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Best Cities to Study in Canada

You want to make sure you live in the greatest area possible for studying in Canada as an international student. You  can seek the support of the local student population by relocating to one of the best cities in Canada for international students.

Let’s talk more about this because you are looking into the top universities in Canada. You can pick the Canadian city that best suits you after we discuss all the crucial aspects of the finest places to study in Canada.

Benefits of Studying in Best Cities of Canada

Any top city in Canada to study can be summed up by the standard of living it provides for its foreign students. Benefits of studying in one of the top cities include:

  • A supportive student community to look out for in times of need.
  • All of Canada’s top universities provide their students a well-organized way of life. Whether it’s by offering you student discounts or by supplying you with subsidized public transportation.
  • Among the greatest places in Canada to study and work are Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ontario.
  • For international students, there are part-time work options in these finest places in Canada to study. Living in the cities that the majority of international students favors is thus an additional benefit.

 

This leads us to the question: which of Canada's cities is the best place to study and work? Let’s figure this out

Remember that we’ve identified the best Canadian options for you when it comes to where to study in Canada as an international student. Yet, you might also enjoy visiting some of the other unusual cities. For instance, Toronto, where the majority of Indians live, is the best city in Canada for Indian students.

Table of Contents

Montreal

The finest Canadian city for studying is Montreal. The city establishes itself as a leader in science and technology. especially in information technology and aeronautics. In addition to providing world-class education, Montréal, one of the top student towns in the world, is well known for its innovative culture and thriving entertainment sector.

 

best cities to study in canada- montreal

World's best city ranking

Montreal ranks on #14 position in the Best City QS (Quality standards) Ranking conducted in 2023.

 

Cost of Living in Montreal

The average cost of living in Montreal city is CAD $9,700- CAD $12,700 

Things to do in Montreal

  • Wander about Old Montreal, You are taken back in time by this encounter in a special way.
  • For a fun day, discover the fantastic world of Quartier Des Spectacles.
  • Visit the Science and Arts Museum in Montreal.
  • The underground city of Montreal is another option.
  • Visit the Olympic stadium to watch thrilling sporting activities.

Diversity in Montreal

Awarded among the top study destinations in the World, Montreal is definitely the first destination to look out for in Canada. You will be exposed to a pool of opportunities after studying in Montreal.

The largest ethnic groups are those of European origins. The largest European ancestries in Montreal include French (26%), Italian (7%), Irish (6%), English (4%), Scottish (3%) and Spanish (2%).

About 31% of the Montreal population belong to a visible minority, up dramatically from just 5% in 1981. The most common visible minorities are black (9.1%), Arab (6.4%), Latin Americans (4.2%), South Asians (3.3%) and Chinese (2.9%).

French is the official and primary language of Montreal and the most common language spoken at home as Quebecois French by 57% of the population, followed by English (18.5%) and other languages (20%). Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada with 56% of the population speaking both French and English.

Benefits of Living in Montreal:

  1. Multiculturalism: Montreal is a diverse and cosmopolitan city, with a rich history of immigration. This makes it an exciting and vibrant place to live, with a wide range of cultures, languages, and cuisines represented.

  2. Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to other major North American cities, Montreal has a relatively low cost of living. Housing, transportation, and food expenses are generally more affordable than in other major Canadian and American cities.

  3. Rich cultural scene: Montreal is known for its arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. It is also home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Montreal International Film Festival, and the Just for Laughs comedy festival.

  4. Access to nature: Despite being a major urban center, Montreal offers easy access to nature and outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks and nature reserves, and it is located near the Laurentian Mountains, which offer excellent opportunities for skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

  5. Quality of life: Montreal is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, with a high quality of life and excellent public services, including healthcare and education.

Of course, the experience of living in Montreal will depend on individual preferences and circumstances, so it’s important to do your own research and explore the city to determine whether it’s the right place for you.

