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Cost of Living in Toronto for International Students from the USA

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Cost of Living in Toronto for International Students from the USA

Are you about to commence your studies in Toronto, Canada? You’ve probably heard that the cost of living in Toronto is expensive. But the good news is that life in Canada, in general, is considered cheaper than in the United States.

The city is one of the most popular student destinations in the world. It offers not only excellent education but great life with museums and galleries. The food in this Ontario province is delicious, including diverse nightclubs and other entertainment.   

Another factor is the cost of living in Toronto. According to the website, consumer prices, including rent, restaurants, and groceries, are higher in the USA. However, whether life in Toronto is expensive or cheap depends on your location in the USA. 

With that said, knowing how much you’ll need a month to survive in the city is important. In this blog post, SDC International Shipping will discuss the cost of basic expenses, including entertainment and leisure, without depriving yourself of getting the most out of your student life. 

How Much Do I Need As an American Student? 

The University of Toronto notes that international students moving to Toronto may require $8,000 to $15,000 per academic year. It breaks down to approximately $900 to $1,500 per 9-month semester. Meanwhile, if we look at the yearly costs provided by York University for 2022-2023, the maximum monthly student budget will be around $2,100, covering meals, entertainment, and transportation without rent. 

These figures do not cover tuition fees and are rather estimates. You may need more or less, depending on your lifestyle. For example, students who cook meals and ride bikes instead of public transport may spend less. 

Now, let’s consider Toronto living costs in detail. 


The cost of rent depends on whether you live on campus or get private accommodation. The location of your home is a significant factor too. 

For example, rent will likely cost more if you stay in the heart of Toronto. That’s why it’s better to choose neighborhoods like Weston, Black Creek, Guildwood Village, or East York to save on rent. 

Another thing to note is that rent in the campus dormitories costs less than private accommodation. To illustrate this, York University notes that residence on campus for 8 months costs $7,512 while living off campus is $12,500. Besides, unlike private accommodation, you don’t need to pay utility bills. 

Public Transport 

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) offers international students a discount on public transportation fares. You can get your TTC Metropass at $116.75 per month and travel in subway, streetcar, bus, and WheelTrans during that month. 

Groceries and Dining Out 

According to, the grocery price for singles per month is around $390. This is a significant increase from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lunch in fast food restaurants like McMeal at McDonald’s costs $10. Be ready to pay $40 to $50 for a meal in a mid-range restaurant. A delicious latte in a fancy coffee shop costs $4

Assuming you eat out thrice a week, that would cost around $30 to $100

Utilities If You Rent Off Campus

Renting an apartment means you’ll have to pay for utilities. According to the data from September 2022, the utility package for an 85m2 apartment in Toronto is $125.68. That covers electricity, heating, water, and garbage. 

The monthly phone plan will cost approximately $57.56

Cost of Internet 

Since many people started working from home, unlimited internet plans among residents in Toronto are prevailing.

The largest internet providers are: 

  • Rogers – $99.95 per month
  • Bell – $99.99 
  • Teksavvy: $77.95

They provide the optimal upload speed to satisfy both basic internet surfers and heavy gamers. 

Entertainment and Leisure 

Toronto has a dynamic entertainment scene; you don’t need to stretch your dollar for many of them. This includes public performances and popular tourist attractions. 

You should still factor in costs like watching movies, clubbing, paid tourist events, and tickets for festivals. 

The approximate cost per month is $150

Total Cost of Living in Toronto for International Students

Ultimately, this is just an estimate of how much you will need for a monthly or yearly cost of living in Toronto. On the other hand, you need to remember that you need to budget other expenses, such as tuition, books, emergency, health, and fitness costs. 

You should also consider the initial cost of arriving in Toronto, like buying bed sheets, kitchen utensils, and a deposit for your accommodation, to name a few.

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