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Guide to Cost of Living in Toronto for Students 2024: Don’t Make Your Wallet Cry

The cost of living while studying in Toronto is one of the biggest concerns for many international students and their families. Known for its friendly living atmosphere and high-quality education, Toronto Canada is a popular destination for students from all over the world. So, how many expenses should you prepare to study and live in this fascinating city? This guide will provide you with comprehensive information and we hope to solve some of your confusion.

Cost of Living in Toronto: General Overview

You may ask: Is it expensive to study and live in Toronto? Well, we have to say, the cost of living in Toronto may be a little higher than in other cities in Canada. Toronto offers a modern urban lifestyle and abundant opportunities for people, but also comes with its own set of financial considerations to navigate.

The cost of living in Toronto is affected by several factors, such as housing (the most significant part, dorms or rentals? What type of housing?), tuition, transportation, food, daily expenses, entertainment, etc. Each aspect is worth planning your money. The average cost of living is around $ 1,500/month~$3,000/month.

And don’t forget: As a student, it’s important to budget wisely and take advantage of discounts and student deals.

Cost of Living in Toronto: Student Housing

Housing is almost certainly the biggest expense. When living alone in a foreign country, it is vital to ensure the safety and convenience of your accommodation. There are two primary types of student housing to consider: on-campus and off-campus.

On-campus Student Housing in Toronto

campusone room u of t

(Source: live-campusone.ca)

Let’s take the University of Toronto as an example. If you are lucky enough to have successfully applied for a residence before college starts, then this is surely the ideal situation. There are different price ranges according to different room types. The facilities and public areas in the room are tailored for students. You can discuss study problems with your companions at any location. And nutritious meals can delight your taste buds.

The University of Toronto has more than 10 residence halls, which can provide a lot of beds (but the demand is still far from enough). The table below shows the price information of five of them, so you can have a rough idea of ​​the price. Or you can click here to view details.

Residence Room Type Month (Meals are extra) Year (Meals are extra)
CampusOne Studio, 2/3/4/5 Bedroom $1,765 – $2,400 $21,180 – $28,800
Knox Recidence Single / Double Room / $10,551 – $11,500
Woodsworth College Each Suit 4 to 6 Beds / $13,258
Trinity College Single Room / $13,372
Double Room / $12,640
Triple Room / $12,306
Victoria College 5 Halls with Different types / $9,480 – $15,678

Off-campus Student Housing in Toronto

As already mentioned above, college residences are very hard to come by. Most students who don’t get a residence will have to rent their off-campus housing in Toronto. There are three common types of houses for Rent in Canada: condominium, apartment and Townhouse. Condos and apartments are very similar. 

Prices and room facilities vary by landlord and location. However, if you want to live closer to the university, you may have to pay relatively higher rent. You can also find your dream house at uhomes and get it at a reasonable price. At this time, a reliable agent is also indispensable, enabling you to get more market information.

Here is a comparison of the three housing types:

Off-campus Student Housing Social Housing
Types Condos Apartment House/Townhouse
Average Price $2,692 $2,569 $3,500
Location Downtown Downtown Depends on area
Personnel Most Students Mixed personnel
Safety 24-hour security, video surveillance systems, ect. Not guaranteed
Utility Bills Included Not Included
Amenities Mostly all amenities are included Depends on the landlord and area

Other accommodation expenses

OK, now you have successfully moved into your dream house. But don’t forget these expenses as well:

Item Price Tips
Hydro $65+/month The cost of electricity; A dishwasher/washing machine/air conditioner/electric heating can increase the cost; No upper limit, so save electricity! Or you can’t save your money.
Internet $60 – $115/month Telecommunications providers often have discounts for students. Don’t be shy. Just ask them!
Phone Bill $50 – $100/month You can compare more different plans and choose the most affordable one in the GTA.
Tenant’s insurance $15 – $30/month Students have discounts and we encourage you to do your own research.

Cost of Living in Toronto: Tuition Fees

Toronto is the capital of Ontario and the nation’s industrial and commercial center. There are also several colleges and universities located here, making Toronto famous for its high education level, such as University Of Toronto, York University, Toronto Metropolitan University, Ontario College of Art and Design, etc. Below is a list of tuition fees for 3 of these universities.

Tips: The fees will vary depending on the campus, major and grade. In addition, this only includes the class fees. You must also budget for expenses such as books, living expenses and course-specific additional fees.

University of Toronto

2024-2025 Tuition Fees — New Students
Program Year 1 Upper Year
Computer Science $61,720 $65,110
Management $61,720 $71,560
All Other Programs $61,720 $62,950

York University

(Internatonal Students)
Books and Fees
Most programs (Arts and Sciences) $37,281 $1,407
Business $40,370 $2,552
Commerce $40,259 $1,658
Computer Science $34,835 $1,620
Design $37,297 $2,332
Engineering $36,187 $2,024

Toronto Metropolitan University

Undergraduate program fees: tuition fees vary by subject and grade. Overall, tuition is in the range of $35,063.13 – $40,485.03 per year for international students.

Graduate program fees: $26,379.99 – $33,889.99 per year for international students.

