5 Most Affordable Cities in Canada for Students


We’ve written previously about 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 are difficult cities to live in on a student budget. Fortunately, there are many cities in Canada that are not only affordable, but also have 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. These cities are some of the most affordable in Canada!

All data provided by RentBoard and Salary Expert.

5. St. Catharines, Ontario

St. Catharines, Ontario

Source: Toronto Sun

The first city on our list is St. Catharines, Ontario, the largest city in Canada’s famed Niagara Region. St. Catharines boasts a cost of living rate 0.5% below the national average, with the average monthly cost of a one bedroom apartment sitting at $1,136. St. Catharines is known as “The Garden City” thanks to its 1000 acres (4 km2) of gardens, parks, and trails. It’s also just a 20 minute drive from Niagara Falls!

Schools in St. Catharines: Brock University

4. Abbotsford, British Columbia

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Source: Abbotsford News

Thanks to Vancouver’s extremely high living costs, British Columbia is generally thought to be an expensive province to live in. However, Canada’s Pacific province is home to some cities that are student-friendly in terms of budget. One of the most affordable is Abbotsford, which is the largest city by area in BC. Abbotsford’s cost of living sits 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 in Abbotsford, as the city has the third highest proportion of visible minorities in the country.

Where to study in Abbotsford: University of the Fraser Valley

3. Moncton, New Brunswick

Moncton, New Brunswick

Source: Canadim

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 $835 per month. Like much of Canada’s east coast cities, Moncton is a welcoming place for international students, as the region has seen a large influx of students from other countries in recent years.

Where to study in Moncton: New Brunswick Community College – Moncton

2. Laval, Quebec

Laval, Quebec

Source: Triposo

In general, students can save quite a bit of money by studying in Quebec. This is because Quebec has some of the lowest tuition costs among Canadian provinces. However, many cities in Quebec also have costs of living that fall under 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 30km northwest of Montreal, Laval is one of Quebec’s larger cities and has a cost of living over 9% below the national average.

Where to study in Laval: CDI College – LavalInter-Dec College – Laval

1. Sherbrooke, Quebec

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Source: Wikipedia

Topping the list of the most affordable cities in Canada for students is Sherbrooke, Quebec. Located about 160 km east of Montreal, Sherbrooke is Quebec’s unofficial “student town”. With 40,000 students spread across eight institutions, Sherbrooke has the largest concentration of students in Quebec. Perhaps because of this status, Sherbrooke is very affordable for students. The cost of living is 15.6% below the national average and it’s not uncommon to find 1 bedroom apartments for well under $800 per month.

Where to study in Sherbrooke: Bishop’s UniversityCDE College


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