Top cities to study in Canada

Montréal

“ Greater Montréal offers Life sciences companies a very welcoming environment, with a very open spirit of collaboration among universities, research institutions, industry and governments. I would also like to mention the strategic support provided by Montréal International which, along with its partners, has actively contributed to our company’s growth. ”

M. Neil Fraser, President, Medtronic of Canada

Montréal has been Canada’s top city for quite some time now and has also moved a place in the global ranking from 8th in 2015 to 7th in the latest list (QS Best Student Cities 2016). When a city consistently makes it to the top, unlike cities that make a surprise entry one year only to disappear from the list completely the very next year, you are assured of one thing: there is stability and solid ground holding that city together, which would enable it to weather any storm, whether it is an unexpected economic downturn or anything else. Among the many things helping Montréal cement its place at the top are a slew of highest ranking educational institutions, including the highest ranked McGill University (ranked 24th in the world).

What is also special about the city is that despite being a largely English-speaking country, it has assumed a more cosmopolitan nature, largely due to immigration taking place from all across the world. If you are a cultural person, you have the largest comedy festival in the world, Just for Laughs, for entertainment; and it is only one of the many cultural extravaganzas that portray the rich cultural landscape of the city.

Another unmistakable feature of this top student city is its amazing public transit system, which is powered by its efficient bus system, operating in over 200 bus routes; the metro; and to a lesser extent by the regional train service. In addition, making things simple, convenient and cost effective for commuters, the transit system is highly integrated which allows you to use any form of transit system you want to with a single ticket.

Fast facts about Montréal

Number of universities in QS list3
International students27% of students enrolled at ranked institutions
Average tuition feesUS $13,500
Transparency International score9th ( out of 177)
Numbeo pollution rank223rd (out of 300)
Numbeo Health Care Index61.59 (High)
Numbeo Quality of life index167.23 (Very High)
Numbeo Safety index62.36 (High)

*Number is amongst the world’s largest databases of user generated data about countries and cities worldwide.

Toronto

There is no prize for guessing the next city in our list of best student cities: Toronto. A regular, along with Montréal, on the best student cities in the world list, Toronto is a many tricks wonder. To start with, it was recognized as the most livable city in the world by Metropolis Magazine. Then in another report, consulting firm PwC put it at number four in the list of best cities to live in and work for 2014. Also, when it comes to assuming the mantle of being the “Cultural capital” of Canada, it is almost a tie between Toronto and Montréal: for its part, Toronto is buzzing with food scenes, high-brow fashion and art, historical monuments and a large concentration of people with creativity. 

In another similarity with Montréal, Toronto, which is ranked 13th in the world, has three universities ranked by QS, with the University of Toronto the highest placed at 34th. If there is one aspect where Toronto steals the march over its arch rival is that it has a larger international business sector, which understandably will be appreciated by international students who come to study in Canada. The presence of these business sectors opens up many avenues for international students like there are more work opportunities to take advantage of, whether you are looking for full-time or part-time jobs.

Fast facts about Toronto

Number of universities in QS list3
International students17% of students enrolled at ranked institutions
Average tuition feesUS $23,400
Transparency international score9th (out of 177)
Numbeo Pollution rank45.25 (Moderate)
Numbeo Health Care Index68.98 (High)
Numbeo Quality of Life Index173.81 (Very High)
Numbeo Safety index64.85 (high)

Vancouver

While Vancouver may not be in the news as much as the two cities that came before it, it has a lot going for it which explains why it is recognized as one of the best student cities; in the latest ranking it is placed joint 13th with Toronto. Like, if you are looking forward to studying in Canada, the city with jaw-dropping backdrops, courtesy the Grouse, Seymour and Cypress mountains nearby, would leave you spellbound. Also, these mountains aren’t just restricted to sightseeing, as a number of popular adventure activities like skiing attract tourists from all over the world. Moreover, if you are an outdoorsy person, there are a number of fun activities you can engage in, right in the middle of the city.

The cultural life of the city, meanwhile, is no less amazing, as there are theaters and music at every bend. In fact, the city will bring alive the artist inside you.

The city has two universities ranked by QS, with the University of British Columbia the highest ranked at 50th. Both the universities are set in beautiful, natural settings which accentuate the fun of studying here. For example, Simon Fraser University, the other ranked institution, is bang in the middle of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.

 Fast facts about Vancouver

Number of universities in QS list2
International students23% of students enrolled at ranked institutions
Average tuition feesUS $19,100
Transparency international score9th (out of 177)
Numbeo Pollution rank21.96 (Low)
Numbeo Health Care Index70.36 (High)
Numbeo Quality of Life Index190.15 (Very High)
Numbeo Safety index61.68 (High)

Ottawa

The next city in our list of best student cities in Canada is the capital of the country, Ottawa, which is ranked 49th. Highly multi-lingual, with English and French being the two major languages, the city is a paragon of diversity and has a very cosmopolitan population.

The city is renowned for the Rideau Canal, which holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America; the canal is also a world heritage site. Other important cultural and historical spots gracing the city are the Canadian Museum of History and the striking neo-gothic parliament building ‘Centre Block’.

If you are the studious type, don’t worry, for the city is graced by two universities ranked inside the top 550 in the world, with the University of Ottawa the highest placed at 284th. International students, many of who have to take loans and depend on scholarships to finance their studies, would feel secure.

Fast facts about Ottawa

Number of universities in QS list2
International students16% of students enrolled at ranked institutions
Average tuition feesUS $17,600
Transparency international score9th (out of 177)
Numbeo Pollution rank20.13 (Low)
Numbeo Health Care Index70.32 (High)
Numbeo Quality of Life Index182.78 (Very High)
Numbeo Safety index77.26 (High)

Quebec

The most picturesque city in our list of best student cities in the world, the historical city of Quebec is ranked 55th and great place to live in and study in Canada. The most impressive aspect about the city has to be the grandiose Château Frontenac, which happens to be the only preserved city ramparts in the whole of North America and is a world heritage site. In fact, historical buffs will have their hands full as the city is littered with items of historic and cultural importance; if you love figures, there are around 37 historic sites of national significance in the region.

The cultural scene of the city is not to be left behind as starting from colorful life music venues to winter carnivals, to thriving art, the city has it all. Also, it doesn’t make the slightest difference whether you are staying in an on-campus or off-campus accommodation, as you can equally wallow in the richness of the city and get enriched.

The city is also home to three universities ranked by QS, which offer all the top courses you want to study in Canada. So, academically as well you have little to worry about.

Number of universities in QS list3
International students8% of students enrolled at ranked institutions
Average tuition feesUS $15,700
Transparency international score9th (out of 177)
Numbeo Pollution rank34.33 (Low)
Numbeo Health Care Index81.89 (Very High)
Numbeo Quality of Life Index187.54 (Very High)
Numbeo Safety index76.01 (High)