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International students finding rentals in Canada

Here Is How International Students Can Find Rentals In Canada

Last Updated On 22 June 2023, 10:01 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Renting suitable accommodation is the foremost and important first step for international students coming to study in Canada.

As you embark on your educational journey, understanding the average rents in major Canadian cities and knowing how to find a suitable place will help you make informed decision. 

In this guide, we will explore average rent prices in popular student cities across Canada and provide valuable tips for international students in finding rentals.

Average Rent Prices in Major Canadian Cities

When considering renting a place in Canada, it’s crucial to have an idea of the average rent prices in popular student cities.

Here are the approximate average monthly rental costs for a one-bedroom apartment in some major Canadian cities, as well as additional options to consider:


Toronto, the largest city in Canada, offers a vibrant cultural scene and numerous educational institutions.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto ranges from $2,100 to $2,600, depending on the location and amenities.

Shared accommodations, where you rent a room in an apartment or house, can be a more affordable option, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $1,200.

Additionally, basement apartments, which are self-contained units within a house, are available at an average price of $1,600 to $2,000.

Living in the nearby cities such as Brampton, Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Oakville can be comparatively cheaper.


Vancouver, renowned for its scenic beauty and diverse population, is a sought-after destination for international students.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver can vary between $2,200 and $2,700.

Shared accommodations in Vancouver can range similar to Toronto from $1,000 to $1,200, while basement apartments typically range from $1,500 to $2,000.

A group of international students can rent a whole house which could make it more cheaper than the above listed rates.

Similar to Toronto, nearby areas of Vancouver such as Gibsons, Surrey, Abbotsford can be comparatively cheaper.


Montreal, a bilingual city with a rich cultural heritage, is home to several renowned universities.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal are relatively more affordable when compared to Toronto and Vancouver.

One-bedroom apartment rent in Montreal ranges between $1,100 to $1,600.

Shared accommodations in Montreal can cost between $600 and $1,000, providing a cost-effective option for students.

Basement apartments are also available, with average rents ranging from $1,000 to $1,400.


Calgary, situated in the province of Alberta, offers a vibrant blend of urban living and stunning natural landscapes.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary is around $1,300 to $1,600.

Shared accommodations in Calgary can range from $600 to $900, while basement apartments are available at an average cost of $1,100 to $1,500.


As Canada’s capital, Ottawa boasts excellent educational institutions and a high quality of life.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Ottawa ranges from $1,300 to $1,700.

Shared accommodations in Ottawa can cost between $600 and $1,000, providing affordable options for students.

Basement apartments are also available, with average rents ranging from $900 to $1,400.

Other Cities

Other cities like Windsor, Surrey, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Mississauga also offer rental options for international students.

Rental prices in these cities can vary, but as a general guide, shared accommodations can range from $400 to $900, and basement apartments can cost between $800 and $1,300.

It’s important to note that these prices are approximate averages and can vary based on factors such as location, amenities, and the condition of the rental property.

Conduct thorough research and consider your budget and preferences when searching for accommodation in these cities.

How to Find a Rental Place

Now that we have an overview of average rent prices, let’s delve into the process of finding a suitable rental place in Canada.

Start your search early

Begin your accommodation search well in advance, preferably three to four months before your intended move-in date.

This will give you ample time to explore different options and secure a place that meets your requirements.

Utilize online resources

Take advantage of various online platforms dedicated to rental listings, such as:

Facebook Marketplace: A widely used platform where individuals and businesses advertise rental properties. It offers a wide range of options and allows you to connect directly with landlords.

Kijiji: A popular online classifieds platform where landlords advertise available rentals. A comprehensive listing website that provides detailed information about rental properties across Canada.

Utilizing these online platforms can significantly expand your rental search and increase your chances of finding the perfect accommodation.

It’s important to regularly check these platforms, as new listings are added frequently.

Additionally, be cautious and ensure you verify the legitimacy of the listings and communicate with potential landlords to gather more information before making any commitment.

Seek assistance from your educational institution:

Many educational institutions have dedicated portals or websites where landlords post listings exclusively for students.

Reach out to the housing or international student services office at your university or college.

They can provide valuable resources and guidance on finding suitable accommodations, including recommendations for reputable landlords or housing options on or near campus.

Consider shared accommodations

Renting a room in a shared apartment or house can be cost-effective, especially for students on a tight budget.

It also provides an opportunity to meet and connect with fellow students.

Understand the rental market and terms

Familiarize yourself with the local rental market, including lease terms, tenant rights, and any specific regulations that may apply.

It’s important to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your lease agreement before signing.

Budget wisely

When searching for a rental place, consider your budget and prioritize your needs.

Consider not only the rent but also other expenses like utilities, internet, and transportation costs.

Schedule viewings and ask questions

Arrange in-person or virtual viewings of potential rental properties. During the viewing, inspect the premises, and ask questions about amenities, lease terms, and maintenance responsibilities.

Don’t hesitate to clarify any concerns before committing to a rental agreement.


Renting a suitable place as an international student in Canada can seem daunting, but with careful research and planning, it can be a smooth process.

By understanding the average rent prices in major Canadian cities and utilizing various resources, you can find an ideal rental that meets your needs and budget.

Remember to start your search early, ask for assistance from your educational institution, and consider shared accommodations if necessary.

With these tips in mind, you can embark on your educational journey in Canada with confidence and peace of mind.

Are the average rent prices mentioned for one-bedroom apartments inclusive of utilities?

The average rent prices mentioned for one-bedroom apartments in major Canadian cities generally do not include utilities unless specified.

It’s important to inquire with the landlord or property management to understand what is included in the rent and what additional utility costs you may need to cover.

Is it possible to find furnished rentals for international students in Canada?

Yes, it is possible to find furnished rentals for international students in Canada, particularly in major student cities.

Some landlords offer fully furnished apartments or rooms, while others may provide the option to rent furniture or offer partially furnished spaces.

When searching for rentals, you can specify your preference for furnished accommodations to narrow down your options.

What are some common lease terms for rental agreements in Canada?

Rental lease terms in Canada can vary, but the most common options are month-to-month leases or fixed-term leases, typically for one year.

Month-to-month leases offer more flexibility as you can terminate the lease with proper notice, while fixed-term leases provide stability for a specific period.

It’s important to carefully review the lease agreement, understand the terms and conditions, and clarify any concerns before signing.


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