If you’re heading to Canada, what will you pay for a loaf of bread, an iPad, a one-way ticket across Vancouver? We sent our Canadian writer out to the shops.

The prices listed below were taken in Vancouver, British Columbia, last weekend. Traditionally Vancouver is considered an expensive city to live in, but there is great infrastructure and some costs, such as groceries, are fairly low compared to more remote locations where it is harder to deliver produce to. Overall Vancouver provides a good yard stick that you can use for guidance regardless of where you choose to settle.

The sales tax is added when you check out

Beware! While we have put prices inclusive of applicable taxes, the sticker price you see on items in stores and online is exclusive of tax. The sales tax is added when you check out. This includes the Government Sales Tax (GST) which is 5% on all purchases, and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of 7%, which is only applicable to purchase where no exemption applies. Day to day groceries are PST exempt.

With currencies fluctuating so rapidly right now, we’ll let you work out the exchange rate. When you’re making the move, however, we recommend you speak to Smart Currency Exchange, ranked highest on Trustpilot for money transfer and currency exchange

In terms of trends the past year has seen a steady rise in most costs just down to inflation. However, there are a few utilities, notably car insurance and electricity that have increased at a rate higher than inflation. Further, the non-privatized car insurance cost is likely to increase again over the next 12 months, by as much as 10%.

Shopping in Vancouver (DeymosHR / Shutterstock.com)

In the supermarket

 

In the supermarket UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Large, wholemeal sliced loaf of bread (800g) £1.10 $4.16 £2.46 124%
Pack of butter (250g) £1.50 $4.30 £2.54 70%
Milk (I litre) £0.80 $2.89 £1.71 114%
6 eggs, large free range £1.00 $3.49 £2.07 107%
Iceberg lettuce £0.70 $2.79 £1.65 136%
Teabags (per 100) £2.50 $2.99 £1.77 -29%
Fresh pineapple (whole) £1.00 $4.99 £2.95 195%
Fresh tomatoes (1 kilo) £2.50 $4.39 £2.60 4%
Fresh chicken for roasting (regular) £3.40 $13.00 £7.69 126%
Fresh chicken for roasting (free-range/organic/corn-fed) £7.50 $18.11 £10.72 43%
Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream (500ml) £4.20 $4.99 £2.95 -30%
fresh white fish, cod type  (1 kilo) £13.50 $26.43 £15.64 16%
Jar of mayonnaise (600g) £2.50 $5.99 £3.54 42%
Heinz cream of tomato soup (400g) £0.95 $2.77 £1.64 73%
Coca-cola zero (2 litre) £1.95 $2.49 £1.47 -24%
Bottle of whisky (blended) 70cl £15.00 $27.20 £16.09 7%
Dark chocolate bar (Green & Black type, 90/100g) £2.00 $3.49 £2.07 3%
Complete dog food, dry (5 kilo) £10.00 $17.99 £10.64 6%
Laundry detergent (40 washes) £4.50 $9.79 £5.79 29%
Kitchen roll, 4-pack £2.20 $7.94 £4.70 114%

The view is completely free!

Transport

The train fare we took was from Aurora to Union Station in Toronto. There are not specific car taxes in Canada, but when you buy one you will be subject to sales taxes. Canada has brought in some terrific incentives on zero-emission and hybrid vehicles, however. If you buy one you are eligible for an incentive of between $2,500 and $5,000.

Travel UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
1 litre petrol (unleaded) 1.3 $1.20 £0.71 -45%
Car hire, small car, 1 week £124 $304.00 £179.88 45%
Return train fare, London to Brighton equivalent (about one hour), off peak, adult, booked that morning. e.g. Orleans to Paris €42. Girona to Barcelona. £23 $10.15 £6.01 -74%
Car tax, electric/hybrid, 1 year £140 $0.00 £0.00 -100%

In the home

In the home UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Paying a domestic cleaner – per hour £12.50 $17.00 £10.06 -20%
2.5 litre white Dulux emulsion, or equivalent £14.00 $20.10 £11.89 -15%
Ikea “Billy” bookcase. £35.00 $55.00 £32.54 -7%
Samsung TV, 55” £549.00 $699.99 £414.20 -25%
Alexa echo dot (if available) £35.00 $49.99 £29.58 -15%
Electricity (per kilowatt hour?) £0.13 $0.09 £0.06 -57%
Home internet cost – broadband, home only, no TV package, no data limit, (one year contract) £23.00 $49.95 £29.56 29%

Leisure and pleasure

Leisure UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Medium cappuccino in local independent coffee shop £2.80 $3.50 £2.07 -26%
500ml Bottle of coke zero from local shop £1.50 $2.00 £1.18 -21%
Pain au chocolat in local coffee shop £1.90 $4.25 £2.51 32%
Big Mac/quarter pounder cheeseburger £3.09 $5.99 £3.54 15%
Bottle of house wine in local mid-range restaurant £17.95 $30 £17.75 -1%
Half litre draft beer in bar £2.20 $7 £4.14 88%
Three course meal in local mid-range restaurant (not including drinks) £27.00 $40 £23.67 -12%
Percentage tip you would add (or would be added) for meal (above) £3.00 $6 (15%) £3.55 18%
Cinema ticket £11.00 $14.95 £8.85 -20%
Spotify Premium subscription, per month £9.99 $9.99 £5.91 -41%
Amazon Prime, per month. £7.99 $7.99 £4.73 -41%
Daily Newspaper (equivalent to Times) £1.80 $4.00 £2.37 31%
Women’s Running shoes, mid-range, from proper sports shop £105.00 $155.00 £91.72 -13%
Paperback fiction book £9.00 $20.00 £11.83 31%
SuperMario Kart (latest download version) on Nintendo Switch £43.00 $79.99 £47.33 10%


Healthcare

Healthcare UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Dentist – basic check up, no other work £22.70 $38.01 £22.49 -1%
16 paracetamol tablets – generic, the cheapest available £0.68 $4.78 £2.83 316%
Prescription charge (working person) £9.00 $9.93 £5.88 -35%

Children

Children UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Nappies, medium-sized, pampers-type £0.10 $0.16 £0.09 -5%
Calpol (or equivalent), 6 plus £3.50 $7.49 £4.43 27%
Children’s swim at local pool £3.00 $3.00 £1.78 -41%

Other

Other UK Prices £ Canada in CAD$ Canada in £ More/less expensive in Canada
Women’s jeans – mid- range, Zara or equivalent £26.00 $45.90 £27.16 4%
One midweek night in a mid-range city hotel, Premier Inn/Ibis equivalent £72.00 $86.00 £50.89 -29%
Finance – cost of a basic bank account, no overdraft facility. £3.00 $15.95 £9.44 215%
Men’s haircut, old fashioned type barber £12.00 $16.00 £9.47 -21%
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