For the past decade, Toronto – the capital city of Ontario, Canada – has been recognised as one of the most diverse cities in the world. Home to several well-known actors, musicians, artists, and politicians, Toronto can be an exciting destination to begin your study adventure.
With a lively artistic community existing in a huge, growing metropolitan city, Toronto can be the ideal location to study interior design. Learn from the biggest names and some of the most prominent designers in the world. Creative minds all over the world find a robust environment in Toronto; and with the many prominent institutions and universities, Toronto can be the perfect destination for Interior Design students.
Why study abroad in Toronto?
Toronto is one of the biggest cities in North America and ranks as the twelfth ‘most economically powerful city in the world’ – a ranking they received based on economic production and industrial innovation. The city offers unique exposure to global businesses and opportunities, while also having a prosperous and diverse population. Students who decide to make their home in Toronto will discover a world of different possibilities ranging from art, music, science, and education, and will come across some fascinating features that the locals have come to enjoy.
- Toronto has the largest underground pedestrian system in North America. It’s called PATH, and it intersects with hundreds of stores and restaurants, as well as a huge system of subway systems and parking garages – all in its twenty-eight-kilometre length.
- People from around the world attend the Toronto International Film Festival, which is an annual film showcase occurring in September. Many blockbuster films and box office hits have had their debut in this festival, and attendees always have a chance of meeting big movie stars.
- Students, visitors, and locals can all enjoy a trip to the Toronto Islands, the largest car-free region in North America. You can access the Islands by ferry, and take a hike or bicycle ride around the beach and through its several beautiful gardens.
Toronto is home to some of the most reputable institutions in the world and is consistently at the forefront of cultural and artistic research. Some of the biggest names in music, film, science, and journalism have come from Toronto, and the universities also are globally connected in business and technology. If you’re looking for a city that fosters so much creative thinking, look no further than Toronto.
Why study interior design in Toronto?
According to the Best Interior Designers Blog, in their list of the Top 15 Best Interior Designers in Canada, 12 out of 15 of the best interior designers are based in Toronto. In a city where art, design, and creativity are all thriving, interior designers have found a unique environment where their vision and innovation is highly valued on the national and global market.
- Students who obtain a degree in interior design in Toronto have found promising careers and opportunities. Students will often find jobs in the fields of film and theatre set design, furniture manufacturing, interior decorating (obviously), and lighting design.
- With the many theatres and exhibits that surround Toronto, plus the demand for a sharp, professional eye, interior design graduates will find plenty of spaces to offer their artistic vision and creative insight.
- Having so many connections with the realm of art and design, interior design students will gain a strong edge in this industry, encountering big names in the world of architecture, theatre, art, and film.
Teaching style within Toronto universities
- Undergraduate courses are generally lecture-style classes, with smaller class sessions throughout the semester
- Graduate courses are smaller, seminar-style classes meant to prepare for professional development.
- Students often have the option of taking online, distance learning courses during their degree programme.
Universities and institutes that offer English-taught interior design courses
- Toronto Film School at RCC Institute of Technology – Advanced Diploma in Interior Decorating
- Ryerson University – Bachelor’s in Interior Design
- Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) – Bachelor in Environmental Design with Specialization in Interior Design
- Humber College – Bachelor of Interior Design
- RCC Institute of Technology – Bachelor of Interior Design
Career resources for Interior Design students in Toronto
- If you study interior design in Toronto, you will very likely come across the Interior Designers of Canada, which is a national advocacy group for people within the interior design profession. For over 40 years, they have helped represent thousands of organization members, and hundreds of manufacturers in Canada.
- For a group specifically centered around Toronto, you can also check out the Toronto Interior Design Group – an award-winning design group that serves clients in the Toronto area. Find out about career opportunities with TIDG, and keep your options open for your breakthrough design project.
- Every year, Toronto hosts the Interior Design Show, nurturing an opportunity for industry experts and creative minds to meet in one place. This can provide young, aspiring interior designers great networking opportunities and a chance to be involved in the cutting-edge of the interior design industry.
