Cost of living in Canada for Indian Students (2024 Updated)

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Cost of living in Canada for Indian Students (2024 Updated)

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Students intending to live and study in Canada often look for the Cost of living in Canada accurate information. Canada is a popular destination for international students with diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth. The living expenses in Canada are generally cheaper than other Anglophone destinations like the USA, UK, and Australia. To maintain a comfortable lifestyle in Canada, international students should have a yearly budget of CAD 12,000.

The major factors that influence the cost of living in Canada are accommodation costs, Travel & food expenses, University Tuition fees, Taxes, and Health insurance. Proper planning and budgeting before going to Canada would be a prudent decision. Also, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires evidence to prove that the candidates have sufficient funds to study and live in the country. So, if you are interested in studying in Canada, this blog will help you on how much exactly it’ll cost you to live in Canada.

Table of Contents

What is the Cost of Living in Canada?

The average cost of living in Canada ranges from CAD 15,000 to CAD 20,000 per year (INR 9.03L to INR 12.05L), depending on one's lifestyle and preferences. Most Canadian academic institutions offer courses with tuition fees starting at CAD 15,000 (~INR 9,03,999). Besides, the cost of living in Canada for a single student is around 880 CAD (INR 53,034) per month, without rent. The cost of living in Canada is affordable and manageable if you are smart enough to manage expenses.

Average Living Expenses in Canada for International Students

Canada living expenses distribution using Statistics model

Students should keep money aside for other day-to-day and unavoidable expenses. They should also be well prepared for recurring expenses such as accommodation and housing, food and groceries, basic utilities, transportation, clothing, travel health insurance, and entertainment. International students require between 9.03 lakhs to 12.05 lakhs to cover it. Thus, the average cost of living in Canada can be around CAD 18,340 (INR 11,14531) per annum. Additionally, the monthly cost of living in Canada is estimated to be INR 68,792 (C$1,132 per month), excluding rent. Monthly expenses with rent are estimated to be $1,708 per month per person and $3,911 for a family of four. For international students, the best way to manage living expenses in Canada is by applying for an International Student Identification Card upon reaching Canada for additional benefits.

Monthly Cost of Living in Canada for International Students

Expenses Cost (CAD)
Accommodation (shared apartments) $400-$800
Food $300-$400
Travel $80-$110
Entertainment $150
Other Utilities (electricity, cooling, water, heating, garbage) $164.64
Internet (60 Mbps or more) $78.82
Health Insurance (BC MSP Program) $74

Cost of Living in Canada for Families & Students

Canada is truly the best country in the world for living with its unique culture, best colleges and universities, immigrant-friendly, scenic beauty, amazing wildlife, excellent health care, reasonable budget, and medical facilities. No wonder many students prefer this country to complete graduation and post-graduation. The Canada's living expenses can be a bit higher than expected, but appear reasonable when considering its supportive context for residents and foreigners. There are some cities in Canada with low cost of living and similar facilities. The average cost of living in Canada for families depends on family size, typically ranging between 2 and 4 individuals due to the prevalence of nuclear families. 

  • A single person estimated monthly cost is Rs.83,369.8 (C$1,339.1), without rent.
  • A family of four estimated monthly cost is Rs.2,98,016.8 (C$4,786.9) without rent.
  • For a family of 2, estimated monthly cost is about Rs.151876 (C$2,500), excluding rent.
  • On average, the Cost of living in Canada is 197.8% higher than in India.
  • On average, Rent in Canada is 528.0% higher than in India.

Source: Numbeo

Personal residences for students can cost around $625 per month, while on-campus housing could cost around $800 monthly.

How much money is required to live comfortably in Canada?

