Cost of Living in Calgary 2023: Expenses Guide

Calgary is located in Alberta, Canada, experiences a climate characterized by cold winters and frequent temperature fluctuations. The harsh weather makes heating an essential requirement, impacting the heating costs for residents. Managing heating expenses effectively is crucial for homeowners and tenants alike. This blogpost covers everything you need to know about the cost of living in Calgary in 2023.

Cost of Living in Calgary 2023

1. Housing

Housing costs in Calgary can vary significantly based on factors like location, property type, and size. In 2023, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center may cost around $1,400 to $1,800 CAD per month, while the same apartment in suburban areas might be slightly more affordable, averaging around $1,100 to $1,400 CAD monthly. If you’re considering buying property, prices for a typical suburban home can range from $400,000 to $600,000 CAD, depending on the neighborhood.

2. Healthcare

Healthcare in Canada is publicly funded and provided to residents through the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. As a resident of Calgary, you’ll have access to essential medical services, including doctor visits and hospital care, without direct out-of-pocket costs. However, you may need to budget for private health insurance or additional services not covered by the public plan, such as dental care, prescription medications, and specialized treatments.

3. Transportation

Calgary offers an efficient public transportation system, including buses and the CTrain (light rail transit). A monthly transit pass for unlimited rides costs approximately $106 CAD. If you own a car, consider expenses like fuel (averaging around $1.20 CAD per liter), insurance, maintenance, and parking fees, which can vary based on your location and usage.

4. Dining & Nightlife

Dining out in Calgary offers a range of options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around $15 to $20 CAD per person, while a three-course dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant could be about $80 to $100 CAD. For those who enjoy nightlife, a domestic beer at a local pub may be priced at approximately $6 to $7 CAD, and cocktails can range from $8 to $12 CAD each.

5. Recreation

Calgary offers numerous recreational activities throughout the year. A cinema ticket costs around $14 CAD, and there are various cultural events and outdoor activities to explore, such as hiking, skiing, and visiting local attractions like the Calgary Zoo or Heritage Park. The costs associated with recreational activities will depend on your interests and how often you participate.

6. Provincial Taxes (Sales, City, and Income Taxes)

Alberta stands out as one of the Canadian provinces with no provincial sales tax (PST). However, there is the Goods and Services Tax (GST) applied to most goods and services, set at approximately 5%. In terms of income tax, Alberta follows a progressive tax rate system. As of 2023, the tax rates include:

  • 10% on the first $131,220 of taxable income,
  • 12% on the next $26,244,
  • 13% on the next $52,488,
  • 14% on the next $104,976,
  • 15% on any amount over $314,928.

Calgary Transit Fare Rates for Fair Travel

1. Adult (Ages 18 and Older)

  • Cash Fare (90 minutes validity): $3.50
  • Tickets (cash fares bought in books of 10): $35.00

Adult passengers, aged 18 and older, can enjoy the flexibility of a 90-minute validity period for their cash fare, allowing transfers within this timeframe. Alternatively, purchasing a book of 10 tickets offers a convenient and cost-effective option for regular travelers.

2. Youth (Ages 6 – 17) or Students 18 to 21 Attending High School Full Time (School ID Required)

  • Cash Fare (90 minutes validity): $2.40
  • Tickets (cash fares bought in books of 10): $24.00

Youth passengers, aged 6 to 17, as well as students aged 18 to 21 attending high school full time with a valid school ID, can benefit from reduced fares. Similar to adult fares, they also enjoy a 90-minute validity period for cash fares and the option to purchase books of 10 tickets at a discounted rate.

3. Children (Ages 5 and Under)

  • Cash Fare (90 minutes validity): Free
  • Tickets (cash fares bought in books of 10): Free

Children aged 5 and under can travel on Calgary Transit for free, promoting family-friendly and accessible public transportation options for the youngest members of the community. Both cash fares and tickets for this category come at no cost, making it easy for families to explore the city together.

Estimated Monthly Expenses in Calgary

Managing your monthly expenses is crucial for maintaining a balanced budget. Here’s a breakdown of estimated costs for various expenses in Calgary, Canada:

1. Dining Out

Enjoying a three-course meal for one person at a mid-range restaurant twice a month can cost around $60.00 CAD.

2. Socializing

If you like to unwind with a couple of domestic beers twice a week, budget approximately $120.00 CAD per month for this indulgence.

3. Morning Coffee

For your daily caffeine fix with weekday morning cappuccinos, allocate about $100.00 CAD each month.

4. Groceries:

Covering your monthly grocery expenses typically costs around $400.00 CAD. Adjust this amount based on your dietary preferences and family size.

5. Utilities

Basic utility costs for an 85 m² apartment in the city center, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, are estimated at $190.00 CAD monthly.

6. Entertainment

For a night at the cinema, budget $14.00 CAD per movie ticket, depending on how often you plan to go.

7. Transportation

If you rely on public transport, a monthly transport pass in Calgary costs approximately $106.00 CAD. Adjust this expense based on your commuting needs.

8. Fitness Club

If you’re maintaining an active lifestyle with a fitness club membership, budget $59.00 CAD monthly for one adult.

Average Heating Bill in Calgary

Detached Houses:

  • Average Monthly Heating Cost: $200 – $350
  • Average Annual Heating Cost: $2,400 – $4,200

Semi-detached Houses:

  • Average Monthly Heating Cost: $150 – $300
  • Average Annual Heating Cost: $1,800 – $3,600


  • Average Monthly Heating Cost: $100 – $250
  • Average Annual Heating Cost: $1,200 – $3,000


  • Average Monthly Heating Cost: $50 – $150
  • Average Annual Heating Cost: $600 – $1,800


Living in Calgary involves varying expenses. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $1,100 to $1,800 per month, depending on location. Healthcare is publicly funded, but private insurance might be needed for extras like dental care. A monthly transit pass costs around $106. Dining out can range from $15 to $80 per person. Activities like cinema trips and fitness clubs vary in cost. Alberta has no provincial sales tax, and income tax rates are progressive, depending on income levels.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top