10 Cheapest Universities in Toronto

Toronto, the capital of Ontario, Canada, is a dynamic metropolis. While it is inherently urban, it is a safe country for travelers, especially for aspiring international students. For one, it is home to many reputable universities, which makes it one of the best cities for students. If you wish to receive a good education without paying a lot, then you should consider these cheap universities in Toronto.

How much does it cost for an international student to study in Toronto?

Annually, international students have to pay anywhere $7,262 to $26,909 (CAD 10,169 to 37,680) per year. This does not include other fees for books and lodging. Although the cost of living and tuition fee can be high, there are ways that you can study in Toronto for free. Check out the How to Study in Canada for Free (9 Steps).

What are the necessary documents for applying to Toronto universities?

International students applying for undergraduate programs need to show proof of senior/Grade 12 equivalent studies. An English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL is also required for those who don’t have English as their first language.

For graduate programs, the documents differ by departments and universities. So, please look up information on websites of programs you are interested in.

If you feel lost in the whole application process, read the article on How to Study in Canada for International Students.

What are some of the most popular programs in Toronto for International Students?

There are many great programs that are available for international students. Here are some popular programs in Canada:


Cheap Universities in Toronto

1. Seneca College

Minimum annual tuition fee: $7,262 (CAD 10,169)
Formally known as the Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, this cheap university in Toronto has campuses throughout the Greater Toronto area. Established in 1967, it offers a variety of certificate, diploma, baccalaureate, and post-graduate degrees.

The campus in Newnham is the biggest, servicing as much as 11,000 students. Top programs at this college in Business and Health Sciences.

The York campus, on the other hand, is reserved for students majoring in animation, creative arts, media, biology, chemistry, English, and information technology.

Meanwhile, the King campus caters to students pursuing the applied arts and health sciences. Business and finance majors, on the other, are relegated to the Markham campus. Aviation majors study at the Peterborough campus, which comes with its own airport.

2. OCAD University

Minimum annual tuition fee: $7,262 (CAD 10,169)
OCAD, short for Ontario College of Art and Design University, is based in the Grange Park district. Established in 1867 as the Ontario College of Art, it is the country’s largest and oldest school for art and design.

As the name suggests, the university offers undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts, Visual and Critical Studies, and Design. It also offers Master’s degrees in Art Media and Design, Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Strategic Foresight and Innovation, and Inclusive Design.

With its more than 4,000 plus undergraduate students, about 9% of these come from different nations. This high enrollment rate for international students is attributed to OCAD’s cheap yet top-caliber educational system.

OCAD, being Canada’s foremost art school, boasts of many notable alumni. They include Barbara Astman, Shary Boyle, Meryn Cadell, and Aimee Chan, to name a few.

3. George Brown College (GBC)

Minimum annual tuition fee: $12,254 (CAD 18,366)
Established in 1967, the GBC of Applied Arts and Technology is a public institution located in downtown Toronto. It is one of the many institutions that resulted from Ontario’s adoption of the community college system.

Despite its name, it also offers courses in business, education, health science, and hospitality. Apart from offering 35 diploma programs and 31 advanced degrees, GBC also offers 8 baccalaureate degrees. They include:

Interpretation – American Sign Language (English)
Applied Arts – Early Childhood Leadership
Early Childhood Education
Commerce – Financial Services
Commerce – Culinary Management
Applied Business – Hospitality Operations
Construction Management
With its cheap fees and world-class education, GBC is a favorite amongst many international students. As of the last census, there are more than 3,500 foreign learners enrolled in the college.

Students may be assigned to the different GBC campuses in Casa Loma, St. James, Waterfront, and Ryerson University.

4. Centennial College

Minimum annual tuition fee: $13,116 (CAD 17,160)
Next in our list of cheap universities in Toronto is Centennial College. Instituted in 1966, this is the oldest publicly-funded college in the province. Most of its campuses are located in Scarborough, while its modern aerospace center is based in North York.

The college offers 260 programs, ranging from diploma and certificate courses to bachelor and post-graduate degrees. Currently, it only offers three baccalaureate degrees in Information Technology, Nursing, and Public Relations Management.

Centennial College is a hodgepodge of many cultures. It has 26,000 students, which are represented by 100 ethnocultural groups. As of date, more than 80 languages are spoken within its many campuses. It even has an arm called Suzhou Centennial College, which is a Chinese-accredited institution for Canadian education.

