Cost of Living in Abbotsford BC: Updated Prices, Comparison with Other Cities

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Abbotsford is a city in British Columbia, Canada, with a population of about 141,000 people. It is located in the Fraser Valley, about 65 km east of Vancouver, and is known for its agriculture, film industries, and its scenic views and outdoor activities. But how much is the cost of living in Abbotsford, BC in 2024?


In this guide, we will explore the main categories that contribute to the cost of living in Abbotsford BC, such as rent, utilities, food, transportation, and more. We will also discuss the average tuition fees that students can expect while living in this Canadian paradise. Read on to find out more!

Cost of Living in Abbotsford Overview

For a single person, the cost of living in Abbotsford BC comes to around CAD 2712 per month, including rent which is 3.6% less than the national average. However, the living expenses in Abbotsford depend on the standard of living, region, and preference of things by the individual.

This overall cost of living in Abbotsford BC is an estimate of many essential living expenses that students can incur while living and studying in Abbotsford. Here, we have given a general breakdown of those diverse categories. Please take a look at the overview:

CategoriesApprox Cost (per month)
AccommodationCAD 1,439 – CAD 1,566
FoodCAD 300 – CAD 500
TransportationCAD 100 – CAD 200
UtilitiesCAD 100 – CAD 200
Phone/InternetCAD 50 – CAD 100 
Entertainment and Personal Expenses CAD 100 – CAD 300

Now, you have taken an overview of essential living expenses that students should consider in the average cost of living in Abbotsford BC. Let’s explore these living costs in more detail one by one.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Cambodia: A Guide on Expected Expenses

Cost of Accommodation in Abbotsford

Accommodation is a significant factor in the cost of living in Abbotsford and constitutes a major portion of its living expenses. When calculating your overall budget, it’s important to account for this cost. The cost varies based on location, size, and type of room or apartment.

For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Abbotsford typically costs around CAD 1,566. Students can explore and choose from various types of living accommodation that suits them the best. They are as follows along with their monthly rent:

Type of AccommodationApprox Cost
On-campus residenceCAD 400 – CAD 800
Shared apartmentCAD 500 – CAD 800
Studio apartmentCAD 800 – CAD 1200
3 bedrooms apartment in the City CenterCAD 1566
Cheap 1 bedroom apartmentCAD 1439
3 bedrooms apartment in City CenterCAD 2619
Cheap 3-bedrooms apartmentCAD 2423

Cost of Restaurants Food in Abbotsford

Although the cost of eating out in Abbotsford can be affordable, it can vary depending on the type of restaurant, the cuisine, and its location. Eating out in Abbotsford can be more expensive than cooking in your place and can affect your average cost of living in Abbotsford. Here’s an approx estimate of the moderate cost of a meal at restaurants in Abbotsford:

Type of Restaurant Approx Cost
Lunch MenuCAD 20
Dinner in a Restaurant, for 2 personCAD 80.8
Fast food meal, equiv. McDonald’sCAD  12.1
CappuccinoCAD 4.78

Cost of Groceries in Abbotsford

Since eating out is expensive, you can always cook meals at home to reduce the cost of living in Abbotsford BC. grocery prices vary based on where you shop and the quality of the products. To ensure you get the best value for your money, it’s important to compare prices across different stores. Here are some essential grocery items available in the city’s supermarkets and their prices:

Grocery ItemApprox Cost
Milk (1 lt)CAD 2.86
Bread (500 gm)CAD 3.58
Rice (1 kg)CAD 5.94
Eggs (1 dozen)CAD 3.68
Cheese (1 kg)CAD 19.3
Apples (1 kg)CAD 6.54
Bananas (1 kg)CAD 1.85
Oranges (1 kg)CAD 5.4
Tomatoes (1 kg)CAD 6.62
Potato (1 kg)CAD 4.7
Onion (1 kg)CAD 3.96
Water (1 L)CAD 1.72
Coca Cola/Pepsi (2 L)CAD 2.53

Costs of Utilities in Abbotsford

The monthly utility cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Abbotsford could be around CAD 107 which is more affordable than other states. It depends on the use and size of the apartment.

