Why Is Vancouver So Expensive?

Why Is Vancouver So Expensive? Vancouver is a big city situated in the lower mainland region of British Columbia which is Canada’s westernmost province. The city has a population of about 0.6 million which is making it the most populous city in the province. It is one of the most ethnically diverse cities.

Why Is Vancouver So Expensive

There are many reasons behind its expensiveness because it is affected by so many things like housing, taxes, utilities, healthcare, etc. Besides this, Vancouver is known for its over-priced cost of living but on the other side, the wages are extremely low because the employers can easily get the employees. Further, the reasons will be explained with deep knowledge below.

Cost of Living:

Vancouver is often regarded as the most expensive city in British Columbia province but still, people flock there because of the exceptional standard of living and great quality of life which makes it worth visiting. Also, every year citizens head to the city to get new opportunities which probably become one of the reasons for hiking in housing prices.

Food Industry:

Food prices in supermarkets are generally higher than United states even Dining out can be exorbitant for a middle-class person. The detailed data is explained below:

  • Popular yellow cheese (1 kg): 16 CAD
  • A sausage or cold cuts (1 kg): 26 CAD
  • A mid-range wine (one bottle): 20 CAD

Further, the data explains the prices to dine out in Vancouver

  • A Meal in a restaurant: 20 CAD
  • A Meal for two people: 80CAD
  • A Meal at McDonald’s: 12 CAD
  • Domestic Beer(0.5 litre draught): 7 CAD

Entertainment Industry:

Most Vancouver citizens prefer a healthy lifestyle and even like to do physical activities like cycling, running, walking, etc. The movie ticket rates in Vancouver are around 15 CAD which is quite more compared to other cities in Toronto it’s around 10 CAD. Now, if a person wants to get VIP treatment then you can estimate how much you need to pay to get that in a city like Vancouver. Also, we all know different physical sports are played all around the world so getting a seat could be difficult because the rates are quite pricey in big cities like Vancouver. However, big singers, as well as big bands, choose Vancouver for their concerts and their tickets can range from 150 CAD to 400 CAD depending on how big the celebrity is.

Education Costs:

Canada is one of the most educated countries in the world. As far as Vancouver is concerned, the standard of education in Vancouver is outstanding and the British Columbia province has top-rated schools. Vancouver has both public and private school systems but the public school system is quite praiseworthy and even got praised at the international level for its excellent schooling. So, if a parent wants to enroll their children in private school then they should know that the yearly expenses of private school can range from 10000 CAD to 60000 CAD which is very high and everyone cannot afford that much. Also, the students cannot get that much advantage from private schools. Apart from this, ex-pats who are moving to Vancouver should know that the education expenses are high priced because some facilities are only given to the citizen of the country.

Transportation Costs:

Vancouver has an immeasurable public transport system like buses, trains, ferries, and Sky-train. In Vancouver, if a person gets a monthly pass then it can be cost-effective to travel by public transport otherwise the fares are high-priced. However, having your private transport could be great if he/she wants for their routine work because gas prices have also reasonable rates but private transport is not needed because Vancouver’s public transport system is accessible.

The following data explains the fares in detail:

  • Taxi rate(per kilometre): 1.90 CAD
  • Bus/Train fare in the city center: 3.05 CAD
  • Petrol/Gasoline(per litre): 1.70 CAD
  • Monthly pass (Regular price):  120 CAD

Utility Costs: 

Utility bills are extravagant in Vancouver. In some cases, these bills are added to the rental amount as it helps to understand the overall price of the property and in other cases, tenants are responsible to pay the bills like power, gas, internet/cable bills, water supply, and heating facilities on their own. However, if you want cleaning help then it could cost around 26 CAD per hour in Vancouver. The following data shows the actual prices in Vancouver.

  • Basic(Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage): 99.49 CAD
  • Prepaid mobile data: 0.29 CAD
  • Internet services: 82.84 CAD 


No doubt Vancouver is a great place to live in Canada as it is surrounded by mountains, nature, great air quality, a healthy lifestyle, etc. Further, the climate conditions are great with awesome views but to enjoy these luxuries one needs to pay high perks for it because everything here is costly in terms of housing prices, education costs, utility costs, etc. The reason behind this is the limited land due to which land costs are higher. Also, the wages are far less than the prices acquired for the facilities provided by the city. Hence, it is a great place to live if you have money otherwise it could be very difficult for a person to survive in a city like Vancouver. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Is Vancouver a safe place to live?

Definitely, it is the safest city among other cities in Canada. Because the city is quite busy during the daytime which makes it super safe. However, every person needs to be careful about their safety to avoid any mishap.

2) How’s the culture in Vancouver?

Vancouver is one of the most ethnically diverse cities which means that there is no sense of ownership owing to which people can easily get along with each other. Further, people of German, French, English and Irish origin were the largest group which can be found in the city. During the previous years, an immense number of immigrants have arrived in Canada which even makes it more ethnically and linguistically diverse.

3) How’s the weather in Vancouver during all seasons?

Vancouver is the warmest city in the winter among other cities in Canada. The highest temperature ever recorded in Vancouver was 34.4 degrees Celsius and the coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was -17.8 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, during the months between November and March, it rains heavily. 

4) Is it easy to afford to live on your own as a student?

Obviously, it’s not easy for a student as it is a very expensive place to live. Firstly, you need to find a place which can be shared by other students so that you can easily manage your rent expenses. Apart from this, you need to find part-time jobs so that you can manage your monthly expenses.

5) Is living in Vancouver sustainable?

Certainly, it is sustainable as it is ranked one of the most world’s sustainable cities. Moreover, Vancouver initiates an innumerable number of programs to reduce the environmental effects on the city like zero waste Vancouver, renewable city, etc.

6) What makes Vancouver so expensive to live in? 

The first and foremost reason is the luxuries provided by the city to the citizen of the country like good equality of air, nature to cherish, a healthy lifestyle, low crime rates, etc. Besides this, the city attracts young professionals and immigrants by providing various job opportunities in different fields.