Accommodation - Short Term
A wide range of hotels is available for temporary stays upon arrival in Canada. A Canadian hotel is defined as having inside access, private rooms, and daily cleaning service. It is always best to make reservations in advance, and during the peak tourist season, it is essential. From May until August, hotels are booked most heavily (90 per cent full), and finding a reasonable place to stay without a reservation can be challenging if not impossible. Although most reservations can be made with a week's notice, be sure to check ahead for any major festivals or events as it will be more difficult to reserve rooms during these times.
Hotel services, price and quality vary. Rooms in larger cities will generally be more expensive. In general, however, you will find hotels in Canada to be clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. Most hotels accept major credit cards, and reservations can be made either directly or by a travel agent in your home country.
Here are some general estimates for the cost of hotel accommodation per night. Please note that prices vary according to occupancy rates, location and season.
Low price range: $45-$75 CDN (It is advised to carefully check accommodation in this price range, as good quality hotels at these prices can be difficult to find, particularly in large cities.)
Moderate price range: $55-$135 CDN
Expensive price range: $135 - $250 CDN
Five-Star Hotel price range: $250 CDN & upwards
Another temporary accommodation option is the bed-and-breakfast. Rooms are located in private homes or locally-run establishments, and the cost includes your own room and a generous breakfast. Many rooms do not have private toilets and baths. Bed-and-breakfast accommodation comes in a variety of forms - it can be in a heritage home, modern townhouse, rural farmhouse, or seaside home. Most establishments are registered with a professional association, and are a great way to meet local people.
Average cost of a room in a bed-and-breakfast: $35 to $105 CDN per night.
Hostelling is a temporary and inexpensive way to stay in major cities. Accommodation is basic but economical, and primary facilities (toilets, baths and kitchens) are shared. Rates are calculated daily, and costs are less than other accommodation choices. A Canadian hostel must be inspected and approved by the Canadian Hostelling Association.
Average cost of a room in a hostel: $10 - $20 CDN per night.
For further information, you can contact the International Youth Hostelling Association in your own country; or for information on hostels in Canada, contact:
Hostelling International - Canada
400-205 Catherine Street
Canada K2P 1C3
Tel: (613) 237-7884 or 1-800-663-5777
Fax: (613) 237-7868
The YWCA/YMCA hotels are also inexpensive, clean, safe and comfortable. Many of these establishments also have pools and fitness centres. Keep in mind, though, that hostels and YWCA/YMCAs fill up quickly during the summer months, so you should plan ahead.
Average cost of a room in a YWCA/YMCA: $24 - $45 CDN per night.
For more information contact:
YWCA of Canada
590 Jarvis Street
Canada M4Y 2J4
Tel: (416) 962-8881
Fax: (416) 962-8084
YMCA of Canada
42 Charles Street East
Canada M4Y 1T4
Tel: (416) 967-9622
Fax: (416) 967-9618
Accommodation - Long Term
1. School Provided Accommodation
Many Canadian families welcome international students. This may be an effective way for you to improve your English or French, learn about daily life in Canada, and meet new, friendly people. Homestays also offer a more stable and secure environment for younger people coming to study in Canada. Typically, a homestay consists of a Canadian family hosting a student in their home while the student attends classes in Canada. Meals aNd a private, furnished room are provided in the home, and the host family welcomes and encourages participation in family and community activities.
Homestays are arranged by the school and students are matched with families who share similar interests. Amenities and location vary from home to home, but preferences can and should be indicated to the school so that a suitable match may be found. Many schools can arrange for a school representative or homestay family to meet you at the airport when you arrive.
Prices will vary according to location, and some homestay services will charge an initial placement fee of up to $200 CDN.
For more information, contact the school you will be attending.
Average cost of homestay accommodation: $400 - $800 CDN per month.
Many schools have accommodation conveniently located on or near their campus. Rooms can vary in size and in quality, and many dormitories have shared kitchens, toilets, showers and laundry facilities. There is usually an option of having either a shared or private room, and dormitories are usually separated by gender. In some cases, there are cafeterias and meal plans that can be included in the cost of the room. Most dormitories come furnished, and are an ideal way to become involved in campus activities and meet other students.
Average cost of residence/dormitory rooms: $3,000 - $7,500 CDN per school year. For more information, contact the school you will be attending.
2. Off-Campus Housing
Renting is an option open to students, but price, quality and availability vary greatly. Rents are often quite high in the major cities, and places are not always available. Many students share accommodation to keep costs down and usually find places to meet their needs and preferences. Many schools offer an off-campus housing service, which can provide affordable listings that are near the campus. At this service centre, those seeking shared accommodations can also find roommates. Once on campus, you will often find a variety of postings throughout the campus advertising nearby housing, but it is always best to make arrangements before coming to Canada.
There are different types of places you can rent as an international student. A house is usually too expensive for one student to rent, but many students share or rent suites (a self-contained unit with a kitchen, toilet, bath and bedroom) within a larger home. Apartments are another option, where one has a kitchen, toilet, bath, and one or two bedrooms. Most rental apartments do not include furniture or meals. Some, however, include the cost of heat and/or electricity in the rent.
Listings of available apartments or homes are published in local newspapers. It is the responsibility of the student to determine suitability as schools do not inspect these places nor can they make any other arrangements. Most landlords require a damage deposit and rent is paid on a monthly basis in cash or by cheque. Agreements with landlords should be made with care. Carefully examine and know the terms of any lease before you sign it. Carefully examine the apartment or suite before signing a lease to determine whether anything needs to be repaired by the landlord before you move in. If you experience problems with your rental accommodation, you should contact a provincial residential tenancy office.
Average cost of shared accommodations in Canada: $250 - $700 CDN monthly.Things to remember when choosing accommodation in Canada:
Average cost of a suite or apartment: $400 - $1,500 CDN monthly.
• Try to make arrangements ahead of time but be especially sure to do so if you require accommodation during the summer months, and during holidays and festivals.
• If you are staying in a hotel or hostel, always inspect the room on arrival before making a payment. If you are unsure about the location, ask the local tourism association.
Prices can vary greatly according to location and time of year, so try to investigate before you leave. Canada is a friendly and wonderful place, and having made the proper arrangements, you will undoubtedly enjoy your stay regardless of where you choose to live in Canada.