Understanding Manitoba Cost of Living: Save Money and Reduce Expenses

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Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital city, located in central Canada. It is Canada’s seventh-largest city, with a population of approximately 700,000 people. Winnipeg is noted for its bustling arts and entertainment scene, varied culture, and historic buildings.

Winnipeg’s broad economy includes manufacturing, transportation, banking, and healthcare. The city is a key transportation center for Western Canada. It is home to several important corporations, including the Canadian National Railway, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Investors Group.

Winnipeg also boasts a thriving agricultural sector, with numerous farms and food processing plants in the surrounding area. Many post-secondary schools, including the University of Manitoba and Winnipeg, contribute to the local economy through research and innovation.

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Understanding the cost of living in Winnipeg

Understanding the cost of living in Winnipeg is important for several reasons.

Firstly, it can help individuals and families make informed decisions about their financial situation. Knowing the cost of living can help people to budget appropriately for their expenses and plan for the future. It can also help them to decide where to live and what type of housing they can afford.

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Second, businesses and employers can benefit from understanding the cost of living. Knowing the cost of living in a specific place can assist businesses in determining appropriate staff pay and benefits. It can also assist firms in making educated decisions about where to establish their operations and how to price their goods or services.

Finally, politicians and government officials can benefit from understanding the cost of living. It can aid them in determining suitable amounts of social assistance and support for low-income individuals and families. It can also help to inform decisions regarding tax policies, infrastructure improvements, and other public policy concerns that affect Winnipeg citizens’ quality of life.

Winnipeg skyline.
Winnipeg skyline.

Housing costs

The average rent for apartments and houses in Winnipeg varies depending on the property’s size, location, and age.

  • Bachelor or studio apartments: $675 – $950/month
  • One-bedroom apartments: $850 – $1,350/month
  • Two-bedroom apartments: $1,100 – $1,800/month
  • Three-bedroom apartments/houses: $1,400 – $2,500/month

These prices can vary substantially depending on the property’s location and amenities. Apartments in downtown Winnipeg or the upscale Osborne Village district, for example, may be more expensive than in other sections of the city. Newer buildings or those with additional amenities such as a fitness facility or concierge service may also be more expensive.

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Rental prices in Winnipeg might vary greatly based on where you live. The following is a comparison of rental pricing in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

  • Central areas such as Downtown, Old St. Boniface, and Wolseley are more expensive, with apartments averaging $1,600 – $2,200 a month.


  • Midtown neighborhoods like as River Heights, Corydon, and Linden Woods have mid-range selections ranging from $1,300 to $1,700.


  • Suburbs such as Transcona, St. James, and River Park South have lower-cost rentals ranging from $900 to $1,300.

The average home prices in Winnipeg vary depending on the property type and location.

  • Single-family homes: The average price of a single-family home in Winnipeg is around $350,000 to $400,000.
  • Condominiums: The average price of a condominium in Winnipeg is around $250,000 to $300,000.
  • Townhouses: The average price of a townhouse in Winnipeg is around $300,000 to $350,000.

It’s important to note that these prices can vary significantly depending on the specific neighborhood and the age and condition of the property. For example, homes in more desirable neighborhoods like River Heights or Tuxedo Park may be more expensive than those in other city areas.

Similarly, newer or renovated homes may have a higher price than older or fixer-upper properties.

Housing expenses in Winnipeg have typically risen over time, with minor swings according to economic and demographic variables.

Winnipeg’s average home prices have steadily risen in recent years, reflecting the city’s high home demand. The average selling price for residential-detached homes in Winnipeg in 2020 was $386,356, up 7.5% from the previous year, according to the Winnipeg Realtors Association.

Similarly, the average selling price for condominiums in Winnipeg in 2020 was $241,912, a 5.1% increase over the previous year.

Because of a limited rental market and high demand for rental units, Winnipeg’s rental market has witnessed some price increases in recent years. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg rose by 3.3% in 2020, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Nonetheless, it is crucial to highlight that the COVID-19 epidemic has tremendously impacted the Winnipeg and global property markets. The epidemic has caused economic instability, interrupted migratory patterns, and altered consumer tastes, all of which have contributed to housing market swings. While it is difficult to anticipate the long-term impact of the pandemic on Winnipeg housing costs, the market is likely to remain volatile in the short term.

Utilities and other household expenses

The average monthly cost of electricity, gas, and water in Winnipeg can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the home’s size, the appliances’ efficiency, and the occupants’ lifestyle. Here are some approximate ranges for these utility costs:


The average monthly cost of electricity in Winnipeg for a small apartment is approximately $50 to $75, while the average monthly cost for a single-family home is around $100 to $150.


The average monthly cost of natural gas in Winnipeg for a small apartment is approximately $20 to $40, while the average monthly cost for a single-family home is around $100 to $150.


The average monthly cost of water in Winnipeg is approximately $35 to $50 for a small apartment and around $65 to $85 for a single-family home.

