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12 Tips on Living Affordably in Toronto 

12 Tips on Living Affordably in Toronto

12 Tips on Living Affordably in Toronto 

Toronto is a great city to live in, but it can be expensive if you are not careful in your budgeting.

If you're looking to save money, let’s discover some great ways to live comfortably while maintaining an affordable lifestyle.

The current cost of living in Toronto

The average cost of living in Toronto is around $3,700 for a single person who rents. This is based on factors such as housing, utilities, transportation, and groceries.

The current cost of living in Toronto
Photo by deborah cortelazzi on Unsplash

How can I live cheap in Toronto?

To live cheap in Toronto, you’ll have to take a look at your expenses and see where you can cut down. 

This can mean moving to a cheaper neighbourhood, walking or biking more often, dining out less, and trying to lessen your spending on utilities.

We’ve broken these down into 12 practical tips on how you can live cheaply in Toronto. Read on below!

1. Look for a cheap neighbourhood.

Look for a cheap neighbourhood
Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

Many neighbourhoods in Toronto are actually very affordable. If you know how to look for them, living comfortably on a budget is possible.

You can start by checking out some rental websites, or real estate listings of the area you’re interested in, then check the average rental price of homes in that area. 

You should look for an area that has a lower average rental price than other areas. Then, look at the properties and see what they’re like. 

It’s also important to factor in the accessibility of the neighbourhood. Whether they’re within walking distance from public transit, your work location, pharmacy, or grocery. 

This will save you money in the long run if you factor these in when looking for a house. 

Below is a list of neighbourhoods in Toronto with the cheapest condo rental prices:.

NeighbourhoodAverage rental price
South Parkdale$1,756
Thorncliffe Park$1,991
High Park North$2,006

Data from

*Rental prices are based on 2022 data

2. Save money by living with roommates.

Save money by living with roommates
Photo by Aleteia

If you’re looking to save money on rent in Toronto, one of the best ways to do so is by sharing a place with someone else. 

If you know someone who has lived in Toronto before and is familiar with the city, that could be a good place to start. 

If not, then consider asking people who live in Toronto currently or have lived there before for recommendations on places where they might find roommates.

There are also roommate-matching services such as Diggz, roomies, or kijiji that will help you find a roommate. 

Finally, figure out if there’s going to be any money sharing involved. Some roommates may share expenses like utilities or rent, but others may prefer to keep those costs separate.

3. Walk or bike everywhere you can.

Walk or bike everywhere you can
Photo by Niamat Ullah on Unsplash

Walking and biking are two of the most cost-effective ways to get around Toronto, especially if you live in a neighbourhood that is accessible by public transit and on foot.

Toronto is known to be a very walkable city, so getting around on foot is pretty easy and cheap.

4. Enjoy cheaper transportation costs by utilising a Presto pass.

Enjoy cheaper transportation costs by utilising a Presto pass
Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

If you’re looking for a cheaper transportation fee, consider getting a Presto pass. Presto is a reloadable transit card that you can use in any of the following:

  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
  • GO Transit
  • Union Pearson Express (UP Express)
  • Brampton Transit
  • Burlington Transit
  • Durham Region Transit
  • Hamilton Street Railway
  • MiWay (Mississauga)
  • Oakville Transit
  • OC Transpo (Ottawa)
  • York Region Transit

Presto passes can be purchased in all subway stations and you can either purchase a single pay-as-you-go or a monthly pass. 

The Presto pass can save you money when commuting because they have discounted rates of up to 25% for those who use their cards instead of cash.

Below is a guide for the rates of Presto passes.

Fare TypeAdultSenior/youth
One-ride ticket$3.25$3.25
Two-ride ticket$6.50$6.50
Day pass ticket$13.50$13.50
Fair Pass Transit Discount$2.10N/A
12-Month Pass$143.00$117.45
Monthly Pass$156.00$128.15
Post-Secondary Monthly Pass$128.15N/A
Fair Pass Transit Discount Program (monthly)$123.25N/A

Information from Fares & passes (

5. Consider carpooling.

Consider carpooling
Photo by

Carpooling is another way to save tonnes of money, especially if you are commuting regularly to work or school. 

