Canada is an excellent country to develop one’s career and settle permanently in the long run, as it has one of the world’s best education systems and immigration options. In addition, Canada is a popular study destination for students worldwide due to its world-class universities, cultural diversity, and friendly people.
Canada is known for being an expensive country, but the exquisite experience it provides is well worth the price. With a reasonable tuition fee and lifestyle, Canada’s student living expenses are within reach.
Because Toronto is home to many globally recognized institutes offering high-quality education, a large portion of the international student population is concentrated there.
However, studying abroad presents several challenges for international students, particularly in terms of finances. This article focuses on international students’ living expenses in Toronto and some money-saving tips.
There have been many rumors about the cost of living in Toronto for international students, so we’ve gathered all of the answers in one place.
How is international student life in Toronto?
Toronto is a multicultural city filled with green spaces that is home to over a hundred different ethnic groups. Aside from locals, immigrants from various cultures are also present. Before moving to Toronto for higher education, international students should be aware of the living conditions they will face.
🔹 Because people of various ethnic backgrounds live here, you will hear Punjabi, Italian, Tamil, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish spoken. However, English is the most widely spoken language in Toronto.
🔹 It has the highest number of visitors and immigrants among all Canadian cities.
🔹 According to the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, Toronto is the thirteenth-best city for international students to study in. This is due to the high quality of education, comfortable living conditions, and reasonable rates.
🔹 International students will feel at ease in the city because of the city’s cultural melting pot.
🔹 Because many international students choose Toronto as their study destination, they will be surrounded by people discovering the city’s culture for the first time.
🔹 The weather in this area is considered moderate. In the winter, however, temperatures can drop to around -8 C. As a result, international students must consider and prepare for this.
life expenses in Toronto for students
How much does it cost to live in Canada? Living costs for international students in Canada are affordable and manageable if you budget carefully. Depending on lifestyle and preferences, a student’s average cost of living in Canada can range from 15,000 CAD to 20,000 CAD. Most academic institutions offer courses with tuition fees of 15,000 CAD. Furthermore, a single student’s monthly cost of living in Canada is 880 CAD without rent.
Housing costs in Toronto for students
💰 The average cost of living alone is $13,076.00 per month.
💰 The average cost of off-campus living with one roommate is $8,088.00.
While living in residence is undoubtedly expensive, the only consolation is that it is frequently cheaper than Toronto’s exorbitant rental costs, you never have to worry about meals, and you get to know other students – potential BFFs, friends, or lovers – a lot easier.
A standard double dorm with meal plan at the University of Toronto costs between $12,065 and $18,852.22 per school year. A standard double dorm with meal plan at Ryerson University costs $12,409.06 at Pitman Hall and $13,035.06 at the International Learning Centre. The average cost of an eight-month university stay, including room and board with a meal plan is $14,090.34.
Hydro cost in Toronto for students
Hydro is the electricity cost, usually $50 per month and can rise depending on how much electricity you use. Utilities such as hydro, water, and gas may be included in rental costs depending on the type of housing.
The cost of the phone bill in Toronto for students
The average cost for the eight-month school year is $805.60. Not having a cell phone is obviously not an option, even if you’re no longer on your parents’ plan. While you’ll most likely use campus Wi-Fi or coffee shops, monthly cell phone bills can put a strain on a student’s budget.
Of course, it doesn’t help that Canadians have some of the world’s highest wireless bills. But, on the other hand, a plan with the least amount of data and usage is unlikely to suffice, as you’ll want to stay in touch with friends and family, no matter where they live, and you’ll inevitably want to document your first year with thousands of photos.
According to NDL Nordicity Group Ltd, the average monthly phone bill in Toronto for unlimited calls, SMS, and 2 GB of data is $87.45. This will cost you $699.60 over the course of an eight-month school year. Meanwhile, you can expect to pay $113.95 per month for unlimited minutes, SMS, and 5 GB of data, or $911.60 over the course of an eight-month school year.
The average monthly phone bill in Toronto is $100.70. The average phone bill in Toronto for an eight-month school year is $805.60.