Budgeting for utility expenses is essential when planning your monthly cost of living in Abbotsford as it is a primary part of it. Given below is the monthly expense of utilities that you can expect to include in your cost of living in Abbotsford BC:

UtilityApprox Cost
Utility Bill one person, electricity, heating, water, etc.CAD 107
Internet 8 mbps (1 month)CAD 85.6
40” flat screen TVCAD 311
Microwave 800/900 watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)CAD 140
Laundry detergent CAD 10
Hourly rate for cleaning helpCAD 25

Costs of Transportation in Abbotsford

Abbotsford has a comprehensive public transportation system, including City Ferries, Trams, Taxis & Shuttles, buses, metro, Cycling etc. Abbotsford has a reliable public bus system with stops spread throughout the city.

Costs of Transportation in Abbotsford

It is important to evaluate transportation costs in Abbotsford because you will have to commute to and from college while attending college, and transportation costs can have a significant impact on the total cost of living in Abbotsford. Here’s how much transportation will cost you in Abbotsford, depending on the mode of transport you choose:

Transportation ModeApprox Cost
Gas (1 lt)CAD 1.73
Monthly ticket public transportCAD 190
 Local transport ticketCAD 3.79
Taxi Ride (8 km)CAD 21.4

Miscellaneous Costs in Abbotsford

In addition to the different categories of cost of living in Abbotsford, some other expenses may be considered essential such as a pair of dresses, movie tickets, small doctor’s appointments, etc. These costs fall under miscellaneous costs. Please see the table below for a list of the miscellaneous charges we offer.

Miscellaneous Approx Cost 
Movie TicketCAD 15.7
Pair of Jeans CAD 70.9
Fitness ClubCAD 38.5
Brand SneakersCAD 106
Doctor’s visitCAD 77

Also Read: Cost of Living in Durham: A Comprehensive Guide

Average Tuition Fees in Abbotsford BC

There are also academic expenses to consider while talking about the cost of living in Abbotsford BC. Students should manage their budget more effectively for their preferred university and understand the average tuition fees at universities in Abbotsford.

It is essential to consider how the chosen university, level of study, and specific field impact the overall cost of living in Abbotsford. Depending on the program and institute, here are the average tuition fees for international students in the city:

UNIVERSITY NAMEAverage Tuition Fees
Sprott Shaw CollegeCAD 13,000 – CAD 18,000
University of the Fraser ValleyCAD 20,000
Northern Lakes CollegeCAD 13,000 – CAD 18,000

In addition to tuition, international students must also pay additional fees, such as:

  1. Application fee: This fee is non-refundable and typically ranges from CAD 50 to CAD 350.
  2. Student union fee: This fee is used to support student clubs and activities, and it typically ranges from CAD 100 to CAD 200 per year.
  3. Health insurance: It’s mandatory for international students to have health insurance, and the cost of this will vary depending on the provider.

Cost of Living in Abbotsford BC Compared to Other Cities

Abbotsford is generally considered a relatively inexpensive city to live in comparison to some states in Canada. When comparing the cost of living in Abbotsford to other cities, several factors come into the picture, like housing costs, transportation costs, dining costs, entertainment costs, etc.

So to give you an idea of ​​how the cost of living in Abbotsford compares to other cities like Vancouver, British Columbia, Burnaby, Canada and Calgary. We’ve given the cost of living in other cities. Please have a look:

Cost of Living City WiseAverage Cost of livingComparison with Cost of Living in Abbotsford
Cost of Living in VancouverCAD 3494 (including rent)Higher than Abbotsford
Cost of Living in British ColumbiaCAD 3096 (including rent)Higher than Abbotsford
Cost of Living in BurnabyCAD 3535 (including rent)Higher than Abbotsford
Cost of Living in CanadaCAD 2782 (including rent)Higher than Abbotsford
Cost of Living in CalgaryCAD 2879 (including rent)Higher than Abbotsford

Why Study in Abbotsford?

