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The Cheapest Places to Live in Alberta

Alberta's blend of affordability and quality of life is unmatched.

Affordable living in Alberta's heart

Alberta's Increasing Cost of Living

As housing prices climb, seeking out more budget-friendly places to live in Alberta is becoming increasingly important. But what's the most economical place to live in Alberta? It might surprise you to learn that the most cost-effective locales are not hidden in distant rural areas but are often vibrant mid-sized cities.

This guide delves into the top areas in Alberta, weighing both housing affordability and employment opportunities.

What Defines "Affordable" Living in Alberta?

The term "affordable" is thrown around quite a bit, but when it comes to real estate, it signifies something more substantial than just a low price. It's about balance – weighing the average cost of a home against everyday expenses like utilities, transport, and food. And let's not overlook the importance of having amenities and job opportunities close by.

Occasionally, a location might have marginally higher property costs, but the overall savings in other areas of life make it an ideal choice for those looking for value. Hence, it's crucial to consider the broader financial landscape when determining affordability.

Top 10 Cheapest places to live in Alberta

Embarking on a journey across Alberta, one might be pleasantly surprised to find that the province's most budget-friendly cities and towns offer more than just low-cost living. From the rolling prairies to the majestic Rockies, Alberta is dotted with communities where affordability meets quality of life. This isn't just about finding the cheapest place to hang your hat; it's about discovering places where the cost of living aligns with a lifestyle that doesn't compromise on the amenities and opportunities that make life rich.


Population: 1,544,000

Average monthly cost of living: $1742

Average rent & utilities:$965/monthly

Edmonton, Alberta's capital city, is a vibrant urban center that offers a surprisingly affordable cost of living, especially when compared to other major Canadian cities. Renters in Edmonton also benefit from the relatively low cost of living, with two-bedroom apartments averaging a little over $1,200 per month. This affordability extends across the board, from groceries to entertainment, allowing Edmontonians to enjoy a metropolitan lifestyle without the metropolitan price tag.


Population: 1,640,000

Average monthly cost of living: $1996

Average rent & utilities: $1218/monthly

Calgary is a city that combines the pace of city life with the charm of local communities. While it's a significant urban center, certain neighborhoods offer more affordable living options, making it possible to live in Calgary on a budget. The average home price, while reflective of the city's size, is still competitive when compared to other large cities in Canada, positioning Calgary as a city with affordable housing opportunities. Calgary's relatively low cost of living extends beyond housing. Often referred to as the "Heart of the New West," it is a city where residents can enjoy the benefits of a major urban center — complete with a vibrant arts scene, extensive parklands, and a dynamic job market — while not compromising on affordability.

Fort McMurray

Population: 65,600

Average monthly cost of living: $1778

Average rent & utilities: $898/monthly

Nestled in the heart of Alberta, Fort McMurray emerges as a beacon of affordability, challenging the common narrative of expensive Canadian living. This small town is a hidden gem for those seeking a balance between cost and comfort, making it one of the cheapest places to live with a quality of life that doesn't compromise on the essentials. Fort McMurray is more than just a hub for the oil sands industry; it's a community that prioritizes affordable housing, ensuring that the cost of living doesn't overshadow the quality of life. The city's commitment to economic accessibility is evident in its housing market, which stands out as one of the most budget-friendly options in Alberta.

Medicine Hat

Population: 65,949

Average monthly cost of living: $1380

Average rent & utilities: $791/monthly

Medicine Hat, known as the sunniest city in Canada, offers residents more than just an abundance of sunshine. It stands out as one of the cheapest places to live in Alberta, offering a cost of living that is hard to match.The city features a shopping mall for retail needs, a selection of schools for educational pursuits, and an array of dining and entertainment options nestled in the town center, which is charmingly situated along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. With a cost of living that doesn't strain the wallet, residents can enjoy the small-town charm without sacrificing the amenities and comforts of a larger city.

