 cash or token or Monthly Express Sticker for 43.00
PRESTO (Electronic Payment Card) 3.00
Tokens and Tickets 9.00 (Minimum 3 tokens)
Single fare purchase – Cash 3.25


Healthcare plan in Ontario

Canada’s free health care system is one of the country’s main attractions. The free health care system means you won’t pay any direct fee before seeing a doctor. Canada’s tax system funds the no-cost health care system. According to the 2019 data, to maintain the no-cost health care system, the average person pays about CA$ 7,068 each year. This might seem on the high side for foreigners, but Canadians see it as fair for the quality of health care they’re getting. 

However, note that only Canadians and permanent residents have access to Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Health care in Canada works differently for foreign nationals. If you’re moving to Ontario in Canada as a student or non-resident, you would have to budget for a public healthcare plan or University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). 

Cost of living in Quebec

Here are the projected costs of living in Quebec

  • Accommodation costs in Quebec

Short term stay 

Accommodation Type Price Range (CAD)/per night
Hotels 60 to 220
Hostel 15 to 30
Bed and Breakfast stay 30 to 120 


Long term stay


Accommodation Type Price Range (CAD)
Rented Apartment 500 to 1,500 per month
Residence/Dormitory 2,000 to 6,000 per year
Homestay 450 to 900 per month


  • Food expenses in Quebec 


Food Articles Rates (CAD)
A loaf of Bread 3.44
Mid-range restaurants (for two people) 60
Milk 2.30/ Liter
Non-alcoholic beverages 1.88 (0.33-liter bottle)
Water 2.15 (0.5-liter bottle)
Alcoholic beverages 24
Grocery (vegetables, fruits, eggs, rice, cheese, chicken, beef) 68 – 70 (per kg)


  • Transportation charges in Quebec


Mode of Transport – Bus Adult Charges (CAD)
One-Way Ticket (Bus) 3.38
Taxi 3.45
Monthly Pass 86.50


  • Healthcare costs in Quebec

Medical care is covered by the plan administered by Quebec’s health insurance board (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec/RAMQ). It is available across the province of Quebec, and all residents are eligible for the plan. To get it, residents have to register with the RAMQ. Then wait for three months, what’s known as the waiting period.  This plan does not cover treatments like plastic surgery. But it covers other surgeries, vasectomies, urine and blood glucose tests, medical exams, anaesthetic agents, etc. 

International students have options like CEGEP’s Group Health and Hospitalization Insurance Plan. The insurance plan costs CAD 936 and covers dental care, anaesthetic, HIV, Hospital expenses, Renal Dialysis, psychiatry, etc. 

Is it cheaper to live in Ontario or Quebec?

Whether you choose to move to Ontario or Quebec depends on what’s most important to you. For instance, you might have family or friends you want to be closer to.  Also, it could depend on where your workplace or school is located. Consider your priorities and choose which one has the better benefit in the long run.

Are you looking to study, live or work in Canada? Maple Education Canada can assist you in making the best decision that aligns with your immigration goals. Learn more about our immigration consultancy services.

Also read: How much does it cost to relocate to Canada?

Share this Post

Leave a Reply