Is the cost of living in Winnipeg affordable? Yes. Winnipeg is probably one of the last affordable cities in Canada today. The cost of living is an important factor when choosing to settle somewhere, and the affordability of Winnipeg and Manitoba is undeniably one of the reasons why I settled here in 2017.
In this article, we will do a 2022 breakdown of the cost of living in Winnipeg and all the daily and monthly expenses: rent, car insurance, bus card, gas, telephony, Internet, etc.
Table of Contents
- The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Renting
- The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Internet and Phone Plans
- The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Transportation in Winnipeg
- The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Groceries
- The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Health Costs
The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Renting
Renting in Winnipeg
Rent will be your main expenditure and unfortunately, all rents have increased enormously over the past ten years or so. In Winnipeg, the rental properties are defined by the number of bedrooms they have. Here is an estimate of the monthly rent for:
- A room in a shared accommodation in a good neighbourhood: between $600 and $800
- a 1-bedroom apartment: between $700 and $1,200
- a 2-bedroom apartment: between $1,100 and $1,700
- a 2-bedroom house: from $1,200 to $3,000 and more
Rents in Winnipeg will vary according to the neighbourhoods, the modernity of the suite and its amenities (gym or swimming pool in the building for example).
Most apartments in Winnipeg are rented unfurnished, except for the kitchen, which comes fully equipped (with a fridge, freezer, stove, oven and sometimes a microwave).
To see how much you will pay in rent in Winnipeg, you can go on Kijiji. The average rent in Winnipeg in 2019 is $1,030.
Buying a house in Winnipeg
The average house is selling for about $300,00.
Hydro costs in Winnipeg
It’s easy, in Manitoba there is only one electrical company, Manitoba Hydro. But what is less easy is that the Hydro bill will change a lot according to the type of heating you have! If the heating of the accommodation is electric, it is the responsibility of the tenant to pay for it:
- about $20-30 in the summer, up to $40 with non-stop air conditioning;
- and between $150 and $200 monthly in the wintertime.
A $200 bill is a bit scary, so there is an annualized payment program. Details are on the Manitoba Hydro website.
Some rents in some flats include heating – especially if it is water-based. In this case, the hydro bill can be estimated to about 20 – 25 dollars per month all year round.
If you rent or own a house in Winnipeg, you’ll be responsible for all heating costs.
Other rental expenses
Home insurance for rental properties is not mandatory in Winnipeg but highly recommended. The cost will depend on the size of the accommodation, the year it was built and the type of heating. In general, it costs between $20 and $30 per month.
There are no taxes for renters. On the contrary, if you are renting an apartment, the government will offer you a tax credit of $525 per dwelling. If you live in an apartment, you don’t pay the water bill either.
The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Internet and Phone Plans
There isn’t really a cheap Internet provider in Winnipeg yet, although things are moving slowly. There are only two companies that have the monopoly on the market: Shaw and Bell MTS.
On average, Internet costs between $60 and $100 per month. Taking a 2-year contract saves money, and all you have to do is renegotiate it when it expires, or go get a new contract from the competitor.
When it comes to cellphones, plan prices in Manitoba are among the cheapest in Canada. There are 3 big operators which each have a low cost subsidiary but they all roughly align their prices. For a phone plan with unlimited calls in Canada, unlimited SMS anywhere in the world and 4 to 8 GB of data depending on the promotions, you will pay about $45 – $50 dollars. Not having Internet on your phone can lower the bill quite considerably.
I have a promo code for Koodo here, which all reduce both our bills if you use it.
The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Transportation in Winnipeg
Bus fares in Winnipeg
A bus ticket purchased on the bus costs $3.05. If you have bought a bus card, called a Peggo card, and you load money on it, the price of a trip drops to $2.70, which is much more interesting!
For the unlimited monthly pass, you have to pay $104 – and some employers pay some of it, up to 30% where I work for example.
Having a car in Winnipeg
- Gasoline: Usually around a dollar. Currently more about the $1.7 mark.
- Driver’s license: Up to $65 per year.
- Car insurance: difficult to measure, it depends on the car, use (daily or leisure), driving history. About $1,500 a year for a good driver that don’t use the car every day.
- Parking: it’s an extra cost if you live in an apartment building, between $50 and $100 depending on whether the space is in a covered garage or outside. It’s free to park on the residential streets.
Yes, having a car is a budget but it’s the key to integration and discovery!
The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Groceries
Winnipeg has a lot of shops, from luxury delis to dollar stores. Big box stores, bulk stores, ethnic stores… It is possible to save money by buying products whose expiry date is the same day or the next day.
We also have farmers’ markets – of course, it’s more expensive but it’s the guarantee of finding local products with proven traceability. A lot of local farms also do some sort of CSA programs over the summer.
One thing that works quite well is to take loyalty cards (Air Miles or PC Optimum) because they work in several stores – and collecting the points allows you to redeem vouchers.
Note also that unprocessed products are tax-free!
The Cost of Living in Winnipeg – Health Costs
If you are in Winnipeg as a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Temporary Worker for more than twelve months in a closed work permit, you are eligible for the Manitoba Health card. Going to the doctor is free, as well as every specialist the doctor sends you to. Drugs are not covered under Manitoba Health, and neither are the dentist, the ophthalmologist, eye care and glasses (at least for adults).
Employers generally offer health insurance after 3 months of work – it is either paid in full by the company or you have to pay part of it. The costs change whether it is an individual or family plan. With health insurance, drugs are covered (minus a $5 deductible per prescription). The rest of the expenses are capped: between $2,000 and $3,000 per year for the dentist, $250 per year for glasses, an appointment with the ophthalmologist, etc.
Questions? Do not hesitate to ask in the comments! The cost of living in Winnipeg is still affordable in my opinion, but we must recognize that everything has increased, except wages lately. Unfortunately.
More posts about things to do in Winnipeg?
– the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
– the Manitoba Electrical Museum
– the Cement Cemetery
– the St-Boniface Museum
– Back Alley Arctic, polar street-art
– the Manitoba Museum
– Winterlude, an ice-carving competition
– all the museums in Winnipeg
– the West End Murals