How To Find Student Housing In Canada: What You Need To Know

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023

    Canada is fast emerging as the favoured education destination for Indian students aspiring to study abroad. The number of Indian students in Canada increased from 6,675 students in 2004 to 48,730 students in 2015. This was a whopping increase of 630%. The year 2017, in fact, saw 100,000 Indian students take admission to Canadian Colleges and Universities. Many Indian students, in recent times, have chosen Canada over the U.S., for their higher education sojourn.

    Some of the factors that attract Indian students towards Canadian Colleges and Universities are comparatively lower tuition fee (which is 30-40% less than the tuition fee at U.S universities), U.S. President Trump’s stance on immigration and the various racial incidents that have recently plagued the United States of America.

    For scores of Indian students who have got an admission to a College or University in Canada, or those who plan to go the next year, student housing is one of the first things that they want to tick off from their “To Do List”. If you are one such student and have been worried about how to find the perfect place to call home for the next few years, read on and get to know how to find the best student accommodation in Canada.

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    Like every other country, student housing in Canada too is of two kinds: On-Campus Student Housing and Off-Campus Student housing.

    On-Campus Student housing in Canada

    Most of the colleges and Universities in Canada offer on-campus housing to their students – especially those who are new to the country.

    On-Campus housing can be of the following kinds in Canada:

    1. Residence or Dormitories

    Most Universities in Canada provide accommodation to their students either on-campus or near to the campus. On-campus housing option is mostly offered to a student with the acceptance letter and students are expected to respond to the offer by a specified due date. Students can be assigned to on-campus dormitories or residence halls.

    Dormitories, which are managed by the University themselves, are large buildings that house several students. Students are allotted rooms – which might be a single room or they may share a room with others and get access to common toilets and bathrooms. They also have access to common areas meant for cooking, entertainment, and exercise. Most dormitories are meant for single-sex students and they are mostly reserved for all first Year College or University students.

    Residence halls, also called Townhalls, on the other hand, have anywhere from three to six bedrooms and house one student per bedroom. All the occupants of the residence halls share a common living area and kitchen. Both dormitories and residence halls have a food court or cafeteria in the vicinity. Students need to pay between $3,000 and $7,500 CDN every school year for these dormitories or residences.

    Students should remember that these dormitories and residences are mostly closed during the winter break (from mid-December to early January) and thus students should contact The International Student Centre if they need accommodation assistance during that period.

    2. Home-Stays

    Many Canadian colleges and universities contact local families to welcome and host international students in their homes. Most home-stays have a child in the same year as that of the international student. Students staying in a homestay get a cozy room with family meals and are also allowed to participate in the family and the community. Since care is taken to allot a homestay that meets the international student’s interest, they are the best way to get adjusted in a new country and to know about the local culture and traditions.

    The cost of an average homestay would be between $400 and $800 CDN per month. Students have to additionally pay $200 CDN advance.

    Off-Campus Student Accommodation in Canada

    • Students who have already spent a year in Canada and want to explore the new city without any restrictions or want more privacy opt for off-campus student accommodation.

    • Off-campus student accommodation in Canada means renting a house, apartment or room. Since living alone is expensive in Canada, most students prefer to share their rented apartments or houses.

    • All rented houses or apartments have common areas like kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and garden. Students can have a single room or share their room with a friend.

    • You can find some good off–campus options online or even contact your University or get in touch with housing-focused Facebook groups.  

    • The rent of a shared accommodation in Canada is between $250 to $700 CDN per month while the rent of a suite or apartment is between $400 and $1,500 CDN per month. Note that this is just rental cost, and food and other expenses will be additional.

    So, if you are someone who is going to opt for an off-campus accommodation, we urge you to follow the following tips:

    1. Your college or institution may have a list of Off-Campus renting options in the neighbourhood. So, get in touch with them first.

    2. When making your off-campus arrangements, consider the distance from your University and the kind of public transport available for your commute. Also inquire about furnishings, safety, maintenance, lease, and subletting.

    3. Start making your arrangements early, as soon as you get your acceptance letter, as most good options get taken over by peak months i.e. August and September.

    4. Beware of fake ads about properties that do not exist. Always make sure to inspect the place before signing any lease or agreement or making any deposits.

    5. Most off-campus housing in Canada comes without any furnishings. Buying furnishings from the market can be costly. We suggest students try Craigslist for cheap or free things.

    We are sure that Canada will welcome you with open arms and help you make the most of your time as an International student. We wish you all the best for your new journey!

    First published date: 20 Aug 2018


About author

Aishwarya Bhatt
A bookworm who transforms into a web-usability evangelist, when her favorite blend of coffee is flowing in her veins. Happiest in a bookstore and when she is painting with words on paper!

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