What is the cost of living in Canada for Indian students

By Edvoy• Last updated: Mar 15, 2024
What is the cost of living in Canada for Indian students
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As an Indian student, you may consider studying in Canada because of its world-renowned education system and quality of life.

However, before you make a move, it is important to understand the cost of living in Canada for Indian students

The cost of living in Canada for Indian students is highly dependent on the lifestyle and the city they live in.

In this guide, we will discuss the average cost of living in Canada for Indian students per month and provide tips on saving money while living in Canada.

Cost of living in Canada for Indian students: Highlights

ExpenseAverage Monthly Cost
AccommodationCAD$400 - CAD$1500
FoodCAD$80 - CAD$400
TransportationCAD$150 - CAD$300
EntertainmentCAD$150 - CAD$200
MiscellaneousCAD$30 - CAD$400
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Cost of living in Canada for Indian students

Canada is a popular destination for Indian students looking to study abroad as the cost of living in Canada can be quite reasonable compared to many other countries.

1. Accommodation

Accommodation can be one of the biggest living expenses in Canada for Indian students. Accommodation costs can vary depending on the location and type of accommodation chosen.

1. Student residence hall

Living in a student residence hall is often the most affordable option, costing around CAD$400 to CAD$600 per month. This usually includes utilities, and some residence halls also provide meals.

2. Shared housing

Shared housing is another cost-effective option, costing anywhere from CAD$600 to CAD$900 per month, depending on the unit size. This usually includes utilities and internet, but not meals.

3. Private apartments

Private apartments or houses are typically the most expensive option and can range from CAD$800 to CAD$1500 per month, depending on the unit size and location. This usually includes internet and utilities, but not meals.

Accommodation TypeAverage Monthly Rent
Student residence hallCAD$400 to CAD$600
Shared housingCAD$600 to CAD$900
Private apartmentsCAD$800 to CAD$1500

Also Read: Living costs for International students in Canada

2. Food

The cost of food in Canada depends on where you live and the type of food you purchase. 

1. Groceries

For basic groceries, Indian students in Canada can expect to pay between CAD$175 and CAD$200 per month. This includes staples such as rice, dal, vegetables, and fruits. Students may also need to buy spices and condiments to supplement their diets, which can cost an additional CAD$10 to CAD$15 per month.

Food ItemPrice
Milk (regular), (1 litre)CAD$2.88
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)CAD$3.48
Rice (white), (1kg)CAD$4.30
Eggs (regular) (12)CAD$4.38
Apples (1kg)CAD$4.76
Oranges (1kg)CAD$3.81
Potato (1kg)CAD$2.59
Onion (1kg)CAD$2.56
Tomato (1kg)CAD$4.40
Lettuce (1 head)CAD$2.97
Local Cheese (1kg)CAD$17.93
Beef Round (1kg)CAD$19.09
Chicken Filets (1kg)CAD$15.95
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)CAD$3.38
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)CAD$16.00

2. Cooking

Those who prefer to cook their meals can expect to pay between CAD$150 to CAD$180 per month. This includes ingredients for various vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, snacks, and desserts.

3. Eat out

Those who prefer to eat out can expect to pay between CAD$300 to CAD$450 per month on average. This includes eating at restaurants, ordering in, and getting take-out. 

Meal, Inexpensive RestaurantCAD$30
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant,CAD$100
McMeal at McDonald’sCAD$12.88
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught)CAD$8.00
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)CAD$9.00
Cappuccino (regular)CAD$5.73

Indian students in Canada can expect to pay between CAD$150 and CAD$200 per month, depending on their dietary habits.

Also read: Cost of living in Ireland for International Students

3. Transportation

The cost of transportation for Indian students in Canada can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the city or province they are studying in, transportation choices, and their personal preferences.

1. Public transportation

Several public transport options like buses, trams, subways, and commuter trains are available depending on which province the students are studying in. Most provinces offer affordable monthly passes, including unlimited trips within a given area.

For public transportation, the monthly pass cost for students ranges from CAD$156 in Toronto to CAD$125 in Ottawa. Students can purchase single tickets for CAD$3.35 in Montreal and Toronto and CAD$3.75 in Ottawa.

2. Taxi

Taxis are popular transportation options in many cities in Canada. Indian students can also use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, but costs vary based on usage.

