Whether you attend the oft-dubbed “the Harvard of the North,” a.k.a. the University of Toronto, as a medical student or the Ontario College of Art and Design with the hopes of becoming the next Basquiat, one thing is for sure: if you are residing within the GTA, it’s going to cost you. A breakdown of the minimum costs was outlined in a recent post on DailyHive – and it just might alter your plans for studying in Canada’s most diverse and vibrant city.
Let’s begin with shelter. The average cost of a double dorm room (yes, with some random person you will have to sleep next to for the next consecutive eight months) with a meal plan will cost approximately $14,090. For the inconvenience of living off-campus with a roommate – who you will hopefully be able to select – that will run you around $8,088.
While DailyHive says the average cost of living alone per month is just $1,951, it’s hard to imagine what the actual living conditions would be. Living completely alone in Toronto is now considered a luxury, especially since Padmapper just reported that the average cost of a one bedroom rental in Toronto currently sits at $2,300 per month.
Still, there is some variation between institutions. The University of Toronto’s standard double dorm with meal plan ranges from $12,650 to $18,852 per school year. At Ryerson University, a standard double dorm with meal plan costs roughly $12,409 at Pitman Hall, and $13,035 at the International Learning Centre. The average cost of an eight-month university stay with a meal plan is about $14,090, but a prestige university like the University of Toronto will cost you – though one could argue it’s more centrally located.
Now that you theoretically have a place to sleep, you’ll have to shell out for your books and school-related tools, depending on the program. DailyHive averages these costs out at $1,500. However, that’s not including a computer or laptop, which you will surely need.
It’s also excluding your phone – the device you will most likely be on both inside and outside of the classroom. Most institutions are still struggling with how to manage the use of cell phones inside the classroom. The average cost of an eight-month school year phone plan sits at approximately $805.60 and if you’re living off-campus, you can add an extra $64.99 per month for internet service.
Now to stay alive, you probably need to eat. An average cost of a residence meal plan is approximately $320 per month; however, you will likely soon become disenchanted with the cuisine served there and will probably keep random groceries in your dorm room as well. Getting to the grocery store will also cost you – unless you own a bike (really only useful for a handful of months in the school year due to the increasingly rough winter months). The average cost of a TTC pass during an eight-month school year will cost approximately $1,254.
It’s also hard to fathom attending university in Toronto without factoring in entertainment costs. Those will round out at approximately $2,480 for an average school year, depending on your partying style. Maclean’s even ranked the top party schools of 2019 – just in case this might affect your choice of school.
Then to cure your hangover, you’re likely to need a good dose of espresso. The average costs for coffee per school year equal around $240. That seems like a low-ball estimate.
So is university only reserved for the rich? It’s difficult to calculate, though Canada’s post-college graduates do better than most.
Is going to college worth it? Some are still asking.