The average cost of internet and cable in Winnipeg can vary depending on the provider, package, and level of service.


The average monthly cost of internet in Winnipeg for a basic plan with speeds of 25 Mbps is approximately $50 to $70. For a higher-speed plan with speeds of 100 Mbps or more, the average monthly cost is around $80 to $100.

Cable TV

The average monthly cable TV cost in Winnipeg for a basic package with 20-30 channels is approximately $40 to $50. For a more comprehensive package with 100 or more channels, the average monthly cost is around $80 to $100.

Bundled packages

Many providers offer bundled packages that include both internet and cable TV, which can be more cost-effective than purchasing these services separately. The average monthly cost of a basic bundled package in Winnipeg is around $100 to $120, while a more comprehensive package can cost around $150 to $200.

The cost of garbage and recycling services in Winnipeg is typically included in the property tax bill. The fee varies depending on the garbage bin size or the number of bags of garbage set out for collection.

Garbage collection

The average monthly cost of garbage collection in Winnipeg for a standard-sized garbage bin is around $29 per month. This includes weekly collection of the garbage bin, which can be either a 60-liter or a 240-liter bin depending on the needs of the household.

Recycling collection

The cost of recycling collection is included in the same property tax bill as garbage collection and does not have an additional fee. Recycling is collected every two weeks on the same day as the garbage collection day, and residents are provided with a blue recycling bin to use.

King's Park in South Winnipeg, MB
King’s Park in South Winnipeg, MB.

Food and groceries

The average cost of groceries per month in Winnipeg can vary depending on the household size, the individuals’ dietary preferences, and the frequency of eating out.


The average monthly cost of groceries for an individual in Winnipeg is approximately $250 to $350. This includes the cost of basic food items such as bread, milk, meat, vegetables, and fruits.


The average monthly cost of groceries for a family of four in Winnipeg is approximately $700 to $900. This includes the cost of basic food items such as bread, milk, meat, vegetables, and fruits, as well as additional expenses such as snacks, beverages, and household supplies.

The cost of groceries in Winnipeg can vary depending on the store, brand, and location.


Superstore is a popular supermarket chain in Winnipeg. Their prices are generally lower than other stores, and they offer a variety of products, including their brand “No Name” products, which are often less expensive.

  • A loaf of bread: $1.98
  • A gallon of milk: $3.97
  • A dozen eggs: $1.88
  • A pound of ground beef: $2.98
  • A pound of chicken breasts: $4.98


Safeway is a popular grocery store in Winnipeg that offers various products, including organic and specialty items. Their prices are generally higher than other stores.

  • A loaf of bread: $2.99
  • A gallon of milk: $4.29
  • A dozen eggs: $2.99
  • A pound of ground beef: $5.99
  • A pound of chicken breasts: $8.99


Costco is a membership-based warehouse store that offers bulk products at lower prices.

  • A 2-pack of loaves of bread: $4.49
  • A gallon of milk: $3.99
  • A 24-pack of eggs: $5.89
  • A 3-pound pack of ground beef: $10.99
  • A 6-pack of chicken breasts: $22.99

Farmer’s markets

Winnipeg has several farmer’s markets that offer fresh, locally-grown produce at reasonable prices. Prices can vary depending on the season and availability, but some examples of prices include:

  • A loaf of bread: $3.00
  • A gallon of milk: $5.00
  • A dozen eggs: $3.50
  • A pound of ground beef: $6.00
  • A pound of chicken breasts: $8.00

It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location and time of year. To get an accurate comparison of grocery prices in Winnipeg, it’s best to visit multiple stores and compare prices for the specific products that are regularly purchased.

The cost of eating out at restaurants and cafes in Winnipeg can vary depending on the type of establishment and the menu items chosen.

  • Fast-food restaurants in Winnipeg typically offer lower-priced menu items. A meal deal can cost around $5 to $10.
  • Casual dining restaurants in Winnipeg offer a range of menu items at moderate prices. A meal for one can cost around $15 to $25, while a meal for two can cost around $30 to $50.
  • Fine-dining restaurants in Winnipeg offer upscale menus and typically charge higher prices. A meal for one can cost around $50 to $100 or more, depending on the restaurant and menu items selected.
  • Cafes in Winnipeg offer a range of menu items, including coffee, tea, sandwiches, and baked goods. A coffee and pastry can cost around $5 to $8, while a sandwich can cost around $10 to $15.


The average cost of a monthly bus pass in Winnipeg is $111.65 CAD for adults (as of January 2024). This pass allows unlimited access to the Winnipeg Transit bus system for a calendar month. There are also reduced fares available for students, seniors, and low-income individuals.

Cash, a credit card, or the purchase of an electronic fare card are all acceptable forms of payment for monthly bus passes. It’s worth noting that some employers in Winnipeg offer transit subsidies or provide free bus passes as part of their benefits package.

