Vancouver, pictured here, still leads as the most expensive city in Canada for renters. Photo: AFP / Don MacKinnon

A student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, does not take a bus to commute to his class. Instead, he takes to the skies twice a week due to the expensive rental prices in Vancouver, and doing so saves him big bucks on rent.

Arts student Tim Chen, who is originally from Calgary, used to live in a rental unit for years while attending his classes at UBC. But he gave it up when he went on vacation during the fall. Upon his return to Vancouver, he was shocked to find out that "there was a big increase" in the rental price.

He felt that paying around £1,975 ($2,500) was not a viable option so he started looking at the price of flights from Calgary to Vancouver. He found that the 600-mile flight between the two cities is much cheaper at about £118 ($150) for a round trip fare.

Chen, who attends two classes per week at UBC, would then only have to pay about £948 ($1,200) for the flights monthly while he lives with his parents at home in Calgary. That is a total of eight return flights in a month, and this option is ultimately much cheaper compared to the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver which is about £1,658 ($2,100).

"I thought, why don't I just stay at Calgary and then just fly here, it's like a one-hour flight, that's like the same as taking a bus," he told CTV News adding: "I've got three hours of class in total, after the class, I jumped back to the bus and go back to the airport!"

Vancouver reportedly still leads the ranking as the most expensive city in Canada for housing, and finding a place to rent is an even a bigger problem with its 0.9 per cent vacancy. There are even UBC students who live in vans because they are unable to afford the sky-high rental prices.

One such student is Xelian Louw, who considered living in a van as the only "financially viable option" as he could not afford to pay for a bachelor suite by himself in Vancouver.

As for Chen, who is on his last year at UBC, renting is no longer an option for him. He plans to continue flying to Vancouver from Calgary for his class until he graduates at the end of the academic year. This routine not only saves him money but he shared that it also gives him plenty of time to focus on his studies, from the air.