How to Find Accommodation in Canada for International Students

Accommodation in Canada for Students

The worry of accommodation in Canada for students starts much before one takes admission to a college or university in the country. Visiting a new country without knowing much about the kind of accommodation you are going to get can be taxing. Even for Indians, you know you will find many people from your country in Canada yet finding accommodation can still be a problem.

Well, fret not! Canada has a gamut of options that prospective international students can choose from. If you are attending a college or language school, it’s less likely there will be a residence on campus. In that case, you’ll have to look for off-campus housing. As an international student, you may even find an on-campus housing option in the country.

To start with, you can look for accommodation by paying a visit to the international student office. You can also use the website of the college or the university that you are going to attend. This article would help you to make a prudent decision.

Read More: How to Get Canada PR from India?

Types of accommodation in Canada for international students

Dormitories or condominiums

Students can opt for the living in residence option. This is one of the preferred options for accommodation in Canada for Indian students. These are residences offered by the colleges or universities on or sometimes near the campus. Dormitories are usually large and can accommodate several students. Condominiums are mostly smaller independent apartments for three to five students.

Dormitories are managed by the university and are preferred by the first-year students (of college or university). A condominium can have up to six bedrooms with single-capacity rooms. The kitchen and living area are mostly on the main floor. Students who are familiar with the country and its ways of living, prefer to stay in condominiums.

Both accommodations have a cafeteria or food court. The other facilities include hot water and internet. 

If you come to Canada for 1 or 2 semesters only, living in residence would be a better option than finding your own housing off campus. A room in residence will be furnished with a bed, shelves and a desk. The cost of living in residence often comprises the option of adding a meal plan. Students can leverage the benefits of residence — access to the library and campus, and smoother transition to living as a student. 

Cost of Living On-Campus 

University Accommodation Type Cost (CAD)
McGill University Studio Apartment/dormitories  $932- $1,090 (monthly)
University of Toronto Single Room/Double Room $14,000 — $16,000
Seneca College Bachelor/1 bedroom

2 bedroom

$1,000 to $1,200 

$1,500 to $1,700

University of Alberta Single Room

Double Room   



Queen’s University Single Room/ Quad Room/Loft Double Room $9,000 –  $17,000
Western University Single Room 

Double Room 



Source: University Official Website 

Shared Apartments (off-campus)

Depending on your meal requirements, the cost of off-campus housing may differ and would cost between  CAD 700 and  CAD 1,000 per month.

Off-campus shared apartments are similar to townhouses. You can stay alone or have one or more roommates. You will get a single occupancy room but the living area, kitchen, bathroom, and dining space are shared.

You must note that not all Canadian universities help students look for off-campus housing. However, they may refer you to external agencies that can help you to find accommodation. The rental charges may differ from one city to another.


Homestays are chosen by students who want to get the feeling of staying with a family. With this option, you will get a private room and three meals daily. You also get to understand Canadian culture. It is also safer than the other options as the family staying in the house can help you whenever you need something. 

However, universities and colleges are generally located far away from residential areas. Therefore, you can expect to travel for around 30-50 minutes daily.

Important Resources About Canada:

Apartment on rent

These are well-furnished private accommodations. You can book one of these apartments online even before reaching Canada.

However, there are pros and cons of both on-campus and off-campus accommodations. For example, with on-campus accommodation, you can be closer to your classes/campus amenities, you will get the international student community, 24X7 housing support, and the rental price will include utilities and food. If you choose off-campus accommodation, you can choose the location, enjoy more freedom, choose your roommates, look for cheaper accommodation, and get familiar with the Canadian culture.

As far as the cost of student accommodation in Canada is concerned; an on-campus accommodation with meals for eight months can cost you, CAD 6,000, to CAD16,000. However, the cost depends on the university.

If you are living in an off-campus accommodation in Canada, especially in a homestay, it will cost you around 700 CAD to 2200 CAD per month. It depends upon the size and location of the accommodation.

Type of Accommodation  Cost (CAD)
Townhouses $250 – $650 
Shared Apartment  $400 – $800
Unfurnished Apartment Rentals                        $300 – $500
Dormitories $350 – $600 

How to find accommodation in Canada for students?

Finding accommodation in Canada can be a challenging task if you have not yet arrived in the country and have no resources who can help you. Many companies offer to help find accommodation in advance. We have already mentioned about the types of accommodation in Canada. Some houses are on rent entirely while others are divided in units. Here are a few points to know how to find accommodation in Canada for students.

  • Inquire about the facilities

Before you decide on getting accommodation on rent, you must inquire about the facilities of your accommodation provider. The facilities should include amenities like hot water, television, internet, etc.

  • Being sure about the meals

If you are planning to stay within the campus and are going for the meal plan, you must know about the meals. You have to pay in advance.

  • Special services for students with disabilities

If you have some kind of disability and need special services, you must inform the college or university about it. There are places built in accordance with the special needs people. 

  • Arriving early to the campus may help

The earlier you arrive at the campus, the more time you will get to be acquainted with campus life. Also, most universities follow a first come first served policy so it is best to arrive and get yourself an accommodation before it fills out. 

Finding accommodation for an international student in Canada can be difficult but not impossible. However, doing a little bit of research before deciding can be helpful.

Cost of student accommodation in Canada

As far as the cost of student accommodation in Canada is concerned; an on-campus accommodation with meals for eight months can cost you CAD 6,000 to CAD 16,000. However, the cost depends on the university. 

If you are living in an off-campus accommodation in Canada, especially in a homestay, it will cost you around CAD 700 to CAD 2200 per month. It depends upon the size and location of the accommodation.

More Resources to Read:

Accommodation in Canada for students – FAQs:

Is it mandatory for international students to live on-campus?

It is not mandatory for international students to live on-campus. Students can choose an accommodation as per their choice.

Where can I find short-term furnished rentals?

You can find many short-term rentals online through websites such as Airbnb, Vrbo,, and Kijiji. Do read the reviews before selecting an option.

How to find homestays online?

To choose the right homestay easily, you can go through a homestays network such as Canada Homestay network, YES Canada Homestay, and HomeStay In, which are selective about choosing the right homestay based on safety and comfort.

How to minimize risks while looking for apartments?

Avoid unrealistically nice apartments, never send money before checking the apartment, and never share personal information with prospective or current landlords.

What is the cost of accommodation for International students in Canada?

Living off-campus in Canada will cost you around CAD 700 to 2200 whereas living on-campus will cost you a CAD 8,000.

Where do students stay in Canada?

Students can stay in dormitories, condominiums, shared apartments, on-campus residences and more.

How do international students find accommodation in Canada?

You can find accommodation online via different rental sites such as, Padmapper, Facebook Marketplace, on Craiglist and many other sites. Also, connect with landlords personally to find apartments and check newspaper columns to find a house on rent.

Where can you do your 14-day quarantine after arriving in Canada?

Short-term rentals such as Airbnb can be used since there is no need to share the living space. You can inform the landlord while taking the accommodation.

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