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Country Facts about Canada

What You Should Know about Living Costs and More in Canada

Canada’s country facts and everything else you need to know about the Great White North is covered in this section: from practical information, cost of living, driving in Canada, public transportation in Canada, and more.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats ourselves, we understand what you need, and offer the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to jump start your move abroad!

If you are ready to take the plunge and move to the Great White North, you will need to figure out how much you need to budget and what your average day to day spending will be like. This section will go over the cost of living in Canada, which includes the average cost of living in various cities and regions.

This section also provides practical information on driving in Canada, public transportation, public holidays, main airports, embassies, communication information such as emergency numbers, and more.

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Practical Information

Here are some useful information and resources that you may want to have handy when moving to Canada.

Emergency Numbers

If you have an emergency in Canada, dial 911. This will connect you with the police, fire, and ambulance services. It can be used from landlines, phone booths, and mobile phones.

Non-emergency services can be reached by calling 311 in some areas and most major cities. 

Public Holidays

Canada has ten national holidays:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Good Friday – March or April
  • Easter Monday – March or April
  • Victoria Day – Monday before May 25
  • Canada Day – July 1
  • Labor Day – First Monday of September
  • Thanksgiving – Second Monday of October
  • Remembrance Day – November 11
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Boxing Day – December 26

There are also provincial holidays such as Family Day on the third Monday of February, which is observed locally in some provinces: Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia, where it is celebrated on the second Monday of February.   

Main Embassies

There are several embassies and consulates found across the country in Canada’s main cities. Just in Canada’s capital there are 129 embassies and high commissions.

Many people moving to Canada come from the following countries. These are their respective embassies and high commissions:

Main Airports

These are the top four busiest airports by passenger traffic across the country:

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Cost of Living

The average cost of living in Canada varies depending on the city, province, region, lifestyle, and family size. If you are a working expat moving to Canada, make sure you take into consideration how much you will be earning since salaries vary across Canada depending on your job title and your location. This will be a significant factor to consider when deciding on what your lifestyle will be like here in Canada. Visit our Working section to learn more about salaries in Canada.

Here is a look at the average cost of living across popular expat destinations in the country.

Cost of Living in Canada by Cities

City Average Cost of Living (CAD) Average Cost of Living (USD)
Toronto 45,380 33,880
Calgary 33,855 25,276
Ottawa 33,420 24,950
Québec City 25,375 18,945
Edmonton 32,600 24,340
Vancouver 40,680 30,400
Montréal 28,625 21,390
Winnipeg 28,060 20,970
Victoria 34,725 25,940
Halifax 31,210 23,320

 

Is it Expensive to Live in Canada?

It can be moderately expensive to live in Canada. Household expenses, for example, can take up half of your take-home pay. This includes things like housing, utilities, food, clothing, health insurance, and transportation. Whether you are paying a mortgage or renting, the costliest expense in Canada is typically housing and utilities. Rent prices vary depending on the type of house you have and the location. It is best to do your research and compare different cities and neighborhoods. For more information on housing in Canada and rent prices, read our Housing section.

Most Expensive and Cheapest Cities

Among Canada’s most expensive cities are Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria, Calgary, and Hamilton-Burlington. Some of Canada’s most affordable cities are Moncton, Windsor-Essex, Saint John, Thunder Bay, and Lethbridge.

Living Expenses in Canada

Costs in Canada include things like healthcare, education, travel and transport, utilities, housing, food, and more.

As covered in our healthcare section, Canada’s universal healthcare system is paid for by taxpayers with the average person paying 6,000 CAD (4,479 USD) per year to maintain their free public healthcare. In this way, healthcare costs such as labor and delivery costs, doctor’s visits, and check-ups are free. However, it is important to note that Canada’s free healthcare system is only available to Canadian permanent residents and citizens. Therefore, newly landed expats will have to make sure they have some sort of international medical coverage and private health insurance while in Canada.

Public elementary through secondary school is free in Canada and offers quality education to its students. Out of pocket costs could be extra school-related things like field trips, school supplies, extracurricular activity fees, and uniforms (if required).

There is a cost for preschool, daycare, and childcare as the majority of these institutions are private. With regards to the cost of living, in provinces like Alberta and British Columbia, childcare can cost an average of 40 CAD (30 USD) per child, or 57 CAD (43 USD) per day.

If you wish to enroll your child in private school, it can cost anywhere between 4,000 CAD (2,987 USD) to 26,000 CAD (19,413 USD).