3. Purchasing or renting a car

Purchasing or renting a car can be expensive for those who plan to drive. The average cost of a new car is around CAD$31,000 in Toronto and CAD$27,000 in Ottawa

Additionally, drivers will need to purchase insurance, ranging from CAD$500 to CAD$2000 per year, depending on the student's driving record and the type of car they purchase.

Mode of TransportAverage Price
Local Transport (One Way Ticket)CAD$3.75
Local Transport (Monthly Pass)CAD$125.50
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)CAD$4.50
Taxi 1km ( Normal Tariff)CAD$2.50

Also Read: Cheap Universities in Canada

4. Entertainment

Canada offers diverse entertainment options, and costs can fluctuate accordingly. Here are some common entertainment expenses to consider:

1. Movies and theatre

Going to the movies or attending live theatre productions can be a popular form of entertainment. Movie tickets range from CAD$15 - CAD$20, depending on the theatre and the time of day.

2. Nightlife

There are plenty of bars and clubs, ranging from low-priced to high-end. Drinks at a bar usually cost around CAD$8 - CAD$10, depending on the drink.

3. Live entertainment

Concerts and festivals are held throughout the year, and tickets can range from CAD$30 to CAD$100 or more. There are also many free outdoor concerts and festivals in the summer.

4. Sports 

Sports are also popular in Canada; tickets to professional sports games can cost anywhere from CAD$50 to CAD$200, depending on the team and the event.

5. Museums and cultural attractions

Canada has plenty of parks, museums, and galleries to explore. Most of these places are free or have a minimal entrance fee. There are also plenty of local events, such as farmer's markets, art shows, and other community activities. 

ActivityAverage Price
Movie TicketsCAD$15-20
Drinks at barCAD$8 - CAD$10
Concerts and FestivalsCAD$30 to CAD$100
SportsCAD$50 to CAD$200
MuseumsFree or minimal entrance fee

5. Miscellaneous expenses

Miscellaneous expenses form an integral part of the overall living expenses in Canada for Indian students. These costs include expenses such as:

1. Books and supplies

The cost of books and supplies can vary widely depending on the courses taken. However, in general, an Indian student may spend around CAD$300 to CAD$500 per year.

2. Personal care

Personal care expenses vary widely depending on the student's lifestyle and preference. The average monthly expenses for personal care and hygiene products for a student in Canada is about CAD$100 to CAD$150.

3. Phone and Internet

Phone and internet plans can range from CAD$50 to CAD$100 per month.

4. Clothing

Clothing is a personal expense, and the average monthly expense for clothing for a student in Canada is about CAD$150 to CAD$250.

ExpensesMonthly Cost
Books and SuppliesCAD$300 to CAD$500 per year
Personal CareCAD$100 to CAD$150
Mobile PhoneCAD$50 to CAD$60
Internet (60 Mbps or More)CAD$55 CAD$ 65
ClothingCAD$150 to CAD$250

Overall, the cost of living in Canada for Indian students per month can vary greatly depending on personal preferences and lifestyle. So, budgeting and planning are important to ensure all expenses are covered.

Cost of living in different cities of Canada

The cost of living in Canada for Indian students per month can vary across cities. Whether you choose the vibrant urban life of Toronto, the cultural scene of Montreal, or the natural beauty of Vancouver, Canada offers a supportive and inclusive environment for your educational journey.

CityAverage monthly cost of living
TorontoCAD$2,800 - CAD$4,200
VancouverCAD$3,000 - CAD$4,400
MontrealCAD$1,700 - CAD$2,600
CalgaryCAD$1,800 - CAD$2,600
OttawaCAD$1,900 - CAD$2,800
EdmontonCAD$1,600 - CAD$2,200
SaskatoonCAD$1,500 - CAD$1,900

While cities like Toronto and Vancouver tend to have higher living expenses, cities like Montreal and Edmonton offer a more affordable cost of living without compromising the quality of education and lifestyle.

Tips to save money on the cost of living in Canada for Indian students

To make it more accessible to students from India, here are some simple tips on saving money while studying in Canada.

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1. Look for accommodation outside of the main city centres

Canadian cities have higher rental prices if you stay close to downtown or university areas. Opting for neighbourhoods further away from these key locations may help you find cheaper housing options that still meet your needs.

