Cost of Living in Abbotsford BC: A 2024 Guide

6 minute read

Abbotsford is a city in British Columbia, Canada, with a population of about 141,000 people. It is located in the Fraser Valley, about 65 km east of Vancouver, and is known for its agriculture, film industries, and its scenic views and outdoor activities. But how much does it cost to live in Abbotsford in 2024? In this guide, we will explore the main cost of living in Abbotsford BC, such as rent, utilities, food, transportation, and more. We will also discuss the average tuition fees that students can expect while living in this Canadian paradise. Read on to find out more!

Why Study in Abbotsford?

Apart from the affordable cost of living in Abbotsford BC, students have plenty of reasons to choose this Canadian city as their living and study-abroad destination in 2024. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Abbotsford houses multiple high-quality educational institutions, such as the University of the Fraser Valley and numerous accredited colleges and private institutions. 
  2. Compared to other major Canadian cities, Abbotsford offers a significantly lower cost of living. Housing, food, and transportation are all relatively inexpensive, allowing you to focus on your studies without worrying about breaking the bank. 
  3. Abbotsford has a vast and diverse international community that consists of 100+ different ethnicities, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where you’ll feel embraced and supported throughout your studies. 
  4. Abbotsford has many breathtaking natural landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy, such as snow-capped mountains, lush valleys, pristine lakes, and rolling vineyards.
  5. Abbotsford is known for its safe and friendly atmosphere. The crime rate is low, and the locals are known for their warmth and hospitality. 
  6. The city is strategically located just minutes from the US border and a short drive from Vancouver, British Columbia’s vibrant metropolis, providing easy access to major transportation hubs, cultural attractions, and endless entertainment options.

Also Read: Study in Canada

Cost of Living in Abbotsford

For a single person, the cost of living in Abbotsford BC comes around CAD 1,450-3,000 per month, which is 3.6% less than the national average. This overall cost is an estimate of many essential living expenses that students can incur while living and studying in Abbotsford. Here’s a general breakdown:

ExpenseCost (per month)
AccommodationCAD 400-1,200
FoodCAD 300-500
TransportationCAD 100-200
UtilitiesCAD 100-200
Phone/InternetCAD 50-100 
Entertainment and Personal Expenses CAD 100-300

Let’s explore these living costs in more detail one by one.

Living Accommodation

Students can explore and choose from various types of living accommodation that suits them the best. They are as follows along with their monthly rent:

Type of AccommodationMonthly Rent
On-campus residenceCAD 400-800
Shared apartmentCAD 500-800
Studio apartmentCAD 800-1200

Here are some of the most viable options in apartments that will help students reduce the cost of living in Abbotsford BC:

AccommodationMonthly Rent
1 Bedroom Apartment in the City CenterCAD 993
Cheap 1 Bedroom ApartmentCAD 831
3 Bedroom Apartment in the City CenterCAD 1,985
Cheap 3 Bedroom ApartmentCAD 1,631


Since eating out is expensive, you can always cook meals at home to reduce the cost of living in Abbotsford BC. Here are some essential grocery items available in the city’s supermarkets and their prices:

Grocery ItemPrice
Milk (1 lt)CAD 2.12
Bread (500 gm)CAD 1.9
Rice (1 kg)CAD 3.94
Eggs (1 dozen)CAD 3.02
Cheese (1 kg)CAD 13.9
Chicken Breast (1 kg)CAD 9.69
Apples (1 kg)CAD 2.91
Bananas (1 kg)CAD 0.89
Oranges (1 kg)CAD 4.09
Tomatoes (1 kg)CAD 4.82
Potato (1 kg)CAD 3.66
Onion (1 kg)CAD 2.12
Water (1 L)CAD 1.04
Coca Cola/Pepsi (2 L)CAD 1.93
Beer (0.5 L)CAD 3.06
Wine (mid-priced), 750 mL bottleCAD 13.4


This cost of living in Abbotsford BC largely depends on your lifestyle and frequency of going out. Here’s how much some modes of entertainment will cost you in the city:

Mode of EntertainmentPrice
Dinner in a Restaurant (for 2)CAD 53
2 tickets to the moviesCAD 26
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats)CAD 135
Dinner for 2 at an Italian restaurant in the expat area (with appetisers, main course, wine and dessert)CAD 96
1 cocktail drink in downtown clubCAD 10
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml)CAD 7
Fast food meal (McDonald’s)CAD 7.47
CappuccinoCAD 4.71