If your child wishes to pursue post-secondary education, tuition fees will apply. Canadian universities are cheaper than US, UK, and Australian schools, but more expensive than higher education in most European countries. Average undergraduate tuition fees per year for international students are 27,159 CAD (20,280 USD). Postgraduate international students can expect to pay an average of 16,497 CAD (12,318 USD).

International schools can also be pricey. In Toronto, for example, the average price of an international school is 1,977 CAD (1,476 USD) per month.

If you require language school training, this will also cost you, unless you are part of the government-funded program which offers free language classes for permanent residents. However, the price will vary depending on your level, the type, and length of the class. For example, a two-week English course can cost a student anywhere between 604 to 873 CAD (451-652 USD).

Learn more about the cost of education in our Education section.

The cost of utilities varies by province. In Ontario, for example, residents pay some of the highest rates for electricity. For water, sewer, and garbage, a house with one occupant will be an average annual cost of 694 CAD (518 USD); two occupants will pay 1,107 CAD (826 USD); a family of three will pay 1,521 CAD (1,135 USD), and four people in a home will pay an average of 1,935 CAD (1,446 USD) for these services.

Internet, cell phone, and television bills are costly in Canada. In fact, for many expats, this can be one of the biggest surprises since the prices are a lot higher than what they may have paid back home. Many service providers do offer bundle packages with all of these services, but still, be prepared to pay well over 100 CAD (75 USD) a month for these entertainment luxuries.

Rent prices in Canada vary across the country depending on what city and province you live in. Across the country, the average rental price for a one-bedroom in the city center is 1,205 CAD (900 USD) and 980 CAD (732 USD) if outside the city center. For more information on this, read our Housing section.

Average rent prices for a one-bedroom in some of Canada’s main cities are as follows:

City Median Monthly Rent (CAD) Median Monthly Rent (USD)
Toronto 2,270 1,700
Vancouver 2,080 1,550
Burnaby 1,570 1,170
Montréal 1,500 1,120
Victoria 1,390 1,040
Kelowna 1,340 1,000
Barrie 1,330 990
Ottawa 1,250 930
Oshawa 1,200 900
Hamilton 1,120 770
London 990 740
Edmonton 950 710
Regina 890 665
Québec 880 660

 

Buying a house in Canada is also an option. While the price of houses varies across the country depending on the city and province, the average cost for buying a home in Canada is 495,000 CAD (369,619 USD). Note that if you plan on buying a house in Ontario, you may be subject to a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax on any property purchased, with interest.

Here is a look at average prices for purchasing property in Canada, by province and major city:

City Average House Cost (CAD) Average House Cost (USD)
Vancouver 1,092,000 821,555
Toronto 766,000 576,290
Calgary 431,000 324,260
Ottawa 382,000 287,395
Montreal 341,000 256,550
Halifax 316,000 237,700
Regina 276,000 210,120
Fredericton 173,000 130,130

 

Province Average House Cost (CAD) Average House Cost (USD)
British Columbia 730,000 549,110
Ontario 578,000 434,780
Alberta 387,000 291,170
Québec 297,000 223,450
Manitoba 296,000 222,700
Saskatchewan 288,000 216,680
Nova Scotia 249,000 187,340
Newfoundland and Labrador 246,000 185,030
Prince Edward Island 230,000 173,045
New Brunswick 178,000 133,920

 

If you need a short-term rental when you first arrive, here is what the average range for hotels and other types of short-term accommodations are:

Accommodation Cost per night (CAD) Cost per night (USD)
Christian Establishments 24-45 18-34
Bed-and-Breakfast 35-105 26-79
Hotels/Motels 45-250 34-188

 

Other average prices and ranges for typical expenses in Canada such as restaurant costs and Canadian food and alcohol prices:

Grocery Prices
Average Cost (CAD) Average Cost (USD)
Milk (1l) 1-4 1-3
White bread (500 g) 2-4 1-3
White rice (1kg) 2-6 1-4
A dozen eggs 3-5 2-4
Local cheese (1kg) 7-23 5-17
Chicken breasts (1kg) 9-20 6-15
Beef (1kg) 9-22 6-16
Cigarettes (1 pack) 12-16 9-12

 

