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Living in CanadaAccommodation in Canada for International Students

Accommodation in Canada for International Students

If you’re coming as an international student in Canada, there are many accommodation options to consider. Where you live will depend on your budget for your stay in Canada. Learning institutions or private landlords can help you find the best place for you. Here’s everything you need to know about accommodation in Canada for international students. 

Accommodation Types for International Students in Canada

There are many options to choose from regarding accommodation for international students in Canada. Here’s everything you need to know:

Dormitories and Townhouses

Some universities provide on-campus student stays. Dormitories are large buildings housing many students. The rooms are shared in dormitories but will be separated by gender. Facilities like the kitchen and the bathroom are also shared. Dormitories are often suggested for first-year college and university students. Townhouses contain three to six bedrooms with no roommates. Usually suggested for graduate and second to fourth-year students. On-campus accommodation saves transportation costs, and you’re closer to classes.

Average cost: The average cost of dormitories and townhouses in Canada is between $3,000$7,500 CDN per school year.


Staying in with a Canadian family provides you with a furnished private room, three meals a day, internet access, and a sense of home and security.

Each homestay is unique and welcomes international students. Living with a host family can help you learn more about Canadian culture and help improve your English. The host family does most of the cleaning and the cooking, so you will have more time to focus on your studies. Expect a 30-50 min travel time by bus or train to reach your classes. 

Average cost: The average cost of homestays in Canada is between $400$800 CDN per month.

Private Renting

This is an option for students, but the rents can be high, especially in major cities. To keep the prices down, you can choose to share your accommodation. Your school or college can help you by offering an off-campus housing service that enables you to find affordable accommodation and roommates nearby. 

You should also factor utilities into your budget if you’re looking for private renting. Off-campus accommodation saves you money by picking cheaper accommodation, gives you more freedom and independence in your daily life, and you can choose your roommates. 

Average cost: The average cost of private renting in Canada is between $400$1,500 CDN monthly.

Accommodation Cost in Canada for International Students

The cost of living in Canada for off-campus accommodation is between $3,000 and $7,500 per year, and on-campus accommodation is $8,000 to $10,000 per year.

Here are some of the top Canadian universities and their accommodation costs: 

University Average Cost
University of Toronto $14,081 – $17,252 per year
University of British Columbia $12,000 – $14,500 per year
McGill University $9,000 to $18,000 per year
University of Montreal Up to $1,200 per month
McMaster University Up to $12,260 per year

Universities in Canada generally offer different room types in their student residences, which vary in cost and amenities. For example:

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto offers off and on-campus housing. They offer dormitory-style rooms, modern dormitory style, and apartment-style residences for students. The most popular residence is Trinity College. Because of its ideal location, being close to Convocation Hall, gyms, and Robarts Library, it’s a top choice for student housing. 

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia offers single rooms, shared rooms, townhouses, studio suites, and nano suites. Totem Park Residence is the most affordable and the perfect place for first-year students to make connections because it offers a convenient meal plan. It also has plenty of quiet places for students to study.

McGill University

McGill University offers large single rooms, single rooms, and double rooms, one of the most desirable residences of McGill is Douglas Hall. It’s divided into eight houses, a combination of single and double rooms, mostly single. It has a cafeteria, library, and piano room used for events. 

McMaster University

McMaster University offers 13 on-campus residences with single rooms, double rooms, apartments, quads, and suites. The residence fee includes your accommodation, study rooms, residence facilities such as the bathroom and the kitchen, and internet. You need to purchase a meal plan because it’s not included in the residence fee. Les Prince and Mary Keyes House is the most wanted residence at McMaster. 

Things to Consider Before Deciding

Moving away to study isn’t easy, but it’s an experience of a lifetime. It takes a lot of planning and preparing yourself mentally and physically. To help ease the process of moving, here’s a list of things to consider:

  • Find a place where you feel comfortable and safe. Be sure to find a place where you can study and be successful in Canada.
  • Be careful of scams. Never pay before seeing the apartment or meeting the owner.
  • Check what’s provided. Ask about repair, internet, hot water, and electricity.
  • Ask your school for assistance. You can tell your school about your preferences, and they will help you find the right accommodation.

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