While knowing the basic cost of living is important, also understanding how much money is needed to live comfortably in Canada is crucial. Living comfortably means having enough money for both necessities and leisure activities, with ability to set some savings. The required amount may vary depending on where you live in Canada, often differing by thousands in major cities. For instance, the cost of living in Toronto can be expensive particularly anywhere near downtown. Here are the details

Canadian City Single Person Family of 4
Toronto $3,551 $6,144
Vancouver $3,445 $5,955
Montreal $2,384 $4,799
Ottawa $2,822 $5,329
Calgary $2,449 $5,110
Quebec City $1871 $4,126
Halifax $2,377 $4,698

Let us discuss in detail regarding essential living expenses in Canada for international students:

Cost of Accommodation in Canada for International Students

The living expenses of a student usually vary based on their lifestyle and place of stay. Moreover, the accommodation cost would differ between living on-campus or off-campus. Students can avail of on-campus accommodation facilities based on the university they apply to. However, it is recommended to apply separately for on-campus accommodation. In on-campus accommodation, sharing a laundry room, common dining hall and recreation facilities exist. 

The cost of on-campus accommodation may range from CAD 8000 to CAD 10,000 annually. A shared condo (off-campus shared accommodation) would cost around CAD 400 to CAD 700 per month. The cost of renting depends on the location and time of the year. Thus, the rent for off-campus housing is relatively higher than on-campus, but when shared, it is cheaper.

As per the published housing research and market report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the rent of an average two-bedroom in Canada is CAD 1,167 per month. The rent might vary based on the city.

Accommodation Type Average Cost
On-Campus $8000-$10,000 (INR 8.02 lakhs-10.03 lakhs) (annually)
Off-Campus Shared accommodation $400 to $700 (INR 40,140.02 to 70,245.04) (monthly)
1 BHK in city center $1,332 (RS. 1,33,666.28/-) (monthly)
1 BHK outside the city center $1,123 (RS. 1,12,693.12/-) (monthly)
3-bedrooms apartment City Center $2,718.34 (RS. 1,68,975,93/-)
3-bedrooms apartment outside of center 2,363.15 (Rs. 1,46,896/-)

Average Rentals in Canada: City-Wise

The cost of living in Canada varies depending on the city or province you are in. On average, Rent in Canada is 28.1% lower than in the United States.

City Name Average Two-Bedroom Rent/month
Vancouver, BC $18,254
Toronto, ON $1,666
Victoria, BC $1,571
Ottawa, ON $1,550
Calgary, AB $1,355
Edmonton, AB $1,270.00
British Columbia, BC $2034

Source: Rental market report by CMH

Toronto and Vancouver are the most expensive cities in Canada. Rent has risen by 2.2%, for a 2-bedroom house it stands at $3000 and $3,180 respectively. 

The cheapest city in terms of rent in Canada is St.John’s, rent is as low as $900 for a 2-bedroom apartment.

Canadian cities like Halifax and Abbotsford have 2-bedroom rents of around $1300.

Check out Related Resource:  Student Accommodation in Canada

Travel Expenses in Canada

Transportation costs in major cities were lower due to more accessible transit options. Student commute expenses would vary depending on their place of residence; on-campus or off-campus. If they prefer to travel by public transportation, there are subways or commuter trains. Fare for one-way public transit can cost a few dollars, whereas a monthly pass can cost around CAD 80 to CAD 150. Here is mode of transportation price details:

Transportation Average monthly cost
Subway CAD 65- CAD 99 (monthly pass)
Buses CAD 100- CAD 150
Taxi (up to 1km) C$ 2.00
Taxi 1-hour waiting (normal tariff) C$34.00
One-way ticket (local transport) C$ 3.25
Gasoline (1 litre) C$1.59

 In major Canadian cities, people choose to use public transport, because of pollution effects and climate crisis. The local transportation in Canada is affordable with one-way ticket pricing of C$ 3.25 while the monthly transport pass price is $92. A car costs around $24,000 but can skyrocket depending on the model and features.

Food Expenses in Canada

For food and other daily expenses, excluding accommodation, the average cost of living in Canada usually ranges between CAD 200 and CAD 300 (INR 12,053 to INR 18,079) for international students. Refer the table below regarding food expenses in Canada:

Milk (regular), 1 litre C$ 2.76
Rice (white), 1 kg C$ 4.40
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) C$ 3.27
Eggs (regular) (12) C$ 4.29
Local cheese (1 kg) C$1 4.79
Apples (1 kg) C$ 5.06
Banana (1 kg) C$ 1.86
Chicken Fillets (1 Kg) C$ 14.86

Other Occasional Expenses

While residing in Canada, you will discover that every now and then you need to make some occasional expenses such as

  • Buying prescription medicine that is not covered by health insurance.
  • Long- distance Phone calls to friends and family in your home country. A mobile phone monthly plan with calls and 10 GB+ data is C$ 55.36.
  • School supplies.
  • Buying clothes, if you wish to buy high-end brands then the average men’s and women’s clothing ranges from $45 to $150.
  • Basic Utilities such as cost for electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, and garbage for an average size apartment (say 85 m2) with one or two rooms is C$199.25.

