• Housing Resources & Tips

    The purpose of this is to provide you with resources to find and rent in Hamilton, Ontario.

    Please note that all listings are put up by private landlords and are not property of McMaster Divinity College. It is your responsibility to exercise discretion when communicating with landlords or subletters.

    Online Postings
    Pre-Screened Listings
    Facebook Student Groups

    We advice you to beware of scams in Facebook housing groups. Please do not interact with an job postings in these groups.

    Neighbourhood Guides
    McMaster Postings

    Documents to Prepare for Renting a House
    1. Credit Report: a summary of your credit history, or personal details for your landlord to run a credit check. Your credit report includes your credit score, payment history and any outstanding debts. Some landlords will accept a credit report that you can get online.
    2. Job letters & bank statements: a job letter that shows employee name, job position, and income. Bank statements that show the flow of your money and if you are paying other bills on time.
    3. Proof of Income: including recent pay stubs, a Notice of Assessment (NOA) or Proof of Income Statement from the CRA.
    4. References: supporting document of recommendation from current or past landlord, property manager, superintendent, or a character reference.
    5. Proof of Identification: Canadian Driver’s License, Passport, or other valid government-issued photo IDs.


    You have the right to question why any of your personal information is asked for according to the PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). Your landlord can only use your information for the purpose of which it was collected.

    International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.

    Review Ontario’s standard lease

    How to Spot a Scam

    Here are some warning signs to look out for, when looking for housing.

    1. Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices: When you find a price that seems significantly lower than other similar listings. Combined with the other warning signs, look out for places that advertise low prices, in hopes to bait people for money, or to suddenly spike prices.
    2. Fake Photos: Many scammers will post very nice pictures at cheap/affordable cost. To vet these pictures, right click, then click “search image with Google.”
    3. No Address or Neighbourhood Details: Exercise your discretion here. Legitimate listings usually include the neighbourhood, area, and ideally the complete address. You should be able to check against Google Maps to see if the address advertised is accurate to the listing.
    4. You are Asked for Money Before Signing the Lease: It is NOT legal to ask you for any security deposit, “first and last” rent or any upfront fees or instalments before you sign a written, formal rental agreement. Do not make any payments, especially online via e-transfer, or wire money to anyone asking you for a substantial amount of money before you have signed anything.
    5. You are not Allowed to see the Property: Before making any payments, signing any lease, or moving in, you must see the property. You should be able to get a live, virtual tour or go in person to check out the place and make sure the cleanliness, size, and maintenance is up to your standard, and accurate to the pictures and description in the listing.
    6. The Lease is Incomplete/There is no Screening Process: Always look for a landlord that is responsible, high-quality, and responsive. Professional landlords will have a tenant screening process and complete rental application process. Landlords should want an application and credit check at the least, to ensure that you are able to pay rent in full and on time. If the lease is incomplete, do not sign it.
    7. The Listing is Written Poorly: Good and professional landlords will ensure that their listing is well-written and contains detailed descriptions of their place. If the listing has tons of typos, poor grammar, excessive punctuation, or capitalization, it is very likely that the listing is a scam.
  • Cost of Living
    Off-Campus Housing

    1 bedroom (shared housing): $800-$1000

    1 bedroom (studio/bachelor): $1,400-$2,000

    2 bedroom: $1,500-$2,500

    3 bedroom: $1,800-$3,000


    Utilities are often paid separately from rent. Students should expect to pay the cost of electricity, heating, water, and cable/internet.

    The approximate cost of utilities in Hamilton area (per month):

    Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water): $90-$350

    Internet (6Mbps, unlimited date, Cable/ADSL): $45-$100+


    We advise students to budget approximately $200-$250 per month per person for groceries.


    The cost of daycare varies throughout Hamilton. Below is a general idea of what you can expect to pay for childcare. These costs are according to the CWELCC 2023 guidelines.

