The Best Neighbourhoods for Students in Toronto [2022]

The Best Neighbourhoods for Students in Toronto

The best places to live in Toronto for students can make the best years of your life even better!

Toronto is a city filled with students. It makes sense. After all, in the city, there are 5 public universities and plenty of college campuses. That begs the question, what are the best Toronto neighbourhoods to live in as a student?

Like all other Toronto residents, students look for certain things when house or apartment-hunting. Things like location and safety are important to everyone, but for students, there are a couple more non-negotiables. Affordability for one, but things like access to public transportation, proximity to your campus, and entertainment.

We selected these Toronto neighbourhoods by area, proximity to different post-secondary schools, safety, affordability, and entertainment options. These are the best parts of Toronto for students to live in.

The hunt for where you’re going to live for the next few years can feel endless. If you don’t even know where to start, begin your search with the 9 lowest rental neighbourhoods in Toronto!

For international students, it can be hard to tell which parts of Toronto are safe. If you’re wondering just how safe is Toronto, read our rundown of how safe the city is and some tips for keeping safe.



In Downtown Toronto, there are many students. Of course, located in Downtown Toronto are the University of Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University, and OCADU. Colleges like George Brown and Seneca all have Downtown campuses.

This is one of the liveliest areas in the city. It’s packed with Toronto’s premier clubs, bars, and restaurants. Here, there’s no shortage of entertainment and great access to the TTC. It’s the heart of the city.  All of this makes it easily the most expensive place to live in the whole city. 

Downtown is known for its amazing restaurants, so of course, you have to check out the best restaurants in Downtown Toronto and the best Chinese restaurants!

1) The Annex

The Annex is an obvious choice as it is a popular neighbourhood with tons of things to do entertainment-wise. There are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants, and clubs and easy access to the TTC. This neighbourhood is one of the most expensive on the list.

Yorkville is a luxury neighbourhood located in the Annex. Check out our lists of the best things to do in Yorkville and the best restaurants in the neighbourhood!

2) Kensington Market

Kensington Market is an eclectic neighbourhood known for its hippie reputation. This neighbourhood is a popular choice for students because of its unique culture and lower-priced rents. It’s also very pedestrian-friendly!

3) The Garden District

The Garden District is a beautiful pocket of Toronto named after Allan Gardens. It’s also relatively cheap considering it’s located in Downtown Toronto, making it an excellent option for budget-conscious students.

4) Dufferin Grove

Dufferin Grove is close to everything a student would want. In the area, there are malls, grocery stores, parks, bars, and restaurants; no shortage of amenities and things to do. Residents note that it’s very safe and pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

5) Baldwin Village

In Baldwin Village, you will see plenty of students living here. The neighbourhood is known for having plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes, many of which are pretty affordable.


Photo by SimonP

Scarborough is a part of Toronto that has a history of violence and crime. Today, the area is getting much better and is quite suburban. The University of Toronto has a campus here. It’s a very quiet area that doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment. Here, the cost of rent is considerably lower.

Although Scarborough doesn’t have a lot of entertainment options, there’s no shortage of amazing diverse restaurants here. Visit the best restaurants in Scarborough and the best Chinese restaurants in the borough!

1) Morningside

Morningside is packed with outdoor activities. Here there are plenty of nature trails, perfect for hiking and biking enthusiasts alike. This area is very close to U of T’s Scarborough campus.

2) Bendale

Bendale is a residential area with a diverse population. There’s frequent bus service and you’re close to a bunch of grocery stores and the local mall, Scarborough Town Centre. The neighbourhood is well-maintained and quiet.

3) Agincourt

Agincourt is a quiet and diverse neighbourhood. There is a huge Asian population here and the restaurants reflect this diversity. Recently, the TTC service has improved a lot with more routes and frequent service.

4) Port Union

Port Union is a stunning waterfront community. Using the TTC, you can easily and quickly get from point A to point B.