Cold Lake

Population: 16,686

Average monthly cost of living: $1900

Average rent & utilities: $1200/monthly

Cold Lake is a picturesque city in the northeast part of Alberta, and it takes its name from the nearby Cold Lake. Cold Lake proudly hosts the Canadian Forces Base (CFB Cold Lake) and is a cultural hub with several museums, including the Airforce Museum, Aboriginal Museum, Oil and Gas Museum, and the Heritage Museum. The town's commitment to affordable housing is evident in its real estate market, which presents opportunities for first-time homebuyers and those seeking a more manageable cost of living.

Red Deer

Population: 109,489

Average monthly cost of living: $1741

Average rent & utilities: $1024/monthly

Nestled in the heart of Alberta, Red Deer emerges as a beacon of affordability, offering a blend of small-town charm and the amenities of a larger city. It's a city that doesn't compromise on quality, despite its lower cost of living. Red Deer also has a lively arts and culture scene, highlighted by the variety of shows and performances at the Central Alberta Theatre. For those looking to live in Alberta without the financial strain often associated with larger urban centers, Red Deer presents a compelling case. Its housing costs remain below the national average home price, making it an attractive destination for individuals and families alike.


Population: 106,550

Average monthly cost of living: $1619

Average rent & utilities: $860/monthly

Nestled in the southern region of Alberta, Lethbridge emerges as a small town that offers the charm of rural living with the conveniences of urban life. Recognized as one of the most affordable cities in the province, Lethbridge is a city located within a stone's throw of majestic landscapes and is a hub for both cultural vibrancy and economic growth.

Grande Prairie

Population: 75,414

Average monthly cost of living: $1619

Average rent & utilities: $982/monthly

Grande Prairie, a city located in northwest Alberta. It is often referred to as the "Swan City" due to its proximity to the migratory route and nesting grounds of the trumpeter swan. This city combines the most affordable city living with the charm of a small town, providing residents with a cost of living that is lower than many other places in Canada.


Population: 15,256

Average monthly cost of living: $1378

Average rent & utilities: $1027/monthly

Lloydminster is not just a city located at a provincial divide; it's a place where economic opportunity meets cost-effective living. The city's housing market is a standout feature, presenting affordable options for both renters and buyers alike. 


Population: 20,989

Average monthly cost of living: $1505

Average rent & utilities: $1175/monthly

Camrose is a city that exemplifies affordable living in Alberta. With a population just around 20,000, it provides a close-knit community atmosphere coupled with the amenities of a larger city. The average home price in Camrose is significantly lower than in many other cities, making it an attractive spot for those seeking affordable housing.

Living Smart in Alberta: How to Maximize Your Budget

Alberta is a province of opportunity, and living smart here means making strategic choices that stretch your budget while enhancing your lifestyle. It's not just about cutting costs; it's about investing in your quality of life. Here's how you can make the most of what Alberta has to offer without breaking the bank.

Leverage the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Alberta offers incentives for first-time homebuyers, making it easier to get onto the property ladder. These programs can reduce upfront costs and monthly mortgage payments, making home ownership more accessible and affordable.

Embrace the Tiny House Movement

Tiny houses are becoming a popular way to live in Alberta. They offer a minimalist lifestyle, reducing living expenses significantly. Plus, they're often built with eco-friendly designs that can save you money in the long run.

Consider Getting Roommates

Sharing your living space with roommates can dramatically cut down on housing costs. In cities like Edmonton and Calgary, where rent can be higher, having roommates can make urban living much more affordable.

Adopt Energy-Smart Habits

Alberta residents can save money by making their homes more energy-efficient. Simple changes like LED lighting, high-efficiency appliances, and smart thermostats can reduce your utility bills and contribute to a greener province.

Embracing Alberta's Affordability with Pine

Alberta's blend of affordability and quality of life is unmatched, offering a variety of options for every budget. Whether you're buying your first home or seeking a cost-effective lifestyle, Alberta has a place for you. 

At Pine, we understand the importance of value and are dedicated to helping you navigate the housing market with ease. Our direct mortgage solutions are tailored to meet your financial needs, ensuring you can take full advantage of Alberta's affordable living. Connect with Pine, and step into a future where your dream home in Alberta is within reach.

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