Eating Out
  Average Cost (CAD) Average Cost (USD)
Meal(cheap restaurant) 12–21 9-16
Meal for two (mid-range) 50–83 37-62
Domestic beer (0.5l) 5–8 4-6
Imported beer (0.33 l) 6–9 4-7

 

Travel and Transportation
Average Cost (CAD) Average Cost (USD)
One-way ticket local 3-4 2-3
Monthly pass 77-125 57-93
Taxi start 3-5 2-4
Taxi one km 2-3 1-2
Taxi one hour 27-45 20-34
Gasoline (1l) 1-2 1

 

Monthly Utility Costs
Average Cost (CAD) Average Cost (USD)
Basic (electricity, gas, water) 75-250 56-187
Internet 50-100 37-75
Cell phone bill 25-210 19-157

Culture and Social Etiquette

To avoid awkward social situations in Canada or cultural mishaps and faux pas, it is essential to understand Canadian customs and etiquette beforehand. This sub-section will briefly go over Canadian culture and what is expected of you when it comes to dining, tipping, riding public transport, and other day-to-day activities.

Culture

Canadian culture values honesty, sensitivity, empathy, and humility in their relationships both with friends and strangers. Canada can be described as an egalitarian country, meaning everyone is equal. Hierarchy is not so important in Canada, and Canadians are individualistic people. In fact, Canadian children are raised from a very young age to be very independent. Many kids are confident enough to speak to teachers and other adults in the same casual manner they might talk with friends. Canadians are known for being polite and overall very nice. They are friendly, unpretentious people. Take this into consideration when living there.

Introductions

When meeting someone for the first time, make eye contact and shake hands with your right hand. In Québec, they may kiss you on the cheek. Older men might even kiss a woman’s hand. If you are a woman, accept this graciously, but if you are a foreign man, do not do this to a Québécois woman as they may find it strange. It is polite to refer to people as “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, “Madame”, or “Monsieur” until invited to use first names.

The Basics

It is polite to hold the door open for someone, not interrupt when others are speaking (although Francophones are likely to do this), and let people off of the elevator first. Remember to say “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome”. If you did not hear someone clearly the first time say “pardon”. Elders and people with disabilities are treated with compassion and understanding. Do not spit in public, litter, and make sure to pick up after your pets. If there is a line, wait for your turn patiently. In Canada, it is considered rude to point.

In Conversation

When conversing, Canadians do not touch each other very much so keeping to your own personal space is important. It is also good manners to take your hat and sunglasses off when speaking to someone. In Québec, it is also rude to talk with your hands in your pockets. You will find that French-Canadians are a bit more animated and expressive than others.

Gift Giving

Neighbors might come by your house to welcome you to the area. They may bring over food, a small gift, or card. Other occasions where Canadians give and exchange gifts is during Christmas and birthdays. However, this gesture is only reserved for close family and friends. If you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, bring a small gift for the host. This could be a bottle of wine, flowers, or chocolates. Do not gift cash. People will usually open presents upon receiving. In Québec, people send flowers to the host before the dinner party. If gifting flowers, never gift white lilies. These are reserved for funerals. Avoid gifting or sending red roses, too, as this is associated with romantic love.

Dining

Whether you are at a restaurant, event, or someone’s home, wait until you are escorted to your seat – do not seat yourself. Do not start eating until everyone else has been served and, if at a dinner party, wait for your host to start eating before you begin. Never talk with your mouth full. Do not rest your elbows on the table. It is generally acceptable to leave a small amount of food on your dinner plate. If eating at a restaurant, never summon a waiter or waitress by yelling and snapping your fingers. Instead, wait for them to pass by your table, make eye contact, and say “excuse me.”

In Québec, it is normal to be served wine with your meal. However, never ask for a martini or scotch before dinner. These drinks are considered “palate numbing.” If you are having drinks before dinner, opt for champagne, Pernod, kir, or vermouth instead.

Tipping

If you are eating out, tipping is expected. Usually, Canadians tip 15% of their bill. However, in some places, the tip is automatically included when serving large parties, so make sure you check your bill carefully before leaving another tip on top of what might already be there. Other people you may tip 15% to are taxi drivers, hairdressers, and barbers. Valet parkers and bellhops expect only 1 CAD (1 USD) as a tip.

Punctuality and Timing

When it comes to punctuality, Canadians take it seriously and very literally. When they say “3:00 o’clock” they mean 3:00 o’clock. If you are late, it is considered rude, and an apology and explanation will be expected. Also, showing up too early (15 minutes or more) is looked down upon. Therefore, do your best to get there right on time.