If you live off campus, you can add Internet service for an additional $69.99 per month (based on Rogers rates), or $559.92 per eight-month school year.
Tenant insurance fee in Toronto for students
Tenant insurance is not legally required, but some landlords may require it as part of the leasing agreement. Regardless, there is no reason to jeopardize your possessions or your financial future by foregoing this low-cost insurance. Tenant insurance is typically less than a dollar per day, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the event of a disaster.
Tenant insurance costs around $15 per month. The average monthly cost in Toronto is closer to $20, but this can vary depending on your coverage needs.
The cost of food in Toronto for students
💰 The average cost of a residence meal plan is $320.00.
💰 Without a residence meal plan, the average cost is $1890.64.
Even if you have a meal plan at home, chances are you’ll spend money on random items at the grocery store on occasion (especially if your room is complete with a mini-fridge). If you don’t plan your meals, the cost of groceries, delivery, and eating out will be significantly higher. The average monthly cost of basic groceries for a male 19-30 is $266.55, according to the City’s Nutritious Food Basket Calculator. The monthly cost for a female of the same age is $206.11, for a total of $236.33 for both sexes.
💰 The average monthly grocery bill in Toronto is $236.33.
💰 For an eight-month school year, the average cost of basic groceries is $1890.64.
💰 Based on conversations with now-second-year university students, the average monthly cost of groceries with a meal plan is $40.00.
💰 The average grocery bill for an eight-month school year with a meal plan is $320.
transport cost in Toronto for students
The average cost for the eight-month school year is $1254.00. Therefore, the TTC is the most cost-effective mode of transportation for students (though it does leave much to be desired).
If you ride the TTC on a daily basis (whether to school, a part-time job, or for social outings), purchasing the TTC’s Post Secondary Student Metropass for $116.75 per month may make sense.
However, there will most likely be a few times per month when a taxi, Uber, or Lyft is required, such as after a long night on the town or when you’re in a big hurry and public transportation just won’t cut it.
Of course, walking or biking is the most cost-effective way to get around, but the size of the city makes the former only possible on occasion, and the latter may be perceived as a risk by some (especially if they are not from Toronto) given Toronto’s recent road safety concerns with cyclists.
🟣 Nevertheless, if you ride a bicycle as your primary mode of transportation, you can save about $100 per month off the total transportation monthly costs listed below.
🟣 Monthly Metropass for Post-Secondary Students: $116.75
The cost of a monthly Metropass for the entire school year is $934.00.
🟣 Uber or Lyft services: $40 per month on average
For an eight-month school year, Uber or Lyft services cost $320.00.
🟣Total monthly transportation costs: $156.75.
The total cost of transportation for an eight-month school year is $1254.00.
Cost of clothing and shoes in Toronto for students
While you may not have clothing expenses every month, you will have clothing and shoe needs from time to time that you should budget for.
The Greater Toronto Area (where all three campuses are located) has four distinct seasons, with temperatures averaging 30°C (86°F) in the summer and -25°C (-13°F) in the winter. Therefore, proper clothing, such as a warm coat, scarf, hat, weather-rated gloves, and snow boots, is required to be comfortable during our long winters.
Monthly Entertainment Cost and Other Costs
💰 The average cost for an eight-month school year is $2480.
If there was ever a time to party like there was no tomorrow, it was during your university years. So it’s only natural to save a few dollars to help your party’s cause. Late-night takeout or delivery is unavoidable, as is treating yourself to a Sunday brunch that goes above and beyond what’s available in the cafeteria (especially when the hangover is real) or a date night away from your dorm room and at a pub.
Regarding entertainment, the price of a movie and popcorn is no longer what it once was. Thank you for having a Netflix subscription.
🔸 Dining out: $100.00 per month, including meals out (estimated at $60.00 per month) and takeout/delivery (estimated at $40.00 per month).
Dining out, including meals out and takeout/delivery, costs $800.00 for an eight-month school year.
🔸 Drinks per month, including drinks at restaurants ($100.00) and liquor/beer stores ($50.00): $150.00
Drinks for the entire eight-month school year: $1200.00
🔸 Monthly entertainment costs $60.00, which includes Netflix, concerts, in-theatre movies, and plays.