Top Institutions

Toronto

Toronto is one of the best cities in Canada for international students. Unlike many other cities, students of Science, Business Studies, Arts and other disciplines too can find courses fit for them in Toronto. In addition to that, most Indo-Canadians reside in Toronto. Thus, making it the best city to live in Canada for Indian student.

 

A grid of diverse images showcasing the vibrant culture, iconic landmarks, and bustling city life of Toronto

World's best city ranking​

Montreal ranks on #15 position in the Best City QS (Quality standards) Ranking conducted in 2023.

 

Cost of Living in Montreal

The average cost of living in Montreal city is CAD $31,000 CAD.

Things to do in Montreal

  • Take the breathtaking view of the majestic Niagara falls.
  • Visit Breweries to taste some of the fine beers made in Toronto. 
  • St. Lawrence is worth a visit as one of the best food markets.
  • Enjoy the view of Toronto’s CN tower while you stare at the amazing city skyline.

 

Why study in Toronto?

According to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the largest school board in the city, approximately 51% of students come from households where a language other than English is spoken. The most common non-English languages spoken by students are Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Tamil, and Urdu.

The TDSB also reports that 29% of students identify as belonging to a visible minority group, with the most common ethnic backgrounds being South Asian, Chinese, and Black. Additionally, 17% of students have a first language other than English or French.

The 2021 Census indicates that 55.7% of Toronto’s population is composed of visible minorities, compared with 51.5% in 2016.

According to the 2021 Canadian census, 1,537,285 racialized people, or approximately 10.7 percent of Canada’s visible minority population, live in the city of Toronto; of this, roughly 67 percent are of Asian ancestry. Annually, almost half of all immigrants to Canada settle in the Greater Toronto Area.

Benefits of Living in Toronto:

There are many benefits to living in Toronto, including:

  1. Cultural Diversity: Toronto is known for its diverse population, with people from all over the world calling the city home. This creates a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions, making it an exciting and vibrant place to live.

  2. Economic Opportunities: Toronto is the economic engine of Canada, with a thriving business community, a strong job market, and a high standard of living. The city is home to many multinational corporations, as well as start-ups and small businesses.

  3. Education: Toronto is home to some of Canada’s top-ranked universities and colleges, including the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and York University. The city also has a strong public education system, with many excellent schools and programs.

  4. Arts and Culture: Toronto is a hub for arts and culture, with many museums, galleries, and performance spaces. The city hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Toronto Fringe Festival, and Nuit Blanche.

  5. Green Spaces: Toronto has many parks and green spaces, including the expansive High Park and the Toronto Islands. These spaces provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and are great places to relax, exercise, and enjoy nature.

  6. Public Transit: Toronto has an extensive public transit system, including buses, streetcars, and subways. This makes it easy to get around the city without a car.

  7. Health Care: Toronto is home to some of the best hospitals and medical facilities in Canada, with world-class doctors and researchers.

Overall, Toronto is a dynamic and exciting city with a high quality of life and many opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Top Institutions

Vancouver

With a great mix of culture, languages, people and more, Vancouver is a bright and lively city to reside in. Many international students are exhilarated by the beauty of the city. Pursuing courses like Digital Media, Engineering or IT in Vancouver is a great choice.

 

best cities to study in canada

World's best city ranking​

Vancouver ranks on #20 position in the Best City QS (Quality standards) Ranking conducted in 2023.

Cost of Living in Vancouver

The average cost of living in Vancouver city is CAD $2500  – $3500.

Things to do in Vancouver

  • Enjoy a drive to the Sea-to-Sky Highway
  • Visit the Vancouver Museum Of Anthropology.
  • Indulge yourself in nature at the Stanley Park or Grouse Grind.
  • Grab a glimpse of China at the ChinaTown and the famous garden of Dr Sun Yat Sen.

 

Benefits of Studying in Vancouver

Studying in Vancouver, Canada has many benefits, including:

  1. High-Quality Education: Vancouver is home to some of the best universities in Canada, providing high-quality education with globally recognized degrees.

  2. Multicultural Environment: Vancouver is a culturally diverse city, with people from all over the world. Studying in Vancouver can give you the opportunity to experience different cultures and make new friends from around the globe.

