hi, anyone got any ideas about studying in Canada - how long before I go should I start to arrange accommodation and which colleges are the best to apply to?
I believe that in order to get student visa, you need to arrange homestay accommodation (4 weeks is minimum), and have a long-term study plan such as: how long will you study English (if you don't have TOEFL or IELTS) in which school, then which college or university and which major will you be studying after finishing your English.
There are some language schools with academic/university pathway that can help you go directly to college/university when you complete a certain English level in those schools.
It's hard to tell which college or university is best to apply because each school has their own strength and their famous program. For example, according to my knowledge, York University and Ryerson University are good for business programs; University of Toronto is for science in general while university of waterloo is good for engineering and computer science. Laurentian University is good for engineering and mining. etc.
Hope this helps you.