Toronto stands as a beacon of opportunity among global cities. For avid travelers like me, who have journeyed through various corners of the world, it’s evident that Toronto offers a unique blend of career prospects and a vibrant lifestyle. However, before setting your compass towards this Canadian gem, it’s crucial to gauge the financial landscape, especially since Toronto ranks among the pricier destinations in North America.
For a solo traveler or individual residing in Toronto, a monthly net income ranging from C$3,500 to C$4,500 is deemed comfortable. This translates to an annual pre-tax salary of over C$55,000. Those earning between C$55,000 and C$72,000 annually are in a favorable financial bracket.
However, the concept of a “good salary” is subjective and often hinges on one’s personal circumstances and life stage. Whether you’re single, partnered, or raising a family, each scenario demands a distinct financial threshold to ensure a quality life in Toronto.
What Is Considered a Good Salary in Toronto in 2023?
Toronto, a global city of opportunities, has its own set of financial benchmarks. In 2023, a monthly net income falling between C$3,500 and C$4,500 is perceived as a good salary. This means you’d be looking at an annual pre-tax income of C$55,000 to C$72,000.
Such a salary range ensures a comfortable lifestyle for a single individual in Toronto, covering essentials like food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and even leisure activities like hobbies and travel. However, for a family of four, the bar rises to approximately C$100,000 to maintain a similar standard of living.
Ranked 25th globally and 3rd in Canada as a desirable place to live, Toronto is a magnet for expatriates. But many newcomers are taken aback by the city’s steep living expenses. It’s essential to be well-informed and prepared, ensuring you’re equipped to negotiate a salary that aligns with the demands of living in Canada’s bustling metropolis.
Regrettably, the minimum wage in Ontario, set at C$15.50 per hour in 2022, doesn’t quite cut it for a standard lifestyle in Toronto. This disparity often pushes residents to seek more affordable living arrangements on the city’s outskirts.
Yet, the allure of Toronto’s dynamic job market and diverse career avenues continues to draw individuals from all over. As Canada’s economic epicenter, Toronto offers unparalleled opportunities across its myriad industries. Contemplating a career move to Toronto? It’s crucial to understand the salary expectations in Canada’s priciest city.
Reports suggest aiming for a gross salary of at least C$60,000, which equates to roughly C$3,750/month post-tax. This is a comfortable figure for singles, but families might need dual incomes to maintain a similar lifestyle. On the lower end, C$2,500/month post-tax is the baseline for a basic lifestyle for an individual.
For those with aspirations of homeownership in Toronto, a gross salary ranging from C$70,000 to C$100,000 is advisable. Given the city’s high living costs, a substantial income is essential, especially if supporting a family. For instance, a dual-income household with each partner earning C$50,000 gross can expect a comfortable life.
Base Gross Salary: C$60,000 annually, translating to approximately C$3,750 net per month.
So, What Does Life in Toronto Look Like with This Monthly Income?
Toronto, being one of Canada’s premier cities, comes with its own set of financial challenges. Essential expenses such as food, beverages, car insurance, and utilities tend to be on the higher side compared to other Canadian cities. With local taxes on an upward trajectory, the cost of living in Toronto is continually escalating.
Here’s a Breakdown of Potential Monthly Expenses in Toronto:
- Housing: Renting a 1-bedroom apartment in the heart of the city will set you back about C$1,800. Add to that utilities at C$200 and internet charges of C$70.
- Groceries and Food: Approximately C$500.
- Transportation: A monthly pass or equivalent transportation costs come to around C$180.
- Health Insurance: A basic plan might cost you C$80.
- Discretionary Spending: With C$545 at your disposal, you can allocate funds for clothing, shoes, personal care items, dining out, entertainment, and even short weekend getaways. This budget also allows for annual vacations, perhaps 1-2 times a year.
- Savings: After covering all these expenses, you might find yourself with a surplus, allowing you to save a few hundred Canadian dollars each month.
In Summary: Your total monthly expenditure might hover around C$3,375, leaving you with a cushion of roughly C$375. This surplus can be channeled into savings or splurged on recreational activities, ensuring a balanced and enjoyable life in Toronto.
