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The 8 cheapest places to live & rent in Alberta

10 min read
Greg Park

Greg Park

Creative Content Writer at

Published on February 14, 2024

Alberta has become a popular destination for renters seeking a more affordable cost of living without giving up the convenience and natural beauty Canada is famous for. While Calgary and Edmonton are the most well-known options, Alberta has many smaller cities and towns offering tons of value for renters, each with its own distinct charm. In this article from, we’ve ranked eight of the cheapest places to live and rent in Alberta while also going through key information for renters about each city to help you evaluate your different options.

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map of Alberta, Canada showing the 8 cheapest places to live via liv rent

Average rent in Alberta

Alberta’s rent prices change drastically depending on the time of year. Generally speaking though, the province’s two main cities, Calgary and Edmonton, have the highest average rent prices due to their popularity and the comparatively high volume of rental activity. Historically, Calgary has seen considerably higher rental rates

Outside of these two metropolitan areas, average rent prices tend to be significantly lower, though this varies depending on their popularity and the availability of rental housing, as some areas

Download The Latest Calgary and Edmonton Rent Reports

For the complete Calgary and Edmonton rent reports, download here.

Where is the cheapest place to live in Alberta?

The cheapest place to live in Alberta as a renter depends on many factors: seasonality, market trends, unit type, and any other considerations one might have. Generally speaking though, smaller towns and rural areas tend to offer more affordable housing options compared to larger urban centers like Calgary or Edmonton. Towns such as Lloydminster, Grande Prairie, and Red Deer are examples of popular options that provide lower living costs and a more budget-friendly lifestyle, while still having a reasonably large population and plenty to do.

When choosing the cheapest place to live in Alberta, it’s essential to also consider factors such as employment opportunities, amenities, and community atmosphere to ensure a good fit. To assist with your decision, we’ve broken down eight of the most budget-friendly and popular places for renters based on key features and average rent price data.

1. Lloydminster

Average rent in Lloydminster

Lloydminster consistently ranks among the cheapest cities to rent in Alberta, though part of the city is actually located in Saskatchewan. As of February 2024, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in the city was $1,125/month.

City breakdown: Lloydminster

About: Straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, Lloydminster has a unique appeal for renters and is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada to boot. The city benefits from no provincial sales tax in Alberta, attracting those seeking economic advantages. With a mix of urban and rural lifestyles, renters enjoy a strong sense of community, various parks, and recreational activities, making it an ideal place for those seeking a balance between work and leisure.

Proximity to major cities: Lloydminster is about a 2.5-hour drive to Edmonton, or 5 hours to Calgary.

Rental housing in Lloydminster:

2. Grande Prairie

Average rent in Grande Prairie

The largest city North of Edmonton, Grande Prairie is popular among younger people for its low cost of living and plentiful employment opportunities. As of February 2024, a one-bedroom unit in the city rents for $1,155/month on average.

City breakdown: Grande Prairie

About: Situated in northwest Alberta, Grande Prairie combines urban amenities with a strong connection to nature. Renters appreciate the city’s vibrant cultural scene, diverse recreational options, and a robust job market driven by its position as a regional economic hub. The friendly community and numerous parks contribute to a family-friendly atmosphere.

Proximity to major cities: Grande Prairie is about a 4.5-hour drive to Edmonton, or approximately 7 hours to Calgary.

Rental housing in Grande Prairie:

3. Red Deer

Average rent in Red Deer

Not only is Red Deer an easily driveable distance from both of Alberta’s major cities, its rent prices are well below those in Calgary and Edmonton. As of February 2024, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit Red Deer is $1,199.

City breakdown: Red Deer

About: Conveniently positioned between Edmonton and Calgary, Red Deer offers renters a central location with easy access to both major cities. The city boasts a diverse economy, recreational opportunities around its river valley, and a welcoming community. Renters appreciate the mix of urban amenities, affordable housing, and a range of cultural events throughout the year.

Proximity to major cities: Red Deer is about a 1.5-hour drive to both Edmonton and Calgary.

Rental housing in Red Deer:

4. Lethbridge

Average rent in Lethbridge

Lethbridge offers many of the same advantages of Calgary and Edmonton, with rent prices typically below the two cities. As of February 2024, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in Lethbridge is $1,215/month.

City breakdown: Lethbridge

About: Lethbridge is Alberta’s third-largest city, behind only Calgary and Edmonton. Known for its sunny climate and picturesque river valley, Lethbridge is an appealing city in southern Alberta. Renters are drawn to its affordability, thriving arts and cultural scene, and the proximity to outdoor activities like hiking and golfing. The University of Lethbridge adds a youthful energy to the city, creating a balanced and welcoming community.

Proximity to major cities: Lethbridge is about a 2-hour drive to Calgary, or 5 hours or so to Edmonton.

Rental housing in Lethbridge:

5. Medicine Hat

Average rent in Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat is considered one of the best places to live in Alberta with ample job opportunities and practically year-round sun, but it’s also one of the cheapest places to live in the province. As of February 2024, a one-bedroom unit rents for an average of $1,215/month.

City breakdown: Medicine Hat

About: Nestled in the heart of Alberta, Medicine Hat offers renters a unique blend of affordability and quality of life. With a diverse range of rental options, from charming historic homes to modern apartments, residents enjoy a cost of living that is notably lower than the national average, coupled with a welcoming community spirit and access to numerous parks and recreational activities, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a comfortable and budget-friendly living experience in the stunning Canadian prairies.

