Toronto is Canada’s most populous city and its commercial hub. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the country, which means anyone living there has to earn far above the national average salary to live a comfortable life.
So, what’s a good salary for a single person in Toronto?
A single person living in Toronto needs a post-tax salary of between $46.186 to $55,432 to live a good and comfortable life. This number factors all the costs necessary for food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and other expenses such as social participation, pursuing hobbies, traveling, etc.
However, the current minimum wage in the city is far below this, which means many people living in Toronto find the city too expensive for them.
But the access to economic opportunities and higher wages continue to attract people to the city. In this article, we discuss what will qualify as a good salary for a single person in Toronto.
Why is Toronto Expensive
Toronto is the capital of Ontario, and as far as cities go, it represents the center of opportunities in Canada. The city’s population is around 3 million, but when one adds that of the Greater Toronto Area, it has over 6 million residents.
It’s a very multicultural city with more than 140 languages and dialect spoken within it.
Even though it isn’t the capital of Canada, it’s the commercial hub. It houses all the major industries in the city, which means residents have incredible economic opportunities.
But these opportunities have also driven the mass exodus into the city, which means the cost of basic expenses is far above what’s obtainable in other cities.
What is a Good Salary in Toronto?
According to the Ontario Living Wage Network, a single person living in Toronto needs to earn $22.08 per hour to afford basic expenses.
This means that a young person has to work for a minimum of 2000 hours to make the $44,160 necessary to meet basic expenses in the city.
Factors that determine what amounts to a good salary in Toronto
Several elements are at work when determining what a good salary in Toronto is. But the most important ones are basic expenses necessary for survival. As a single person, here the cost of your basic expenses in Toronto:
Toronto has the most expensive real estate market in the country, which means anyone that chooses to live must be ready to spend a fortune on housing.
The average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $1,850. Of course, the actual rent will depend on which part of Toronto you’re living in. Downtown Toronto is especially expensive, with neighborhoods like Bay Street Corridor and Entertainment District costing an average of $2,250 and $2,100, respectively.
But you can also find more affordable locations. For example, rent in Saint James Town costs $1,450, and Long Branch is around $1,495.
The cost of food in Toronto is also slightly higher than what you’ll get in other Ontario cities. For example, a single male living in Toronto spends around $269.73 on groceries and other miscellaneous food expenses monthly, while a woman spends about $218.88.
This doesn’t cover the cost of dining out, which can be over $10 for lunch and above $25 for a cheap dinner or takeout. Thus, a single person could be spending around $500 on eating expenses monthly.
Rent in Toronto rarely includes the additional cost of utilities such as electricity and communication services which means each renter has to pay from their pocket.
For example, in 2019, Ontario’s cost of telecommunication services which include internet, phone, and TV, was $168 on average. This means additional monthly expenses for a single person.
Canadians benefit from free and universal healthcare, which means if you’re a permanent resident or citizen, you’re in good hands. But if you’re living in Toronto on a student or temporary visa, you have to consider the cost of healthcare and add that to your living expenses.
Even for citizens and permanent residents, universal healthcare doesn’t cover everything.
Residents have to personally pay for items such as prescription medicine, dental care, ambulance services, eye care, physiotherapy, hearing aids, chiropractic sessions, required tests for official documents, and limb prostheses.
This especially applies to working adults earning above the stipulated low income.
This is why private health insurance is very important, especially if you don’t have an extensive one from your employer.
A single person’s average monthly health insurance is $47 for a man and $80 for a woman.
If you’re living in Toronto, you should get ready to spend a lot on commuting.
Fortunately, the city has a great public transportation system which includes city and suburb buses, subways, and streetcars.
There are also taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. On average, a single person in Toronto will spend $176.25 on transportation every month.
Another way to commute to Toronto is by owning a car.
But this isn’t advisable for anyone, given the cost of acquiring a car and the attendant cost of fueling and maintaining it.
6. Miscellaneous Expenses
Other miscellaneous expenses are necessary to have a great quality of life as a single person living in Toronto.
For example, the city boasts incredible nightlife that anyone living here would love to enjoy. Beyond that, there are additional costs of vacation, hobbies, etc., which all contribute to a good standard of living.
On average, a single person in Toronto will spend $354 on entertainment monthly.
These costs show that a single person needs around $1,224 to live a good life in Toronto without rent. However, when the average rent is added, the average living costs jump to 3,074.
This means that the annual living expenses are $36,888.
Thus, a single person will need to be earning $46.186 to $55,432 to enjoy the quality of life that Toronto promises to offer.
Fortunately, several jobs can pay as much as this in the city.