The transportation costs for those who live in the city versus the suburbs can vary depending on a few factors. Here are some general comparisons:

  • Those who live in cities may have more access to public transportation, which may be less expensive than owning and operating a vehicle. Adult monthly bus passes in Winnipeg cost roughly $102.95 for a 28-day e-pass and provide unlimited access to the city’s transit system. Suburban people may have limited access to public transportation and must rely on driving, which can be costly.
  • Vehicle ownership: Those who live in the suburbs are more likely to own a vehicle, which can be a significant expense. In addition to the cost of purchasing a vehicle, there are ongoing expenses such as insurance, gas, and maintenance. Suburban residents may also have to deal with longer commutes, which can increase fuel costs and wear and tear on the vehicle.
  • Distance traveled: Suburban residents may have to travel longer distances for work, school, and other activities, which can increase transportation costs. City residents may have shorter commutes and may be able to walk, bike, or take public transportation to their destinations, which can reduce transportation costs.

Healthcare and other expenses

In Canada, the government oversees and finances health insurance. This means all Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for universal health coverage under the country’s publicly funded healthcare system.

In Manitoba, residents can access a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications, at no direct cost to the patient. However, some medical services may not be covered under the publicly funded system, such as dental and vision care and some prescription medications.

Residents of Manitoba may also choose to purchase private health insurance for additional coverage, such as for dental and vision care, or to access private medical services. The cost of private health insurance can vary depending on the type and level of coverage, the age and health of the individual, and other factors.

It’s also worth noting that some Winnipeg employers may offer their employees health benefits as part of their compensation package. These benefits can include extended health coverage, such as vision and dental care, and may also cover some medical expenses not covered by the publicly funded system.

The provincial government of Manitoba’s Pharmacare program regulates prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, which aids in making medication more affordable for Manitobans.

For prescription drugs, the cost can vary depending on the type of medication, the dosage, and the dispensing fee charged by the pharmacy. For those who have coverage under the Pharmacare program, the cost of prescription drugs is generally based on a percentage of their income, up to a maximum amount per year. For those who don’t have coverage, the cost of prescription drugs can be higher, but pharmacies may offer discounts or generic versions of the medication to help reduce costs.

Over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers and cold and flu medications, are generally available at most pharmacies and grocery stores. The cost of these medications can vary depending on the brand and the retailer, but they are generally affordable and can range from a few dollars to around $20.

It’s also worth noting that some employers may offer extended health benefits that cover prescription and over-the-counter medications, which can help reduce costs for their employees. Additionally, some government programs and subsidies are available for those who need assistance with the cost of medication, such as the Manitoba Pharmacare program and the federal Non-Insured Health Benefits program for First Nations and Inuit people.


The cost of entertainment and leisure activities in Winnipeg can vary widely depending on the activity and the level of participation.

  • Movies: A movie ticket in Winnipeg costs around $12–$15, with discounts available for matinee showings or purchasing bulk tickets.
  • Live music: Concert tickets for famous artists can range from $50 to $200, depending on the venue and the artist’s popularity.
  • Sports: Attending a Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey game can cost anywhere from $50 to $300 per ticket, depending on the seat location, while watching a Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL football game can cost around $30 to $100 per ticket.
  • Museums and galleries: Many museums and galleries in Winnipeg offer free admission or a suggested donation, while others charge an admission fee of around $10-$15 per person.
  • Parks and outdoor activities: Many parks and outdoor spaces in Winnipeg are free to access, including The Forks and Assiniboine Park. Additional costs may be associated with some activities, such as equipment rentals for skiing or snowboarding.
  • Nightlife: Cover charges for bars and nightclubs in Winnipeg can vary widely, with some venues offering free entry and others charging upwards of $20.

It’s also worth noting that there are often discounts available for seniors, students, and children, as well as for purchasing tickets or admissions in advance or in combination with other activities.

Tips to better manage expenses in Winnipeg

  • The first step in managing expenses is to create a budget. This means tracking your income and expenses and allocating funds to different categories, such as housing, transportation, groceries, and entertainment. You can use free budgeting tools and apps to help with this process.
  • When it comes to groceries, household items, and other purchases, it pays to shop around. Look for deals and discounts at different stores and online retailers, and consider buying in bulk to save money in the long run.
  • Winnipeg has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and rapid transit lines, which can be a cost-effective alternative to owning a car. Look for monthly or yearly passes to save money on fares.
  • Eating out can be expensive, so consider cooking meals at home instead. This can save money on groceries as well as on dining expenses.
  • Winnipeg has several free activities and events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and outdoor activities. Take advantage of these opportunities to have fun without breaking the bank.
  • If you live with roommates, consider sharing the costs of housing, groceries, and other expenses. This can help reduce individual costs and make a living in Winnipeg more affordable.
  • Keep track of your spending to ensure that you stay within your budget. Review your expenses regularly and make adjustments as needed to avoid overspending.
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