Education System in Canada

Studying in Canada is a rewarding investment for students, offering premier education and a globally recognized degree. Administered by provinces, the Canadian education system is divided into four levels: pre-elementary, elementary or primary, secondary, and post-secondary. Colleges in Canada primarily offer diplomas, certificates, and vocational training programs, whereas universities provide degree programs such as bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Canada Education Cost

The education cost in Canada majorly depends on the chosen course, university, and tuition fee. Canadian universities revise their tuition fee every year for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Hence, international students have to confirm their tuition fee before applying for the university. Here is the Canada average education cost for different courses:

Stream UG Course Average Fee per year PG Course Average Fee per year
Medicine CA$ 33,000 Not Available
Pharmacy CA$ 32,886 CA$ 10,500
Engineering CA$ 26,582 CA$ 15,800
Architecture and related technologies CA$ 22,100 CA$ 20,000
Nursing CA$ 18,000 CA$ 12,000
Mathematics and Computer Science CA$ 25,000 CA$ 13,000
Business Management CA$ 23,500 CA$ 20,000
Law CA$ 27,056 CA$ 20,000

University Tuition Fees in Canada

Like most developed and intelligent nations, students in Canada enjoy free public schooling up to the age of 18. The cost of studying in Canada is comparatively lower than that in the USA. That said, the teaching quality is equally remarkable and practical, if not better. For a four-year degree program in Canada, the average cost of a single year is $22,750 for students with college residence and $11,330 for students living at home. The same fee can reach as high as $135,000 and $65,000 for more expensive universities.

Searching for colleges could be a tedious task for most students, and to ensure that you land in the best college that perfectly fits your course, you can use our Kanan International expert services. Our professionals help you to sort out your educational preferences so that you could have the best affordable college options for you. 

Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Courses in Canada

UG course Tuition fee
Business $ 56,000 (INR 34.7 lakhs)
Computers and IT $ 55,000 (INR 34.1 lakhs)
Engineering and Technology $ 55,000 (INR 34.1 lakhs)
Social and Natural Sciences $53,000 to $56,000 (INR 32 lakhs to 34 lakhs)

1 Canadian Dollar = 62.11 Indian Rupee

Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Courses in Canada

PG course Tuition fee
Business $ 52,700 (INR 32.7 lakhs)
Computers and IT $ 52,500 (INR 32.6 lakhs)
Engineering and Technology $ 52,500 (INR 32.6 lakhs)
Social and Natural Sciences $37,000 to $58,300 (INR 22.9 lakhs to 36.2 lakhs)

1 Canadian Dollar = 62.11 Indian Rupee

Popular Universities in Canada: Average Tuition Fee

The below table provides you with a glimpse of education costs in Canadian universities.

University Name Tuition Fees
University of Toronto C$6,100 to C$67,430 per year
Memorial University of Newfoundland $11,460 per annum
Humber College $29,500 per year
University of Regina $20,050 per year
Royal Roads University $27,500 per year
Thompson River University $35,650 per year
York University C$7,153 to C$38,826 per year

Also Read: Affordable Colleges in Canada

Health Insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for all international students in Canada and the medical coverage available will vary based on the province. If they decide to apply to universities in New Brunswick, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan, then their provincial health care plans will provide them coverage. However, coverage depends on their stay duration. If students plan to study in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, or Edward Island, then they have to opt for private insurance. Students are advised to thoroughly read about health insurance details on the university's official website. 

As per 2022 statistical data, the average person pays around C$8,563 per year to maintain the no-cost system. Moreover, it is important to note that Canada’s free Healthcare system is currently available to Canadian citizens and also to those with a permanent residence permit. 