  3. Safe and Secure: Vancouver is one of the safest cities in the world, providing a secure environment for students to study and live.

  4. Natural Beauty: Vancouver is surrounded by beautiful mountains, forests, and beaches, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and surfing.

  5. Job Opportunities: Vancouver is a hub for various industries such as tech, film, and finance, providing job opportunities for students who want to work while studying or after graduation.

  6. Healthcare: Canada’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world, and students studying in Vancouver can access healthcare services for free or at a minimal cost.

  7. Student-Friendly City: Vancouver is a student-friendly city, with many amenities and services geared towards students, such as affordable housing, public transportation, and student discounts.

  8. Vibrant Culture and Nightlife: Vancouver has a vibrant culture and nightlife, with numerous festivals, events, and entertainment options throughout the year.

Overall, studying in Vancouver provides a great opportunity to receive a high-quality education in a safe and multicultural environment while enjoying the natural beauty and cultural richness of the city.

Vancouver is a great study abroad destination because it is among the top five cities for quality of life and education around the globe. The city is the most populous region in western Canada and in the past 30 years, immigration has increased drastically turning this city into a diverse mosaic of cultures.

it is ranked as the 10th cleanest city in the world.

1.42 million residents of the region’s total population of 2.61 million residents are part of a visible minority or 54.5%, as of 2021.

A breakdown of Metro Vancouver’s visible minority populations in 2021, as identified by Statistics Canada:

  • Chinese: 512,260 (20%)
  • South Asian: 369,295 (14%)
  • Filipino: 142,120 (5.5%)
 
Top Institutions

Ottawa

Ottawa is one of the most attractive cities in Canada, with gorgeous scenery all around. The city provides more than than that, though. Many STEM students receive first-hand experience to the industry thanks to the top research centers in science and technology.

 

Best cities to study in Canada

World's best city ranking​

Ottawa ranks on #55 position in the Best City QS (Quality standards) Ranking conducted in 2023.

Cost of Living in Ottawa

The average cost of living in Ottawa city is CAD $2000  – 2500.

 

Things to do in Ottawa

  • Ottawa has a lot of free activities, from skating on the Rideau Canal, touring the Byward Market to touring parliament hill and even museums are free at a designated time.
  • Ottawa is filled with adventure from SUP on the Gatineau River to Whitewater rafting the Ottawa River.
  • We have an entire list of amazing things to in winter from Winterlude to snowshoeing, Parc Omega, and skating trails.

Why choose Ottawa?

As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is a center of innovation and globally recognized as innovative, future-ready, and the best place to work and live. With access to a diverse and highly educated pool of tech talent, world-class R&D capabilities, low business costs and an exceptional quality of life, Ottawa is easily one of the most attractive global tech hubs.

The total population of Ottawa by 2022 is estimated to be 1,423,000 with a growth rate of 1.04%.

Ottawa is a diverse region which is a home to 255,800 immigrants that is 19.7% of their total population and Members of visible minority groups (non-white/European) constitute 32.5 percent, while those of Indigenous origin make up 2.6% of the total population. The largest visible minority groups are: Black Canadians: 8.5%, Arab Canadians: 5.8%, South Asian Canadians: 5.8%, and Chinese Canadians: 4.6%.

 

Top Institutions

Quebec City

Quebec is Canada’s French-speaking province. You will be exposed to both Canadian and French culture if you decide to study here. For international students, Quebec is one of Canada’s most cheap cities. For Indian students wishing to live on a tight budget, this is one of the greatest cities to live in Canada.

 

best cities to study in canada

World's best city ranking​

Quebec city ranks on #106 position in the Best City QS (Quality standards) Ranking conducted in 2023.

Cost of Living in Quebec City

The average cost of living in Quebec city is CAD $1500  – 1800.

Things to do in Quebec City

  • STROLL THROUGH OLD QUEBEC-Walking through the streets make you feel like you’re wandering Europe. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site that gives you a glimpse into the past of the European settlement in North America.