Do not call people in the early morning hours or late at night as this is considered disrespectful and inconsiderate.

On Public Transport

Canadians are pretty quiet while riding the bus or metro. If you are commuting and want to listen to music, make sure you use headphones. If you are with friends, do not yell or speak too loudly.

Other Things to Know

Never confuse Canada/Canadians with the US/Americans. Avoid any discussions concerning Québec separatism, politics, and religion.

Cursing in Canada is not as common as it might be in other countries, so keep your bad words to a minimum when in public.

In Canada, do not refer to the indigenous people as “Indians”. Instead, use First Nations people, natives, or Aboriginal people.

Canada is a very diverse and multicultural country. Keep this in mind when making any sort of humorous comment. Canadians are very politically correct so avoid jokes on sensitive or controversial topics.

While Canadians do not mind commenting on controversial topics, subjects such as sex, religion, politics, and finances are typically shied away from.

Driving in Canada

If you are wondering about driving in Canada, this sub-section will go over everything you need to know. Conditions for getting a driver’s license in Canada varies from province to province and territory. This sub-section will go over the general requirements for each.

In most provinces and territories, driving in Canada with a UK, US, and European license, or any foreign license for that matter, is allowed for a period of 90 days (four months if in Prince Edward Island, six months in Québec, 120 days if in the Yukon, and only 60 days in Ontario). You will want to make sure you have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), too, as some places (Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick) may require one in conjunction to your home country’s driving license, or if your driving license is not in English or French. An IDP is valid for non-residents wishing to drive in Canada and is valid for up to one year.

However, if you are a resident, after the allotted period has passed, you will be expected to exchange or apply for your Canadian driver’s license.

How to Get a Canadian Driving License

Alberta

If you are from one of the following countries, you will be able to exchange your driver’s license in Alberta without taking a knowledge or road test: Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, or US.

You must surrender your home country’s driving license to receive your Alberta one, and you must be able to prove that you have at least two years of driving experience.

If you hold a license, not from one of the countries mentioned above, you will be subject to a knowledge test and then a road test. If you do not have two years of driving experience, you will be issued a Class 5-GDL license and be expected to wait two years until you have enough driving experience to take your road test and receive your full Class 5 license.

British Columbia

Like Alberta, you can exchange your foreign driver’s license for a British Columbia one if it is from one of these countries: Australia, Austria, Germany, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, UK, US, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

To exchange, you will have to give up your home country’s driving license and answer a few questions about road safety. Make sure you bring ID including your permanent resident card or work/study permit. If you have more than two years of driving experience, you will be issued your full license right away. Otherwise, you will be granted a Class 7 license, and then you will have to wait two years to apply for your full Class 5 license. The good news is that foreign driving experience can be credited towards your two-year total.

If you are from a country not listed above, you will be expected to take the knowledge test (you must get at least 40 out of 50 questions correct) and road test.

Manitoba 

Drivers from Australia, Austria, France, Germany Ireland, Ireland, Isle of Man, UK, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the US can exchange their driver’s license for a Manitoba one. Otherwise, foreign drivers will have to pass a knowledge and/or road test.

New Brunswick

Drivers from the US can exchange their driver’s license in New Brunswick without having to take a medical or driver’s test so long as they give up their American driving license, complete their “Application for Driver’s License,” are 16 years of age with parental consent (until the age of 18), their American license is not set to expire within six months, and have ID and proof of residency.

Other countries who are allowed to exchange without testing are Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Wales.

Expats from all other countries will be subject to a road, vision, and written exam.

Newfoundland and Labrador

If you hold a driver’s license from Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Isle of Man, Switzerland, UK, Japan, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, you can exchange it for a Newfoundland and Labrador license.

Anyone from any other country will need to complete a written, vision, and road test to get their license.

Whether you are exchanging or applying, make sure you bring:

  • Two pieces to prove your legal status in Canada. This could be: passport and immigration documents, permanent resident card, study or work permit, or a temporary resident permit.
  • If you only bring one piece from the documents listed above, you must bring a secondary document, which could be: baptismal or marriage certificate, social insurance card, credit card, school ID (from a Newfoundland and Labrador school only), Medical Care Plan card, or Health Care Board Card (Newfoundland and Labrador only).
Northwest Territories

In this territory, a foreign driver can exchange their license without having to do any testing if they are from Germany, Isle of Man, or the US. Otherwise, you will need to pass a vision, knowledge, and road test, and submit medical forms (if required).

