Telephones in Canada are available in two main formats: landlines and cellular telephones. Both offer local and international long-distance services.
Landline telephones are administered by companies such as Telus and Bell Canada. Which company provides your service will depend on where in Canada you wish to study, since different provinces have different service providers. Landlines provide unlimited local service for a minimal monthly expense (about 25$). You can also add long-distance services for additional fees. You may also purchase pre-paid phone-cards, which can be used at any landline telephone.
Cell phones are very popular in Canada. Many Canadians have both a cell phone and a landline. Some people, including many students, choose to have only a cell phone, as cell phones have both local and long-distance ability. There are a number of cell phone companies in Canada offering different packages and incentives. You can sign up for a plan or a pay-as-you-go option, which requires no contract. Some research will tell you which is the right plan for you. While you may be able to use a cell phone brought from your home-country, it will be long distance and therefore costly.
Many cities in Canada now have what's called "10-digit dialing," which means you must dial the area code of the number you are calling. The local telephone book will have a listing of area codes for the various areas around the city. Use the telephone book as a source of for local emergency numbers and government offices as well.