Taxes in Canada

Upon beginning to study in Canada and deciding to work, students would need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). It represents that students were allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. Moreover, their income would be taxable, if they decide to work during the study period. Most people in Canada live on $2,50,000 per year, excluding taxes.

Average Cost of Living in Canada: City-Wise

The five most expensive cities to live in Canada are Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary. Here is the average cost of living for each city:

City Name Average Cost of living per year
Vancouver, BC $38,484 /INR 23,62,507
Toronto, ON $37,000/INR 22,71,405
Calgary, AB $26,904/INR 16,51,619
Montreal, QC $25,000/INR 15,34,733
Ottawa, ON $20,000/INR 12,27,787

Affordable Cities in Canada Living Cost

City Name Average living cost per person
London, Ontario $1,013
Calgary, Alberta $1,154
Regina, Saskatchewan $1,124
Edmonton, Alberta $1,183

Tips for Students to Save Money in Canada

For Indian students, self-sufficiency in managing living expenses is important. Wise spending helps to cut costs and save money, making it easier to handle and minimize overall living expenses. Given below are a few steps that can help students to save money in Canada:

1. Create a Spending plan

First, make a spending plan for yourself. Allocate the amount you wish to spend on groceries, clothing, entertainment, etc. Always stick to the plan you made. When formulating how to spend your money, automatically keep the money-saving factor in mind. Focus on saving rather than relying on leftover crumbs at the end of the month. This bank account will serve as a secure gateway.

2. Apply for Scholarships

Canada offers various scholarships for international students. Students should make sure that they apply for scholarships. Check the university's official websites for scholarships latest information.

3. Outline the Priorities

It is important to note down the essential monthly expenses. Students should sensibly approach their expenses by cutting out unnecessary stuff that they can easily manage without it for a few months, even if they tend to buy them every month.

4. Travel through Public Transit

Students should start using public transit instead of cars or Uber. And they should make sure to check for the availability of student discounts on public transit passes.

5. Students Card

To ease the burden of expenses for international students, Canada has a provision of offering discounts to them. International students can utilize the discounts available at departmental stores, bookstores, etc.

6. Part-time Jobs

Opting for part-time jobs is one of the best ways to reduce cost of living in Canada. Canadian student visa permits international students to take up various on-campus part-time jobs. After the completion of six months of the study, they may have scope for off-campus employment permits.

Is Living in Canada for Indian Students quite high?

Before moving to Canada, people's most common question is “Is it expensive to live in Canada?” Many people in Canada live on $2,50,000 a year, excluding taxes. They feel it is more sufficient to provide them with a comfortable living. However, this is not even close to what the average person earns in Canada. The average monthly salary after tax deductions is $3,400.  Your salary could vary significantly based on where you choose to settle in Canada, as employers adjust for city-specific living costs. So, make sure to have financial backing before making your Canada plan. To comprehend which will best suit your needs, read ahead.

Also Check out: Job opportunities in Canada for Indians

Related Resources for your Canada Study Plan

Canadian Housing expenses Global Comparision

Before choosing a country to study, international students should make a thorough comparative study. Each country has different accommodation costs, education costs, etc. Let’s have a look at the cost of accommodation in different countries.

Country Accommodation Cost
Canada On-Campus: Rs. 4,75,007 to Rs. 5,93,759 annually
Shared Off-Campus: Rs. 23,750 to Rs. 41,563 every month
USA On-Campus: Rs. 7,27,559 to Rs. 8,24,072 annually
Shared Off-Campus: Rs. 33,408 per month
UK On-Campus: Rs. 41,120 to Rs. 61,681 monthly
Off-Campus: Rs. 61,694 to 2,05,648 every month
Germany Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 60,000 every month
Australia On-Campus: Rs. 5,488 to Rs. 13,970 per month
Off-Campus: Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 21,953 per month
UAE On-Campus: Rs. 51,025 annually
Off-Campus: Rs. 63,640 to Rs. 1,74,850 per month


Canada has always been a wonderful place to live in. It is important to come well prepared as household costs will take up 50% of your salary. There have been many speculations about the cost of living in Canada for international students. Hope through this article we brought answers to all your questions in one place.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the cost of living in Canada per month?

