Exploring Basement Renovation Costs in 2023: Toronto & Montreal

Basement renovations are often hailed as the most cost-effective way to expand your living space. They offer a unique advantage by utilizing your existing foundation and structure, resulting in a lower cost per square foot compared to home additions. The price per square foot typically ranges from $35 to $70, but this can vary depending on your specific requirements. In this comprehensive article, we’ll dissect where your investment goes when planning a basement renovation.

The Roadmap to a Basement Renovation: A Cost Breakdown

When embarking on a basement renovation, your first step should be to envision the potential of this underutilized space. Your basement is a blank canvas with endless possibilities. After defining your vision, consider whether you need to construct walls to create distinct rooms within the basement. The addition of walls serves multiple purposes, from spatial separation to enhanced soundproofing. On average, the cost of putting up a wall using gypsum hovers around $3,000 per wall.

It’s crucial to recognize that quotes can vary between contractors, depending on their expertise and the services they offer. Therefore, it’s essential to align your budget with your desired renovation outcome.

To provide you with a regional perspective, here are average renovation costs in Greater Montreal and Greater Toronto for 2023:

Basement Elements

Greater Montreal Average Costs (2023)

Greater Toronto Average Costs (2023)

Turnkey (without bathroom)

$25,000 to $50,000+

$32,000 to $63,000+


$10,000 to $22,000

$12,500 to $28,000

Walls & Joint Sealing (Gypsum)

$2/sq.ft. + $1,500 for joints

$3/sq.ft. + $1,900 for joints


$3.00 to $5.00/sq.ft.

$3.75 to $6.25/sq.ft.


$2 to $3.00/sq.ft.

$2.50 to $3.75/sq.ft.


$3 to $11/sq.ft

$3.75 to $14/sq.ft.

Please note that several factors can influence renovation costs, including the scope of work, required labor, materials, protective measures, project duration (faster often means higher costs), and potential contingencies.

Navigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Construction and Renovation

It’s crucial to remain mindful of unforeseen events related to COVID-19 that may affect renovation costs. The construction industry has faced challenges, such as a treated lumber shortage resulting in fluctuating prices. Similar issues may arise with other construction materials.

What's Included in a Turnkey Basement Renovation?

A turnkey basement renovation entails stripping your basement down to its original state, removing walls, flooring, and more. The process involves:

  • Installing new walls
  • Insulating walls adjacent to the foundation
  • Adding a gypsum ceiling
  • Flooring installation
  • Joint sealing
  • Painting the entire basement

Some comprehensive renovations also encompass custom cabinetry and furnishings. If you decide to incorporate a bathroom into your basement, especially if there wasn’t one originally, be prepared for additional costs.

Adding a Bathroom in the Basement

The decision to add a bathroom to your basement can significantly impact both the timeline and cost of your renovation. In some cases, contractors may need to demolish part of the concrete slab to install plumbing. Depending on the complexity of the project, this could add approximately $3,500 to your basement renovation expenses.

However, if your basement already includes a bathroom that requires remodeling, the original plumbing should suffice. The total cost of your bathroom renovation within the basement varies widely depending on factors like materials and furnishings. On average, adding a small-sized basement bathroom could contribute an additional $12,500 to $28,000 to your overall renovation costs. Conversely, a bathroom addition on the main floor may range from $10,000 to $23,000.

Painting and Ceiling Options

Painting costs are typically calculated based on square footage, taking into account labor hours and the quantity of paint required. Basement painting expenses typically fall within the range of $1,000 to $2,600.

Ceiling choices are diverse, with options including:

  • Gypsum ceiling at $4 to $7 per square foot.
  • Suspended ceiling at $5 per square foot.
  • Architectural ceiling at $7+ per square foot.

Prior to closing the ceiling, consider soundproofing measures.

Choosing the Right Flooring

Flooring is a vital element in any basement remodel, significantly influencing the overall look and feel of the space. Many homeowners opt for hardwood flooring, which provides an elegant appearance. However, hardwood flooring is on the higher end of the price spectrum, averaging about $10+ per square foot. Before installing hardwood, ensure your basement is free from water infiltration or humidity issues. Alternatively, floating flooring is an option to prevent floor buckling.

Carpeting, while less popular, can also be chosen for specific purposes, such as creating a children’s playroom. Carpeting can dampen sound and provide comfort, but it’s essential to consider potential humidity issues. Carpet fibers tend to retain moisture, which can lead to mold or other humidity-related problems.

Summing Up Basement Renovation Costs

As previously mentioned, the total cost of your basement renovation depends on your specific project requirements. On average, a basement renovation in 2023 may range from $25,000 to $60,000. It’s important to note that, for safety reasons, the addition of a bedroom in the basement necessitates a window that doubles as an emergency exit, adding approximately $2,000 to the project for cutting a hole and installing a new window.

Keep in mind that addressing water infiltration or humidity issues before renovating your basement is essential. Neglecting these concerns may result in costly repairs and the need to redo your basement.

Planning for the Future to Save on Renovation Costs

To avoid the need for a second basement renovation, it’s wise to anticipate your future needs. Consider whether you’ll require a playroom for children or grandchildren. There are numerous ways to reimagine your basement beyond a traditional rec room. Our basement idea page on the Reno-Inspiration tool can provide insights into the cost of your basement renovation and showcase projects completed by our Verified Contractors.

Understanding your vision will help you estimate the overall cost of your basement finishing or renovation.

Find the Right Basement Contractor with Goliath Basements

Are you ready to embark on your basement renovation journey? Finding a reliable, high-quality contractor can be a daunting task. Let Goliath Basements alleviate that stress for you! Get in touch with our renovation team & verified contractors who will provide quotes for your renovation project. Unlock the potential of your basement with Goliath Basements and redefine your living space.