Town of Canmore

Living Wage

The Living Wage is a community-specific indicator that represents the income that an individual needs to earn in order to grow, thrive, and actively participate in their community. 

Municipalities can complete a Living Wage calculation to understand changes to community affordability; to assess the impact of municipal, provincial, and federal policies and programs; and to compare community livability with other municipalities 

How is the Living Wage calculated? 

The Living Wage is calculated based on community expenses related to a two income, two child family. This reference was chosen for the basis of the calculation because it represents the average living situation for individuals (ages 25 – 54) with children.  

The Alberta Living Wage network created the methodology for the living wage calculation, which is based on Centre for Policy Alternatives and Living Wage Canada. The Living Wage assumes that both adults are working full-time hours (35 hours per week) and it includes more than the basics of food, clothing, and housing (mortgage payments); the calculation also takes into account unexpected costs, small investments in education, and childcare. 

Why is the Living Wage Calculation important? 

The Living Wage represents the hourly wage that makes up the income an individual needs to earn in their career to grow, thrive, and actively participate in their community. It provides insight on community affordability and livability. 

The Living Wage also provides municipalities with a way to evaluate the impact of community programs, such as Vital Homes or the Good Food Box, on living expenses. 

The Living Wage may help employers quantify the impact that employee benefit programs, such as employee meals, staff accommodation, health benefits, professional development, childcare support, corporate wellness accounts, or corporate savings plan, have on the calculation of the wage  

What is Canmore’s Living Wage? 

Canmore’s 2021 Living Wage is $37.40, and is based on a two income, two child reference family (annual household employment income of $136,160). 

Remuneration should never be based on family composition or lifestyle. The Living Wage is an indicator for community affordability and livability.  It represents the income that any or all residents need to earn in their careers to grow, thrive, and actively participate in community.  

Canmore has also calculated the minimum wage that a single adult who is renting, needs to earn to cover living expenses and actively participate in community.  Although this is not considered a Living Wage, it can provide guidance on appropriate entry-level compensation. The hourly wage that a single adult needs to earn is $23.70 per hour (annual employment income of $43,152). 

To read the 2021 Living Wage Report, pdf click here (1.16 MB)

How does Canmore’s Living Wage compare to other municipalities? 
Canmore has the highest living wage in Alberta. 

The Town of Canmore is a member of the Alberta Living Wage Network, which is a collection of municipalities that are working together to calculate Living Wages across Alberta and to understand the unique supports that municipalities across the province need. To review the Living Wage of municipalities across Alberta, click here

Why is Canmore’s Living Wage so high? 
According the 2018 Alberta Spatial Price Survey, Basic Household expenses in Canmore are on-average 143 percent more expensive than Alberta’s baseline municipality (Edmonton). Most notably, Canmore’s housing, is 241 percent more expensive than Alberta’s baseline, which directly impacts the Living Wage calculation. 

Where can I find more information? 
For more information on Canmore’s Living Wage program please contact Lisa Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

To learn more about other Alberta Living Wage, click here

For answers to common questions about Alberta's Living Wage, click here

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Wesley First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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