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Are you an Indian student planning to move to Canada to pursue your higher education? Well, given Canada’s progressive education system, it is great if you plan to study in Canada. However, while planning for it, you also need to be considerate of housing for international students in Canada. 

Whenever we talk about the cost of studying abroad, we categorize it into tuition fees and living costs. Tuition fee structure in Canada we know for a fact varies from one institution or program to another. Tuition fees for top ranked universities in Canada like the University of Toronto will be quite high. On the contrary, the tuition fee for a diploma at a college let’s say Sheridan College will be much lower.

Now, speaking of living costs for international students in Canada, student housing forms the major chunk of it. Accommodation in Canada for international students is something we should talk more about. Finding suitable and affordable accommodation timely is an essential part of your study abroad planning.

students in canada

Evidently, Canada is a multicultural country with a massive Indian population spread across all regions. Consequently, Indian students in Canada feel welcomed and don’t have to witness an overwhelming sense of cultural shock. This is what makes Canada a hot study abroad destination for international students especially those from India. 

However, of late, Canada’s housing crisis has come to the forefront and is in the news. Owing to the influx of international students in Canada, student housing in Canada is under some pressure. Therefore, you should plan your accommodation right after you receive your Canadian student visa. 

To explain, if feasible, you should find decent accommodation for yourself even before you land in Canada. This way, you will ensure that you don’t have to take the brunt of Canada’s growing student housing crisis. For that, you must know what accommodation options are there for Indian students in Canada. How will you find that out? 

This blog aims to answer all your doubts and queries about student housing in Canada. 

Some Key Details About Living in Canada

  1. The average cost of living in Canada for international students is CAD 18000 to CAD 20000 per annum. 
  2. The cost of living in Canada for international students is the highest in Toronto i.e. CAD 3551 monthly (approximately). 
  3. Following Toronto on the list is Vancouver where the monthly cost of living can be around CAD 3445. 
  4. Calgary, Quebec and Halifax are among the most affordable cities in Canada. 
  5. The monthly average cost of accommodation in Toronto is between CAD 1600 to CAD 6400. 
  6. The monthly average cost of accommodation in Montreal is between CAD 970 to CAD 3200. 

On-Campus Versus Off-Campus Accommodation

So, as you can see above, the cost of living and student housing varies from one city or province to another. When you shortlist universities/colleges in Canada to apply to, you must also keep this consideration in mind. 

To explain, if you are applying to universities in Toronto, the costs of living and accommodation will be much higher. On the contrary, applying to universities in Calgary can be quite affordable in terms of living costs and accommodation. 

Another consideration when it comes to choosing accommodation is whether you want to stay on-campus or off-campus. Almost all top universities in Canada offer on-campus accommodation to international students. In fact, some universities make it a compulsion for international students to stay on campus in the first year.

Both on-campus and off-campus accommodations have their share of merits and demerits. While on-campus accommodation can be slightly more expensive, it saves transportation costs and hassle. However, while off campus accommodation has no restrictions, the daily traveling costs can be high. You need to see what suits you better in terms of convenience and affordability. 

Next, we look at the various accommodation options for Indian students in Canada. 

Accommodation Options for Indian Students in Canada

  1. Shared Apartments 

Shared accommodation or shared apartments are popular among students looking for budgeted options. Sharing an accommodation/apartment with other students can cost around CAD 750 per week in Toronto or Vancouver. For other cities, the average rent will be much lower of course. 

No doubt, it is a great and smart way to save money. Many Indian students in Canada resort to it and live in shared spaces with their fellow Indian students. However, this option may not be for you if you are very considerate about your privacy and personal space. Living in shared apartments, you will have to share the kitchen, washroom and other amenities with your housemates.

  1. Rental Apartments 

The second option for Indian students in Canada is to go for rental apartments. Subject to your budget and need you can rent a studio apartment, a one-room apartment or a two-room apartment. Renting an apartment gives you the personal space and privacy that most youngsters wish to have.