  • WALK ALONG THE FORTIFICATIONS OF QUÉBEC-The fortifications of Québec City run for almost 4.6 km / 1.8 mi. It’s the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico and you can walk along the walls.

  • You can walk along the beautiful terrace where Fort Saint’Louis used to stand in the 1600s. You get stunning views of the river and the surrounding area. 

 

 

Why live in Quebec?

Quebec offers affordable education, post-study work permit and shorter duration courses. These perks make your study in Quebec worth it!

Québec City and its metropolitan area are known for their safety, with one of the lowest crime rates in North America. Plus, Québec City was name the safest city in Canada to raise children. A mix of history and modernity, culture and nature, Québec City is the reflection of its citizens.

The total population of Quebec tallies for 5,42,000 as of 2017.

Quebec is the only province where French is the only provincial official language with a mostly French-speaking population.

 

Top Institutions

Edmonton

Edmonton, known for its pizzas, provides students with a vibrant cultural scene. Foreign university students in Edmonton live affluent lifestyles at reasonable costs. Hence, this is one of Canada’s top universities.

 

best cities to study in canada

World's best city ranking​

Edmonton ranks as #102 of Teleport’s most recommended cities, Ranking conducted in 2023.

 

Cost of Living in Edmonton

The average cost of living in Edmonton is $10,000 to $12,000 CAD.

Things to do in Edmonton

  • The West Edmonton mall is not an ordinary mall. It is a massive 490,000 square metre mall that boasts over 800 stores and services! It also happens to be the largest mall in North America.
  • Edmonton’s River Valley Parks is nothing short of gigantic. The park is actually made up of 20 different parks, that combined are 22 times larger than Central Park in New York City.
  • Edmonton’s Arts District is centred on Churchill Square, which hosts numerous cultural festivals. It was also the city’s original Market Square.
  • The Strathcona Historic District sits in South Central Edmonton. It was once the city’s commercial core, but today it is a provincial historic area.

Diversity in Edmonton

Studying at Edmonton will allow you to have fun, indulge in nature and pursue your aspirations. This is a good deal to study in Canada.

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and is located in the central region of the province. It is a beautiful city that offers a great quality of life for its residents. 

There are many reasons to live in Edmonton, including the city’s excellent job market, diverse culture, and vibrant nightlife. However, there are also some drawbacks to living in Edmonton, such as the city’s cold winters and higher-than-average crime rates. 

Edmonton has a good mix of the local, native and immigrant populations. It has a cosmopolitan vibe with a variety of cultural attractions and events. 

There are seasonal events that take place every month from food, and literature to music festivals. Edmonton is known as the Festival City, for a reason, after all.

Edmonton has a total population of 1,418,118 as of 2021 out of which 51.59% are European, 21.07% are Southeast Asian and 7.5% are Africans as their majorly diversified population.

 

Top Institutions

Calgary

Calgary, Canada is a well-maintained city focused on innovation in sustainability, energy studies and renewable sources. Therefore, this is one of the best places to pursue a STEM course in Canada. If you are interested in futuristic learning and development, Calgary is the place for you. 

 

best cities to study in canada

World's best city ranking​

Calgary named world’s 3rd most liveable city by Economist Intelligence Unit.

Cost of Living in Calgary

The average cost of living in Calgary city is CAD $1800 CAD – $2000.

Things to do in Calgary

  • Enjoy the skyline view and the marvellous Calgary Tower.

    Visit the Calgary zoo.

    Spend a day at the Calgary Stampede.

    Go to the Entertainment District.

 

Why live in Calgary?

Calgary is a fantastic spot to study if you want to be in a bit unusual part of Canada. It offers a unique and a different vibe to students.

Calgary is one of Canada’s wealthiest, cleanest and most liveable cities. Like Edmontonians, Calgary residents enjoy a lower cost of living, a good job market and low taxes.

Calgary enjoys a dry, sunny, windy climate with seasonal temperatures that range from winter lows of −3 °C to temperate summer highs of 30 °C. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada.