    Licensed Centre-based Care:

    Infant age care (newborn to 18 months): approximately $30/day
    Toddler age care (18 months to 2.5 years): approximately $24/day
    Preschool age care (2.5 years to 4.5 years): approximately $21/day
    School age care (4.5 to 12 years):

    • Before and after school age care approximately $22/day.
    • Full day on days when not in school approximately $41/day.

    Licensed Home-based Care: Full day care approximately $23-33/day
    Independent (non-licensed) Home-based Care: approximately $30-$40/day

    More about Budgeting

  • Health & Wellness
    Mandatory Health Insurance for International Students (UHIP)

    The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) provides insurance to pay the cost of hospital and medical services that international students and their families at McMaster University might need while in Canada. Enrollment in UHIP is mandatory while studying in Ontario and is also mandatory for dependents (spouse and/or children) who are residing in Ontario. Dependents are required to enroll in the plan within 30 days of their arrival in Ontario.

    UHIP Costs (2023-24 rates)

    • Student: $756/year
    • Student plus one dependent: $1512/year
    • Student plus two or more dependents: $2,268/year

    UHIP charges will be placed on accounts for all students who have a study permit. Students who are fully enrolled and who have a study permit will automatically be enrolled and charged for UHIP. You must enroll your accompanying dependents within 30 days of their arrival date in Canada. If you enroll your family members more than 30 days after they arrive in Canada, you must pay a late application fee of $500.00 PLUS the premium retroactive to the first of the month in which your dependents arrived in Canada. The earliest date your coverage through UHIP can start is the 10th day of the month before the month in which your first study term begins. If you arrive before this date, you will need to buy other medical insurance protection until your UHIP coverage becomes effective.

    Health Insurance UHIP

    Graduate Student Health Insurance

    Students enrolled in 6 courses (18 units) or more per year are automatically charged for GSA health insurance. You may opt out of GSA health coverage if you can show proof of similar coverage through another provider. You can find general information about GSA health coverage below.

    Graduate Student Health Insurance (GSA)

    Please note that McMaster Divinity Students do no qualify for dental coverage.

    The cost of GSA coverage is: $251 per year

    Wellness Centre

    The Student Wellness Centre is the place on campus to address your wellness needs. They provide a range of counselling options, medical services and wellness programs.

    Wellness Centre

    Student Support Program

    All McMaster Divinity College students have free access to My SSP, a confidential app and online resource to help you with issues related to health and fitness, relationships, living in a new place, and student life. My SSP offers immediate 24/7 support through web chat and phone to counsellors from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

    Learn more

  • Transportation
    Hamilton Transit HSR

    The HSR is Hamilton’s local transit system.

    Schedule & Route Tools HSR Fares

    GO Transit

    GO Transit is a network of train and bus lines that aid people to travel around the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

    Metrolinx, GO Transit is the regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. They provide service to downtown Toronto and other nearby urban areas.

    Plan Your Trip

    On-Campus Parking

    On-campus parking is available for MDC students but not guaranteed due to high demand. Contact Parking Services for further information.

    Parking Services

  • Groceries
    Grocery Stores

    Less Expensive Stores

    • No Frills
    • Food Basics
    • Walmart

    More Expensive Stores

    • Fortinos
    • Longo’s
    • Sobeys

    Worldwide Groceries

    • Nations Fresh Food
    • Hamilton Farmer’s Market

    Drug Stores

    • Shoppers Drug Mart
    • Rexall
    • IDA
  • Banking
    Opening a Bank Account

    Learn more about Canadian bank accounts below. Note that most Student accounts do not have a monthly fee.

    Canadian Banking Banking & Credit Tips

    Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on Banking to confirm the necessary documentation.

    Government of Canada Banking

  • Phone & Internet Plans
  • Churches
  • Student Savings & Discounts

    Many business in the Hamilton community offer special discounts and savings, specifically for students.

    Learn More

  • Weather