Your immigration documents will be required to prove your resident status, and you must surrender your home country’s driver’s license.

Nova Scotia

If you are from the US, you can exchange your license for a Nova Scotia one so long as you are at least 16 years of age, disclose any medical conditions that can affect your driving, and surrender your American driver’s license.

If you are from Germany, Isle of Man, South Korea, Taiwan, or the UK you can also exchange your license in this province if you are 16 years of age, take a vision screening test, disclose any medical conditions that can affect your driving, and give up your home country’s driving license.

For expats from anywhere else, they will need to pass a knowledge and road test.

Nunavut  

If you are an expat in Nunavut and wish to get a license there, make sure to bring your ID, proof of legal status in Canada, and proof that you live in Nunavut such as a utility bill or rental agreement to a Motor Vehicles Driving issuing office. If you wish to exchange your license, bring your original license with you and proof of your driving experience. You may be required to take the written and road test.

Ontario

If you are from the US, Australia, France, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Isle of Man, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, and Taiwan, you can exchange your license in Ontario.

If you are eligible for exchange and have two years of driving experience, you just need to take an eye test to receive your Ontario’s driving license. If you have less than two years of driving experience, you will need to take an eye test and a road test after two years of experience to get your full license. The good news is any foreign driving experience counts towards your two-year total.

If you are not eligible for exchange but have at least two years of driving experience, you will need to take both an eye and written test. After you pass this, you can book your road test for your full license. If you have less than two years of experience, you will have to take both the written and eye test, and be subject to two road tests before you can get your full license.

Prince Edward Island

To exchange your license in PEI without testing, you need to hold a driver’s license from one of the following countries: US, Austria, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, or the UK.

If your driver’s license isn’t from one of these countries you will be subject to a vision, written, and road test.

To exchange, you will need your original driver’s license, proof of your current address in PEI (such as a personal check, phone or electric bill, rental agreement, or mortgage papers), and immigration documents proving your legal status in Canada.

Québec

You can exchange your foreign driver’s license in this province if it is from Austria, Belgium, France, UK, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Netherlands, Taiwan, or the US. You will need proof of legal status in Canada, proof of residency in Québec, and proof that you lived in your previous country. You will need to pass a knowledge and road test. If you are not from one of these countries, you will need the same documents, to pass the knowledge and road test, and follow the graduated licensing process.

Saskatchewan

If you are an expat with a license from Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK or the US you can exchange your license for a Saskatchewan one. Otherwise, you will need to complete the steps of the Graduated Driver’s Licensing program.

Yukon

You can exchange your driver’s license in the Yukon if you have a driver’s license from the US, Germany (sign test is required), or the Isle of Man, and have more than two years of experience.

If you have less than two years of driving experience, you will need to enroll in the Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL)program.

You will need to give up your foreign driver’s license, have proof of residency, and ID. A driver’s medical may also be required.

Driving in Canada Rules

Canadians drive on the right-hand side of the road. To pass, they do so on the left-hand side. At pedestrian crossings, pedestrians have the right of way. Everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt and cell phones are not permitted while driving unless they are hands-free. When driving, make sure you always have your driver’s license, IDP (if applicable), registration, and insurance documents. These will typically be required should you be stopped by the police for any reason. If you are flagged down, pull over to the side of the road safely, turn off your engine, and wait for instructions from the police officer.

In urban areas, the speed limit is 50 kph, between 60 kph and 80 kph in rural areas, and between 80 kph and 100 kph on highways (minimum limit is 60 mph). The blood alcohol content limit is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. Drinking and driving is a severe offense in Canada and may result in a driving suspension, vehicle impounding, or even arrest.

If you are driving in Québec, right-hand turns on a red are not allowed on the island of Montréal and keep in mind that road signs might only be in French.

Some provinces across Canada have introduced High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on highways (usually marked with diamonds). These lanes are reserved strictly for cars carrying two or more passengers.

If driving with children, car seats are required if the child is under 40 lbs. Also be aware that some provinces including Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon have made it illegal to smoke inside a car with a minor present.

In Canada, a flashing blue light on a vehicle indicates that it is a snow removal vehicle. It is illegal to pass these so stay behind them while driving. Take extra precautions while driving during the wintertime in Canada. Black ice and heavy snowfall are not to be underestimated so drive slowly and carefully! Also keep in mind that in some provinces (such as British Columbia and Québec), winter snow tires for your car may be required.

