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The best off campus housing at the University of Calgary

11 min read
Greg Park

Greg Park

Creative Content Writer at

Published on July 06, 2023

Last updated on August 16th, 2023

If you happen to be one of the more than 35,000 students attending the University of Calgary each year, there’s a good chance you’re also on the lookout for off campus housing to rent. There are plenty of off- and on-campus housing options available directly through the university itself, but many students will still need to search for a place to rent on their own as residences at the University of Calgary, often referred to as simply U of C by students and alumni, tend to fill up and have lengthy waitlists due to increased demand. This guide from, Canada’s safest all-in-one rental platform, was designed to help students navigate their search for off-campus housing safely, with tips for everything from the best neighbourhoods near campus, to searching for listings from abroad.

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University of Calgary off campus housing overview

Types of accommodation

In Calgary, these are the typical types of rental properties that are available to rent:

There are also houses, laneway homes, and townhomes for rent with varying numbers of bedrooms.

Students will likely either live on their own or with roommates. Even though Calgary’s rental rates are significantly lower than average prices in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, many U of C students will still find themselves living in shared accommodations.

Looking for a place to share

If you’re looking for a room in a shared space with other students, then your first place to check should be’s listings. You can use the convenient map tool to find a place that’s close to campus, using the search filter “Room” under “Housing Type” to look at all the available places in the area.

Free Roommate Agreement Template

Download this free roommate agreement template.

Looking for a roommate

Students living in off campus housing at the University of Calgary looking for roommates can post their available rooms for rent on for free. Plus, the 100% digital platform means that you can connect with a roommate safely and easily, entirely online.

Average rent in Calgary

Here are the average rental prices for Calgary’s different neighbourhoods as of June 2023. For the latest numbers as well as more statistics and figures for Calgary’s different residential quadrants, be sure to check out our latest rent report.

average rent for unfurnished units by quadrant in Calgary, Alberta via the June 2023 liv rent report

Calgary transportation

For the most part, Calgary’s transit system is how most students living off-campus will travel to & from their classes. Thankfully, the city has an excellent public transit network made up of plenty of bus routes, as well as the C-Train Light Railway Transit system, both run by Calgary Transit. The UPass, the University of Calgary’s monthly student transit pass, is included in students’ fees and provides access to both the bus and C-Train networks. Planning your morning commute is also easy using Calgary Transit’s Trip Planning feature.

Neighbourhoods to consider

Of course, convenience isn’t always cheap and renters will often have to decide whether they’d prefer to pay a bit more each month for a short commute, or live a bit further afield for potential rent savings. Regardless of what you’d prefer, here are a few of the most popular Calgary neighbourhoods for students:

  • Varsity
  • Parkdale
  • Edgemont
  • Silver Springs
  • University Heights

Tips for saving on rent in Calgary

Although Calgary renters may have it easier than students looking in one of Canada’s most expensive cities, like Vancuver or Toronto, the “student budget” is a very real thing, and expenses can pile up quickly while you’re busy studying. Teaming up with a roommate is a great way to cut down on your monthly rent payments, but here are some other tips and guides for saving on rent and making the most of your budget.

Best student housing options off-campus in Calgary

Using to search for your off-campus home is perfect for University of Calgary students who can rent safely and securely from verified landlords and listings, sidestepping any scammers. Here’s where to look for the best student off-campus housing for U of C students in Vancouver:

Best neighbourhoods to rent off campus housing near the University of Calgary


Varsity is located in Calgary’s Northwest quadrant, with a scenic location on a plateau just north of the Bow River Valley. Malls, parks, and much more are all well within reach in this conveniently located part of town, and best of all, the University of Calgary is just a short trip away by car, bus, or even walking.

Types of accommodation in Varsity

Varsity is largely made up of single-family detached homes, townhouses, and other smaller residences, though there are plenty of mid-sized apartment buildings as well to accommodate students in particular.

Average monthly rent in Northwest Calgary

  • One-bedroom unit — $1,625
  • Two-bedroom unit — $2,017
  • Three-bedroom unit — $2,565


Transportation in Varsity

Estimated commute to campus: 5 to 15 minutes
Students living in off campus housing in the Varsity neighbourhood will enjoy a quick & easy commute to the University of Calgary campus, as the neighbourhood is just a 5-minute drive from campus, or about 15-20 minutes by bus.

