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4 Quebec Cities Rank Among the Cheapest in Canada – Here's Who Beats Montreal

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Real estate company Royal LePage has released a new report listing the 15 most affordable cities in Canada – four of which are in Quebec.

When we say “affordable” in this case, we specifically mean owning a home. The study takes into account the percentage of your income you need to service a monthly mortgage payment, as well as data on home prices.

Based on these factors, Ontario is actually the cheapest. Not only did Montreal not make the shortlist, but a survey found that more than half of Greater Montreal residents would consider leaving Montreal to buy a home in a cheaper part of the country.

So which Canadian cities beat Montreal in the battle for the title of “cheapest” city? And which Quebec city would 29% of Montreal residents potentially move to?

Here is a list of the 15 cheapest cities in Canada, sorted from cheapest to least expensive:

  1. Thunder Bay, Ontario
  2. Saint John, New Brunswick
  3. Red Deer, Alberta
  4. Trois-Rivières, Quebec
  5. Edmonton, Alberta
  6. Regina, Saskatchewan
  7. St. John's, Newfoundland
  8. Quebec City, Province of Quebec
  9. Sherbrooke, Quebec
  10. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  11. Fredericton, New Brunswick
  12. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  13. Windsor-Essex, Ontario
  14. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  15. Gatineau, Quebec (Province)

As you can see, Thunder Bay is the cheapest city in the country. This Ontario city, the largest in the northwest of the province, has a total house price of $299,300. This means that it would cost you $1,563.25 per month to afford a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.71% for 25 years. The total median household income in Ontario was $84,400 in 2022.

Living in Thunder Bay has its perks. The city sits on Lake Superior, is known as one of Canada's best outdoor cities, and has the largest Finnish population per capita outside of Finland (hello saunas and salted licorice). But you may be less inclined to fantasize about its remarkably high murder rate and reputation as Canada's hate crime capital.

In Quebec, Trois-Rivières tops the list, ranking fourth with a total house price of $339,300 ($1,771.21 per month).

By the way, the median total household income in Quebec was $74,000 in 2022. So these numbers assume that's how much money your household brings in per year.

The other Quebec cities that made the list are Quebec City in eighth place, Sherbrooke in ninth place and Gatineau in 15th place.

Of the 54% of Greater Montreal residents who said they would buy a home in a less expensive city, Quebec City was the first choice for a move. 29% of Montreal area respondents said they would consider buying a home in Quebec City if they could find a job there or work from there.

This was followed by Sherbrooke (15%) and Trois-Rivières (12%).

“Canada's largest cities have a lot to offer, from diverse employment opportunities to endless entertainment options and amenities. All over the world, people continue to be drawn to major cities and the lifestyle they offer. Regardless of how many residents decide to move elsewhere, there will always be strong demand for housing in the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, both from locals and newcomers,” said Karen Yolevski, chief operating officer of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., in the report.

“However, the fundamental imbalance between supply and demand poses a major challenge for those trying to access these markets. This underscores the urgent need to build more housing, faster, in markets of all sizes.”

You can view the press release and the full report here.

The cover image of this article was used for illustration purposes only.