Learn about Cost of Living in Canada that may help your study abroad plans further!


The cost of living in Canada for an international student ranges from 20000 to 40000 CAD a year on an average. This is calculated on multiple factors: Accommodation, Food Expenses, Transportation Charges, Health Care, and Student Expenses. This is considered to be quite affordable in comparison to education in most countries. A general rule to go by is that the bigger the city, the more the living expenses are. Canada comprises 5 major provinces: Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The cost of living in Canada varies for each city. Given below is an estimate of the expenditure and cost of living in each city which help aspirants plan to study abroad in Canada.

Cost of Living in Canada – Top Provinces

Here, we will run through the cost of living in Canada, featuring the top provinces. Let’s take a look at them.

Cost of Living at Ontario – Accommodation Cost

The cost of accommodation in Ontario varies as per the choice of facility. Hotels, hostels, or B&Bs, calculated per night, seem to be a viable option for a short term stay, but a rented apartment or homestay is much more affordable for more extended periods. An estimate of the costing is mentioned below. 

Short Term Stay

Long Term Stay

Accomodation TypePrice per nightAccomodation TypePrice per month
Hotels96 to 120Homestay600 to 1,100
Bed and Breakfast stay50 to 150Residence/Dormitory3,000 to 7,500
Hostel35 to 90Rented Apartment600 to 2,000

Food Expenses

The Cost of Living in Canada varies as per the city. An estimate of the average household expenses in Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph has been calculated and given below. 

Food and non-alcoholic beverages9,198 (monthly)
Alcoholic beverages1,994 (monthly)
Mid-Range Restaurant65 (three-course meal)
Grocery (vegetables and fruits)95 (per kg)
Milk2.31 (per liter)
Water1.68 (0.33-liter bottle)


Health Care

Universities in Canada have made it essential to have medical insurance, one of the first things you will have to do upon landing. The coverage plan includes doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, dental emergencies, air ambulance, and more. International students are required to purchase the Universal Health Insurance Plan. The price is added to the tuition fee. 

Student Expenses

Food ExpensesOntario is amongst the most expensive provinces in Canada, implying that education is also comparably high. Even keeping aside educational fees (25,000 CAD/year for UG and 16,000 CAD/year for Graduates), the cost of living in three different cities is as follows: 

CityApartment Rent (CAD)/1-BedroomMeal Cost (CAD)/3-Course MealTransportation Charge (CAD)/Monthly Pass

The average expense covered is hence 750 CAD/ month. 

Cost of Living in Canada – Alberta

Alberta has always been a great place to live for international students. It offers a relatively higher income and has lower expenses with affordable housing. An estimate of the cost of living in Alberta has been mentioned below. 


Generally, the average cost of a studio apartment suitable for students in Alberta is about $1000/month. This is suitable for a long term stay. The range of accommodation expenditure is as follows: 

Short Term StayLong Term Stay
Accomodation TypePrice per nightAccomodation TypePrice per month
Hotels45 – 420Homestay850 – 2,000
Bed and Breakfast stay40 – 250Residence/Dormitory6,000 – 12,000 (per 8 months)
Hostel30 – 190Rented Apartment500 – 1,500

Cost of Living in Canada – Food Expenses in Alberta

The average household consumption in Alberta, calculated based on Edmonton, and Calgary, are as follows: 

ItemsRates (CAD)
Grocery375 per month
Milk2.11 per liter
Basic meal (3-course)65 – 80
Non-alcoholic beverage2.5
Alcoholic beverage7 – 9


Health Care

International Students can apply for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan coverage if they stay in Alberta for at least 3 months. The starting range is $76.10 per month. 

Accommodation Expenses

Quite contrary to Ontario, Alberta’s tuition expenses are much lower than those of the other provinces of Canada. The cost of living in Canada, which also includes Student expenses, of 3 different cities of Alberta was as follows:

CityApartment Rent (1 bedroom) (CAD)Meal Cost (Three-course Meal) (CAD)Transportation Charges (Monthly Pass) (CAD)
St. Albert6006573

The living cost with no dependents and excluding accommodation lies somewhere near CAD 332 monthly as a miscellaneous expenditure.