Varsity amenities

As the neighbourhood is so close to U of C, renters can make full use of the university’s facilities. One of the city’s largest shopping centres, Market Mall, is also nearby, as well as Foothills Park and McMahon Stadium for recreational use.


Also in Calgary’s Northwest quadrant, Parkdale is close to the city’s downtown area with a lively feel that makes it a popular place for residents of all ages, but especially students at the University of Calgary.

Types of accommodation in Parkdale

Detached and semi-detached homes are the most common form of housing in Parkdale, but there have also been an assortment of newer apartment buildings added to the neighbourhood in more recent times.

Average monthly rent in Northwest Calgary

  • One-bedroom unit — $1,625
  • Two-bedroom unit — $2,017
  • Three-bedroom unit — $2,565


Transportation in Parkdale

Estimated commute to campus: 5 to 20 minutes
It’s a short 5-10 minute drive from Parkdale to the University of Calgary, and the 9, 90, and 104 buses are all capable of taking you to campus in about 15-20 minutes.

Parkdale amenities

Parkdale is close to the Bow and Elbow Rivers and all the many trails along their shores, and it’s also a short drive to popular shopping centres like the Market Mall, as well as green spaces like Foothills Park.


One of Calgary’s largest and most popular residential neighbourhoods, Edgemont is also located in Northwest Calgary and is known as a quiet and community-focused area with excellent views and easy access to all sorts of urban amenities.

Types of accommodation in Edgemont

Most of the accommodation in Edgemont consists of single-family homes and townhouses along the expansive residential streets, though there are some smaller and mid-sized apartment buildings throughout as well.

Average monthly rent in Northwest Calgary

  • One-bedroom unit — $1,625
  • Two-bedroom unit — $2,017
  • Three-bedroom unit — $2,565


Transportation in Edgemont

Estimated commute to campus: 10 to 30 minutes
Edgemont is slightly further out from campus than our other picks, but is still just a 30-35 minute trip by bus, or about a 10 to 15 minute drive for students who have access to a vehicle.

Edgemont amenities

Edgemont has plenty to do for renters of all ages, including families. Trails, skating rinks, parks, and tennis courts are plentiful in this diverse neighbourhood and there are all sorts of shops and services scattered throughout the area.

Silver Springs

Scenic and ideal for families or renters seeking a more tranquil neighbourhood for quiet studying, Silver Springs is known for its quaint feel and idyllic, tree-lined streets. The area is also located in Northwest Calgary, and is bound by trails and rivers on all sides.

Types of accommodation in Silver Springs

There is a good mix of newly built condos, older apartment buildings, and single-family dwellings in this neighbourhood.

Average monthly rent in Silver Springs

  • One-bedroom unit — $1,625
  • Two-bedroom unit — $2,017
  • Three-bedroom unit — $2,565


Transportation in Silver Springs

Estimated commute to campus: 10-40 minutes
Silver Springs is a brief 5-10 minute drive the University of Calgary, but takes slightly longer to access by bus and/or LRT. Still, depending on connections, it’s only about a 30-40 minute trip.

Silver Springs amenities

Silver Springs has everything students will need within its borders, including grocery stores, walking & biking paths, lush parks, shops, services, and much more.

University Heights

Just adjacent to the University of Calgary, University Heights is one of the more popular student neighbourhoods as a result of its excellent location surrounded by green spaces, hospitals, and the university’s campus itself.

Types of accommodation in University Heights

University Heights caters to both students and healthcare professionals, who make up the majority of the neighbourhood’s population. Houses range from larger single-family detached residences to townhomes and apartment complexes for students.

Average monthly rent in Northwest Calgary

  • One-bedroom unit — $1,625
  • Two-bedroom unit — $2,017
  • Three-bedroom unit — $2,565


Transportation in University Heights

Estimated commute to campus: 5 to 15 minutes
Best of all, University Heights residents will almost never need to worry about how they’ll get to campus. Whether you walk, drive, or take the bus, it’s only about a 5 minute trip to the University of Calgary, up to 15 minutes depending on where in the neighbourhood you’re located.