- Subscribe to Canadian Interiors and receive, updates, news, write-ups, events and information about the interior design world in Toronto as well as all of Canada.
Living in Toronto: accommodation and transportation
While Vancouver holds claim to the most liveable city in Canda's west coast, Toronto is the most liveable city in the east coast of Canada. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, in the categories of stability, healthcare, and education, Toronto achieves a perfect score; and scores above 90(/100) in Culture & Environment and in infrastructure. Although housings costs Toronto are considered expensive compared to other Canadian cities, the city still has an expansive transit system that is relatively cheap, offsetting the overall cost of living.
Renting an apartment (average rate per month):
- 1 Bedroom apartment within the City Centre: $1,700
- 1 Bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre: $1,400
- 3 Bedroom apartment within the City Centre: $3,000
- 3 Bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre: $2,200
Student on-campus Housing in Toronto:
Ryerson University offers its own accommodation designed for international students. Built in a former hotel, the International Living and Learning Centre can house 252 residence students in its spacious living quarters.
- For a single room in ILC, the rates range between $13,000 and $14,200 per year, depending on the size of the room. For a double room (i.e. shared room) in ILC, the rates range between $10,958 - $11,679, depending on the size of the room.
- International students at Ryerson University can also choose other accommodations to meet their needs. Look through the prices that they list for each of the residence halls on campus.
RCC Institute of Technology and Ontario College of Art and Design do not offer on-campus housing. However, schools will often partner with companies that allow students to find affordable housing all over the city.
In 2013 Toronto was named the second most walkable city in Canada (after Vancouver). According to WalkScore, the mobile app company based in Seattle, Toronto achieved a high score based on how easily people can walk on average to grocery stores, cafes and libraries. If you’re a student hoping to live comfortably during your studies, while also saving money, Toronto’s high walkability will make this goal easier to manage.
In addition to its walkability, Toronto is also known for having a wide network of bike lanes and paths, allowing cyclists to easily travel to and from their destinations.
You can also gain access to the city’s major bike share program, Bike Share Toronto.
The prices for Bike Share Toronto are as follows:
- Day pass (unlimited 30-minute rides in a 24-hour period): $7
- 3-Day Pass (unlimited 30-minute rides in a 72-hour period): $15
- Annual Membership (unlimited 30-minute rides for a whole year): $90 per year
Toronto is known for its reliable public transit system, which includes its extensive subway underground metro. You can get a monthly ticket for the public transit system for $140.
Tuition costs for interior design students in Toronto
- Toronto Film School: $30.294 (for entire 18-month programme)
- Ryerson University: $23, 667 - $24, 246 per term (for international students); $7,194 - $7,946 (for domestic students)
- Ontario College of Art and Design: $7,734 per term (for international students enrolled full time); $2,536 per term (for domestic students enrolled full time)
- RCC Institute of Technology: $6,187 per term (for international students); $4,950 per term (for domestic students)
Fellowships and scholarships for interior design students in Toronto
The Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) offers a series of scholarships and bursaries for well-qualified students, interns, and professionals. The Design Research Award is a cash prize available for students who are also members of their provincial interior design association. The Robert Ledingham Scholarship is similarly available from the IDC; however, you are only eligible if you are an educator or currently pursuing graduate-level (Master’s or Ph.D) study at a recognised institution.
- Ryerson University offers several entrance scholarships, as well as privately sponsored scholarships. You can find details through their scholarship office.
- Toronto Film School has several loan programmes and grants for their students. However, they are rarely available to international students. You will want to look at the terms of eligibility carefully through their website.
- Humber College offers a variety of academic scholarships for which students can be nominated based on academic merit. They also offer awards that are specific to your discipline.
- Ontario College of Art and Design has several awards and bursaries (another word for financial aid – based solely on ‘financial need’). They offer awards to every faculty and department for qualified students at every level.
Students can also search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies.
Learn how to get a visa for studying in Canada here!