Proximity to major cities: Medicine Hat is a 3-hour drive to Calgary, or 5.5 hours or so to Edmonton.

Rental housing in Medicine Hat:

6. Edmonton

Average rent in Edmonton

Alberta’s capital city and the home of the University of Alberta, Edmonton maintains reasonably low rent prices despite its multi-faceted appeal. As of’s February 2024 Calgary & Edmonton Rent Report, an unfurnished one-bedroom unit in the city rents for an average of $1,269/month.

average unfurnished and furnished one-bedroom rent prices in Edmonton, Alberta for's February 2024 Calgary and Edmonton Rent Report

City breakdown: Edmonton

About: Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, attracts renters with its rich cultural scene, diverse neighbourhoods, and a strong sense of community. Home to festivals, museums, and a thriving arts district, Edmonton offers a lively urban experience. The city’s commitment to green spaces, like the North Saskatchewan River Valley, provides renters with ample outdoor recreational opportunities, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a well-rounded lifestyle.

Rental housing in Edmonton:

7. Canmore

Average rent in Canmore

Due to its popularity as an outdoor destination and typically low supply of rental housing, rent in Canmore is a bit higher than other Alberta cities. The most recent rental data for Canmore suggests that the average cost for a one-bedroom unit is $1,579/month – not far below Calgary.

City breakdown: Canmore

About: Nestled in the stunning Canadian Rockies, Canmore is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Renters are often drawn to the city’s breathtaking scenery, extensive hiking trails, and proximity to the world-famous Banff National Park. The town offers a laid-back mountain vibe, with a charming downtown featuring boutique shops, local eateries, and a welcoming community spirit.

Proximity to major cities: Canmore is only about a 1-hour drive to Calgary and is approximately 4 hours from Edmonton.

Rental housing in Canmore:

  • Studio apartments for rent: Canmore
  • One-bedroom units for rent: Canmore
  • Two-bedroom units for rent: Canmore

8. Calgary

Average rent in Calgary

As Alberta’s largest city, Calgary also has the province’s highest rent prices. As of our February 2024 Calgary & Edmonton Rent Report, an unfurnished one-bedroom in Calgary rents for an average of $1,665.

average unfurnished and furnished one-bedroom rent prices in Calgary, Alberta for's February 2024 Calgary and Edmonton Rent Report

City breakdown: Canmore

About: Calgary offers renters a vibrant urban lifestyle against the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Known for its dynamic energy sector, the city provides diverse job opportunities and a popular post-secondary institution in the University of Calgary. Younger renters in particular will appreciate the bustling downtown with its busy nightlife, popular events like the Calgary Stampede, and numerous parks and pathways along the Bow River which combine to create a perfect blend of career opportunities and recreational activities.

Rental housing in Canmore:

  • Studio apartments for rent: Calgary
  • One-bedroom units for rent: Calgary
  • Two-bedroom units for rent: Calgary

How to find a place to rent in Alberta

The best way to find cheap places to rent in Alberta is to search for listings online. In today’s rental market, most landlords will post their properties for rent on one of the many popular listing sites, where renters can message them for details, submit applications, and even sign a lease agreement.

Searching for listings on is quick, easy, and safe. Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial on searching efficiently using’s various filters and features:

How to avoid rental scams in Alberta

When choosing where to search for listings, it’s always best to prioritize platforms with built-in security measures, since rental scams are becoming more prevalent across Canada. To help combat this danger, manually verifies both landlords and listings to keep our users safe. We request that landlords verify their identity through government-issued photo ID, with listings verified through documents like property tax forms, or through a one-time code mailed to the address on file.

Regardless of where you search, these are some warning signs to look out for that mean you may be dealing with a rental scam:

  • Scam #1 Rent is too low
    If the rental rate seems shockingly below the rental average for the city, it could be a fake listing.
  • Scam #2 Urgent demands for cash
    Renters don’t have to pay for anything until a lease is signed. So, if someone’s pressuring you to send cash now, don’t do it.
  • Scam #3 Too much info
    Until you’re 100% ready to move forward with a lease, you’re not obligated to share your bank account or SIN number.
  • Scam #4 Not enough details
    While some smaller landlords may withhold unit numbers for privacy, you should know the exact address of the unit you’re looking at. without that info, it could be a scam.

Pro tip: rent from ID-verified landlords on to avoid scams.

Resources for Alberta renters

For more information on renting in Alberta and using to streamline your rental process, renters can consult the guides below or see our blog for more tips & resources for Canadians.

FAQ: The cheapest places to live in Alberta

Where in Alberta is cheapest to rent?

At the time of writing and of the cities we examined, Lloydminster has the cheapest average rent prices in Alberta. Rental rates are always subject to change based on seasonality, demand, and many other factors though, so it’s always best to do your own research to determine the best fit.

Is Edmonton rent cheaper than Calgary?

Yes, Edmonton’s rent prices are generally considerably cheaper than Calgary’s. At the time of writing, an unfurnished unit rents for $1,269 in Edmonton compared to $1,665 in Calgary – a $396 difference.

Why is it cheaper to live in Alberta?

Historically, Alberta’s low cost of living has been the result of lower rent prices and taxes. The province typically also sees less demand for rental housing in particular compared to major cities like Vancouver and Toronto, which has worked to keep rent prices lower.

Which part of Alberta is best to live in?

The answer to this varies greatly depending on the individual. While some might prefer the big-city convenience of Calgary or Edmonton, others may gravitate towards smaller cities like Canmore or Lloydminster.

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