University Heights amenities

Both Market Mall and North Hill Centre are nearby for shopping options, and there are all sorts of stadiums and athletic facilities well within range of this uniquely positioned neighbourhood

Tips on how to find & secure off-campus rental housing

How to avoid rental scams in Calgary

Unfortunately, rental scams are growing more commonplace across Canada, but luckily, you can protect yourself. Know your rights as a renter and use a trusted rental platform. Here are some of the most common scams to look out for:

  • Scam #1 Rent is too low
    If the rental rate seems shockingly below the rental average for the city, it could be a fake listing.
  • Scam #2 Urgent demands for cash
    Renters don’t have to pay for anything until a lease is signed. So, if someone’s pressuring you to send cash now, don’t do it.
  • Scam #3 Too much info
    Until you’re 100% ready to move forward with a lease, you’re not obligated to share your bank account or SIN number.
  • Scam #4 Not enough details
    While some smaller landlords may withhold unit numbers for privacy, you should know the exact address of the unit you’re looking at. without that info, it could be a scam.

Pro tip: rent from ID-verified landlords on to avoid scams.

Be smart with your rental search

  • Tip #1 Know your needs
    List of your priorities: pricing, location, amenities, lease duration, pet policy, etc. Use filters to narrow your search. 
  • Tip #2 Do your research
    Find out the average rent in your target area. It’ll arm you with the necessary info to negotiate terms & rates.
  • Tip #3 Google the property
    See if there are any complaints online regarding building management, maintenance, noise, neighbourhood, etc.
  • Tip #4 View video tours first
    If possible, view video tours first. Then, narrow down your selection and book viewings only for places you’re seriously considering. 

Tips to improve your search

  • Tip #1 Don’t be afraid to check
    Have the landlord demonstrate that all appliances are working – run faucets, check thermostats, flush toilets, turn on stoves, etc. Also, check cellphone reception.
  • Tip #2 View in daylight
    Viewing a home in daylight will give you a better sense of the living space.
  • Tip #3 Prepare questions
    And ask the hard questions (e.g. how much interest have you had for this unit) to uncover info not in the listing.

Stand out when you apply for your rental

Completing your profile, or renter’s resume, is the easiest way to stand out. You can also go the extra mile and pre-submit your application before your viewing if you’re pretty sure you want to rent the unit. By introducing yourself upfront, it shows that you’re serious about the unit – leaving a strong impression on your landlord.

Pro tip: on, we use the Trust Score to rate renters’ trustworthiness and reliability — it’s free for students to get theirs with their profile!

How to secure a rental before arriving in Canada

It’s easy for University of Calgary students who aren’t yet in the province, or even in the country yet, to find and rent off campus housing safely and securely.

Once you have filled out your profile completely, you can use it to apply to listings on our platform.

In your profile, you can select whether you are a first-time renter and whether or not you have a Canadian credit history yet. That way, a landlord can accurately assess your profile and help you secure a rental without having references or a credit score in Canada.

For more on how you can browse listings in Calgary from anywhere in the world, you can check out this step-by-step guide we’ve put together.

Student resources has a ton of resources for students renting in Calgary. Whether you’re moving to Alberta from abroad, or ust from out of province, there are unique tenancy laws & practices to study up on in order to protect yourself throughout the rental process and ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

Check out our guides on everything from renting and leases to tenants’ rights and relationships with landlords.

FAQ: Off campus housing at the University of Calgary

Where do students from the University of Calgary live?

While many U of C students live in on-campus residences, the majority reside in off-campus housing, particularly in the Northwest quadrant of the city. This guide should provide an overview of the most popular and most convenient student neighbourhoods in Calgary.

How much does housing cost at the University of Calgary?

Rates for on-campus housing vary greatly from year-to-year, and depending on which residence building you’re located in.

For the most up-to-date numbers, it’s always best to check out the University of Calgary’s official information.

What neighbourhood is the University of Calgary in?

The University of Calgary is just south of the Varsity neighbourhood in Northwest Calgary, which we featured in this guide.

Is Calgary expensive for students?

While rent prices are costlier than in other parts of the country, Calgary is still far cheaper than Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.

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