Thinking of moving into an apartment? You may have a ton of questions. “Where do I start looking? What’s the average housing cost for students in Quebec? Or in Canada? How can I find an affordable apartment? Should I live alone or with roommates? In an apartment or student housing?” Okay. Take a deep breath. We did the research so you won’t have to.
It depends on plenty of factors, like the city you’re in, the neighbourhood you want to live in, and the kind of apartment you want. As a general rule, the closer you are to the university and to the downtown area, the more expensive it will be. The further you get, the more affordable it gets. Unsurprisingly, a newly renovated studio in a well-maintained building in Montreal will cost much more than a semi-basement in Roberval—hundreds of dollars more.
Some residences are less expensive than apartments, but even then, the prices vary wildly. The monthly costs vary depending on the university, campus, meal plan, and room or studio size. It’s up to you to decide whether you want simple living arrangements or a palatial apartment. Rooms and studios are an interesting option if you’re unfamiliar with the city and haven’t gotten your bearings yet.
We did some research on university websites (that’s right, we did that for you—click on the links below) and determined that student housing in Montreal should cost between $396 and $1,500 per month. Generally, UQAM and Université de Montréal (French only) residences cost less than the ones at Concordia and McGill. For student housing in Ottawa, the costs average $1,011 per month. For student housing in Quebec and Sherbrooke (French only), you can expect more modest costs starting at $360 per month.
Private residences for students are halfway between a hotel and student housing. This type of housing often has additional amenities included in your rent, like a gym, a pool, a café, a reception area and a security system (meaning security cameras—you don’t get a private bodyguard!). These special little extras mean that private residences are often a lot more expensive.
Your well-being is important to us, so we suggest you learn about your rights as a tenant. Some landlords ask for security deposits or advance rent payments even though this isn’t legally allowed. Others avoid indicating the lowest rent paid in the previous 12 months to ask you for higher rent. Not cool, but it happens.
Don’t forget that you may be eligible for a government scholarship and student loan. This would help you offset your housing costs. Check your province’s student aid program.
For more advice, take a look at our top financial tips for young adults. Happy hunting!
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