Is Vancouver Expensive?


This is a great article from Expatistan – the relative cost of living in a number of different cities around the world.  We went to a seminar while we were considering moving to Vancouver, and one of the speakers explained this concept.  The cost of living is not the same as the cost of buying stuff when on holiday, because you have to take into account your earning potential and all the other boring sundry stuff that comes with living somewhere. At the seminar, the comparison was made between the Big 4 (most popular destinations for emigrants from the UK) – Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and this article seems to back up what was said then, 5 years ago, and what we have found since we moved.  Vancouver is far less expensive than London, and a bit less than Manchester and a bit more than Nottingham – actually around the same as our previous life around a number of small towns in the south and centre of England.

Of course, everyone’s experience is different, but the general idea is, if you get a comparable job and live in a comparable way, this index will show if you are going to be better or worse off.





  1. We went all the way to London to attend a seminar about emigrating to Canada. Australia and New Zealand were the other countries, but not SA. Is it still a popular destination for UK emigrants?? Or is it the other way around now? Most people here are trying to get out!!

    Interesting in the article mentioned above, that Toronto is rated more expensive than Vancouver. We have always been under the impression that Vancouver is the most expensive place to live. Strange too that Calgary is directly beneath Vancouver – we were led to believe it is MUCH cheaper to live there!

    As a South African I also found it funny that Johannesburg is ranked so much higher than Cape Town. As far as we’re concerned, it’s definitely the other way around!! It’s also ranked higher than Pretoria, and yet there are people who believe Pretoria is far more expensive. The only reason I can think of is that they only took into consideration the areas within the city itself and not outlying towns and cities which is where most people who work in the cities live?

    1. I think these comparisons must be very hard to do, because so much depends on the job you get, your lifestyle choices etc. I wondered about the Calgary thing too, but I guess that might take into account earning potential – wages are lower but so is the cost of living. The COL in Vancouver is definitely high, but so are the wages in comparison to other Canadian cities.

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