What do you get for all that money?

There’s an article in the National Post today looking at what you get for the ‘average’ house price in various Canadian cities, mostly in comparison to Toronto. The typical Toronto house costs $356,423 while the average house in Vancouver costs $821,722. The article essentially claims that you get a lot more in Vancouver compared to Toronto for the ‘average’ price so the price difference is not as huge as it appears.

OK, maybe Vancouver is pricer than Toronto — or is it? Most bedroom communities are not taken into account in the average Vancouver house price. And if you’re willing to sacrifice a little neighbourhood safety and convenience, it is possible to find a nice starter house in the Vancouver core.

They go on to compare what you can get in Maple Ridge vs. what you can get in Markham:

B.C. commuters can find a lot more for their money. “Maple Ridge is a great bedroom community just east of Vancouver,” says Mr. Antalek. “It’s ideal for families, with great schools, parks and recreation areas. It’s also very safe.” That $356,423 will buy you a three- or four-bedroom, two-bathroom house on 65×130 feet of land — 25×20 feet more than a lot in Markham. It will have ample parking and most houses require minimal renovations. And the drive to downtown Vancouver will take 45 to 90 minutes, or 50 minutes by train.

Meanwhile in Newfoundland for the $356,423 that it would take to buy the average house in Toronto (or a little bit less than half the average house in Vancouver) you can get a 5,050-sq.-ft. beautifully renovated home in St. John’s on seven acres of land, but I bet its a lot trickier to get a decent supply of heroin.

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On the MR theme, I talked to a friend last night who is in deep doo-doo in MR. She bought under pressure at the height of a market with a very superficial home inspection… they under-estimated everything (like how much it would cost in renos to make the house livable). Rotting wood everywhere & she's had to quit her job because the two experiences she had with child care for her 4 year old were horrendous! MR is not at all what she thought and she moved from stinkin' new west!

the pope

Hey Reductimat:Thanks, I do what I can.. I was wondering how Markham compares to Maple Ridge, I've never been there. I was in Toronto this fall and I saw houses for sale right downtown for a good $200k less that they would be here. It looks like I could earn a lot more there as well, so its something to think about.


There is absolutely no way that you can compare Markham to MR. 1.) Comparitve salaries in the GTA are MUCH higher than in Vancouver 2.) Commute time is less from Markham to DT T.O. than from MR to DT Van. 3.) Schools & family resources are much greater in Markham. Apples to Oranges no matter what those in GVR want to think. Bottom line is that old story here….lower wages, much higher cost of living, and as of today, you need to shovel snow in both locations 😉


Maple Ridge is a hole. I lived there 6 months, then broke a 1 yr lease to get the hell out. It took me 45-50 minutes to commute to SFU (not downtown), but I had to leave at least 2 hrs beforehand in case of any of the traffic bottlenecks which regularly inflated my commute to 2 hrs. My girlfriend, a teacher, lived in MR with 2 teenagers, and they all said the schools were crap. Worse, there are few recreational facilities for teenagers, so most seemed to spend their time drinking, doing drugs, and vandalizing property.I have heard recently that MR now has a huge Crystal Meth problem, with all the related theft and property crimes that such addiction entails.


[…]but I bet its a lot trickier to get a decent supply of heroin.Comments like this are truly gold.When it seems the world is mad, my tonic is sarcasm like the above. Keep up the kidney jabs, Pope.


Agree. Maple Ridge is on the very fringe of the GVRD. Markham is immediately north of Toronto city – which corresponds to Vancouver proper + the inner suburbs.Markham should be compared to Coquitlam if you want apples to apples.


The only commonality between Markham and Maple Ridge are the first letters. Most people from outside the GTA wouldn't know Markham is a different city just from the drive out of the core. A more apt comparison would Pickering or Burlington.


Its interesting that they looked at prices and what you get, but not incomes. How much more money can you earn in Vancouver vs. Toronto?

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