1. Sherbrooke, Quebec
The cost of living in Sherbrooke is 15.6% below the national average, making this the cheapest of Canada’s cities with a population of over 100,000. About 160 km east of Montreal, Sherbrooke is home to several academic institutions and is very much a student town.
2. Laval, Quebec
Laval has a cost of living that is 9.3% below the national average. Only about 30 km northwest of Montreal, Laval is really a suburb of that city. The economy of Laval is as diverse as its population.
3. Saguenay, Quebec
In Saguenay, the cost of living is 7.9% below the national average. The city, which is located about 200 km north of Quebec City, is about 98% French speaking and the economy is based mainly on aluminum and logging.
4. Lévis, Quebec
The cost of living in Lévis is 7.9% below the national average. The city is home to a large oil refinery and other industries. It’s also one of the most homogeneous in Canada, with about 97% of inhabitants speaking French as their first language.
5. Terrebonne, Quebec
The cost of living in Terrebonne is 7% below the national average. About 30 km north of Montreal, it’s really one of Montreal’s suburbs and a manufacturing centre.
6. Longueuil, Quebec
In Longueuil, the cost of living is 6.3% below the national average. Longueuil lies across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal and many of its inhabitants commute to the larger city. The aerospace industry is one of the largest employers in Longueuil itself.
7. Moncton, New Brunswick
With a population of a little over 70,000, Moncton is New Brunswick’s largest city. It is also one of the cheapest cities to live in the Maritimes, with a cost of living 5.2% below the national average. The city has a strong, diverse economy.
8. Trois-Rivières, Quebec
The cost of living in Trois-Rivières is 4% below the national average. Trois-Rivières lies about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City and is the oldest industrial city in Canada.
9. Abbotsford, British Columbia
With a cost of living of 3.6% below the national average, Abbotsford is the cheapest of British Columbia’s larger cities. The city lies about 70 km from Vancouver, in the Fraser Valley region.
10. St. Catharines, Ontario
St. Catharines is one of the cheapest cities to live in Ontario, with a cost of living 0.5% below the national average. The largest city in the Niagara Region, St. Catharines is mainly a base for the manufacturing and service industries.
11. Thunder Bay, Ontario
The cost of living in Thunder Bay is only 0.1% above the national average. Lying on the shores of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is the commercial, administrative and medical centre of Northwestern Ontario, with many people working in the public sector.
12. London, Ontario
London’s cost of living is 0.5% above the national average. The city is located about 170 km southwest of Toronto and its economy is based on the medical research, education, IT and insurance industries.
13. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island and, with a population of about 35,000, the province’s largest city. The cost of living here is 0.6% above the national average and the public sector is the largest employer here.
14. Windsor, Ontario
The cost of living in Windsor is 0.7% above the national average. The city, which lies directly across from Detroit, Michigan, is one of Canada’s main centres for the automotive industry. Tourism, education and government services are major employers too.
15. Quebec City, Quebec
In Quebec City the cost of living is only 0.9% above the national average. Being Quebec’s capital, Quebec City’s largest employer is the provincial government. The manufacturing, security and defence industries are large employers too in this mainly French-speaking city.
16. Gatineau, Quebec
Gatineau has a cost of living of 1.3% above the national average, much cheaper than Ottawa directly across the river, where the cost of living is 26.1% above the national average. Because it’s so close to Ottawa, Gatineau is home to many federal government offices.
17. Fredericton, New Brunswick
In Fredericton, the cost of living is 2.2% above the national average. The largest employers in New Brunswick’s capital are the public sector and universities but the IT sector here is growing fast. Fredericton has a population of about 58,000.
18. Barrie, Ontario
The cost of living in Barrie is 2.5% above the national average. Barrie lies about 90 km north of Toronto and is a bedroom community of that city. However, many large companies have regional offices here and tourism is a major employer too.
19. Kitchener, Ontario
In Kitchener, the cost of living is 3.7% above the national average. The city, which is located about 100 km southwest of Toronto, is home to a diverse economy based on manufacturing, finance, insurance, healthcare and digital media.
20. Kelowna, British Columbia
The cost of living in Kelowna is 3.7% above the national average. Due to its location in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna’s economy is largely based on tourism and wine production. Kelowna has a large proportion of retirement-age inhabitants but is also one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.