Is it expensive to live in Yukon?

Yukon is Canada’s most western province. The Yukon River is named after the territory, which is shaped like a right triangle and shares a 1,210 kilometer-long straight border with Alaska on the west. Yukon is famous in Canadian history for the Klondike gold rush, but it is now a thriving mix of companies and sectors.

There is something for everyone in the Yukon when it comes to outdoor recreation. You can enjoy hiking, bicycling, fishing, or camping in the summer, and ice fishing, skiing, and cross-country skiing in the winter.

And yes, it can be expensive to live in Yukon. But even though the cost of living in Yukon is quite high, average earnings of $45,000 make it feasible to live comfortably. Housing costs vary by location, ranging from $2552 – $3265 per square meter or more.

Despite its tiny population, Whitehorse, the capital city, offers all the amenities of a bigger metropolis. In certain situations, Yukon’s living costs are comparable to or cheaper than those of its southern neighbors.

Let’s do a breakdown of what it might cost you monthly to live in Yukon.

Housing

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the city will cost you about $1400 every month. If you live with your family, or you just want a bigger space, a three-bedroom apartment in the same heart of the city will cost you an average of $2300 every month.

To buy a home, you might spend anywhere from $3265 per square meter, depending on which part of the province you are looking at.

Moving to rural parts of town is always an option. You will get cheaper prices for the same amount of space. Your commute may take a little longer, but the decision is all up to you.

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage bills can run you up to $218 every month. You might spend even more than that during the winter months. Because it is often so cold, you cannot live without a heating system, and operating it for at least six months a year will cost you a fortune.

A stable internet connection is another expense that can run you an average of $135 every month. This will get you at least 60mbps, unlimited data, and cable/ADSL. Phone bills will cost you even more, making you spend up to $200 every month.

Groceries and leisure eating

Residents of Yukon pay around $300 per person for a month’s supply of groceries. Groceries and other foodstuffs can be expensive in the city, and even more so in outlying towns. 

Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around $20 per visit. A nice dinner out with a friend that involves a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant will be $75 or more.

Transportation

For transportation around the province, you can get a monthly bus pass for $62 or a one-time bus pass for $2.50. If you own a vehicle, fuelling it will cost you $1.40 per liter.

Getting an education

Although most of the schools are in Whitehorse, the province’s capital city, Yukon offers a similar primary and secondary education system to the rest of Canada. Yukon University, located in Whitehorse, is a minor college that offers arts and sciences education. It has about 1000 full-time and 3000 part-time students at any given moment.

In the province, pre-school for kindergarten costs about $1350 per month, international primary schools cost around $10,000 to $19,000 a year, and universities cost around $16,600 to $30,000 a year. 

We have established that it is indeed fairly expensive to live in Yukon, but there are still thousands of people who live there and love it. So, what is it like to live in Yukon?

Things to consider before making a final decision

Outdoor activities

Yukon is the location for everyone who enjoys nature and the outdoors, with its gorgeous, quiet, and spacious surroundings. Whether you stay in the tiny settlements or the major metropolis of Whitehorse, you’ll be surrounded by stunning wilderness.

With Yukon’s ever-changing weather, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the winter and summer. Take the hundreds of kilometers of trails, for example. During the beautiful sunny afternoons, you may go riding or hiking in the woods.

If you prefer indoor activities, Yukon also offers museums, such as the MacBride Museum, which houses almost 30,000 items, papers, and pictures that depict the Yukon’s history. There are also year-round excellent restaurants, art galleries, and theaters.

Good living conditions

Because of the tiny population, human involvement with nature is minimal, resulting in low pollution levels. 

Living in Yukon provides a distinct experience that is unavailable in Canada’s larger, more metropolitan provinces. This region exudes a unique feeling of calm and tranquillity. The gorgeous nature, safe atmosphere, and healthy lifestyle of the residents contribute to an outstanding quality of life.

Welcoming people

The people of Yukon are kind and friendly. If you’re new to the region, you’ll appreciate the sense of belonging. With only approximately 36,000 people living in a land area of 474,712.64 km2 (183,287.57 sq mi), getting to know the majority of the people in your community is effortless. There are also various cultural events done throughout the year that allow you to mix with the locals.

The Yukon is recognized for having a welcoming, accepting community with a large number of volunteers willing to help newcomers.

The cold

The Yukon’s winters are long, and the days are short and cold. Yukon is a cold territory all year round due to its far northern location. During the winter, temperatures can drop to -34°C (29°F), while chilly summer days can drop to 10°C (50°F).

In addition to the frigid temperatures, Yukon has a wide range of daylight hours throughout the year. The days are shorter in the winter, with as few as five and a half hours of daylight, and longer in the summer, with up to 19 hours of daylight. If you aren’t used to it, these long and short days might be exhausting.

Yukon is relatively expensive, but there are also good parts. It is up to you to decide if they outweigh the costs and if this is the place for you.

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Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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