Cost of Living in Thunder Bay for International Students 2024

5 minute read

Thunder Bay is a city in Ontario, Canada, located on the shores of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Home to about 110,000 people, it offers a rich cultural and natural diversity. But Thunder Bay is also a popular destination for international students who want to pursue higher education in Canada. In this blog, we will explore the cost of living in Thunder Bay for international students in 2024. We will also cover the average tuition fees and some considerations before moving to the Canadian city. Read on to know more!

Why Study in Thunder Bay?

The low cost of living in Thunder Bay is only one of the many reasons for students to choose this city as their study-abroad destination in 2024. It also has institutes like Lakehead University and Confederation College on its land. While the former is known for its diverse range of programs, exceptional faculty, and cutting-edge research, the latter offers a more hands-on approach, providing career-focused diplomas and certificates in various fields. 

The crowd in Thunder Bay is quite diverse, making international students feel welcome at every step of the way. Apart from academics, you get access to the breathtaking beauty of the lush forests, pristine lakes, and the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis during winter nights.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Canada: A Guide

Cost of Living in Thunder Bay for International Students

For a single student, the cost of living in Thunder Bay is generally around CAD 1,500-2,000/month. This cost covers basic expenses like rent, food, entertainment, transportation, and utilities. While figures can vary slightly, the following breakdown provides a general overview of your monthly expenses:

Living Accommodation

Finding a comfortable and affordable place to call home is crucial. Here’s a glimpse into your accommodation options and their monthly rents:

Type of AccommodationMonthly Rent
On-campus residence (single room)$500-$700
Shared apartment (single room)$400-$600
Studio apartment$600-$800

To save the cost of living in Thunder Bay, students can choose to share apartments with sufficient space for everyone. Here’s a list of apartments and their monthly rents based on their location:

Apartment TypeMonthly Rent
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City CentreCAD 1,200
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of CentreCAD 745
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City CentreCAD 1,900
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of CentreCAD 1,500


Nourishing your mind and body doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Here’s a snapshot of grocery prices that you can expect to add in your cost of living in Thunder Bay:

Grocery ItemPrice
Milk (regular), (1 litre)CAD 3.26 
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500 g)CAD 3.02 
Rice (white), (1 kg)CAD 2.50 
Eggs (regular) (12)CAD 3.62 
Local Cheese (1 kg)CAD 11.74 
Chicken Fillets (1 kg)CAD 12.55 
Apples (1 kg)CAD 3.75 
Banana (1 kg)CAD 1.43 
Oranges (1 kg)CAD 4.75 
Tomato (1 kg)CAD 3.24 
Potato (1 kg)CAD 1.90 
Onion (1 kg)CAD 3.23 
Lettuce (1 head)CAD 2.75 
Water (1.5 litre bottle)CAD 1.25 
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)CAD 8.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)CAD 3.00 
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)CAD 3.23


Leisure time is essential for balance in your student life. Here are some ways to entertain yourself without increasing you cost of living in Thunder Bay:

Movie ticketCAD 10
Museum visitCAD 10
Gym membershipCAD 25
Coffee shop visitCAD 5
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pubCAD 61
Dinner for 2 at an Italian restaurant in the expat area (with appetisers, main course, wine and dessert)CAD 123
1 cocktail drink in downtown clubCAD 8
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml)CAD 5.53

Also Read: Cost of Studying in Canada: A Guide


Maintaining a comfortable living space comes with additional costs. Here’s a list of basic utilities and their costs that you can factor into your cost of living in Thunder Bay:

UtilityMonthly Cost
ElectricityCAD 50
WaterCAD 30
InternetCAD 60
Phone plan (basic)CAD 40


Getting around the city is easy and affordable. Here are some modes of transport and their costs that can help keep your cost of living in Thunder Bay in check:

Mode of TransportCost
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)CAD 2.60
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)CAD 70.10
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)CAD 4.50
Taxi 1 km (Normal Tariff)CAD 2.90
Taxi ride (short distance)CAD 10
Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)CAD 20.50
Gasoline (1 litre)CAD 1.53 
Bicycle (purchase)CAD 200 (one-time)

Cost of Living in Thunder Bay: Average Tuition Fees

Besides the cost of living in Thunder Bay, students also need to sort out their academic expenses. Here’s the range of tuition fees offered by the institutes located in the city:

UniversityTuition Fees
Lakehead University (Thunder Bay campus)CAD 28,500 – 38,000/year
Confederation CollegeCAD 15,000 – 25,000/year

Things to Consider Before Moving to Thunder Bay

Before finalising the cost of living in Thunder Bay and packing your bags to relocate there, you must consider these factors that can help you prepare for the move to the Canadian city:

  1. Brace yourself for colder winters! Invest in warm clothing and prepare for snowy adventures.
  2. Part-time jobs are available, but finding one might be challenging depending on your field.
  3. Embrace the Canadian way of life! Be prepared for a slightly slower pace and friendly hospitality.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Abbotsford BC: A 2024 GuideTop 20 Universities in Canada for International Students 2024
Study in Canada: Raise In The Price For GIC, See How It Will Be Impacting The Indian StudentsColleges in Ottawa, Canada 2024: Top Colleges, Popular Programs and Average Tuition Fees
Top 5 Universities in Canada for International Students in 2024Best Universities in Calgary 2024


Q1. How much does tuition cost at Lakehead University, the main university in ThunderBay?

Ans: Tuition fees for international students at Lakehead University depends on their program of study. As a rough estimate, expect to pay between $28,760 and $37,505 for the 2024-2025 academic year. It includes full-time tuition and mandatory ancillary fees like health insurance and a bus pass.

Q2. What is the average cost of on-campus housing for international students?

Ans: On-campus living for international students costs $8,103 for a 10-month townhouse room to $10,030 with additional fees.

Q3. Beyond tuition and housing, what other essential expenses should I budget for as an international student in Thunder Bay?

Ans: Groceries average around $300-400 per month, and basic utility bills like electricity and internet come in at roughly $100-150 monthly. Factor in additional costs like public transport, clothing, entertainment, and phone plans, aiming for around $500-700 per month for these extras. 

So this was all about the cost of living in Thunder Bay for international students in 2024. Get regular updates on student life abroad by subscribing to Leverage Edu today. Thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *