This is a guest post from 2 Visto members who recently immigrated to Toronto, but who wish to remain anonymous. Enjoy!
Moving to a new city/country is an exciting time. Along with this excitement, there comes a bunch of nervousness and stress associated with leaving your old hometown and moving to a totally new place with a totally different culture, weather, and way of life. It is always better to plan your move (especially the finances) and be ready to spend more time and money than originally planned.
Like my ex-boss said “Everything needs more time and money than you think it does.”
We are two 26 year olds who recently moved to Toronto and have been living here for almost half a year. We thought that sharing our personal monthly expenses would be able to give newcomers a better idea of what their potential expenses would be and hopefully help you plan your finances better.
Here is a snapshot of our monthly expenses living in downtown Toronto. Of course, these are just our personal expenses and can totally vary based on your choices like location of your housing, internet companies, miscellaneous expenses, etc.
Total – $1800/ month (Per Person – $900/ month)
We rent a 475 square foot, 1 bed 1 bath unfurnished apartment with a patio. Rent includes water and central heat. Our kitchen is equipped with an oven, fridge, and a dishwasher. We had to invest in a microwave. Our apartment complex has a shared laundry room and a small gym.
We do not rent parking but the complex charges $100/month more for parking.
We live on the 14th floor of the building with a patio facing an amazing view of the Toronto skyline. We decided to live in a location which is very well connected by public transportation.
Our landlord required a job offer letter, current pay stubs and a credit check. We also paid an upfront deposit of first and last month’s rent before moving in.
Total – $60/ month (Per Person – $30/ month)
Electricity: We pay an average of $30 dollars every month. (Heat and laundry is included in our rent) We also had to pay a one-time $100 set up deposit and $100 initiation fee.
Internet: We have a connection with 100mbps speed which costs $70 a month ($35 per person). You can save on the internet by buying cheaper plans from various companies. The connections options available for our complex were limited.
Tip we wish we knew earlier: It is always cheaper to get a connection from an area manager compared to directly requesting it from the company website.
Renter’s Insurance: Most landlords will require you to get renter’s insurance. We pay $27 every month for the basic coverage.
Total – $305 (Per Person – $152.50)
Since we live downtown, TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is our primary mode of public transportation. Our location is very well connected to a bus/street car stop as well as fairly close to a subway station. We purchase a $152 unlimited monthly pass which includes buses, streetcars and subway usage within the city of Toronto. We chose not to invest in a car since most of the city is accessible by TTC and ride sharing is always available.
Total – $240 (Per Person -$120)
We are foodies who like to cook as well as eat out. Toronto is a paradise for anyone who enjoys a good variety of food and it can be difficult to stick to your budget when it comes to eating out. On a good week when we plan ahead and stick to our budget, our grocery cost per person is $30.
We have not included eating out/alcohol expenses as they tend to vary hugely based on personal preferences. Longo’s, Metro, and No Frills are some of the closest stores around our apartment complex.
Total – $130/ month (Per Person – $65/month)
We are Members of Goodlife Fitness as this is the closest gym to our place. We have their basic membership. Toronto has a number of group fitness classes options available. If you choose to rent a place in a complex with a good gym, this cost could be avoided.
Hopefully these expenses help you plan your move to Toronto a little bit better. Through this article, we also wanted to bring some attention to costs we personally had not documented for, for example rent deposits and electrical set up costs. Like mentioned before, always be ready to spend more time and money than expected and keep your budget flexible.
Wishing you good luck and a smooth move to Canada!