Cost of living in Canada

Cost of Living in Canada

Coming in eighth place in terms of most popular destinations for international students, many wonder what the cost of living is in the northernmost country of the Americas. The Canadian dollar (CAD) is weaker than both the UK Pound Sterling and the US Dollar, yet the economy is still strong, and businesses continue to flock to the country with almost as much frequency as students.

So what can students looking to study in Canada expect to spend, not just on university, but also in day-to-day living? This of course, depends on a wide variety of factors, including whether they choose to live in a city or in the suburbs, on- or off-campus, on a coast or in the middle of the country. In general, though, students can expect to budget based on the following information.

One Year of Studying in Canada

While the cost of studying in Canada [insert link to Cost of Studying in Canada article] largely depends on factors such as the university you attend, the region in which you live, and the scholarship you are granted [link to Canadian scholarships article], it is overall lower on average than many of the other top destinations for international students. On average, international students should expect their annual cost of study to be around 25,000 CAD, before any scholarships or grants are taken into consideration.

Specifically, arts and humanities degrees tend to come at a lower price tag, while subjects like engineering and medicine are among the more expensive, with an average of 28,625 CAD per year. Fees for business and management courses are actually lower than the national average, at 24,683 CAD, annually.

Overall Cost of Living in Canada

While some of its larger cities like Toronto or Vancouver can require a higher budget than smaller towns, Canada overall ranks only as the 28th most expensive country. This follows a wide range of other destinations that embody the most popular international study destinations, including the US, UK, France, Australia, and more. Furthermore, Toronto and Vancouver respectively rank only 220th and 198th in most expensive cities.

In more specific financial terms, this means that students considering even the most populous cities in Canada should not be dissuaded by the stereotypical high prices of major metropolitan cities. On average, it is estimated that students will spend approximately 15,000 CAD, depending on whether or not they choose to live in a major city.

For a quick list of what to expect when living Canada, see the chart below:


Monthly rent in normal area for two people (85m^2)

1,626 CAD

Monthly Utilities

156 CAD

Internet (8Mbps)

55 CAD


Monthly Metro Ticket

115 CAD

One liter of gasoline

1.16 CAD


Basic Lunchtime Menu

17 CAD

Fast Food Combo Meal

10 CAD

Cinema Tickets

13 CAD

Cappuccino in the City

4.50 CAD

Beer in Neighborhood Pub