Canadian households spend an average of $17,000 on shelter in 2014.  Homeowners spent an average of $19,500 while renters spent about $12,500.  The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment across Canada was $930 per month.  Alberta households reported the highest spending on shelter at $20,700.  The highest share of spending on shelter was for households in Ontario, at 31.5% of total spending. Spending on shelter was directly related to the size of a population centre.  Households in rural areas spent an average of $14,000 on shelter, compared with $19,500 for those in centres with a population of one million people or more.

It is important to understand the basic cost of living in your adopted city before you move. Research is crucial so that you are not surprised by the cost of accommodation or transportation. Toronto and Vancouver, particularly the downtown areas, are relatively expensive. Higher salaries in these cities can compensate for this, but it is best to understand the cost of living before you settle.