The costs to attend university in Canada

The costs to attend university in Canada


Weighing the costs of university is an important part of every student’s decision when selecting a post-secondary institution. Particularly for international and exchange students interested in studying at a Canadian University, tuition and the cost-of-living can be high. However, knowing the exact costs to study in Canada can be instrumental in helping you save for school, apply for student loans and not letting student debt rule your life.

Tuition Costs

According to Statistics Canada, the average cost of tuition is on the rise with a 3.1% increase for undergraduate students since last year. For domestic undergrads, the median cost is $6,571 annually, versus a whopping average of $25,180 for international students per year at a Canadian University. This does not include the cost of books and course materials, which can average upwards of $1000 per year. Also keep in mind that if you are an international student, you will need to apply for a study permit (student visa), which will set you back $150.



The cost of rent is very location dependent, varying city by city and depending on whether you live on or off campus. For example, larger urban centres such as Vancouver or Toronto will be more expensive than smaller townships. Costs will also depend on whether you have one or multiple roommates or prefer to live alone, and the proximity of your housing to the university campus. According to the University of British Colombia, it costs the average student $15,500 per year to live in Vancouver (not including tuition and health care coverage).


The cost of food will vary depending on whether you purchase a university meal plan, shop for groceries or eat out frequently. Food is relatively expensive in Canada, with an average meal out at a restaurant ranging from $15-20.


Though healthcare is generally free in Canada for locals with a valid health card, you will be required to purchase health insurance (or provide proof of an alternative health insurance policy) regardless of your citizenship, as not all health services are covered. Some universities offer health insurance packages which cover non-insured services for Canadians and basic health services for international students; this will range from $450-850 annually).

Public Transportation:

Some universities provide a bus pass included in tuition fees. If this is not included in your tuition, you should consider how you will get to and from campus and around town. A local bus or metro ticket can range from $3.25-3.75 and taxis or uber’s can cost upwards of $10-30 per ride depending on the distance.


If you are new to Canada, you may need to purchase warmer clothing and outerwear for the winter season, a Canadian SIM card for your phone, North American adapters to charge your devices and factor in the cost of travel to and from Canada.

Best Canadian Universities

Based on the student reviews at EDUopinions, here are the best universities to study in Canada and the costs to attend them.

York University – Toronto, Ontario

Estimated $12,673- $18,348 (not including tuition)

McGill University  – Montreal, Quebec

Estimated $14,127- $18,055 (not including tuition)

University of Toronto (UofT) – Toronto, Ontario

Estimated $12,673- $18,348 (not including tuition)

McMaster University – Hamilton, Ontario

Estimated $16,501- $21,456.07

Laval University – Quebec City, Quebec

Estimated $15636.12 – $23,580 (not including tuition)

Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) – Montreal, Quebec

Estimated $15,050 per year (not including tuition)


Though studying in Canada will surely provide you with a diverse and high-quality education, the cost of attending a Canadian University can be pricey! However, having a realistic expectation of these costs can help you to create a feasible financial plan to both funds your studies and ensure you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For more information and reviews of Canadian Universities, search through the EDUopinions directory!

Are you thinking about attending University in Canada?

Let us know in the comment below!

Featured Content
Written by
Steph is a Canadian freelance writer and founder of the Pink Backpack, where she blogs about solo female adventure travel.

Recent Posts

Get our experts advice for free.
Contact us.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy Policy for more details.