Gross vs. Net
When considering a job offer in Canada, it’s essential to understand the difference between gross and net salary. Employers typically advertise salaries before tax deductions, so having a grasp of the tax system is crucial.
For instance, if you earn a C$100,000 salary in Ontario:
- Provincial tax rate: 11.6%
- Federal tax rate: 26%
This means that around 30% of an employee’s gross salary in Canada goes towards taxes and social security contributions.
For an Ontario resident earning C$100k:
- Average tax rate: 30%
- Marginal tax rate: 43.2%
- Net Salary (after tax): Approximately C$70,000
While this might be sufficient for a single individual in Toronto, it may not adequately support a family of four. Hence, it’s vital to distinguish between pre-tax and post-tax salaries.
Tax Breakdown for C$87,552 Gross Annual Salary (Single, No Kids) in Ontario:
- Federal tax: C$12,368
- Provincial tax: C$6,248
- CPP/EI Premiums: C$4,056
- Total tax: C$22,672
- Average tax rate: 21.33%
- Marginal tax rate: 31.48%
- Net Salary: C$64,880
Federal Tax Rates in Canada:
- 15% on the first C$45,916
- 20.5% on the next C$45,915
- 26% on the next C$50,522
- 29% on the next C$60,447
- 33% on taxable income over C$202,800
Provincial Tax Rates in Ontario:
- 5.05% on the first C$45,142
- 9.15% on the next C$45,145
- 11.16% on the next C$59,713
- 12.16% on the next C$70,000
- 13.16% on amounts over C$220,000
In addition to these taxes, employees also contribute to social security, which includes pension and unemployment insurance,taking up about 6.7% of the gross wage.
For an average annual income of C$54,630 in Toronto:
- Total tax: C$12,335 (or 22.58%)
- Net Salary: C$42,295 annually or C$3,524 monthly
This is broken down as:
- Federal tax: C$5,682
- Provincial tax: C$3,004
- CPP/EI Premiums: C$3,650
Additional Benefits and Remuneration in Canada:
Employees in Canada are entitled to various benefits, including employment insurance, family benefits, pension insurance, education and training, housing, and maternity/paternity leave. While there’s no mandatory annual bonus, employees are entitled to two weeks of paid annual leave.
Salaries In Toronto
In the bustling city of Toronto, salaries vary based on experience, industry, and skill set. On average, an employee in Toronto can expect to earn between C$50,000 and C$70,000 annually before taxes.
Those just starting out in their careers might see salaries beginning at C$31,931 per year, while seasoned professionals can earn up to C$93,510 before tax.
Canada, with its thriving tech ecosystem of over 41,500 companies, is a haven for IT specialists. However, the job market isn’t limited to tech alone. Sectors like manufacturing, services, real estate, and communications have seen consistent growth, offering numerous opportunities for professionals.
Here’s a snapshot of salaries for various occupations in Toronto as of November 2022:
|Job||Lowest wage/hr||Median wage/hr||High wage/hr|
|Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators||16.50||30.00||36.15|
|Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities||15.00||57.03||190.41|
|Human resources managers||28.85||46.15||70.19|
|Advertising, marketing and public relations managers||24.04||40.87||70.26|
|Computer and information systems managers||34.52||52.66||72.12|
|Restaurant and food service managers||15.50||19.23||38.46|
|Financial and investment analysts||24.04||35.90||51.28|
|Financial auditors and accountants||22.00||36.06||66.67|
|Banking, insurance and other financial clerks||17.45||21.28||38.46|
|Electrical and electronics engineers||25.00||40.00||66.15|
|Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||24.00||44.10||67.02|
At the same time, in 2020 average earnings in Canada were as follows:
|Classification||Hourly wage (CAD)|
With a rapidly growing tech sector, software developers can enjoy above-average wages in Toronto. With 2-3 years of experience as a backend developer, you can get a salary of C$70,000-80,000 a year.
Keep in mind that managing living expenses while earning below 35,000 in Toronto will be difficult.
Minimum wage in Toronto in 2023
According to Ontario.ca, the general minimum wage rate from October 1, 2022, is C$15.50 per hour.