Calgary is the home to a Population of 1,361,852 as of 2020 and 415,930 out of them are immigrants from countries like Europe: 87,110, Africa: 41,460, India: 47,240, Philippines: 55,050.

There are several reasons why someone may choose to study in Calgary:

  1. High-Quality Education: Calgary is home to some of the top universities and colleges in Canada, such as the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs and have a reputation for providing high-quality education.

  2. Affordability: Compared to other major cities in Canada, such as Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary is relatively affordable. The cost of living and tuition fees are lower, making it an attractive option for international students.

  3. Job Opportunities: Calgary has a strong economy and is known for its booming oil and gas industry, which means there are plenty of job opportunities for graduates in these fields. The city also has a growing tech sector, which is creating new job opportunities in areas such as software development and data analytics.

  4. Quality of Life: Calgary is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. It has a high standard of living, low crime rates, and access to a wide range of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, and mountain biking.

  5. Multicultural City: Calgary is a diverse and multicultural city, with a large immigrant population. This means that international students will find a welcoming and inclusive community, and will have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and customs.

Overall, Calgary is a great choice for students who are looking for a high-quality education, job opportunities, and a great quality of life.

Top Institutions

Waterloo- Kitchener

One of the leading producers of tech and innovation in the field of Science, Waterloo is known as Canada’s tech hub. Also, studying here enables you to start working right after graduation.

 

best cities to study in canada

Top Institutions

World's best city ranking​

The city has been ranked Fifth in the inaugural 2022 Canada’s Best Small Cities Report, put out by Resonance Consultancy.

 

Cost of Living in Montreal

The average cost of living in Waterloo is CAD $2400 – $3200.

Things to do in Montreal

  • Waterloo is a historic city and a historic walking tour is a great way to delve into this. There are two neighbourhoods that are great this; the Mary-Allen neighbourhood and Uptown Waterloo.
  • The annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany. It has been running for over 75 years and attracts over 700,000 people.
  • Like any North American city, Waterloo would not be complete without a large shopping mall. In this case, it is Conestoga Mall.
  • There is a beach in Waterloo where you can swim, windsurf, canoe or have a picnic. The beach is located in Laurel Creek Park in the northwest part of the city.
  • Canada’s first ever virtual reality arcade opened in 2016 right in Waterloo.

 

Benefits of living in waterloo

Waterloo Region received 27,840 immigrants between 2016 and 2021, twice as many as it received in the previous five years.

Total population of 579,000.

The most common ethnic or cultural origins reported in Waterloo in 2021 were German (17.9%), English (17.0%), Scottish (14.6%), Irish (14.3%), Canadian (10.2%), Chinese (8.9%), Indian (6.4%), French (6.0%)

Waterloo is a famous Canadian destination for Indian students. IT and technical education are famous here. So, if you are planning to be an engineer, you can consider studying in Waterloo.

Waterloo is a popular destination for students due to several reasons:

  1. Academic Excellence: The University of Waterloo is known for its academic excellence, particularly in the fields of science, engineering, and technology. The university is consistently ranked among the top universities in Canada and the world.

  2. Co-op Programs: Waterloo is famous for its co-op programs, which allow students to gain practical work experience in their field of study. This gives students a competitive advantage in the job market, as they graduate with both academic knowledge and work experience.

  3. Entrepreneurial Spirit: The city of Waterloo has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, with a thriving startup community. The university also offers resources and support for students who want to start their own businesses.

  4. Quality of Life: Waterloo is a safe and peaceful city with a high quality of life. It is home to several parks, trails, and recreational facilities, making it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. The city also has a diverse and vibrant culture, with many festivals, events, and attractions throughout the year.

  5. Proximity to Toronto: Waterloo is located just a short drive from Toronto, Canada’s largest city. This gives students access to all the opportunities that Toronto has to offer, including internships, networking events, and cultural experiences.

Overall, studying in Waterloo can offer students a unique and enriching academic experience, as well as a high quality of life and access to exciting career opportunities.

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