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If you can live in a basement, instead of apartment/house, you can save at least 400 bucks. If your land lord provides you free cable TV, you can save at least 40 bucks. If your apartment provides all utilities, you can save around 100 bucks. If you don't care too much about the food qualities and always have time to buy from China Town and cook yourselves, for three persons, it only costs around 300 to 400 bucks. And if you don't care to join some free food activities and religion free dinners, can save you at least 10 dinners. If you are good at seeking a second hand car, rather than buy it from a dealership, it can save you at least 1000 bucks. If you don't want to cover the auto insurance for yourselves, it can save you at least 150 bucks. ....
And as well, if you live in Toronto, if you don't pay your rental by cash and hold the receipt, you can get some tax credit. If you don't have incomes, you can also have some tax refund. It seems that living in Toronto will have more tax credits than living in Vancouver. But I also heard that who lives in Vancouver gets a lot of refund in one tax year.
BTW, Vancouver's rental is lower than Toronto's. Food price is a little higher than that in Toronto.
Don't know the day care or school cost.
In general, 1000 should be enough for a low standard. But better to budget around 1500.
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