If you wish to live alone, you can rent a single-room apartment for yourself. Otherwise, you can rent a two-bedroom apartment with one or two close friends of yours. In popular Canadian cities, renting a one-room apartment will cost CAD 1000 to CAD 1200 per week. On the other hand, the rent for a two-room apartment will be between CAD 1400 and CAD 1600. 

Besides, the per week rental for a studio apartment in a city like Vancouver will be around CAD 1000. Apartments for rent can be available both on-campus and off-campus depending upon the university. For instance, the University of Alberta Residences offer various on-campus options to international students. 

  1. Homestays 

Another option for Indian students in Canada is that of homestays. In fact, the trend of homestays is gaining immense popularity among international students. Even for vacations to popular destinations, people now prefer homestays over sprawling hotels.

Simply put, in a homestay you live with a family, usually the one that owns the house. They put up one or two spare rooms for students to avail as a homestay accommodation. So, you get to live in a family environment and the family takes care of your meals and other requirements. 

The good thing about staying in a homestay is its affordability and the fact that you would not feel homesick. Moreover, you get to eat home cooked meals every day rather than having to binge on junk food. 

However, the downside is that you may not have a lot of liberty and personal space staying at a homestay. Besides, if the family is used to creating a lot of commotion, it might affect your focus on your studies.  

Interestingly, homestay accommodation is known to be the cheapest student accommodation option in Canada. Canada Homestay Network is the most popular website for international students to find homestay accommodation in Canada. This website will certainly help in case you are interested in homestay accommodation in Canada. 

In the subsequent section, we have enlisted a few additional tips to help you choose accommodation in Canada. 

Tips For Choosing An Accommodation in Canada   

  1. Be considerate of your budget 

The basic criterion for choosing an accommodation option in Canada is the budget. You need to realize that accommodation is one of the many components of living costs. Hence, choosing an accommodation option that does not seem too heavy on the overall cost of living will be smart. 

Maybe in the initial few months, you can live in a shared apartment or even better, a homestay. This is what most Indian students in Canada do. Thereafter, when you find a stable and well-paying part-time job, you can rent an apartment for yourself. 

  1. Don’t be lured into a distant budgeted option 

Staying far away from the university or college to save on rent can be a bad decision. Even if you save hundred to two hundred dollars in rent, the daily transportation costs will shoot up the expenses. So, more than what you save in rent will end up being spent on transportation each month. 

Also, if traveling to and from campus becomes too much of a hassle, it will also affect your studies. You will feel exhausted every day and will begin to procrastinate on your academics. That is certainly not advisable, isn’t it? 

  1. Prioritize your safety 

International students sometimes resort to staying at shabby places to save some extra bucks. However, these places or areas may not be the safest areas to be in. Mostly, these areas have high rates of crime, are centers of illicit drug trades and can put your safety at risk. 

Having said that, even if it costs 100 to 150 dollars more, choose safe accommodation in a safe locality. At the end of the day, your safety and security are above all. Indian students in Canada must be highly vigilant and aware when it comes to safety. 


To conclude, that was all about student housing for Indian students in Canada. We have talked about various accommodation options for international students in Canada with tentative costs. Eventually, it is for you to take the call based on which accommodation type or option is best suited to your needs and budget. Again, a word of caution! Do not commit to an accommodation option that sucks out almost all of your living expenses. Also, I reiterate, make sure you choose a safe locality for yourself. 

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Author Bio

Author Bio : Mr. Almasto Kapoor

I believe that wisdom and information amplify when shared with others. With more than 14 years of vast experience in tertiary education and having assisted a plethora of students in accomplishing their higher education dreams, I’d like to believe that my knowledge is substantial. To make this knowledge count, I love sharing it with students to apprise them of the intricacies of overseas education and to go with that, my keen interest in writing makes it an even more fulfilling thing to do!

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