In Toronto, there are lots of carpool services such as poparide, carpool world, and the culture trip that are available for commuters to access. 

You just simply have to download their app, sign up, and look for available rides. 

Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be able to meet new people too!

6. Budget your food expenses carefully.

Budget your food expenses carefully
Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Budgeting your food expenses is one of the most important things to do when you’re trying to save money.

Food is one of the biggest expenses for most people, so it’s important to be smart about how much you spend on it.

To keep your food budget under control make sure you plan ahead. Make a grocery list and stick to it!

Try not to go over the amount of money you have for food each week and make sure that the food you buy is what you need.

It might also help if you buy food that’s on sale.

Below is the average price of major grocery items. 

White bread$3.40

Data from

7. Do more cooking than eating out.

Do more cooking than eating out
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Cooking more than eating outside is a great way to save money because you’ll be saving on food costs while also saving time. This is especially helpful if you have a tight budget.

You can also save money by bringing your lunch to work. This will help you cut down on the amount of money spent on eating outside.

In any case, here are some average prices for food should you decide to eat out on a rare day:

Types of food/restaurantsAverage price in CAD
Fast Food$18
Healthy restaurant$24
Juice shop$16

Data from

8. Try collecting and using coupons.

Try collecting and using coupons
Photo by

Another fun and practical way to live under budget is to collect coupons.

This can help you save tonnes of money because you can purchase an item at a lesser price or for free.

Coupons are useful for almost anything – from grocery shopping to clothing purchases.

The best part is that there are tonnes of places where you can find coupons. You’ll find them at your local grocery store, online, and even in newspapers.

9. Be cautious of your lighting usage

Be cautious of your lighting usage
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Lighting is the biggest expense in any home, so it’s important to be cautious of your usage.

To save money, you can turn off the lights or use dimmer switches. If you have a lot of natural light coming in from the windows, try to keep them open as much as possible.

Another way to save money on lighting is to use LED bulbs instead of incandescent ones. They last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs.

10. Always consider general repairs and maintenance.

Always consider general repairs and maintenance
Photo by James Kovin on Unsplash

When you’re looking to live more affordably in Toronto, it’s important to take care of your home.

General repairs and maintenance such as aircon repairs can make a big difference in how much energy your home uses.

Repairs and maintenance can cost you a lot of money if you don’t do them as early as possible.

If you keep your home and everything in it in good condition, this will help you save tonnes of money in the long run.

11. Use smart home devices

Use smart home devices
Photo by

Saving money is a great thing, but it’s even better when you can do it without sacrificing the quality of your life.

Smart home devices are becoming more popular with consumers every day. There are many benefits such as convenience, efficiency, and sustainability when you use them.

Smart thermostats, for example, will adjust the temperature of your house based on when you’re at home or away, saving money on electricity bills!

With the right setup and a little knowledge of how to use it effectively, smart home devices can help you save a lot.

12. Consider solar panels

Consider solar panels
Photo by Forbes

If you want to save money on energy in the long run, solar panels are a great option. These are very efficient in converting natural sunlight into electricity. 

Once they are installed, the electricity wiring in your house will use the energy generated from the solar panels instead of the one provided by electric companies. 

This means you are gradually able to save tonnes of money from your electric bills.

When you think about it, solar panels are actually an investment. If you don’t have the cash on hand to put solar panels on your home, they can end up costing you more than they’re worth.

Below is the average watt price per system size in Toronto

System sizeCost per watt
4 kW$2.54
5 kW$2.44
6 kW$2.33
7 kW$2.31
8 kW$2.33
9 kW$2.26
10 kW$2.24

Data from

Because the panels may be purchased in bulk, larger solar projects will often have a cheaper cost per watt. 

FAQs on Living Cheap in Toronto

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to live in Toronto without breaking the bank.

Torontonians, got any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!