Edmonton and Life in the Prairies
Edmonton is known as the Oil Capital of Canada and the capital of Alberta. The city is split by the Saskatchewan river but by no means is the community divided. Edmonton’s community is incredibly friendly. It is home to the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall, as well as, Edmonton’s river valley. The valley offers over 60 miles of trails for biking, hiking, skiing, walking and snow-shoeing. For those who are looking to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, Edmonton has the highest density of parks per residents in all of Canada
Aside from Edmonton’s beauty, it is an economically friendly place to live. It has the lowest tax rates in all of Canada and has a strong oil and gas industry. This makes Edmonton an attractive place to live for those immigrating to Canada and looking to start a new prosperous life. One in four people in Edmonton are of visible minority while the majority of the total population speaks English. There’s tons of diversity in Edmonton.
Edmonton’s climate has wide seasonal temperature changes. Be sure to invest in a good winter jacket! Between the months of September and May, you can expect snowfall. The snowfall peaks in December and January while maintaining a very cold temperature. You can expect temperatures in the summer to hover above 20 degrees Celsius. However, be prepared for some rain and hail storms. If you’re ready to jump into the snow, roll up your sleeves and enjoy Edmonton’s natural beauty, let’s get started on a guide to renting in Edmonton:
Where to live in Edmonton - the City of Oil and Gas
Edmonton offers a range of renting options for those looking to move into the city. There are over 375 neighbourhoods and we are sure you will find something just perfect for you amongst that sea of homes. It covers 684.4 km 2 of land offering plenty of space to rest your head. The selection of apartments include high-rise, detached, semi-detached, townhomes, and basement apartments. To help navigate your search amongst the many neighbourhoods, here are three communities to consider when moving to Edmonton:
The hallmark of this neighbourhood is the famous Garneau Theatre More. It offers a beautiful melange of small town charm and modern chic style. From low-rise apartments to high-rise condominiums, there is a healthy selection of apartment rentals in Garneau and is a favourite of students due to its proximity to the University of Alberta. Young professionals also enjoy this area as it’s a hub for transportation with easy access to downtown. There’s also a sizable entertainment industry for both to enjoy.
The community of Westwood is a great little spot for a variety of reasons. While students of North Alberta Institute of Technology commonly choose to rent here, it is also a hot spot for young professionals and new families. Its location and amenities make it an easy place to live. While most renters find themselves in low-rise apartments, there are several detached homes in the area for rent.
Callingwood South is calling for you to call it your home. The area is a very versatile area making it a great place for a range of renters. Since most of the places for rent are townhomes, this area is a hot spot for young families. However, singles and young professionals also find it a pleasant place to live in the area’s affordable low-rise apartments. Callingwood South has several schools along with many other conveniences—check out Callingwood Park! Callingwood South’s proximity to the core suits commuters in this area well.
Want to know more about neighbourhoods in Edmonton? Check out our neighbourhood rental guides which will provide you more in-depth demographic information.
How do I Get Around in Edmonton?
Edmonton’s public transportation is well-connected. Known as the Edmonton Transit System (ETS), it offers light rail, as well as, buses that connect the city. However, if you’re looking to get into the downtown core from west of the city, public transportation may not be the best option for you. It takes approximately 90 minutes to get from the core to the western side of Edmonton. For those that live close to the core, the cost of a one-way ride is $3.25.
Aside from transportation on land, there is also an international airport located right in Edmonton. It’s just 30 minutes south of the downtown core.
Cars are the transportation mode of choice in Edmonton. As it is known as the gas and oil city of Canada, it enjoys the lowest cost of fuel. However, renting a parking spot is comparable to other Canadian cities. Renting a parking spot in Edmonton costs approximately $250/month. Of course, there are several parking lots and street parking across the city. Residential parking permits are also free in Edmonton, making car ownership even more affordable.