The cost of entertainment for an eight-month school year is $480.00.
Total monthly entertainment/drinks/dining: $310.00
🔸 Estimated total entertainment/drinks/dining for an eight-month school year: $2480.00
The cost of books and supplies in Toronto for students
The average cost for the eight-month school year is $1500.00. After paying thousands of dollars for tuition, the cost of books and academic tools can hit you like a slap in the face. According to the University of Toronto website, students should budget $1000.00 to $2000.00 for books and school-related tools (which will vary depending on your program); an average of $1500.
💰 The average annual cost is $1500.00.
💰 The average monthly cost is $187.50.
Fitness and Health in Toronto for students
The average cost for an eight-month school year is $504.00.
Health and fitness are essential components of a well-rounded university or college life to balance out the partying, relieve school stress, and look as good as possible in your dating profile. The simplest way to accomplish this is to use the on-campus gyms, which provide free access to students (just bring your student ID) and are included in tuition.
If you’d rather work out outside of school, Goodlife Fitness – a more affordable gym with locations throughout the city, most likely near(ish) your campus – charges about $59.99 to $69.99 per month for their membership. If you enjoy yoga, the average cost of a yoga class in Toronto is around $20.00. Assuming three visits per month, this will cost you $60.00 per month, or $480.00 per year.
Fitness costs an average of $63.00 per month (without using the campus gym).
Fitness costs an average of $504.00 per eight-month school year (without using the campus gym).
Coffee Shops costs in Toronto for students
For an eight-month school year, the average cost of coffee shops is $280.00. Caffeine, coffee shops, and your university years are almost inextricably linked. So while a daily Starbucks latte or two may be out of the question, you can definitely find an affordable coffee shop near campus to call your remote office.
💰 The average monthly amount spent in coffee shops is $35.
💰 Over the course of an eight-month school year, the average amount spent in coffee shops is $280.
Personal Care in Toronto for students
For an eight-month school year, the average cost is $200. Suppose you didn’t arrive on campus with enough shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, tampons, razors, tissues, and toothpaste to last you eight months.
You might be surprised at how quickly drugstore visits add up when mom and dad aren’t footing the bill. Estimates of this cost are based on data from Expatistan.
💰 Personal care costs an average of $25.00 per month.
💰 Personal care costs an average of $200.00 for an eight-month school year.
Emergency funds in Toronto for students
Emergencies happen. We encourage you to establish funds that can act as a buffer if you have an urgent need, such as an unexpectedly large hydro bill or an unforeseen travel expense.
The total cost of living in Toronto for students
💰 The cost of living in a standard dorm room with a meal plan per school year is $22,073.
💰 Per school year, the cost of living off-campus alone is $22,630.
💰 Off-campus living with one roommate: $17,922
Before you have a mild panic attack, remember that these figures will not be the same for everyone. Avoiding regular booze-filled nights out, using the campus gym, riding your bike frequently, and not purchasing any clothing will significantly reduce this bill.
In any case, a year spent living as a university student in Toronto will teach you a lesson in money management that you didn’t realize you needed.
Apart from the previously mentioned expenses, an international student may incur additional expenses such as sports activities, leisure, utilities – internet connectivity, electricity bill, water bill, and so on. Furthermore, because these amounts vary by individual, they cannot be precisely described.
In any case, a student, particularly an international candidate, must be able to balance their expenses because they will only have a set amount to spend each month.
The experienced and dedicated team at Univly is ready to answer your questions and provide advice on studying in Canada.✅
At the University of Toronto, on-campus housing for eight months ranges from about $6500- $20,500 CAD, depending on the room and meal-plan.
International students' living costs in Canada are affordable and manageable if you are wise enough with your expenses.
The average student salary in Canada is $35,100 per year or $18 per hour.
As of 2022, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $2,200. This is a 19% increase compared to the previous year.
Windsor. With a population of roughly 233,000 people, Windsor offers the most affordable rent in Ontario.