Cost of living in Canada in 2024 Asan Pawa

While cheaper than most English-speaking countries, living in Canada can be challenging for students worldwide.

You can expect an average cost of living in Canada with rent of CAN 10,000 to CAN 15,000 per year, including food, transportation, and entertainment, which is lower compared to the United States or the United Kingdom.

In most provinces, including Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa, you will spend between 800 and 1,500 CDN monthly, but your expenses in Canada will vary between larger student hubs and smaller cities. For example, price of milk ranges from 1.4 to 5 CAD, potatoes range from 1 to 6 CAD depending on region, while bread costs between 2 and 5.5 CAD, and apples from 2 to 8 CAD.

You can access many student discounts by getting your International Student Identity Card (ISIC).


You will depend on public transportation as a student. The cost of public transportation varies by city, but the average price of a one-way ticket is around 3 dollars. As a student, you can usually get discounted or even free unlimited access to the city’s transportation system. Here is how Public Transportation works in Canada’s top student hubs:

  • Toronto. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) manages the city’s public buses, subways and street cars. You pay one ticket and travel with all of them. You can use a Presto card to pay for all local transit in Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
  • Montreal. The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) manages bus and subway transport. Buses are especially efficient to travel in the city. The card you’re likely to use to pay for your tickets here is the OPUS Card.
  • Vancouver. In this student hub, public transport (buses, trains) are operated by Translink. Here they use a reloadable fare card called Compass.

A taxi is always an option when moving inside the city, and prices start at 2 CAD/kilometre. However, when commuting to school and you cover larger distances, consider using the train or the bus; both are affordable options with lower student fees. Budget between 100 to 150 CAD each month for transportation.

Ferries are also a popular way to travel in the coastal Pacific and Atlantic regions.

Where to look for affordable transportation for students in Canada:

  • Local transit websites – each city in Canada has its own public transit website, with information on routes, schedules, and fares.
  • – a website that provides information and discounts on student-specific travel and transportation.

Entertainment and free time

Entertainment and free time costs can also increase your cost of living in Canada. While the amount you spend is highly influenced by your lifestyle, here are some popular activities and how much they cost.

A coffee with a friend can cost you a couple of dollars while going out to see a film at the cinema will cost you CAD 15 on average. Expect to pay anywhere between 50 and 150 Canadian dollars for a concert. On the other hand, many museums and galleries offer discounted admission for students.

Cost of food in Canada

The average monthly cost of food for a student is under CAD 300 if you buy from a supermarket and cook it yourself. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you can find all over Canada are Canadian Superstore, Walmart, and No Frills. On the other hand, food costs will skyrocket if you don’t cook or are used to eating in a restaurant. You’ll pay 20 dollars for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant.

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