Apart from the affordable cost of living in Abbotsford BC, students have plenty of reasons to choose this Canadian city as their living and study-abroad destination in 2024. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Abbotsford houses multiple high-quality educational institutions, such as the University of the Fraser Valley and numerous accredited colleges and private institutions. 
  2. Compared to other major Canadian cities, Abbotsford offers a significantly lower cost of living. Housing, food, and transportation are all relatively inexpensive, allowing you to focus on your studies without worrying about breaking the bank. 
  3. Abbotsford has a vast and diverse international community that consists of 100+ different ethnicities, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where you’ll feel embraced and supported throughout your studies. 
  4. Abbotsford has many breathtaking natural landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, such as snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, pristine lakes, and rolling vineyards.
  5. Abbotsford is known for its safe and friendly atmosphere. The crime rate is low, and the locals are known for their warmth and hospitality. 
  6. The city is strategically located just minutes from the US border and a short drive from Vancouver, British Columbia’s vibrant metropolis, providing easy access to major transportation hubs, cultural attractions, and endless entertainment options.

Things to Keep in Mind/Consider Before Moving to Abbotsford

Moving to a new city as an international student can be both exciting and overwhelming. Apart from getting an idea of the cost of living in Abbotsford, students should consider a few things in mind before packing their bags to move to Abbotsford, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Study Permit: This is the most crucial document, allowing you to study in Canada. Apply well in advance, as processing times can vary.
  2. Health Insurance: International students must have valid health insurance throughout their stay. Research coverage options and choose a plan that meets your needs.
  3. Financial Aid: Explore scholarship and grant opportunities offered by your university, the Canadian government, and private organizations.
  4. Finding a Place: Start searching for housing well in advance, especially during peak rental seasons. Utilize online platforms, university housing resources, or local rental agencies.
  5. Weather: Be prepared for all four seasons! Abbotsford experiences mild summers, rainy autumns, snowy winters, and warm springs. Invest in appropriate clothing and footwear.
  6. Learn Basic French: While English is the primary language, basic French knowledge can be helpful, especially if you plan to venture beyond Abbotsford.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Stuttgart: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Rotterdam: A Guide on Expected Expenses
Cost of Living in Monaco: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Georgia: A Comprehensive Guide
Cost of Living in Beijing: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Minnesota: Expected Expenses Guide

FAQs on Cost of Living in Abbotsford

Q.1 What is the Cost of Living in Abbotsford?

Answer: The average monthly cost of living in Abbotsford for an individual is roughly CAD 2712, including the rent. The estimated cost of housing rent ranges from CAD 1,400 to CAD 1,566.

Q 2. Is Abbotsford expensive to live in?

Ans: For an individual, the average monthly cost of living in Abbotsford, including rent, is approximately CAD 2,712. This amount is significantly lower compared to other Canadian cities, making Abbotsford a more affordable place to live in Canada.

Q 3. What are the biggest expenses I can expect while living in Abbotsford as an international student?

Ans: The average monthly cost of living in Abbotsford for a single person is approximately CAD 2712, including the rent. Here are some main expenses that you can include in your cost of living in Abbotsford BC:
1. Accommodation – CAD 400-1,200
2. Food – CAD 300-500
3. Transportation – CAD 100-200
4. Utilities – CAD 100-200
5. Phone/Internet – CAD 50-100 
6. Entertainment and Personal Expenses – CAD 100-300

Q 4. How can I save money while living in Abbotsford?

Ans: Here are some tips to reduce the living cost in Abbotsford for students:
1. Look for shared apartments in affordable areas like Clayburn or Matsqui. Utilize student housing options if available.
2. Plan your meals, cook at home most of the time, and take advantage of student discounts at grocery stores. Pack lunches for school or work.
3. Get a monthly pass for frequent public transit use. Consider cycling or walking when possible.
4. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities like hiking, exploring local parks, and attending university events. 
5. Look for student discounts on everything from dining to entertainment. Consider getting a part-time job to supplement your income.

Q 5. How does Abbotsford compare to other Canadian cities?

Ans: Abbotsford is generally more affordable than major cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Rent, food, and transportation costs are typically lower here. The average monthly cost of living in Abbotsford for an individual is roughly CAD 2712, including the rent.
Compared to Montreal, Abbotsford has similar rent costs but slightly higher food and transportation expenses. Also, its proximity to the US border and access to nature are unique factors that might attract some students, even if it means slightly higher costs in certain categories.

We hope that this blog gave a complete overview of the cost of living in Abbotsford BC in 2024 for international students. Keep following Leverage Edu for more updates on student life abroad. Thank you for reading!

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