Brian Dickson was charged with first-degree murder, Toronto police spokesman Tony Vella told The Associated Press. Dickson was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.
Police did not release any more details but asked the media not to publish any photos of Dickson, saying it could compromise the investigation.
The body of York University student Liu Qian, 23, of Beijing, was found Friday in her apartment in Toronto a few hours after her boyfriend witnessed the attack, police said. She was naked from the waist down and there were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma severe enough to kill her.
The autopsy was inconclusive, and police said Tuesday they were awaiting toxicology test results.
Liu was chatting with her boyfriend, Meng Xianchao, by webcam at about 1 a.m. Friday when a man knocked on the door, police said.
Meng reported seeing a struggle break out between the two before Liu's webcam was shut off. Meng contacted other friends in Toronto who in turn called police.
The victim's father, Liu Jianhui, said his daughter studied at Beijing City University before moving to Canada, where she met Meng.
Earlier Wednesday, York University President Mamdouh Shoukri said in a statement that the university had increased security patrols on campus and Toronto police had added uniformed and undercover officers in the neighborhood.