Salary Overview for 2022
Toronto, as one of Canada’s major economic hubs, often sees salary trends that differ from the national average. Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries in Toronto for the year 2022:
- Average Base Salary in Toronto (Q3 2022): According to PayScale, the average base salary for Toronto residents in the third quarter of 2022 was C$68,000. This figure represents the base pay and does not account for additional benefits, bonuses, or other forms of compensation.
- Comparison with National Average: In 2022, the average salary across Canada was C$68,000 annually, which translates to about C$1,416 per week for full-time employees. This figure aligns with the average base salary in Toronto. However, it’s worth noting that the most common salary in 2021 was slightly lower, at C$59,769 before tax.
- Salary Range in Toronto: Salaries in Toronto span a broad spectrum. On the lower end, individuals might earn an average of C$33,900 annually. On the higher end, some professionals, especially those in specialized fields or senior positions, can command salaries as high as C$599,000.
- Year-over-Year Growth: The average salary in Toronto has been on an upward trajectory, with consistent year-over-year growth. This trend underscores the city’s economic vitality and its position as a desirable place for professionals.
- Comparison with Real-World Salaries: While averages provide a general overview, the typical salary that many Toronto residents might expect falls between C$55,000 and C$60,000. After accounting for taxes, this translates to a net income of C$42,535 to C$45,820 annually or C$3,500 to C$3,750 monthly. For a single individual, this income can offer a comfortable lifestyle in the city.
What jobs pay what in Toronto?
The most popular occupations are software developer, project manager, and software engineer, making between C$42,000 and C$117,000 per year.
Some of the best-paid fields to work are tech, finance, science & research, and healthcare.
Living Expenses with an Average Salary
Navigating the financial landscape with an average salary requires a clear understanding of the city’s cost of living. Here’s a breakdown of the typical expenses for a single individual earning C$68,000 before tax and C$51,294 after tax:
Monthly Financial Overview:
- After-tax income: C$4,160
- Total expenses: C$3,410
- Discretionary income (for leisure or savings): C$750
- Rent: Toronto’s real estate market is notably expensive. A one-bedroom apartment typically costs between C$1,850 and C$2,000 in rent. If you’re considering a two-bedroom apartment, the price jumps to C$2,500 – C$3,500, contingent on the neighborhood.
- Utilities: On average, utilities will set you back C$200 monthly.
- Internet: Expect to pay around C$70 for a standard internet connection.
- Groceries: The monthly grocery bill for a single individual averages around C$400.
- Dining Out: Toronto’s vibrant culinary scene comes with its price tag. A standard meal at a restaurant costs about C$21, while a dinner date for two averages C$65. If you’re in the mood for drinks, a cocktail is priced at C$15, a beer at C$8, and a cappuccino can go up to C$5.
3. Leisure and Entertainment:
- If you indulge in social outings like having four beers, dining out with friends once, catching two movies, and enjoying four standard restaurant meals in a month, you’re looking at approximately C$230 in expenses.
- A monthly public transport pass in Toronto ranges between C$156 and C$201, providing access to buses, trams, and subways.
- Public Health Insurance: Covered by the taxes deducted from your salary, public health insurance in Canada is relatively affordable, costing between C$50 to C$100 monthly.
- Private Health Insurance: For those seeking additional coverage beyond the public health system, private insurance options like Cigna Global are available.
6. Other Expenses:
- Health Insurance: C$100
- Other Insurances: C$50
- Telecommunications: C$150
- Clothing and Shoes: C$250
- Household and Hygiene: C$100
- Entertainment and Recreation: C$300
Highest Paying Jobs
Some of the highest-paying jobs in Toronto are:
- Software architect
- Senior software engineer
- Senior DevOps engineer
- Registered nurse
- Investment manager
- Construction manager
Is C$75,000 Enough for a Family?
A salary of C$75,000 before taxes in Toronto is above the city’s average. However, for a couple with a child, it might be a bit tight, especially considering the high cost of living in the city.