The estimated monthly cost for a family of four is 3,545.8$ (4,797.2C$) without rent. A single-person estimated monthly costs are 992.1$ (1,342.3 C$) without rent. On average, the Cost of living in Canada is 11% lower than in the United States.   

2. Is it expensive to live in Canada for Indian Students?

Studying in Canada is affordable if you compare it to other popular study destinations. A student requires around C$30,000 and C$50,000 per annum depending on the course/city to cover his tuition fees. Apart from this, the cost of living, food, and other living expenses will be around C$18000 (INR 1104054) per annum. This amount is quite affordable if you compare it to other popular study-abroad destinations. Students should consider accommodation, food, transport, and healthcare as major components of their living expenses.

3. What are the general monthly expenses in Canada for students?

The monthly expenses in Canada for Indian students consist of utilities like Rent CAD 400-600 (INR 24,016-36,159), Food CAD 200-300 (INR 12,053-18,079), Stationery CAD 150-200 (INR 9,039-12,053), Transportation costs CAD 100-250 (INR 6,216-15,540), etc.

4. What is the cost of living in Canada in Indian Rupees?

On average, the living cost in Canada for international students is around CAD 18,340 per annum. Regarding the Cost of living in Canada for Indian students, it converts to nearly Rs. 11.36 lakhs per annum on average as per the current exchange rate as of July 2023.

5. What is cost of living in Canada for Indian Family?

Cost of living in Canada for Indian Families and students:

  • For a single person per month, excluding rent, it is $1,245 (Rs.77,390/-).
  • For a single student per month, excluding rent, it is $880 (Rs.54,702/-).
  • For a family of two per month, excluding rent, it is around $2,500 (Rs.1,55,403/-).
  • For a family of 4 per month, excluding rent, it is nearly $5000 (Rs.3,10,807/-).

6. How much is the cost of living in Canada for a couple? 

For a couple, in order to live comfortably, it is recommended to have around $3,500 per month or around $50,000 plus per year. This can differ a lot based on whether the couple is a one-income or two-income household, and also, the size of the apartment /house you choose to live in. 

7. How much money is needed to live comfortably in Canada?

Living costs vary depending on the city or region selected to stay. Depending on one’s lifestyle, the approximate cost of living in Canada for a student would range from CAD 15,000 to CAD 20,000. However, major cities like Toronto and Vancouver tend to have  higher living expenses compared to other cities or rural areas.

8. Is Cost of living in Canada for Indian Students high?

Living expenses in Canada depends on the selected accommodation and rent. On average, the living cost in Canada for international students is around CAD 18,340 per annum. Regarding the Cost of living in Canada for Indian students, it converts to nearly Rs. 11.36 lakhs per annum on average as per the current exchange rate as of July 2023.

9. Which province in Canada has the highest cost of living?

The province with highest cost of living in Canada is Ontario. Along with highest housing and rental prices, monthly home insurance in Ontario ranges $215 per month, and car insurance averages $155 per month. The second province is British Columbia with cost of rent and the detached housing slightly higher.

10. Which province in Canada has the lowest cost of living?

The province with the lowest cost of living in Canada is New Brunswick. Housing costs are significantly lower than in other provinces. Home insurance averages $60 per month and car insurance is around 72.25$ per month. Most people prefer to stay in these areas due to lowered cost of living. The cheapest province to live in Canada is Newfoundland and Labrador, due to much lower rental costs and taxes but the food prices are the same as the rest of Canada.

11. What is the cost of living in Canada for a single person?

The average living cost in Canada for a single person is approximately $45,000 per year while couples would require at least $50,000. It is normally assumed that majority of families in Canada will spend between $55,000 to $65,000 on living expenses every year. 

About Author Tejaswini Kota

Tejaswini is an enthusiastic writer, reader and a passionate learner. Additionally, she was a research fellow and holds a grip in English writings and research/paper publications. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in engineering. She spent three years in the education industry and is currently working as a full-time content writer at Kanan International, writing articles for study abroad projects. She is proficient in creating good quality content that helps the students for language proficiency tests like IELTS, GRE, TOEFL etc. and can help in advising you the right choice of college for admission.

Kanan International is a study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.