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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 $600-$1100/month for a room with a shared kitchen and bathroom (utilities may or may not be included).
  • Transportation: Local transport is very accessible. One-way fares are currently $3/ride. Purchase tickets or tokens in multiples of 5 to save money. Daily/weekly/monthly passes are also available. A monthly pass is $129.
  • Food: Most students do their own cooking, spending an average of $150 to $350 per month on groceries. The average price for buying lunch is $5-$15/meal. Ryerson has eight Campus Eateries offering a variety of food, beverages, and more.
  • Health Insurance: Incoming exchange students are required to purchase the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), external link. Please check the UHIP website for current costs. Opting out of this plan is possible, but very rare. Only a few other plans are considered equivalent – visit the UHIP website for a listing of pre-approved plans. UHIP will cover your basic medical and emergency needs, but you may wish to purchase additional travel or medical insurance. UHIP fees for 2015/2016 were $204/per term.
  • 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 for less expensive options.
  • Athletic Facilities: Membership to the Ryerson gym is included in your tuition.
  • Cultural Field Trips: Optional cultural field trips/outings are scheduled throughout the semester. They cost around $50-$100.
  • Telephone: Expect to pay approximately $30/month for a telephone in your room (allows for free local calls). A variety of phone cards are available for long distance calling.
  • Cellphone: Expect to pay $10 for a SIM card and $30-$70/monthly for pre-paid phone cards. Not all cellphones work with the networks in Canada, be prepared to pay extra for a new phone.
  • Clothing: Warm, waterproof footwear, head and hand coverings are necessary for fall/winter/spring.

The first hurdle that many exchange students experience is the search for accommodations. While Toronto has many neighbourhoods with apartments, one-term students often find it difficult to locate short-term living arrangements that are both affordable and easily accessible by transit.

Ryerson International has compiled an PDF fileAccommodations Handbook to assist in your search, which we suggest you start as soon as possible. The handbook lists more information on housing options both on and off campus, private rental agreements, and how to avoid scams.

To supplement this guide (and give you a better idea of places to visit during your time in Toronto), we’ve also created a PDF fileNeighbourhood Guide, listing some great communities by housing prices, distance to Ryerson and other factors.

For additional support and questions relating to off-campus housing, contact Ryerson’s Housing Department at They can provide more information on private rental agreements and can look over any lease before you sign on to it.

The Pre-Arrival Manual: Coming to Ryerson is an invaluable resource to print and refer to on matters relating to contact information, campus maps, accommodation, entering Canada, getting to Ryerson, weather in Toronto, and more.

Please go through the manual carefully and contact with your questions.


  1. Fall Term: September through December
  2. Winter Term: January through April
  3. Spring/Summer Term: May through August (exchanges are not available for this term)

Classes for the Fall term generally start after the Labour Day holiday and for the Winter term in the 1st or 2nd week of January. Check the Important Dates website  for specific dates

Want to discover Toronto’s festivals, events and concerts? A good place to start is the City of Toronto’s Visiting Information Services page, external link, which provides information on our beaches, museums and landmarks, among many other amazing sights to see. Another great website is Tourism Toronto, external link, which has guides for a wide range of activities.

Ryerson also has RISExC, a student-run group that helps exchange students settle into Toronto life. The committee members are not only current Ryerson students, but all have travelled abroad themselves and understand the difficulties of transitioning from one place to another. As an exchange student in Toronto, the RISExC group can help you make the most of your time here by planning various group trips to famous sightseeing spots in and around the Toronto area.