2. Buy second-hand goods

Whether it’s furniture or textbooks, buying used items is a great way to save money. Consider looking for second-hand items on classified sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji and exploring thrift stores in the vicinity.

3. Use public transportation

Public transportation in Canada is very efficient and cost-effective. Therefore, investing in a public transportation pass can save you a lot of money and offer numerous benefits.

4. Look out for discounts and special offers

Many businesses offer discounts exclusively to students. Ask if they are available when shopping at retail stores, restaurants, or entertainment venues.

5. Cook at home

Eating out can quickly add up and be quite expensive, so limiting the number of meals you eat out each week is important. Instead, consider preparing your meals to save on food costs - grocery shopping is much cheaper than dining out.

6. Make use of student support services

Most universities offer various support services such as financial aid and career counselling, so take advantage of all the help you can get. Try talking to advisors at the university about available options and how to manage your money best while living in Canada.

7. Research scholarships

Many universities offer special scholarships for Indian students, so consider all available options before applying for student loans. Keep an eye out for scholarship opportunities offered by local organisations or private institutions, as these can be great ways to get financial assistance while studying abroad in Canada.

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Best city in Canada for Indian students

Canada offers a variety of cities that are popular choices for Indian students, each with unique appeal and advantages. 

While the "best" city can vary depending on individual preferences, academic programs, and career goals, one city that often stands out as a top choice for Indian students is Toronto, Ontario. 

Here are 5 reasons why Toronto is considered the best city in Canada for Indian students

1. Diverse and inclusive

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, known for its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. This multicultural environment makes it easier for Indian students to adapt and find a sense of belonging.

2. World-class universities

Toronto is home to some of Canada's top universities, including the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University. These institutions offer various academic programs and research opportunities, making it an attractive destination for students pursuing higher education.

3. Employment opportunities

Toronto is Canada's financial and business hub, providing excellent opportunities for internships, co-op programs, and post-graduation employment. The city's strong economy offers a broad range of career prospects for graduates.

4. Transportation

Toronto has an efficient public transportation system, including subways, buses, streetcars, and commuter trains, making it easy for students to navigate the city. This is particularly important for international students who may not have access to a car.

5. Indian Community

Toronto has a sizable Indian community, with various cultural and religious organisations, restaurants, and grocery stores catering to Indian tastes and needs. This can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort for Indian students.


The cost of living in Canada for Indian students depends on the city and the student's lifestyle. Overall, the cost of living in Canada is generally more expensive than in India; however, with the right budgeting and research, Indian students can save money and still enjoy the quality of life in Canada.

Frequently asked questions

Why choose Canada for higher studies?

Canada is known for its high-quality education system, world-renowned universities, and diverse multicultural environment. Canada also offers a relatively straightforward immigration pathway for international graduates through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

Is Canada expensive for Indian students?

The cost of studying in Canada varies depending on the program, location, and lifestyle. Tuition fees can be competitive, and while living expenses can be relatively high in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, there are more affordable options in smaller cities and provinces. Many Indian students work part-time to help cover living costs, and scholarship opportunities are available to alleviate financial burdens.

Is Canada good for Indian students?

Yes, Canada is an excellent choice for Indian students. It offers a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment conducive to learning. The quality of life, healthcare, and educational experience make it a top destination for Indian students.

How is life in Canada for Indian students?

Life in Canada for Indian students is generally enriching and fulfilling. They will experience a multicultural society, friendly locals, and a robust university support system. 

What are the best places to live in Canada for Indian students?

Some of the best cities for Indian students in Canada include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary. Each has its unique appeal, so the choice depends on your field of study, budget, and lifestyle preferences. Smaller cities like Halifax and Winnipeg also offer quality education and a lower cost of living.

What is the cost of living in Canada in Indian rupees?

The cost of living in Canada in Indian rupees varies by city and lifestyle. You might need around 40,000 to 50,000 Indian Rupees per month for accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses, but this can vary significantly based on location and personal choices.

How much bank balance is required for a Canada student visa?

The amount of bank balance required for a Canada student visa depends on your program's duration and the city where you'll study. Generally, you should be able to demonstrate sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses for one year. This can vary but may range from CAD 10,000 to CAD 20,000 or more.

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