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Study in Ontario, Canada

Population: 13,505,890

Province overview

Ontario is one of the largest of Canada’s ten provinces, and is home to some of the country’s most famous cities – including its most populous, Toronto, and its capital, Ottawa, both of which have a number of highly regarded universities. For this reason Ontario is a popular destination for students looking to take up graduate programs overseas.

Toronto and Ottawa are the main student hubs of Ontario, and as can be expected from large cities they offer a dynamic student experience. From browsing the many museums of Ottawa to relaxed student living in downtown Toronto, deciding to study a graduate program here is a decision you won’t regret.

Education profile

Canada has some of the most highly regarded universities in the world, and Ontario is home to twenty two public and seventeen private religious universities
Not all universities in Canada offer postgraduate courses, although in Ontario there are a large number that do. The most popular of these include:
All of these universities offer a wide range of graduate programs in a number of academic areas. Masters degrees generally take one year, whilst PhDs take between three and five years.

Immigration and visas

Most foreign nationals will need a study permit to study on a graduate course in Canada and others may need to apply for temporary residence in Canada.

Generally people taking a postgraduate course in Canada that lasts less than six months will not be required to gain a student visa. Regardless of whether or not you need a permit everyone must demonstrate:
  • Acceptance from a university or educational institution in Canada.
  • Ability to pay tuition fees, living expenses and return fares to their home country.
  • Satisfy health requirements.
You can find out more about students visas and immigration in Canada at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website -

Life in Ontario

Birthplace of such famous names as Ryan Gosling, Alanis Morisette and Mike Myers, it is probably expected that Ontario will have a rich cultural scene. This is best seen through the many museums and galleries in Ottawa and Toronto. The world famous Toronto International Film Festival comes to the city every September and is one of the area’s cultural highlights. There are also numerous other festivals taking place throughout the year.

Ontario is a relatively affluent area, with good healthcare and social facilities. Its size and the predominance of highways in North America means that many people find it easiest to travel by road, however there are rail services providing connections to other areas in Canada as well as US cities including New York. The largest cities have underground or bus systems. The Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest in Canada.

Working in Ontario

If you decide to stay in Ontario after the completion of your postgraduate course there are a large number of industries that you could become involved in. The province is Canada’s centre of manufacturing, and Toronto is the hub for finance and banking. Tourism and IT are also big contributors to Ontario’s economy.

As a whole, the province has a good standard of living and low unemployment. 


The majority of universities offer accommodation on campus for those who are studying postgraduate courses. If you live on campus you will benefit from being very close to the lecture halls, and all your bills and utilities will be included in your rent. You will live with other students, usually in a shared flat. Depending on your choices and the amount you want to pay you may share a double room.

If you decide to live off campus in a shared flat or house it is likely you will be responsible for paying utilities and bills yourself. The most popular area for students to live is The Annex, which is downtown and very close to the University of Toronto. The Annex has a number of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and a lively social scene.

Ontario Student Housing and Ontario Student Rentals will be able to help you find somewhere to live off campus while you are on your graduate program, if this is what you choose.

Weather and climate

Because of Ontario’s large size, it has three distinctly separate climatic regions. South-western Ontario has a humid continental climate, meaning it has warm summers and cold winters, often characterised by a large amount of snow. The eastern and central parts of the province have occasionally hot summers, and winters with an abundance of snow. The most northerly parts of Ontario have long winters, with much shorter and cooler summers.

What to do next

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