A Guide to Accommodation for International Students In Canada

Published on: April 23rd, 2024
Last updated: May 2nd, 2024

Canada’s excellent educational institutions, diverse and inclusive society, high quality of life, and post-graduation work opportunities make it an attractive choice for students from around the world.

According to statistics from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), over 640,000 international students were studying in Canada as of 2021, and this number continues to grow steadily each year. 

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One of the essential aspects of studying abroad is finding suitable accommodation. In Canada, international students have several options for housing, including on-campus residences and off-campus rentals. Universities and colleges across the country provide various accommodation choices to meet the diverse needs of their student population.

On-Campus Housing information 

  1. University Websites: Most Canadian universities maintain detailed information about on-campus housing options, including residence hall descriptions, room types, amenities, and application procedures. Prospective international students can visit their university’s official website or housing portal to access this information.
  2. Student Services Offices: Universities often have dedicated student services or housing offices that provide personalized assistance to students seeking on-campus accommodations. These offices can offer guidance on housing applications, room assignments, and related policies.
  3. Virtual Tours and Videos: Many universities offer virtual tours or videos showcasing their on-campus housing facilities. These resources provide visual insights into residence buildings, common areas, room layouts, and amenities, helping students make informed choices.
  4. Student Forums and Groups: Online forums, social media groups, and university-specific platforms allow students to connect with current or former residents of on-campus housing. Engaging in discussions, asking questions, and seeking advice from peers can offer valuable insights into the on-campus living experience.

Off-Campus Housing Resources

  • Off-Campus Housing Websites:
    • PadMapper and Zumper: Are platforms that aggregate rental listings from various sources, allowing users to search for apartments, houses, and shared accommodations based on location, price range, and amenities.
    • Kijiji: A classified ads website where individuals and landlords post rental listings, including shared housing options. Students can filter listings by location, rental type, and budget.
    • Craigslist: Another classified ads platform featuring rental listings for apartments, rooms, and shared accommodations in Canadian cities. Users can narrow down search results based on preferences and budget.
  • University Off-Campus Housing Services: Many universities offer off-campus housing services or resources to assist students in finding rental accommodations. These services may include rental listings, housing workshops, roommate matching programs, and lease review assistance.
  • Student Housing Cooperatives: Some cities in Canada have student housing cooperatives that offer affordable and community-oriented housing options. These cooperatives are run by student members and often prioritize inclusivity and sustainability.

Student Accommodation in Canada’s biggest Cities

Finding accommodation as an international student in Canada can be both exciting and daunting. Whether you’re looking for the vibrant life of a large city or the cozy charm of a smaller town, Canada offers a wide range of options that cater to different needs and preferences. Here, we focus on tips for finding the perfect place to live in some of Canada’s largest urban centers, each with its unique character and lifestyle.

Toronto

As Canada’s largest city and a global hub of culture and business, Toronto offers numerous accommodation options for students. Consider living near your institution to reduce travel time. Downtown areas are convenient but can be pricey, so looking into neighborhoods like The Annex, which is popular among students for its affordable housing and proximity to the University of Toronto, could be beneficial.

Vancouver

Known for its breathtaking landscapes and mild climate, Vancouver is a top choice for many students. The cost of living here is on the higher side, especially in the city center. Students often opt for shared accommodations or look for housing in areas like Kitsilano or East Van, which offer a balance between accessibility to universities and rental affordability.

 

Montreal

Montreal combines old-world charm with modern-day conveniences and is a great place for those who appreciate culture and the arts. It’s also relatively more affordable than Toronto and Vancouver. Neighborhoods like Plateau Mont-Royal are popular among students for their vibrant atmosphere and lower rental prices, while still being close to several major universities.

Calgary

With its close proximity to natural wonders like the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is perfect for those who love the outdoors. The city offers a range of affordable student housing options, particularly in areas like Kensington and Sunnyside, which are near educational institutions and have a vibrant, young atmosphere.

Ottawa

As the capital city, Ottawa provides a mix of cultural institutions and parks with a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle ideal for studying. The cost of living is generally reasonable, and areas like Sandy Hill are student-friendly, being near the University of Ottawa and offering a range of rental options.

Tips for Student Accommodation in Canada’s Smaller Cities

Don’t overlook the smaller cities across Canada, which can be hidden gems for international students. These areas often offer a close-knit community atmosphere, making it easier to connect with fellow students and locals. Accommodation in smaller cities is typically more affordable, with the added benefit of lower living costs across the board.

In cities like Halifax, Victoria, and Kingston, you can find convenient and budget-friendly student accommodations. Many smaller cities also host community events and gatherings that are perfect for making new friends and easing the transition to life in Canada.

Whether you’re considering the bustling streets of Toronto or the scenic views in Halifax, each Canadian city offers its own unique set of benefits for international students. Remember, it’s important to consider what atmosphere will best support your academic and personal growth while studying abroad.

Studying in Canada as an international student offers a wealth of benefits, from world-class education and multicultural experiences to post-graduation opportunities and a high standard of living. Whether you choose to study in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, or other Canadian cities, you’ll find a range of housing accommodations to suit your preferences and budget. From on-campus residences fostering a sense of community to off-campus rentals providing independence and flexibility, Canada welcomes students from around the globe with open arms. 

Consider Canada for your international education journey and discover the endless possibilities it offers for personal and academic growth. Complete our free assessment form to see if you are eligible to study in Canada!

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