Cost of Living in Canada – Canada is one of the leading nations for international students and is considered one of the 5 most popular countries for education alongside the USA and the UK. The beautiful landscape, top-notch universities, high-quality student life and the general kindness of Canadians are some of the major reasons why Canada is so popular amongst prospective students for tertiary education.
Apart from considering the program of education and the various options for scholarships in Canada, students also have to take into consideration the cost of living in Canada. It has generally been observed that although Canada is not ‘expensive’ in terms of living expenses in Canada for students, the cost of living in Canada is still considerably high. Therefore, students must analyze their required funds according to the various expenses involved in order to make their dreams of higher education in Canada a reality.
Canada is home to some of the top universities in the world for education at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Programs in a wide range of domains such as medicine, engineering and social sciences are some of the top courses for students who want to study in Canada. Some top Canadian universities for education in Canada are:
Top Universities for Education in Canada
QS World Ranking
University of Toronto
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta
Université de Montréal
University of Waterloo
The University of Western Ontario
University of Calgary
Queen’s University at Kingston
Top Student Cities for Education in Canada
Apart from the high quality of education in Canada, the nature of student life in Canada is also commendable. With extravagant campuses for students as well as a wide of variety activities and organizations for students, Canada provides a spectacular student environment for those who want to study in Canada. The top Canadian student cities are all highly ranked on the QS World Best Student Cities list and the average living expenses in Canada for students in these cities ranges from 54,000 – 65,000 depending upon the city of residence.
The top Canadian student cities, their average monthly living expenses and notable universities in the same are given below.
Top Canadian Student Cities to Study in Canada
Canadian Student City
QS Best Student City Rank
Ave. Living Expenses in Canada
McGill University, Université de Montréal, Concordia University
University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University
University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Film School
University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Saint Paul University
Laval University, Université du Québec
For students who want to study in Canada, the cost of living in Canada is a major aspect for consideration. Although the living expenses in Canada aren’t necessarily ‘expensive’ on the global scale, the cost of living in Canada is around 150% more than the cost of living in an Indian city. Additionally, rent and residential costs are around 300% more than in India.
The various living expenses which constitute the cost of living in Canada include:
1. Rent and Residential Costs in Canada
Following the trend as in most countries, the rent and residential costs are the most substantial aspect of the cost of living in Canada. Rental costs are highest in large Canadian student cities like Toronto and Vancouver with rent being anywhere in the range of CAD $1,000 – $1,500 for modest student accommodation.
Apart from the basic rental prices, students pursuing education in Canada also have to pay for necessary utilities like gas, heating, electricity etc. The average cost for these utilities tends to amount to around CAD $90 per month. Students who want to study in Canada can save up on accommodation expenses by sharing flats or applying for university accommodation.
2. Food and Drink in Canada
The cost of living in Canada in terms of food and groceries is inexpensive but not precisely cheap especially when eating out at a restaurant or a bar. Students who want to study in Canada generally save up on food by cooking at home instead of frequenting local cafes and eateries on a daily basis.
Some average living expenses associated with food and drink for students who want to study in Canada for the top Canadian student cities are:
Living Expenses in Canada for Food and Drink
Type of Expense
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
Meal (mid-range restaurant)
Domestic Beer (0.5 l)
Imported Beer (0.33 l)
Soft Drink (0.33 l)
Water (0.33 l)
3. Clothing Expenses in Canada
Clothing is considerably affordable in Canada and the cost of living in Canada for clothing generally amounts to 6 – 10 % of a person’s total expenditure. The living expenses in Canada for basic clothing items from chain stores like Zara and H&M and brands like Nike and Adidas are moderate. Some average prices associated with the cost of living in Canada for clothing in the top Canadian students cities are:
Living Expenses in Canada for Clothing
4. Transportation Costs in Canada
The cost of living in Canada in terms of transportation costs is generally expensive when it comes to public transportation. In fact, due to the prices of public transport, many student pursuing education in Canada prefer to buy their own car for transport as it tends to be cheaper in the long run. In cities other than large metropolitan areas like Vancouver, public transportation is especially hard on the pocket.
The average cost of living in Canada for transportation in the top Canadian student cities includes:
Living Expenses in Canada for Transportation
One-way ticket (public transport)
Monthly pass (public transport)
Gasoline (1 l)
5. Medical Expenses in Canada
The cost of living in Canada in terms of medical expenses border on the expensive end of the worldwide scale with a short doctors’ appointment costing around CAD $100 simply for consultation! On the other hand, basic medicine is considerably priced though it isn’t exactly cheap for students who want to study in Canada. A box of antibiotics costs around CAD $18 whereas a weeks’ worth of cold medicine is an average of CAD $12.
6. Entertainment Costs in Canada
There are numerous sources for entertainment for students who want to study in Canada. This includes various hiking and trekking activities as well as other outdoor pursuits. One of the most popular entertainment sources for students pursuing education in Canada is definitely sightseeing as Canada offers the perfect landscape and architectural wonders for sightseeing as well as photography.
The average cost of living in Canada for traditional entertainment sources like the cinema for the top Canadian student cities is given below.
Living Expenses in Canada for Entertainment
Fitness Club Membership
Top Universities for Engineering in Canada
How to apply for masters in Canada?
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