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Why is BC (British Columbia) so Expensive?

December 21, 2021BY Anik Chowdhury

British Columbia is the third biggest province of Canada. Though it’s a beautiful city, it’s quite pricey to settle down.

Many categories depend on British Columbia’s living costs like taxes, housing, healthcare, and utilities. One important aspect to look at is the area where you’re settling down. So, it would be best to select a place that would suit your expenses.

In this article, you will find an idea about the expensive living cost in British Columbia. Let’s get started!

Living Cost in British Columbia

In Canada, the most high-priced province to settle in is British Columbia. For example, a two-bedroom flat in Toronto is around $2300, whereas, in Vancouver, it’s about $2793.

Despite the fact that Vancouver’s lifestyle is more expensive than other Canadian provinces, people still gather there. This causes the high living standard that residents find difficult to afford. Victoria, the province’s capital, is low-cost but still a better place to visit.

Regardless, one of the most expat destinations is Vancouver. The province has a good result on major “worldwide standard of living indices.” Additionally, the province is safe, clean and provides its residents with a vibrant, multi-cultural lifestyle.

Here’s a list of categorizing the average living costs in British Columbia:

  • Rental and Housing Costs
  • Entertainment and Food
  • Transportation Costs
  • Utility Costs

1. Rental and Housing Costs

The majority of the income will likely be spent on paying your mortgage or rent. In Canada, you should evaluate the housing market at first regarding the living cost. The region of British Columbia in which you choose to live impacts the home price.

StatsCan says Vancouver is also called Hollywood North with the highest rent expenses in Canada, with a two-bedroom flat costing about $2,793 every month. Further afield, such as at Marpole, more affordable options are on the south of Vancouver’s. However, rent costs less in Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby, and Surrey, eventually rising.

2. Entertainment and Food

You can always look for cheaper places, promotions, and other options that suit your needs in Toronto, though the food is pricey. Retail businesses in Chinatown are often excellent sources of fruits, rice, and vegetables.

In Vancouver, a non-alcoholic drink or dinner will set you back $20 to $25, whereas, in Victoria, it would cost around $15 with tip and tax. Nevertheless, there are good Asian cafes in Vancouver to grab inexpensive Chinese noodles or sushi.

For a bite to eat, you don’t need to worry about wandering into your neighborhood. A three-course supper at a more premium restaurant costs $60 to $75 in Victoria for two people.

If you’re going out for a drink, the price will vary. In Victoria, a beer will cost you around $6, and your favorite cocktail will cost you between $10. On the other side, in Vancouver, a beer will cost you about $7, while your favorite cocktail will cost you $13.

3. Transportation Costs

In Canada, public transportation is well-developed, specifically in urban areas like Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. So, you can take the subway, bus, light-rail train, or Uber service. In coastal regions of Canada, such as British Columbia and the Atlantic Coast, ferries are a common means of transportation.

For roughly $3, you can purchase a single-ride ticket or a reusable card with credit that is subtracted after every trip. The cost of a monthly transportation pass is around $100. Lyft charges a $2.50 base fare, a $2.50 service fee.

Additionally, the price increases by $0.65 per kilometer and $0.33 per minute. The base fare is $2.50, plus $2.00 for the booking fee and $0.70 for each kilometer.

4. Utility Costs

In some cases, you can include utilities in your rent. However, you’ll be responsible for paying your electricity, gas, and internet/cable bills if it isn’t included. One of the sky-high mobile data rates is about $12.55 for 1 G.B. of data in Canada. Additionally, you require to have automotive insurance by law in every state.

In Vancouver, the average cost of heating, electricity, cooling, water, and garbage is around $100, plus an additional $100 for cable and internet with 60 Mbps (or more) and unlimited data. You can expect to pay between $80-$110 for insurance, with gas costing $0.98 a liter if you own a car.

N.B: Prices may vary from time to time. All the prices given here are approximate.

Why is B.C. (British Columbia) so Expensive?

The three largest cities in Canada are Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, with more than one-third of the population. These busy cities draw international workers, young professionals, and immigrants by offering more job criteria in various sectors.

You will get the best weather on British Columbia’s southwest corner. Additionally, you can easily access North America’s best outdoor sports. Rather than these, Vancouver and Victoria have low crime rates when compared to the United States.

As there is a supply shortage in Canada, the rents and real estate prices in Vancouver and Victoria are continuously driving up. Therefore, these are the key reasons why British Columbia is so expensive.

Final Words

British Columbia is a beautiful place with environment-friendly and clean surroundings. However, it’s a bit expensive, and you already know why is B.C. so expensive. Still, there are a lot of best places to settle down other than Victoria and Vancouver.

But you can move out of these cities and live in a much cheaper place. So, if you are worried about your money, you can choose less expensive areas.

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