Here in TO "Hydro" is typically both the electricity and the water, but you want to check on this with the landlord, you also want to find out if the stove is electric or gas, and if it's gas if you need to pay for that. Typically many ads will say hh incl or heat & hydro included that way you know both water and electricity are included. Stay away from basement apartments in TO. FYI from your earlier ad, if you are thinking of moving to TO on $350.00 rent you will not find much a very very small bachelor on your own would be at least $600.00 and most shared accomodations that are not roach infested, and will not have a landlord that will completely screw you are about $450-$500.
A lot of students live in shared accomodations, it generally tends to be a cheaper solution, and also is more regulated and generally safer than basement apartments. The downside is that there typically are roommates involved, but that can also be a real upside as well. There are many placed that do shared accom. with a landlord, for instance landlords here typically will buy up a few houses and convert the bedrooms in the houses into individual units (i.e. you have a deadbolt on your door) but you need to share the bathroom, and kitchen and sometimes a common living area with the other people in the house. A lot of people will start off in something like this, and in a year or so meet a few people they like and then may go as a group of 3-4 and get a 2 bedroom standard apartment or something similar.