A Money Coach in Canada

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I’ve long been a fan of money sense magazine.   They have just the right blend of the serious investing content with the more day-to-day information about money that I want.  If you subscribe to just one money-oriented publication, I recommend them.  It’s bimonthly so you won’t feel inundated, it’s written in accessible language, and comes in an attractive format. No, I’m not paid to promote them.  I genuinely like it.  That, and they used me as their guest expert last summer (ahem).

In their most recent issue,  they gave Canadians the scoop we all want to know:  Which Cdn. cities are more, or less, likely to enable us to get ahead. While I was able to keep on reasonably solid ground in Vancouver, every step ahead felt so very hard-won.  In contrast, Yellowknife is helping me to accomplish what I want a whole lot faster, in addition to a lifestyle of getaways and trips to Europe.

On to the juicy tidbits:

The top 10 Canadian cities for  good paying  jobs are these unassuming places:

  1. Wood Buffalo, AB
  2. Oakville, ON
  3. Vaughan, ON
  4. Markham, ON
  5. Richmond Hill, ON
  6. Yellowknife, NT
  7. Calgary, AB
  8. Whitby, ON
  9. Okotoks, AB
  10. Canmore, AB

Ave. Household Income is $139,254 in Wood Buffalo,  Yellowknife’s is $110,950  and 10th place is $100,089. Toronto is in 23rd position, Ottawa at 21st position at $85,475, Vancouver 35th position, Moose Jaw in 97th and Montreal is in 135th position.

But that’s not the whole story.   Another telling statistic, is which cities offer the greatest percentage disposable income.  In that category, Yellowknife is in the 27th spot, and Vancouver is 78th.    Turns out Estavan, SK offers the greatest disposable income.  Who knew?

But translate that into real dollars, and

  • Yellowknifers have $28,000 each year
  • Estavaners have $23,000
  • Canajun Finance Guy, you live in Ottawa, yes?  If so, your ave. real-dollars disposable is $21,616
  • Bargainista, in Toronto (proper), it’s $19,924
  • Vancouverites only have $18,000

Another related stat is average housing prices.  Notwithstanding tales of price plummets, Vancouver remains crazy-unafforable at 149th place, and an average price of $571,000.    Yellowknife is pricey in 121st place at $310857  and Canmore, Canmore is a breath taking $780,964.

Want the cheapest real esate in Canada?  How’s your francaise?  La Tuque, QC  has an ave. price of a mere $93,923.

Je suis

Tu es

Il/Elle est

Nous sommes

Vous etes

Ills/elles sont …

Readers – if you’re comfortable saying, which city do you live in, and do you feel it enables you to get ahead?

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Interesting list. Oakville, Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill are all well-off bedroom communities for Toronto. Even Whitby is probably commutable to T.O. (is that a word?!) Down here in Windsor, not so many opportunities especially given the ongoing disaster that is manufacturing. I read your posts from Yellowknife and think maybe heading off to the fringes of the country is the way to go!

    lori newton’s last blog post..One Member One Vote


    Mar 31, 2009
  2. A thought-provoking post, Nancy. I started in Edmonton (ages 2-4), studied in London (Ontario) through university, apprenticed in Ottawa and now live in Toronto. Each city helped in its own way and was the right place for that stage.

    Toronto is expensive for housing, has long commutes and polluted air (my biggest gripe). But there is lots of diversity (food, people, entertainment) and lots of opportunity. Economically, an “average” person would fair better elsewhere. As Seth Godin says, average people are in the majority but they’re not in demand. What if you’re not content being average? The competition and demands of a big city can inspire you to grow.

    I’ve visited 7 of the 10 cities and work with clients in 6 cities (five are close to Toronto).

    Ultimately, you go where your vocation leads you. When you’ve got specialized skills and are driven to reach your potential, that could be somewhere small or somewhere big.

    Riscario Insider’s last blog post..Employable: Three Lessons from a Popcorn Farm


    Mar 31, 2009
  3. brad

    Regarding good-paying jobs, one of the realities of today’s world is that some jobs can be done remotely. I live in Montréal, which ranks low in the good-paying job list, but my employer is 970 km away and pays me very well. And because the cost of living here is relatively low, it has definitely allowed me to come out ahead. I’d come out even more ahead if I lived in LaTuque, but then I wouldn’t be able to eat Fairmount bagels, drink incomparably good coffee at Le Festin de Babette on St-Denis, shop for European treats at Le Fouvrac, go skating on the Lac des Castors, or window-shop along boulevard St-Laurent. 😉


    Apr 01, 2009
  4. I’m in Yellowknife, and have been in the NWT for almost ten years. I don’t think I’ll be leaving any time soon. I can’t afford to leave!

    My ten-year plan is to sell my house for the normal Yellowknife price, move south, and cackle all the way to the bank. Of course, this will only work if I move somewhere other than Vancouver or Canmore.

    Megan’s last blog post..“Perhaps I am not giving people enough credit”


    Apr 01, 2009
  5. @lori You’d be most welcome up here! 🙂
    @riscario Love your last paragraph – you go where your vocation leads you.
    @brad Well don’t you have the best of all worlds 🙂 And don’t think I don’t miss great cafes, beautiful shops … (I’d better stop)
    @megan well Hello!! I hope we can organize a blogging meetup or blog bar camp soon. And there’s lots of great options in Canada other than Vancouver or Canmore (how’s your French?)


    Apr 01, 2009
  6. I am paying through the nose for Toronto, but my life is here. Not in Whitby, but here, downtown.

    I had to face the fact that I’m not a small town person. I like gardening twice a year. I like to have variety, to be able to take a dance class at 9pm if I want to… (and I do) besides, most jobs in IT are around King and Yonge, in Toronto… and I don’t think I could work remotely.

    ioana’s last blog post..schroedinger’s conversation


    Apr 02, 2009
  7. Yes, based out of Ottawa. Remember a major GROWTH industry in Canada is GOVERNMENT, so Ottawa is growing a great deal (even with it’s high tech sector shrinking).

    Big Cajun Man’s last blog post..Coaching for Points


    Apr 11, 2009


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