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Student Accommodation in Canada

Learn the different types of accommodation available for international students in Canada.

In this article:

On-campus accommodation:

University dormitories (dorms)

Approximate cost: CAD $250 and $625 per month.

University dorms are buildings located within or nearby the university campus with multiple rooms housing many students. Most Canadian universities will offer different dormitory plans like single or shared rooms with shared common spaces like living and dining areas.

First-time international students usually prefer this type of accommodation in Canada as it is near the campus. Most of the requirements like furniture and food are taken care of by the university. 

Other university facilities like the library will be close by for your use. You will also be surrounded by students like yourself with a chance to mingle and make friends. 

Typical amenities & facilities: 

  • Single or shared rooms
  • Basic furnishing (including beds, study tables, chairs, and lights)
  • Shared common spaces
  • Wi-Fi
  • Meals (this varies depending on the university and the accommodation plan)

    Since this is the most preferred accommodation type for most international students, rooms tend to get filled very quickly. If you want to stay at a dormitory, you need to reach out to your university's student housing department as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. 

    Townhouses

    Approximate cost:  CAD $400 and $800 per month.

    Townhouses are another type of accommodation offered by Canadian Universities. These are four or five-bedroom houses located inside or nearby the university campus. Students can opt to take a single room while sharing the other common areas of the house or opt for shared rooms.

    If you choose this type of accommodation, you will have more freedom while still being able to utilise the university’s facilities being near the campus.

    Typical amenities & facilities: 

    • Single or shared rooms
    • Basic furnishing (including beds, study tables, chairs, and lights) 
    • Essential kitchen equipment (including refrigerator and stove)
    • Shared common spaces
    • Wi-Fi 

      This option is usually offered to third-year or fourth-year undergraduate and postgraduate students, so you can choose to switch to a townhouse with your friends after your first few semesters at the university. 

      Off-campus accommodation:

      Rented apartments

      Approximate cost: CAD $300 and $1000 per month.

      Many landlords offer apartments for rent to international students. You can choose this type of accommodation if you want to stay away from campus and explore the country. You can choose to rent an apartment alone or share an apartment with friends. 

      The rental cost can significantly vary based on the location and available amenities. In most cases, the rent of the apartment will not include additional expenses like electricity, water, and food. So, you need to plan your finances accordingly and look for an apartment in a location you can afford.

      Typical amenities & facilities:

      • Bedrooms
      • Kitchens and communal areas

        Note: Some apartments come fully furnished with all the basic furniture, but some don't. Do enquire about the amenities before finalising the apartment.

        Your landlord will ask you to sign a lease agreement before moving in; make sure you read the document and understand it completely. You can also ask the landlord to give you a day or two to show the agreement to someone familiar with legal jargon if you cannot understand it.

        You can look for rental apartments through websites like:

        • Padmapper
        • Rentals.ca
        • Facebook Marketplace
        • Craigslist
        • Kijiji,

        Homestay:

        Approximate cost: CAD $400 and $800 per month.

        If you choose homestay, you can stay with a Canadian family as a paying guest. Though this type of accommodation costs a bit more than the rest, it gives you a new home in the new country. You will have a bedroom where you can stay, and you will have to share the common areas of the house with the family. Meals are usually included with added costs. 

        Typical amenities & facilities:

        • Single rooms
        • Meals

          You can immerse yourself in the Canadian culture and learn the ways of the locals with the help of the family. You can also look up to the family for guidance on the locality.

          You can look for rental apartments through websites like:

          • Canada Homestay Network
          • HomeStay In
          • YES Canada homestay