Given below is the monthly expense of utilities that you can expect to include in your cost of living in Abbotsford BC:

Utility Bill one person, electricity, heating, water, etc.CAD 73.2
Internet 8 mbps (1 month)CAD 54
40” flat screen TVCAD 311
Microwave 800/900 watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)CAD 140
Laundry detergent CAD 10
Hourly rate for cleaning helpCAD 25


Here’s how much transportation will cost you in Abbotsford, depending on the mode of transport you choose:

Transportation ModeCost
Gas (1 lt)CAD 1.66
Monthly ticket public transportCAD 76.3
 Local transport ticketCAD 2.4
Taxi Ride (8 km)CAD 17.4

Also Read: Study in Vancouver: Best Universities, Cost of Living etc.

Cost Living in Abbotsford BC: Average Tuition Fees

There are also academic expenses to consider while talking about the cost of living in Abbotsford BC. Depending on the program and institute, here are the average tuition fees for international students in the city:

Course LevelAverage Tuition Fees
Undergraduate programs$25,000 per year (public universities)
$35,000 per year (private universities)
Graduate programs$30,000 per year (public universities)
$40,000 per year (private universities)

In addition to tuition, international students must also pay additional fees, such as:

  1. Application fee: This fee is non-refundable and typically ranges from $50 to $100.
  2. Student union fee: This fee is used to support student clubs and activities, and it typically ranges from $100 to $200 per year.
  3. Health insurance: It’s mandatory for international students to have health insurance, and the cost of this will vary depending on the provider.

Things to Keep in Mind/Consider Before Moving to Abbotsford

Moving to a new city as an international student can be both exciting and overwhelming. So before packing your bags to move to Abbotsford, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Study Permit: This is the most crucial document, allowing you to study in Canada. Apply well in advance, as processing times can vary.
  2. Health Insurance: International students must have valid health insurance throughout their stay. Research coverage options and choose a plan that meets your needs.
  3. Financial Aid: Explore scholarship and grant opportunities offered by your university, the Canadian government, and private organizations.
  4. Finding a Place: Start searching for housing well in advance, especially during peak rental seasons. Utilize online platforms, university housing resources, or local rental agencies.
  5. Weather: Be prepared for all four seasons! Abbotsford experiences mild summers, rainy autumns, snowy winters, and warm springs. Invest in appropriate clothing and footwear.
  6. Learn Basic French: While English is the primary language, basic French knowledge can be helpful, especially if you plan to venture beyond Abbotsford.

Relevant Reads:

Cheap Universities in CanadaIELTS Score for Canada
Top Public Universities in CanadaRequirements to Study in Canada 2024
Best Cities in Canada for Students 2024Scholarships in Canada


Q1. What are the biggest expenses I can expect while living in Abbotsford as an international student?

Ans: Here are some main expenses that you can include in your cost of living in Abbotsford BC:
1. Accommodation – CAD 400-1,200
2. Food – CAD 300-500
3. Transportation – CAD 100-200
4. Utilities – CAD 100-200
5. Phone/Internet – CAD 50-100 
6. Entertainment and Personal Expenses – CAD 100-300

Q2. How can I save money while living in Abbotsford?

Ans: Here are some tips to reduce the living cost in Abbotsford for students:
1. Look for shared apartments in affordable areas like Clayburn or Matsqui. Utilize student housing options if available.
2. Plan your meals, cook at home most of the time, and take advantage of student discounts at grocery stores. Pack lunches for school or work.
3. Get a monthly pass for frequent public transit use. Consider cycling or walking when possible.
4. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities like hiking, exploring local parks, and attending university events. 
5. Look for student discounts on everything from dining to entertainment. Consider getting a part-time job to supplement your income.

Q3. How does Abbotsford compare to other Canadian cities?

Ans: Abbotsford is generally more affordable than major cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Rent, food, and transportation costs are typically lower here. Compared to Montreal, Abbotsford has similar rent costs but slightly higher food and transportation expenses. Also, its proximity to the US border and access to nature are unique factors that might attract some students, even if it means slightly higher costs in certain categories.

We hope that this blog gave a complete overview of the cost of living in Abbotsford BC in 2024 for international students. Keep following Leverage Edu for more updates on student life abroad. Thank you for reading!

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