The Getaway
20 Cheapest Places to Live in Canada

Canada attracts expats and travelers alike for a myriad of reasons, such as high quality of living, but affordability is rarely one of them. Many of Canada's biggest cities can be quite expensive, but there's a multitude of cities, towns and rural areas where affordability is at the forefront of reasons to move there. These locations, ranging from urban paradises to quiet suburbs and rural areas, are among the most affordable places to live in Canada.

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01 Thetford Mines, Quebec

View on lakes and mountains in autumn colors from Adstock mountain near Thetford Mines, Qc. Canada

Once upon a time, Thetford Mines was a hub for asbestos mining. Mining doesn't happen there anymore, but the mountain town is absolutely gorgeous. The cost of living is even more attractive than its surroundings.

However, while Canada as a whole is quite friendly for English-only speakers, this town primarily speaks French. Likewise, while it has most things you'll need within town, such as shopping and dining locations, you might need to travel to nearby cities for entertainment. What it lacks in urban entertainment, it more than makes up for opportunities for outdoor exploration.

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02 Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston City - New Brunswick - Canada

The low cost of living in Edmundston is only one of several reasons to call this city home. Situated near the US-Canada border and between Quebec and the Atlantic, it's got phenomenal access to amenities, shopping and entertainment. However, housing is where this area shines. With close proximity to the northeastern portion of the Appalachian Mountains, you'll be near camping, biking and skiing options.

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03 Regina, Saskatchewan

wacana park fountain

Both the low cost of living and strong job market attract people to Regina. It's the second-largest city in Saskatchewan and continues to thrive and grow. It's one of the fastest-growing areas in the region and several market sectors draw people in. There's a heavy emphasis on manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, mining, and oil and gas. Despite its presence as a major urban center, housing remains highly affordable in the area.

Of course, such a large city is also quite the cultural hub. Castles, museums, heritage centers, and so much more await. Explore art galleries or visit beautiful parks in your free time and discover why so many people are choosing to call Regina home.

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04 Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

L'Isle-Verte coastal village seen in the distance during a blue hour spring evening, Quebec, Canada

Rivière-du-Loup offers the best of both urban and rural living. This city primarily serves as a transportation and commercial hub in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, but for the residents, it's so much more. Urban amenities abound with shopping and dining opportunities. At the same time, it remains connected to wildlife and nature, offering activities like whale watching, hiking and discovering some of the most beautiful sights, like its 108-foot waterfall.

The city itself is quite lighthearted and friendly, and you can expect to chat in line or with strangers at the park. You won't want to miss the spectacular river views this city is known for, either. It's right on the St. Lawrence River's south shore.

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05 Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta/Canada- July 18, 2018: Our lady mayor Tara Veer is Walking and Waving to People at the Westerner Days Parade Arlene Grace Evangelista/Shutterstock

Located an hour and a half away from both Calgary and Edmonton, Red Deer offers easy access to two major cities while still maintaining a low cost of living. A robust local economy is supported by affordable housing. Most jobs are in hospitality, health care, manufacturing, education and retail, offering people several sectors to earn a living.

Locally, there's plenty to do thanks to numerous amenities. Several community centers offer swimming, sports fields and opportunities to join arts and other activities.

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06 Miramichi, New Brunswick

Miramichi, Catham, New Brunswick, October 15, 2016 -- Wide view of the city of Chatham, looking across the Miramichi River on a bright sunny, autumn day in October Eric L Tollstam/Shutterstock

The city of Miramichi isn't just affordable; it's friendly. You'll get top-notch service from restaurants and bars. As a fishing and logging town, it attracts a lot of laborers thanks to its abundance of natural resources.

Gorgeous local attractions, like the Miramichi River and Ritchie Wharf, offer opportunities to get outdoors. You'll also find historic architecture, such as St. Michael's Basilica, here.

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07 Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba/Canada - Aerial view of the Provencher Bridge (left) and the Esplanade Riel footbridge (right) during autumn season

Winnipeg is one of the most affordable and largest cities in Canada, thanks to its growing IT industry.

It's also one of the most culturally rich cities in the nation. You'll find cultural gems like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Centennial Concert Hall and no shortage of festivals and fairs.

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08 Sainte-Marie, Quebec

Skyline view of Old Quebec City with iconic Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace against St. Lawrence river in autumn sunny day, a national historic site of Canada, most famous landmark of Quebec.

If you prefer a small-town charm within driving distance of a major city, Sainte-Marie is the perfect choice. It's just 45 minutes from Quebec City while maintaining affordability.

Beyond that, it's also jaw-droppingly beautiful. You'll be in close proximity to stunning hiking trails with picturesque views of rivers. It's particularly appealing for families and retirees looking for a tranquil place to call home.

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09 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

View of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada from the sea

Charlottetown is regarded as the "Birthplace of Confederation." In September 1864, elected officials visited here to discuss potentially uniting three Maritime jurisdictions. This set the stage for Canada's official founding and has fueled a significant tourism industry. Despite the constant tourism, it remains an affordable city in Canada.