Cost of Living in Canada – Nova Scotia & New Brunswick

In Nova Scotia, the cost of living is relatively low, but education is costly. The undergraduate tuition fee is the highest amongst all the provinces.


The range of expenditure for a short term stay is as follows: 

Type of AccommodationPrice Range (CAD)/night
Nova ScotiaNew Brunswick
Hotels95 to 44964 to 130
Bed & Breakfast54 to 35936 to 147
Hostels29 to 7549 to 99

The cost of living in Canada which includes accommodation costs in the states – Nova Scotia & New Burnswick is: 

Type of AccommodationPrice Range (CAD)/month
Nova ScotiaNew Brunswick
Homestay500 to 950520 to 900
Residence700 to 3500550 to 3200
Rented Apartment525 to 2240450 to 2100

Food Expenses

EstimatedRates (CAD)
Nova ScotiaNew Brunswick
Alcoholic beverages800 (Monthly)750 (Monthly)
Mid-range restaurant three-course meal55 (Three-course meal)55 (Three-course meal)
Grocery (vegetables & fruits)70.38 (per Kg)69.50 (per Kg)
Milk2.33 (Per Liter)2.30 (Per Liter)
Water1.50 (1.5 liter bottle)1.30 (1.5 liter bottle)


Health Care

Students can apply for the Nova Scotia Health Card as soon as they arrive in Canada. They can also apply for private healthcare insurance of their own. There is no fee for Medicare, which covers hospital and physician costs.

Student Expenses

The cost of living in Canada in places like Nova Scotia is affordable. The average undergraduate tuition fee for international students is CAD 24,133; on the other hand, it is around CAD 12,000 per year for graduate students. In New Brunswick, all the international students have to pay the average tuition fee around CAD 12,480 to CAD 16,090. The cost of living apart from education expenses, in 3 different cities is as follows: 

CityApartment Rent (1 Bedroom)Meal Cost (3-Course Meal)Transportation Charges (Monthly Pass)
Clark’s Harbour150070145
New Glasgow95060101
Saint John1,5006077

Apart from the tuition fee, the rough estimate of students’ other expenses in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is around CAD 700 per month.

Cost of Living in Quebec


Quebec has been one of Canada’s most affordable cities and offers some of the best housing deals. On average, the buying price of houses in Quebec City costs around CAD 2,495 per square meter. The cost of living in Canada as per accommodation type is as follows:

Short Term StayLong Term Stay
Accomodation TypePrice per nightAccomodation TypePrice per month
Hotels60 to 220Homestay450 to 900 
Bed and Breakfast stay30 to 120Residence/Dormitory2,000 to 6,000 per year
Hostel15 to 30Rented Apartment500 to 1,500 

Food Expenses

Food ArticlesRates (CAD)
Non-alcoholic beverages1.88 (0.33-liter bottle)
Alcoholic beverages24
Mid-range restaurants (for 2 people)60
Grocery (vegetables, fruits, eggs, rice, cheese, chicken, beef)68 – 70 (per kg)
A loaf of Bread3.44
Milk2.30/ Liter
Water2.15 (0.5-liter bottle)


Health Care

Health care is free through the province’s Medical Care Plan (MCP), provided that the students are enrolled in full-time studies for at least 12 months.

Student Expenses

On average, an international student spends between CAD 8,200 to CAD 10,500 for five courses per semester. Expenses other than educational fees come up to: 

CityApartment Rent (1-Bedroom in CAD)Meal Cost (3-Course Meal in CAD)Transportation Charge (Monthly Pass in CAD)
Quebec City525-7006087
Montreal709-1,050 60 85
Saguenay485-3756068 – 70

All international students are automatically enrolled in the Foreign Health Insurance plan. International students are eligible for free basic health coverage through the province’s Medical Care Plan, provided that they are enrolled in full-time studies for at least 12 months. We hope the cost of Living in Canada is mentioned in detail concerning the top 5 Provinces. Thus, you can arrange your Financials accordingly before planning to study in Canada.

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  1. Nice blog.Thanks for sharing this blog.

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