Is Cost of Living Cheaper in Vaughan than Toronto?

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Toronto in search of a friendly area to raise a family, many cities in the GTA certainly hold their own against Canada’s most populous city. 

Often named ‘The City Above Toronto’, Vaughan is an option with many traits that make it a popular choice for both those new to the GTA and those looking for alternatives to Toronto. Perhaps the biggest draw, though, is Vaughan’s unmatched position in the heart of Greater Toronto. 

With Brampton to the west, Richmond Hill to the north, Markham to the east, and Toronto, to the south, the city is incredibly well-positioned for commuters and those who want to explore all the attractions and sites the GTA has to offer whilst enjoying suburban living. 

Vaughan’s strengths have seen the population rise from 30,000 in 1981 to 306,000 in 2016. By 2025, it is expected to surpass 350,000.  

If you’re deciding between a move to Toronto or Vaughan, but wondering how much you’ll need to budget for living in each city, we’ve put together some of the general prices you can expect to pay – from real estate to a lunchtime coffee. 

Cost of living: Vaughan vs Toronto

Toronto is the most expensive city to live in Canada so you can certainly expect to pay a premium for basing yourself in the heart of Canada’s largest city.

When buying real estate, you will have the option of detached, townhouse or condo in both cities and the following prices are what you can expect to pay for the given property types. A detached four and five-bed house in Vaughan is $1.3m and $1.6m respectively, compared to $1.6m and $2.1m in Toronto. A one-bed townhouse rises from $510,000 to $565,000 and a two-bed sees a larger increase, jumping from $563,000 to $679,000 in Toronto. Condos are equally elevated with a one-bed condo rising from $467,000 to $545,000 and a two-bed growing from $571,000 to $716,000. 

When it comes to daily expenses, Vaughan is again the cheaper of the two cities. 

Restaurant prices in Toronto are 19.6% higher than in Vaughan. For a general meal at an inexpensive restaurant you can expect to pay $15 in Vaughan but this rises to $20 in Toronto. And for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant, you will pay close to $10 more for two people. 

If you are an avid beer drinker, you’ll notice a 28% increase on 0.5 litres of domestic beer and coffee drinkers will see a small increase of 10% on their daily cappuccino. 

Grocery prices are close to 25% more expensive in Toronto. General grocery items such as bread, milk, cheese, potatoes, apples, and bananas are between 14-26% more, whilst rice, onions and wine is over 30% increase. 

Those needing childcare will specifically see a large difference in their monthly expenses. Monthly private preschool is $1,150 in Vaughan but this shoots up to $1,555 in Toronto and an annual international primary school fee is $26,000 in Toronto, $10,000 more than Vaughan. 

The only area in which Toronto outshines Vaughan is when it comes to utilities. Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage for 85m2 apartment is 16% more in Vaughan ($163 compared to $136). 

Want to learn more about Vaughan and the other benefits of living in the city, apart from the cheaper cost of living? Visit Vaughan Real Estate listings to find your dream home!

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