Vehicles are also required to come to a complete stop when a school bus has stopped and is flashing red lights or has a stop sign. Passing them is illegal.

The age for driving in Canada varies depending on the province/territory, but it is usually 17 (16 in Ontario) and requires a driver’s license.

Renting a Car

Driving a rental car in Canada is perhaps the best option if you only need a car for short periods. You can contact your local transportation ministry to find out about rental agencies in your area. Whichever agency you choose, make sure that car insurance is included in your rental agreement.

To rent a car in Canada, you must be at least 21 years old and have had your license for at least a year. When renting a car in Canada, you may be required to show your passport and return airline ticket. You will also need a credit card. If you are traveling with children, some companies will offer car seats for an additional charge.

If you are between the ages of 21 and 24, a Young Renter Fee will also be applied. Here are some other extra charges to watch out for:

  • One-way drop off fee
  • 5% GST
  • Provincial Sales Tax (where applicable)
  • Per kilometer charge, if traveling outside the province
  • Cost for additional driver
  • Premium location fee such as 10-15% at airports
  • Administrative charge for using Highway 407 ETR in Toronto

Most rental cars in Canada are automatic, and you have a variety of options to choose from including small economy cars, luxury vehicles, and pickup trucks.

Major car rental companies in Canada are:

There are also many popular car-sharing programs such as Zipcar. These might be worth looking into as well.

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Public Transportation in Canada

Public transportation in Canada includes bus, train, subway, light-rail trains, or streetcars (trams). Most major cities and towns have at least one of these. The bus is the most common form of public transportation throughout Canada. To use public transportation, you will be required to purchase a ticket or pass. A transit pass usually works out to be cheaper than buying several tickets and gives you unlimited access to public transport for a certain period (usually a month or more). In most places, you can purchase tickets on the bus, at major transit stations, or convenience stores. Taxis also exist in most towns and cities but can be quite expensive.

Cost of Public Transport in Canada

This is an overview of prices for monthly passes in major cities across Canada for the use of public transport. The costs presented here are the regular adult fare. Keep in mind that some of these cities have discounted prices too for children, youth, students, seniors, and other affordable access programs for those who qualify.

City Monthly Transport Pass (CAD) Monthly Transport Pass (USD)
Vancouver 95–74 71–130
Calgary 106 79
Regina 88 66
Winnipeg 100 75
Ottawa 117 87
Toronto 146 109
Montréal 85 64
Québec City 89 66
Fredericton 80 60

 

The flag down rate for taxis in major cities is around 4 CAD (3 USD) and price per kilometer is around 2 CAD (1 USD). Here is an overview of how much you should expect to be charged for an hour ride across major Canadian cities:

City Price (CAD) Price (USD)
Vancouver 34 25
Calgary 29 22
Regina 34 25
Winnipeg 30 22
Ottawa 20 15
Toronto 31 23
Montréal 38 28
Québec City 39 29
Fredericton 60 45

 

If traveling by train in Canada, your go-to company will be Via Rail Canada. It is the country’s intercity passenger rail service operating across the country. A short-distance, one-way trip will cost a passenger between 35 to 150 CAD (26–112 USD). Of course, the earlier you book, the cheaper your ticket will be. Montréal to Toronto is usually 80 to 150 CAD (60–112 USD). Montréal to Ottawa can be 35 to 60 CAD (26–45 USD), one-way.

A one-way, cross-country trip can cost 500 to 2,300 CAD (374–1,719 USD). Keep in mind that the highest fares are in July and August.

There are also discounts for youth, students, seniors, children, and frequent travelers.

How is Public Transportation in Canada?

All in all, getting around Canada is relatively easy via public transportation. Transit in Canada is quite safe, clean, and efficient so you can feel good about opting for public transport in this country should you need to.

Best Ways to Travel

Since Canada is such a large country, the most convenient and fastest way to travel is usually by plane. Airline options are Air Canada or WestJet.

The most popular method of transportation, however, between Canadian cities, as mentioned earlier, is by bus. Favorite bus service companies include Coach Canada, Megabus, Greyhound, or Orléans Express.

Train rides are a good option for those wishing for a more scenic ride and a unique view of Canada. It is a great way to see some of Canada’s most magical panoramas all from the comfort of your train seat.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: September 20, 2019
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