Lincoln Alexander School of Law Tuition and Fees: $38,000.78 per year for international students.

Cost of Living in Toronto: Transportation

public transportation in canada

(Source: canadavisa.com)

Toronto is over 600 square miles, so transportation is a very important part of your study abroad experience. Luckily, Toronto has a convenient transportation system. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates three modes of transportation: bus, subway and streetcar. The special student fares can save you some money.

Fare Type Price
🚌Single fare / $3.35
🚝PRESTO One-ride-ticket $3.30
Two-ride-ticket $3.35
Day-pass-ticket $6.70
🎟Monthly Passes Monthly Pass $156.00
12-Month Pass $143.00
🚕Taxi Base Fare $4.25
Per Kilometre $1.75
1hour Waiting $31.00

Cost of Living in Toronto: Food

a meal in toronto

Food prices in Toronto are relatively expensive. You can occasionally dine out with friends at restaurants. However, many international students choose to buy and cook their own meals, which saves money and is more in line with their tastes. The following are the prices for reference:

Eating Out

Whether it’s a meal, a quick snack or a coffee break, Toronto has plenty of dining options for you.

  • Basic Lunch Menu: $25.5
  • Dinner for Two Persons: $100
  • Fast Food Meal: $15
  • Beer in A Pub: $6.53
  • Cappuccino: $4.13
  • Pepsi / Coke: $2.09

Cooking by Yourself

It is more cost-effective to cook your own food (but you also need to check whether your landlord allows you to cook)

  • Milk: $3.91 / 1L
  • Bread: $3.09 / 0.5kg
  • Eggs: $7 / ×12
  • Chicken Breast: $13.6 / 1kg
  • Round Steak: $14.2 / 1kg
  • Potato: $3.77 / 1kg
  • Apples: $5.17 / kg
  • Banana: $1.36 / 1kg
  • Oranges: $4.01 / 1kg
  • Tomato: $5.25 / 1kg
  • Onion: $2.73 / 1kg
  • Water: $1.19 / 1L

Cost of Living in Toronto: Daily Life

go shopping

In addition to the necessary expenses, you may also engage in other activities, such as entertainment, fitness, shopping, etc. So you also need to make some budget for this part of the expenses.

  • 💪🏼 Gym Membership in Business District: $78 / month
  • 🎬 Cinema Ticket: $16
  • 👕 Clothing & Shoes: $50 – $200
  • 🧴 Hair Shampoo: $6.99
  • 🧻 Toilet paper: $3.58 / 4 rolls

(Source: expatistan.com)

Manage Your Costs: Do's and Don'ts


  • Make a Monthly Budget Plan: Know how much you have spent and how much you plan to spend. Don’t let your wallet be empty without realizing it.
  • Take Public Transportation: This can save you money on gas or taxi fares.
  • Choose Cheaper Entertainment Options: In your spare time, you can choose to go walking in the park, camping, hiking, etc. instead of going shopping in the mall or going to the bar.
  • Consider Second-hand Options: Toronto has a very developed second-hand market. By purchasing second-hand products, you can save a lot of unnecessary expenses.


  • Ignore The Exchange Rate When Spending: Especially if you are an international student from a developing country, remember to convert your money into your own country’s currency and make a comparison before deciding whether to buy.
  • Rely on Take-out or Restaurants: Cooking for yourself is healthy and saves money.
  • No Savings: It is very important to keep an emergency fund because there is no telling when something unexpected might happen. Don’t touch this money until it is absolutely necessary

Things to Know Before You Go

We sincerely hope that you will have a wonderful and memorable stay in Toronto! And at the end of this blog, we’ve also summarized some of the things worth noting:

  • Canada has two official languages: English and French.
  • Get ready for heavy snowfall. It will be extremely cold from December to March of the following year, so please prepare thick clothes and waterproof shoes. Students from warm areas must pay attention.
  • Don’t forget to tip your waiter when you’re at a cafe, bar, restaurant, etc.
  • Toronto has an excellent healthcare and emergency system. The emergency number is 9-1-1.

If you’re thinking about studying in Canada, it’s crucial to find the right student housing. That’s where uhomes.com comes in. It’s a reliable platform that helps students like you find the perfect place to live in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Hamilton and many other cities. So far, they’ve helped more than 55,000 students successfully find their dream homes.


FAQs About Living in Toronto

Yes, we have to say, Toronto is an expensive city to live in, especially when you live downtown near a university. To save as much money as possible, you can try the money-saving tips mentioned above, such as cooking by yourself and taking public transportation.

As an international student in Toronto, you should prepare at least $2000-$2500 per month. You can do part-time jobs to increase your  living expenses during your spare time.

If you know little about Toronto and the various terms involved in renting a house, you can seek help from professionals. Uhomes would be a good choice with its comprehensive information on available student housing in Toronto and great prices.

Information gap is the key to success. Here are eight of the cheapest neighbourhoods  to rent in Toronto:

West Hill$1,878
Saint James Town$2,050
Forest Hill$2,303
The Annex$2,399
Davisville Village$2,425

(Source: liv.rent)

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