Breakdown of the Salary:
- Before Tax: C$75,000
- After Tax (in Ontario): C$56,050
- Monthly After-Tax Income: C$4,671
Given that the average expenses for a family with two kids in Toronto hover around C$6,000, a family with one child might spend between C$4,000 and C$5,000 monthly.
What Can This Salary Afford?
- Housing: Rent is a significant expense in Toronto. While finding something below C$1,500 might be challenging, a more realistic budget for rent would be around C$2,000 monthly.
- Utilities: C$200
- Internet: C$70
- Groceries: Budget at least C$500 monthly.
- Transportation: A monthly public transport pass costs C$155. If you opt for a car, insurance might be around C$250.
- Clothing: C$200 to C$300
- Entertainment: C$200 to C$300
- Used Car (if needed): There’s a market for used cars priced as low as C$8,000.
After accounting for these expenses, you’re left with roughly C$1,700. However, this doesn’t factor in child-related costs, such as childcare, which can be substantial. After all necessary expenses, you might have around C$900 left for childcare, savings, and leisure, making the budget quite tight.
Toronto, often dubbed as Canada’s financial and cultural capital, offers a vibrant urban experience. However, with its allure comes a high cost of living. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you’d need to live comfortably in Toronto:
1. Basic Living Costs:
- Single Person: The bare minimum for a basic life in Toronto is around C$2,000 per month. To live comfortably, you’d want at least C$2,500, translating to an annual pre-tax salary of C$46,000. For a more comfortable lifestyle, a budget of C$2,901 per month is recommended.
- Family of Four: A family would need approximately C$6,728 monthly.
- Rent: Central Toronto is notably expensive. For instance, neighborhoods like the Bay Street Corridor and the Entertainment District have average rents of C$2,250 and C$2,100, respectively. However, more affordable areas like Saint James Town and Long Branch offer rents around C$1,450 and C$1,495, respectively. On average, a one-bedroom apartment costs C$1,800, while a three-bedroom apartment ranges from C$2,700 to C$3,500.
- Utilities: Expect to pay around C$190 monthly, with telecommunications services (internet, phone, TV) averaging C$168.
- Groceries: Prices in Toronto are slightly higher than in other Canadian cities. On average, a single male might spend C$269 monthly, while a female might spend C$218. Including dining out, a single person’s monthly food expenses could reach C$500.
- Dining Out: A lunch might cost over C$10, and a basic dinner or takeout could be above C$25.
- Public Transport: A monthly pass costs around C$156.
- Private Transport: Owning a car or using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft can be more expensive. On average, a single person might spend C$176 monthly on transportation.
5. Miscellaneous Expenses:
- Entertainment: Budget around C$230 monthly.
- Gym Membership: Approximately C$55 monthly.
- Health Insurance: C$100 monthly.
Comparison with Other Cities
Toronto’s cost of living surpasses 71% of North American cities. However, living in London would require about 21% more income than in Toronto.
Is it cheaper to live in the suburbs of Toronto compared to the city center?
Yes, living in the suburbs is generally cheaper than the city center. However, you might incur additional transportation costs if you work or frequently visit downtown.
How does the healthcare system work in Toronto?
Canada offers a publicly funded healthcare system. Residents of Toronto, like all Ontarians, have access to essential medical services without direct charges at the point of care.
Are there any financial assistance programs for residents struggling with the cost of living in Toronto?
Yes, Toronto offers various assistance programs, including housing subsidies, childcare support, and welfare programs for eligible residents.
How does Toronto’s cost of living compare to other major Canadian cities like Vancouver or Montreal?
Toronto and Vancouver are among the most expensive cities in Canada. Montreal, while still a major city, generally has a lower cost of living than both Toronto and Vancouver.
Is it common for people in Toronto to have roommates to offset living costs?
Yes, especially among young professionals and students, sharing accommodation is a popular way to manage high rental costs.
Toronto, with its diverse culture, thriving job market, and vibrant lifestyle, remains a top destination for many. While the cost of living is high, the city offers unparalleled opportunities. By being informed and budgeting wisely, one can navigate the financial landscape of Toronto and enjoy all that this Canadian gem has to offer.