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5 Most Affordable Cities in Canada
for International Students

We recently took a look at some of Canada’s most expensive cities. Places like Vancouver and Toronto may have some of the best universities and colleges in the country, but they can stretch the average student budget. Fortunately, there are many cities in Canada that are not only affordable, but are also home to some really great schools. If you’re looking to save money while you study, you may want to consider living in one of the five cities listed below!

*All data provided by RentBoard and Salary Expert.

5. St. Catharines, Ontario

Aerial photo of St. Catharines, Ontario

Source: Toronto Sun

The fifth most affordable city on our list is St. Catharines, Ontario, the largest city in Canada’s famed Niagara Region. St. Catharines boasts a cost of living that is 0.5% below the national average, with the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom apartment going for C$1,314. St. Catharines is known as “The Garden City” thanks to its 1,000 acres of gardens, parks, and trails. It’s also just a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls!

Where you should study in St. Catharines: Brock University

4. Abbotsford, British Columbia

Photo of people walking in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

With Vancouver’s extremely high cost of living, British Columbia is generally thought to be an expensive province to call home. However, Canada’s Pacific province is home to some cities that are very budget-friendly for students. One of the most affordable is Abbotsford, which is the largest city by area in BC. Abbotsford’s cost of living is 3.6% below the national average, which makes it the cheapest, largest city in BC. International students will also find one of Canada’s most diverse populations—Abbotsford has the third-highest proportion of visible minorities in the country.

Where you should study in Abbotsford: University of the Fraser Valley, Western Community College – Abbotsford

3. Moncton, New Brunswick

Photo of a lake in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Despite being the largest city in New Brunswick, Moncton is actually one of the most affordable places to live in the province. The cost of living is 6.3% below the national average, with a one-bedroom apartment going for an average of C$835 per month. Like many of Canada’s east coast cities, Moncton is a welcoming place for international students, and the region has seen a large influx of students from other countries in recent years.

Where you should study in Moncton: Crandall University, McKenzie College, New Brunswick Community College – Moncton

2. Laval, Quebec

Photo of buildings in Laval, Quebec, Canada

In general, students can save quite a bit of money by studying in Quebec. Not only does Quebec have some of the lowest tuition fees in Canada, but many cities are also cheaper than the national average. In other words, students can maximize their savings by choosing a city that has lower living costs, such as Laval. Located just 30 km northwest of Montréal, Laval is one of Quebec’s larger cities and has a cost of living that is more than 9% below the national average.

Where you should study in Laval: CDI College – LavalInter-Dec College – Laval

1. Sherbrooke, Quebec

Photo of lake in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Topping the list of the most affordable cities in Canada for international students is Sherbrooke, Quebec. Located approximately 160 km east of Montréal, Sherbrooke is Quebec’s unofficial “student town.” With 40,000 students spread across eight institutions, Sherbrooke has the largest concentration of students in Quebec. The cost of living is 15.6% below the national average and it’s not uncommon to find one-bedroom apartments for well under C$800 per month.

Where you should study in Sherbrooke: Bishop’s University

Interested in studying in one of the most affordable cities in Canada? Explore top schools on ApplyBoard!