10 Cheap Cities in Canada for international students

Small cities like Quebec and Ontario are often the cheapest cities in Canada. Meanwhile, the most expensive cities are often larger cities and cities in the countryside or up north. Looking for the cheapest cities in Canada? Read our list of selected small yet affordable cities:

Sherbrooke, Quebec: The 1st cheapest city in Canada

Sherbrooke is 160 km east of Montreal and is 15.6% cheaper than the national average. In fact, Sherbrooke is cheaper than other Canadian cities with a population of over 100,000. The city is also home to some of the best academic establishment. In other words, Sherbrooke is a student city par excellence.

Saguenay, Quebec: The city of the natural beauty

The cost of living in Saguenay is 7.9% lower than the national average. In addition to that, the city is also located 200 km north of Quebec and has a 98% French-speaking population. Furthermore, the economy in Saguenay relies primarily on aluminum and wood-cutting.

Moncton, New Brunswick 

Moncton is located 980 kilometers east of Montreal. It is also the largest city in New Brunswick, with a population of over 70,000. It is also one of the cheapest cities on the seaside, with a living cost of 5.2% less than the national average. Additionally, the city is known for its diverse yet powerful economy.

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Abbotsford is located in British Columbia and is in proximity to the Canada-United States border, Greater Vancouver and Fraser River. Additionally, the city is considered the cheapest in British Columbia, with a cost of living of 3.6% lower than the national average. The city has a population of 141,397 and is the largest municipality outside of Metro Vancouver.

St. Catharines, Ontario: Niagara region

St. Catharines is one of the cheapest cities in Ontario. And the cost of living there is 0.5% less than the national average. It is also the largest city in the Niagara region. Not only that, but it is also a base for manufacturing and service industries.

Laval, Quebec

Laval may be one of the largest cities in Quebec, but it remains one of the cheapest cities for students in Canada. Located at 30 km northwest of Montréal, it also situated in the province of Quebec, where universities offer the lowest tuition fees in the country. And Laval is no exception. Moreover, the cost of living in the city is 9% lower than the national average. The city is also home to Laval University, the oldest French-language university in North America.

Calgary, Alberta

The largest city in Alberta, Calgary is not only one of the best, but also one of the cheapest cities in Canada for students. What makes it interesting as a study destination mostly has to do with the low provincial taxes. On the other hand, Calgary also stands out with its young population, as demonstrated by the high number of students in the city. Moreover, it is home to some of the best universities in Canada and some of the best engineering programs. 

Also find out where are the best places to study engineering in Canada.

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is a very student-friendly city, for which more than half of the population is foreigners. This small city in the Ontario province is also the cosmopolitan center of Canada, and also the cheapest among the countries’ biggest cities. What makes it interesting for students has to do with this ethnic diversity, since employment opportunities for international students are numerous. Moreover, Ottawa hosts 2 prominent universities in Canada: University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Kingston, Ontario

This city in the eastern end of the Lake of Ontario is home to a little more than 120,000 people. It’s a fairly large city with a close-knit student community. International students in Kingston can feel at home while enjoying less pricey transportation, restaurants and leisure activities. The cost of living in Kingston is also lower than of the average national. And students can apply in high profile universities such as the Royal Military College of Canada, Queen’s University, and St. Lawrence University.

Montreal, Quebec

Being a city that is part of the cheapest provinces in Canada, Montreal is also one of the most student-friendly cities of the country. This is mostly due to the richness of its cultural scene. And the affordable cost of living is displayed by the lower rent and reasonable restaurants, cafés and shops in the city. Moreover, Montreal hosts of a dozen of universities and colleges, including the famous McGill University and Montreal University, two prestigious institutions in Canada. These universities in Montreal also stand out for offering their students an impression of a small university town in a big city. 

Read also our ranking of the 10 best universities in Canada

Canada is a large country that takes up a large geographical space. Therefore, it is possible that cultures and lifestyles will differ from east to west, which makes it all the more exciting. That being said, the cost of studying and living in Canada is a key deciding factor in where you choose to live.

Learn about the most affordable Universities in Canada.

Also read our article on how to get a scholarship in Canada

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