Despite being a relatively small and inexpensive school, Centennial College is known for its technological innovations. For this, it was named as one of Canada’s Top 10 Research Colleges in 2016.

5. Humber College

Minimum annual tuition fee: $13,504 (CAD 18,910)
Also known as the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the publicly-funded college was established in 1967 together with many other institutions. To date, it offers 150 programs, which are spread across 40 disciplines.

Compared to other Toronto colleges, Humber College offers a wide array of baccalaureate degrees. They have undergraduate programs for the Applied Arts, Applied Business, Applied Music, Child and Youth Care, Commerce, Creative Advertising, Journalism, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Music, Public Relations, and Social Science.

Humber has several campuses in Toronto. They include Humber North, which is home to 20,000 students. The smaller Lakeshore campus, on the other hand, caters to 7,200 learners. The Fashion Institute is reserved for students pursuing fashion and beauty studies.

6. Trent University

Minimum annual tuition fee: $15,272 (CAD 21,385)
Trent University is a public liberal arts institution near downtown Toronto. Established in 1964, this affordable university in Toronto is known for its small class sizes and reputable Oxbridge college system.

The University has numerous colleges, including:

Catharine Parr Traill College, the oldest department catering to English, Canadian, Modern Language, and Cultural studies
Champlain College, opened in 1967 and is home to the Department of Political Science
Lady Eaton College, which houses the Departments of Philosophy, History, Women’s Studies, and Modern Languages
Otonabee College, which houses the Schools of Education, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and Information Science
Peter Gzowski College, which is home to Indigenous Studies, Mathematics, Business Administration, and Economics
Trent is known to be one of Canada’s best universities, placing third in the recent Maclean 2020 rankings.

7. Ryerson University

Minimum annual tuition fee: $19,437 (CAD 27,218)
Located along the Yonge-Dundas Square, Ryerson is situated at one of the busiest crossroads in downtown Toronto. It traces its humble beginnings back to 1847 as the Normal School, which was then run by its namesake Egerton Ryerson.

Ryerson offers a variety of degrees. Housed under the Ted Rogers School of Management are the schools of accounting, finance, business management, retail, and hospitality management.

The Faculty of the Arts has 14 schools, while the Faculty of Communication and Design offers 13 undergraduate degrees.

The Faculty of Community Services, on the other hand, offers degrees in health, community development, social justice, and early childhood education.

Other faculties include those of Engineering and Architectural Science, Science, and Continuing Education.

8. York University

Minimum annual tuition fee: $19,659 (CAD 27,528)
Established in 1959, York University serves as the third-biggest institution in Canada. As a public research university, it serves as home to about 7,000 staff and 77,000 students.

This cheap university in Toronto has eleven faculties, including that of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Engineering, Science, Business, Law, Education, Health, Environmental Studies, and Fine Arts. These faculties, altogether, offer 120 undergraduate degrees of 17 types.

York is home to the oldest film school in Canada. Admission is very competitive, with acceptance rates at par with NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts.

Despite the cheap tuition, York University consistently places well in many school rankings. According to the Maclean Comprehensive Guide, York is deemed the seventh-best institution in Canada.

9. Tyndale University

Minimum annual tuition fee: $21,381(CAD 29,940)
Established in 1894 as the Toronto Bible Training School, it has merged with other institutions to become Tyndale University. Despite being a Protestant institution, it has students belonging to more than 40 other denominations.

Tyndale offers Bachelor’s degrees in the Arts, Religious Education, and Education. As the largest theological school in Canada, the university specializes in graduate degrees in Theology, Ministry, and Divinity.

Despite the limited number of degrees offered, Tyndale is renowned for its teaching services. According to the 2009 Maclean survey, its students were greatly satisfied with the teaching they received.

10. University of Toronto

Minimum annual tuition fee: $26,909 (CAD 37,680)
We end our list of cheapest universities in Toronto for international students with the University of Toronto – also known as U of T. This university is considered to be the most prestigious institution in Canada. According to several ranking systems (QS, Times, and US News), it is the top 1 university in the country.

Founded in 1827 as King’s College, it is the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada. It was then renamed to the University of Toronto when it was secularized in 1850.

The university, which is situated around Queen’s Park, has 18 faculties. These offer the 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate degree programs that are granted by the university.

Despite being more expensive than other Toronto schools, many international students opt to enroll in the U of T because of its top-caliber education. As of the latest census, foreigners constitute approximately 23% of the undergraduate population.


I hope that this article on the cheapest universities in Toronto was helpful!

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