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10 Montmagny, Quebec

Mont Sainte Anne seen from Montmagny,Montmagny,Quebec,Canada Claude Laprise / 500px / Getty Images

Each October, Montmagny celebrates the Festival of Snow Geese, earning it the title of the Snow Goose Capital of Canada. Just 45 minutes from Quebec City, this small city's economy centralizes on manufacturing and production. It's also quite affordable, with a small-town feel that appeals to budget-conscious families and retirees.

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11 Tracadie, New Brunswick

Summers in Tracadie are a special occasion, full of beachside and outdoor activities. Even the name beckons to people looking for somewhere new to call home—the name means "ideal place to camp" in the local Mi'kmaq language.

Here, you'll get affordable housing and a close-knit community ready to welcome you to your new home.

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12 Saint-Georges, Quebec

Those seeking an affordable area to settle down in the Beauce region head to Saint-Georges. It's particularly known for its robust manufacturing industry, which employs over 25% of the workforce in Saint-Georges.

It's also a friendly place to call home. With access to most of the same services found in major cities on a smaller scale, you get the best of both worlds. Even better, this city frequently ranks in the top places to live in Canada.

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13 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sunset over the City of Saskatoon sprokop / Getty Images

In Saskatoon, you'll discover a vibrant cultural scene ready to keep you engaged with festivals, galleries and museums. In fact, it's got such a rich culture that it's affectionately called "Paris of the Prairies." With a major emphasis on friendliness, you'll feel like part of a community.

This city is the economic heart of Central Saskatchewan, featuring numerous job opportunities in the mining, agriculture, oil and gas and manufacturing industries. You'll even find the world's largest potash producer and uranium company here. With its strong job market and affordable cost of living, it's an attractive destination for families and workers.

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14 Rimouski, Quebec

Bic, Rimouski, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada

Right on the shore of the St. Lawrence River and with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, Rimouski is a major hub for marine sciences and education in general. Its inviting maritime climate makes summers quite comfortable, while winters can be a bit on the chilly side. However, those who can brave the freezing season are rewarded with a low cost of living, access to beautiful views and abundant outdoor activities.

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15 Fort McMurray, Alberta

Fort McMurray's claim to fame is the surrounding oil sands, which bolster its economy and offer high-income job opportunities for those unafraid of getting their hands dirty. Paired with high incomes, the cost of living is incredibly affordable here.

Outside of work, the community is safe and diverse, with a bright arts and cultural scene. Just outside the city, nature sprawls out for those who like to adventure.

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16 Québec City, Quebec

Québec City thrives as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you'll get access to a stunning Historic District dating back to the early 17th century. Many of the original bastions, gates and defensive works that made Québec City a fortified city remain to visit, and you'll find stunning ancient architecture that retains a European charm. Cultural enthusiasts will love calling this city home, especially since it boasts affordability as much as it does its beauty.

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17 Fredericton, New Brunswick

Historic Garrison District - Fredericton - Canada Adrian Wojcik / Getty Images

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will adore Fredericton thanks to its myriad parks and outdoor areas to explore. With a smaller city vibe, it's home to frequent festivals, including some celebrating beer, wine, poutine, whiskey, music and more. Its lively cultural scene continues with the community arts center and pubs to meet new friends.

Housing costs, in particular, are highly affordable compared to larger Canadian cities, and you'll find an overall high standard of living here. Low crime and easy access to healthcare all contribute to the experience.

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18 Windsor, Ontario

WINDSOR, CANADA-OCTOBER 22, 2016: Windsor Waterfront trail in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with General Motors Renaissance Center displaying Breast Cancer logo support on skyline.

The Automotive Capital of Canada awaits you in Windsor. Thanks to its diversity, it proudly presents a vibrant arts and entertainment scene and cultural attractions. Plenty of job opportunities keep earnings high enough to enjoy the low cost of living you'll find in this community-oriented city. Plus, since it's right on the border of the US and Canada, you can cross the Detroit River and easily access plenty of major urban attractions.

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19 Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

If you need more convincing than simply the affordable cost of living to move to Halifax, consider this: Picturesque coastal living with a celebrated art scene. This attractive city is loaded with warm residents ready to welcome newcomers. In fact, it's seen record immigration over the last several years, and it's home to cultural attractions that emphasize this. The Canadian Museum of Immigration is the only one of its kind in the nation, celebrating how immigrants have added to this vibrant community.

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20 Bathurst, New Brunswick

Bathurst, New Brunswick - February 4, 2017 - Horizontal of a long street, with vehicles, leading up a hill to a church at the top, with a houses and buildings on either side, in Bathurst Eric L Tollstam/Shutterstock

If you're looking for a thriving service and retail scene at an affordable price point, you'll find it in Bathurst. This quaint city feels more like a small town that likes to live life at a slower pace than many urban areas.

Right on Chaleur Bay, it's surrounded by natural beauty and opportunities to get outdoors. Watersports get a lot of love, and in warmer months, it's not uncommon to see the surrounding water filled with swimmers, windsurfers, fishers and boaters. Locals love spending time at Plage Youghall Beach and hiking the trails in the area, soaking in breathtaking sights and appreciating the natural splendor of this town.

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