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Living in Toronto

We welcome you to our community, and know that you probably have a lot of questions about your stay at Ryerson. From accommodation to climate to costs, here is information to get you going.

These costs are approximate and intended as a guideline to the cost of being a student at Ryerson. All costs are quoted in Canadian dollars.

Rent 

Expect to pay between $800-$1600/month for a room with a shared kitchen and bathroom (utilities, like internet and electricity, may or may not be included).

Transportation 

Toronto city’s public transit system is called the Toronto Transit Commission, external link, opens in new window or TTC. To use the TTC, you must purchase a Presto card, external link, opens in new window. The fare for an adult is currently $3.10. Students who use public transit regularly may also consider purchasing a student monthly pass, external link, opens in new window for $122.45. There is also transportation services for people with disabilities known as TTC Wheel-Trans, external link, opens in new window

Food 

Most students do their own cooking, spending an average of $150 to $350 per month on groceries. Buying lunch (i.e not preparing your own) can cost between $5-$15/meal.

Health Insurance 

If you will be in Canada for less than three (3) months, you have to have private comprehensive health insurance for your stay in Canada. The cost of private health insurance will vary depending on a number of factors. You should get quotes from a few different insurance companies before deciding on a plan. 

If your stay in Canada is longer than three (3) months, you must purchase the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). The cost for UHIP varies based on several factors such as length of stay at Ryerson, and number of family members insured. 

If you are an exchange student, please email rihelp@ryerson.ca for more information on the cost of the program. 

If you are a visiting researcher, please email visitingresearch@ryerson.ca for more information on the cost of the program. 

Textbooks  

Prices vary greatly from program to program. New textbooks can average $50-$200 per book. Check out the Ryerson Student Union’s Used Book Room, external link, opens in new window website for less expensive options.

Cellphone 

There are several private phone companies in Ontario. Basic phone plans with limited data (internet access) and unlimited local calls start at approximately $30/month, but can quickly go up to 70$/month for additional features. If you are bringing your own phone, make sure to ask for a sim-card plan. Most plans in Canada are not sim-based. Instead, companies tie plans to phone models and types. For long-distance calls, consider using internet based apps like WhatsApp or calling cards to reduce costs. 

Clothing

Warm, waterproof footwear, head and hand coverings are necessary for fall/winter/spring. If you don’t already own fall/winter clothing, you may want to wait and buy it in Canada - an easy way to save on luggage space! New winter clothing can be expensive, but there are lots of options for buying second hand when you arrive. Here are estimated price ranges for new winter clothing: 

  • Winter Boots - $80 - $200
  • Thermal Underclothes (Long Johns) - $15
  • Winter hats, gloves, socks and scarves - $30 to $90
  • Winter Jackets - $100 - $900

A significant challenge for all visiting researchers or exchange students is finding short-term housing (less than 12 months) that is affordable and accessible by transit. It is important that you start searching for off-campus housing as soon as possible. Ryerson's Off-Campus Housing Office is here to support you in your search.

Ryerson Off-Campus Housing Office

Ryerson’s Off-Campus Housing Office can provide resources and information on finding both short-term housing (i.e. housing for less than 12 months) and long-term housing (housing for 12 months or more). 

We recommend reading through the Off-Campus Housing website to start off with. Their short-term housing guide includes information on when to start searching, understanding the housing market in Toronto, and finding a neighbourhood that meets your needs. They also have long-term housing guides.

If you have any questions, or need any support for housing both before and after you arrive, you should get in touch with the Off-Campus Housing Office by emailing offcamp@ryerson.ca.

For a list of important academic dates, make sure to check out the Significant Dates section within the Undergraduate Calendar.

Here are general time-frames for Ryerson’s academic year: 

  • Fall Term (first semester): September to December. Classes generally start after the Labour Day holiday
  • Winter Term (second semester): January to April. Classes generally start in the first or second week of January
  • Spring/Summer Term: May to August. Exchanges is not available for this term

For detailed information on banking, please see the Banking in Canada section of the International Student Support website.

The Toronto Transit Commission, external link, opens in new window or TTC operates a city-wide public transit system that includes buses, subways, streetcars, and TTC Wheel-Trans, external link, opens in new window (a service for people in need of accessible transport. 

Google Maps, external link, opens in new window incorporates the TTC options into the directions it gives for public transit. You can also download and use a number of transit apps such as Transit Now, external link, opens in new window, CityMapper, external link, opens in new window, and Transit, external link, opens in new window.

For information on how to get to Ryerson from the airport, check out the Transportation section of the International Student Support office website. 

GO Transit, external link, opens in new window: is a network of train and bus lines which links Toronto with the surrounding regions of the (GTA) and Hamilton Area.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and boasts a vibrant social, cultural and professional scene. There is lots to discover about life in the city. Here are some resources to get you started: 

Weather 

Toronto has a broad climate, though we generally have four distinct seasons. Temperatures, humidity and weather phenomena (such as snow, rain, etc.) can vary dramatically between seasons.You should read up on Toronto’s seasonal climate, external link, opens in new window. For information about current weather conditions, check out Environment Canada, external link, opens in new window.  

Toronto History, Arts and Culture  

Toronto has many organizations, museums, events and festivals that are active throughout the year. For information on what’s going on in the city, check out the following resources: 

Sports and Recreation 

With two state of the art sports and recreation facilities, Ryerson Recreation and Ryerson Athletics, external link should be your first stop for ways to stay active while you’re here. Some incoming visitors may be able to access these facilities at a discounted rate, or for free. Check-in with the office or department coordinating your time at Ryerson. 

The City of Toronto also has an incredible recreation program, external link, opens in new window with opportunities and facilities all over the city.

Health and Wellness 

Ryerson has a number of on-campus Health and Wellness programs and services available to students, including a Medical Centre for students and staff. The Ryerson Medical Centre has also put together a list of health resources and links. Finally, Ryerson’s Mental Health and Wellbeing website lists mental health resources on campus.

Diverse Communities 

Toronto is an incredibly diverse and multicultural city. At Ryerson, there are a number of communities, networks, and support services for students to access. Here is a list of groups, communities, networks, support services and general resources: 

The City of Toronto also has a number of resources around accessibility and human rights, external link, opens in new window.