Top 10 Universities in Canada

Top 10 Universities in Canada
Written by Robin Okwanma

Do you desire to attend a premium, top-rated university in Canada? And with the certainty that you and/or your parent or sponsor can afford to pay for the travel documents, flights, tuition and living costs?

Canada has become a choice destination for an uncountable number of international students and workers for many years now. Join us as we explore why Canada is favourable for higher education, and the top 10 universities in Canada you can go to for excellent tuition and overall satisfaction.

University Education: Why Choose Canada?

Canada, the second-largest country in the world, shares its southern and western borders with the United States of America. The country is a bilingual country: its official languages are English and French. Canada is sectioned into: 

– ten provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan), and

– three territories toward the North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon).

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While the provinces have constitutional right to self-rule, the territories are under rulership and control of the federal government. 

Canada is truly a blessed nation: it is rich in oil and gas, several mineral and natural resources, abundant food, and millions of lakes.

Being one of the most wealthy nations worldwide, it has a mixed economy which consists of both private and public sectors. But the private sector (manufacturing industries and service providers) forms the larger percentage driving the economy.

With the policy of free education for children 18 years and below (whether the parents are documented immigrants, citizens or refugees), newcomers have little or nothing to lose. Also, there are various opportunities for any international student to study in Canada through scholarships.

Furthermore, the country has a high absorption rate for immigrants. Reports on the BBC website state that about one out of every four Canadian is actually an immigrant (or came one way or the other through immigration). 

Benefits of Studying in Canada

  • Canada is reputed to be the fourth best nation for education worldwide. The government invests a significant amount of funds in higher education annually (including universities). The environment is also conducive and friendly to international students and immigrants alike. In particular, 
  • There are work-study options for international students. You can obtain a student permit with two options. You may be granted an on-campus full-time work without a work permit. Or otherwise an off-campus eligibility to work without a work permit when you begin your studies. Off-campus work would require an additional condition of not exceeding 20 hours per week while academic sessions are running.  And full-time work is allowed during study breaks (such as during summer holidays). 
  • Both international students and their spouses are eligible to work permits.
  • Canada has a vast collection of both public and private higher institutions (polytechnics, colleges, universities, institutes). Many of them are partly or fully funded by the government.The country also offers a broad range of academic programmes and courses to cater for every individual need imaginable.  
  • Cost of tuition and living expenses in Canada are comparatively lower than those obtainable in the USA or United Kingdom.
  • There are more well-paid job opportunities after graduation from a Canadian university (or any other tertiary institution) than in the USA – and probably elsewhere.
  • Canadian education focuses more on extensive research, and practical-based learning to get their graduates job-ready and sought after in the modern workplace.  

Universities in Canada: Requirements for Admission and Study

In order to gain admission to a university in canada, you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Have a valid international passport
  • You must have applied to, and obtained a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A DLI is a learning institution that is authorized by the host territorial or provincial government to accept international students (which includes even primary and secondary schools in that region). 
  • Find out if you will need a student visa or not. And apply for one at a Canadian visa application center, or get details at the Canadian embassy (Deputy High Commission of Canada).
  • Obtain a study permit by applying either online (on the website), or by filling the paper application at the Canadian embassy closest to you. 
  • Undergo medical tests, and obtain a certificate of fitness (that your health is in good condition)
  • You must not have any criminal records. Get a police clearance certificate ready 
  • You must provide proof of funds. You need to have enough funds to cover your living expenses (and that of any accompanying family member), tuition fees, as well as return flight. The Canadian immigration office stipulates that every international student should have at least 10,000 Canadian Dollars for each year of his/her stay. Get the full list of acceptable documents for proof of funds HERE

The Top 10 recommended Universities in Canada 2023

To give our prospective students the needed aid for a more informed decision, we collected information from the following reliable sources on Canadian universities:  

– Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (October 2022)

– the Scimago Institutions Rankings (April 2022), 

– Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities (July 2022).

The top 10 universities in Canada (year 2022/23) according to the leading world ranking sites above, are presented below:

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University of Toronto (27 King’s College Cir, Toronto, Ontario): Statistics

University of Toronto Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 1 /global 18
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 1 / global 34 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 1 / global 16


University of British Columbia (2329 West Mall, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Canada): Statistics

University of British Columbia

  • THE World University Rankings: national 2 /global 40
  • the Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 2 / global 72 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 2 / global 28

McGill University (845 Sherbrooke Street, West Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G4): Statistics

McGill university Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 3 /global 46
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 3 / global 138
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 3 / global 60

University of Alberta (116 Street & 85 Avenue, Edmonton AB T6G 2R3): Statistics

University of Alberta Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 6 /global 118
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 4 / global 147 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 4 / global 68


University of Waterloo (200 University Avenue W., Waterloo, Ontario): Statistics

University of Waterloo Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 9 / global 201-250
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 6 / global 264 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 5 / global 87


The University of Calgary (2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta): Statistics

University of Calgary Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 8 /global 201-250
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 5 / global 214 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 6 / global 90


McMaster University (1280 Main Street W, Hamilton, Ontario): Statistics

McMaster University Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 4 /global 85
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 7 / global 311 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 7 / global 137


University of Montreal (2900 Bd Edouard-Montpetit, Montreal): Statistics

University of Montreal Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 5 / global 111
  • US News: Best Global Universities: national  /global
  • the Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 8 / global 313 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 10 / global 171

The University of Ottawa (75 Laurier Avenue E., Ottawa): Statistics

University of Ottawa Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 7 /global 137
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 10 / global 331 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 11 / global 191


University of Western Ontario/Western University (1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario): Statistics

University of Western Ontario western university Canada

  • THE World University Rankings: national 10 /global 201-250
  • Scimago Institutions Rankings: national 9 / global 328 
  • Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: national 9 / global 169



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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.