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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 Type Price per night Accomodation Type Price per month
Hotels 96 to 120 Homestay 600 to 1,100
Bed and Breakfast stay 50 to 150 Residence/Dormitory 3,000 to 7,500
Hostel 35 to 90 Rented Apartment 600 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. 

Estimates Rates
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 9,198 (monthly)
Alcoholic beverages 1,994 (monthly)
Mid-Range Restaurant 65 (three-course meal)
Grocery (vegetables and fruits) 95 (per kg)
Milk 2.31 (per liter)
Water 1.68 (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: 

City Apartment Rent (CAD)/1-Bedroom Meal Cost (CAD)/3-Course Meal Transportation Charge (CAD)/Monthly Pass
Toronto 2,020 75 143
Ottawa 1,120 70 103
Hamilton 1,050 60 101

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 Stay Long Term Stay
Accomodation Type Price per night Accomodation Type Price per month
Hotels 45 – 420 Homestay 850 – 2,000
Bed and Breakfast stay 40 – 250 Residence/Dormitory 6,000 – 12,000 (per 8 months)
Hostel 30 – 190 Rented Apartment 500 – 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: 

Items Rates (CAD)
Grocery 375 per month
Milk 2.11 per liter
Basic meal (3-course) 65 – 80
Non-alcoholic beverage 2.5
Alcoholic beverage 7 – 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:

City Apartment Rent (1 bedroom) (CAD) Meal Cost (Three-course Meal) (CAD) Transportation Charges (Monthly Pass) (CAD)
Calgary 975 80 103
Edmonton 775 65 94
St. Albert 600 65 73

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 Accommodation Price Range (CAD)/night
Nova Scotia New Brunswick
Hotels 95 to 449 64 to 130
Bed & Breakfast 54 to 359 36 to 147
Hostels 29 to 75 49 to 99

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

Type of Accommodation Price Range (CAD)/month
Nova Scotia New Brunswick
Homestay 500 to 950 520 to 900
Residence 700 to 3500 550 to 3200
Rented Apartment 525 to 2240 450 to 2100

Food Expenses

Estimated Rates (CAD)
Nova Scotia New Brunswick
Alcoholic beverages 800 (Monthly) 750 (Monthly)
Mid-range restaurant three-course meal 55 (Three-course meal) 55 (Three-course meal)
Grocery (vegetables & fruits) 70.38 (per Kg) 69.50 (per Kg)
Milk 2.33 (Per Liter) 2.30 (Per Liter)
Water 1.50 (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: 

City Apartment Rent (1 Bedroom) Meal Cost (3-Course Meal) Transportation Charges (Monthly Pass)
Clark’s Harbour 1500 70 145
Stellarton 1150 60 100
New Glasgow 950 60 101
Moncton 2,000 75 63
Saint John 1,500 60 77
Fredericton 1,500 65 80

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 Stay Long Term Stay
Accomodation Type Price per night Accomodation Type Price per month
Hotels 60 to 220 Homestay 450 to 900 
Bed and Breakfast stay 30 to 120 Residence/Dormitory 2,000 to 6,000 per year
Hostel 15 to 30 Rented Apartment 500 to 1,500 

Food Expenses

Food Articles Rates (CAD)
Non-alcoholic beverages 1.88 (0.33-liter bottle)
Alcoholic beverages 24
Mid-range restaurants (for 2 people) 60
Grocery (vegetables, fruits, eggs, rice, cheese, chicken, beef) 68 – 70 (per kg)
A loaf of Bread 3.44
Milk 2.30/ Liter
Water 2.15 (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: 

City Apartment Rent (1-Bedroom in CAD) Meal Cost (3-Course Meal in CAD) Transportation Charge (Monthly Pass in CAD)
Quebec City 525-700 60 87
Montreal 709-1,050 60 85
Saguenay 485-375 60 68 – 70
Sherbrooke 430-450 55 74
Gatineau 685-790 50-60 95

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.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.




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