Walking & Biking
Walking and biking in Edmonton is more recreational than functional. While there is an expansive network of bike lanes, they’re largely indented for enjoying scenic beauty of Edmonton’s parks and riversides.
What’s the Cost of Living in Edmonton?
While beautiful, the cost of living in Edmonton is a bit more than some of the other prairie cities. With a wide range of apartments for rent, we’re certain that at whatever the price, you will find somewhere you love. To help prepare your monthly budget, here’s a breakdown on typical monthly expenses in the city:
Rent & Utilities
Edmonton has a range of apartment sizes, shapes and locations to choose as your next home. The bigger the place and the better location, the more expensive the place. On the high-end of the budget, a 900-squarefoot place in an expensive area will cost approximately $1,750/month. The same apartment will cost you $1,400/month in a less expensive area. For a smaller apartment, around 480-square feet, it will cost you $1,500/month in an expensive area. The same apartment will cost $1,070/month. Take your pick.
In terms of your basic utilities, it will cost you approximately $82 which includes heating, electricity and gas. Surfing the web with Internet will cost about $70/month. Your mobile will cost you around $60/month. In total, your housing expenses will cost approximately $1,282/month.
While driving is the optimal way to get around, if you’re on a budget, you’ll likely be taking transit. A monthly pass for the Edmonton Transit System is $97.00/month. A one-way ride will cost $3.50.
Eating in Edmonton doesn’t cost much different than other Canadian cities. A cup of coffee in the morning will cost about $4 for a regular size. Assuming you’ll have one every morning on your way to work, set aside $20/week. If you’re looking for a quick bite during lunch, you’re looking at about $9 to fill your belly. We estimate you’ll be doing this once a week. A lunch at a mid-range restaurant will cost around $17. We’ll probably catch you doing this twice a month. If you have a significant other or are looking for one, set aside at least $60/month for a monthly date night. This cost is if you’ll be picking up the tab. Your total for dinning out will cost you approximately $210/month.
For those of you who are Chef Ramsey’s in the making, groceries are necessary. Set aside around $200/month for this. That brings your total food cost to $410/month.
With moving to a new city, comes exploring the new city. Like most Canadian cities, a beer in a neighbourhood pub will cost you $7. On average, you’ll probably have 4 per month. Two tickets to a movie costs approximately $30 to catch a monthly flick. Whether you decide to spend your money on drinks, movies or food—expect to put aside around $58/month for entertainment.
Health & Fitness
A gym membership is a small cost to keep your summer body around year long. It will cost you an average of $60/month.
Crime in EdmontonWhile Edmonton’s crime rate is higher than the national average, there are areas in Edmonton with less crime. To be specific, Edmonton’s crime rate is 74% higher than the Canadian average. To get a close eye on neighbourhood dynamics, check out multiple different Edmonton neighbourhoods to find an area with reasonably low crime rates.
How to find the Perfect Edmonton Apartment - Edmonton Rental Guide
Have your heart set on Edmonton? Let’s get the ball in motion with a few next steps in this guide to renting in Edmonton:
1. Create a list of needs and wants: Use your list of needs to initially search for apartments. Then, once you’ve found a few you just can’t decide between, use your list of wants to narrow down your choices.
2. Make a budget: Whether you can afford a lot or a little, budgeting is important. Use our rental calculator to estimate a monthly budget.
3. Research: Research everything from local amenities, demographics and crime rates via our neighbourhood guides. Determine what comparable apartments cost in the area. This will help ensure you pick the right place for you and the financial sound place too.
4. Tour apartments: Get out there and tour your potential new home. Make a short list of all of your eligible apartments and set aside a weekend or day to visit as many as you can. When touring, ask questions about the apartment itself, as well as, landlord and tenant expectations and responsibilities.
5. Gather your documents: This step is easy. AreaVibes makes it easy to send a detailed renter application with credit checks to streamline your application process.
Now that you’ve read our guide, you should be well on your way to find your new Edmonton apartment. Happy home hunting!