5) Guildwood

Here in Guildwood, you can visit the city-famous Scarborough Bluffs and Guild Park, both beautiful nature landscapes. The residential area is also serviced by numerous bus routes.

North York

Photo by PFHLai

North York is a good mixture between city and suburb. Here there are plenty of yummy restaurants and a handful of bars and clubs. Located right in North York is York University. North York has been nicknamed “the second downtown” and the prices of certain neighbourhoods easily compete with downtown Toronto. 

North York has a buzzing food scene waiting for you to discover. Head over to the best restaurants in North York!

1) York University Heights

York University Heights is right by York University’s Keele campus, making it an obvious choice for students. Public transportation is limited, but the school and city have big plans to revamp TTC service in the area.

2) Hillcrest Village

Hillcrest Village is also popular with students because of its many housing facilities. It’s also close to the core of the city.

3) Bathurst Manor

Bathurst Manor is an area well-served by the TTC; it’s right by Downsview station. In the neighbourhood, there are many houses, condos, and apartments.

4) L’Amoreaux

In L’Amoreaux, there are all kinds of housing options. So if you want to live alone or with roommates, there’s a listing for you. The rent prices in L’Amoreaux are also considerably cheaper, making it very popular among students.

5) Don Valley Village

Don Valley Village is a lower-income neighbourhood and its rent prices reflect that. There are many houses and apartments near the surrounding college campuses. It’s also near Fairview Mall.


Photo by Ken Lund

Etobicoke has a great view of Lake Ontario and many places to relax. Two schools have campuses in Etobicoke. In Etobicoke, there is the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College Lakeshore. Aside from restaurants and nature, the borough doesn’t have many places to visit. Etobicoke has many houses, condos, and apartments, and the TTC service is great.

Visit the best restaurants in Etobicoke and the best Thai restaurants in the area!

1) Kingsview Village

Kingsview Village is another expensive Toronto neighbourhood, but it has plenty of greenery. The residential area is made up of mostly high-rises and access to the TTC is quite limited.

2) New Toronto

New Toronto has a beautiful view of the lake. It’s close to Humber College’s Lakeshore campus. This area has many amenities like parks and community centres.

3) Long Branch

Long Branch is another lake-facing community. Entertainment is limited here but there are tons of beautiful green spaces and places to relax.

4) Mount Olive

Mount Olive is a quiet neighbourhood made up of many houses, condos, and apartments. The TTC service here is reliable and generally good. However, the suburban neighbourhood has a reputation for being unsafe.

5) Clairville

Clairville is an industrial area very close to two schools: the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College’s Lakeshore campus. Here the entertainment options are quite limited.

FAQs About Living in Toronto as a Student

As a rule of thumb, be ready to spend $2,000 monthly. It’s not unusual for students to spend $10,000 a year, not including tuition and other school-related costs. Your cost of living depends on where you live, if you live alone or with roommates, and how much you spend on entertainment and dining.
When deciding between living on or off-campus, consider what you value more. Living on-campus typically makes making friends easier, meals are prepared for you, you’re very close to your classes, and may feel safer. But by living off-campus you can experience a “truer” version of the city and learn to be more independent.
It is much cheaper in Toronto to live in an apartment than in a dorm. Living in a Toronto dorm can cost upwards of $10,000 a year. Dorms have semester fees that cover utility and laundry costs. In addition, many dorms require you buy meal plans.
To find a good rental in Toronto, make your search as wide as possible. Look through rental websites, and newspaper listings, bulletin boards, and consider hiring a realtor. Let people know you’re looking for a place and they may be able to match you up with something.

Final Thoughts

Finding a place to live, in a city as big and varied as Toronto can be pretty tough. Where you live can make or break the college experience. These Toronto neighbourhoods all boast great locations and safety.  We found their unique benefits and downsides, so you can make the final decision yourself.

Wherever you’re going to study, Downtown, Scarborough, North York, or Etobicoke, there’s a rental in Toronto for you. If you’re studying in Toronto and looking for your next place to live, consider any of these wonderful neighbourhoods!

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