Montreal in Quebec noted as the second-largest city in Canada, is a well-situated island in the south-eastern region of the country. Montreal is renowned as one of the best places to live in Canada, and in recent times has been regarded as one of the world’s most liveable, affordable, and happiest locations.
With at least 45,000 immigrants every year, this Canadian city is the largest predominantly French-speaking city in the world after Paris. If you are considering the best place to live in Canada, Montreal is a viable choice to look into.
Recognized as a cultural and artistic hub, it boasts of numerous breathtaking art galleries and exhibitions popping up in all parts of the region. It is also a well-positioned city that is a little over 8 hour’s drive to NYC, Toronto, and Boston. From delightful cuisine and old buildings to nearby skiing, this Canadian city is a wonderful place to be year-round.
In this Canadian city, salaries tend to vary from $26,600 to $470,000 per year. Howbeit, a single person needs to make an annual income ranging from $24,000 to $32,000 to live comfortably in Montreal. Also, note that a family of four (two adults and two children) will need a total income of $62,000 to sustain the same viable livelihood in the city.
While the cost of living in Montreal is more affordable than in most places like Ottawa, have it in mind that your living expenses in Montreal will vary based on different factors.
Factors That Affect Cost Of Living in Montreal, Canada
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Note that Montreal has some of the lowest apartment rental costs among Canadian big cities. Whether you’re in the city for education or you are single and have a career, rent prices are almost 40% lower than in Toronto and are even cheaper than in Vancouver.
There are also wide arrays of accommodation in Montreal that will help you enjoy your life to the fullest; from downtown studio apartments in Old Montreal and Plateaus to a private room in a shared house around Rosemount. Nonetheless, below are the average costs of rent in three primary zones of the city of Montreal
- Montreal CMA: $1165 – $2850
- Cotes-des-Neiges: $1007 – $1738
- Notre-Dame-De-Grace: $995 – $1950
- Verdun/Lasalle: $857 – $1800
- Plateau-Mont-Royal: $1084 – $2400
- Rosemont/La Petite-Patrie: $1050 – $2272
- Hochelaga-Maisonneuve: $785 – $1450
- Villeray/Parc-Extension: $850 – $2087
The amount spent on utilities will surely vary from one person to another; however, you can expect the cost of utilities in Montreal to be more or less 50% cheaper than in New York and typically charged per month.
When compared with Toronto or other Canadian cities, have it in mind that utilities in Montreal tend to be more affordable and kept low thanks to Hydro-Quebec, the main electricity generator in Quebec. Expect to pay less than $100 for basic utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, and garbage.
In the city of Montreal, the public system is made up of the metro and buses, and it is known to be quite extensive, especially the bus lines. You might have to sometimes contend with delays, especially since the buses don’t always stick to a schedule, but you will find that is cheaper and easy to use.
With an OPUS transit card, you can benefit from an unlimited access to both the metro and bus lines, and it will only cost $80 monthly. If you intend to drive your own car, note that one gallon of fuel will cost you around $3.5.
Car Parking Rates
In the city of Montreal, Agence de mobilité is tasked with handling paid on-street parking. While maximum time allowances are determined by the boroughs, a good number of parking lots in the city charge a fee for every 20 or 30 minutes parking. However, the maximum prices will vary from around $12 to over $20 for 24/h. Weekend rates are also known to be very cheaper. Car parking rates by boroughs in the city include;
- Ahuntsic/Cartierville (Chabanel sector): $2.50
- Ahuntsic/Cartierville (Fleury sector): $2.00
- CDN/NDG (East sector): $3.00
- CDN/NDG (West sector): $2.50
- Lachine: $2.00
- Mercier/Hochelaga/Maisonneuve: $1.50
- Outremont: $2.50
- Plateau-Mont-Royal: $3.50
- Rosemont/Petite-Patrie: $1.50
- Rosemont/Petite-Patrie (Angus sector): $3.00
- Sud-Ouest: $1.50
- Sud-Ouest (East sector): $3.50
- Verdun : $2.00
- Ville-Marie: $3.50
- Ville-Marie (East sector): $1.50
- Ville-Marie (East sector): $1.50
- Villeray/Saint-Michel/Parc-Extension: $1.50
- Ville Saint-Laurent: $1.50
Public Bicycle Sharing System
Montreal is an extremely bike-friendly city and a bike renting company by the name of Bixi is well noted in the city. You can choose to download their app or rent a bike from their station.
Note that they have more than 600 stations and this makes it very convenient to get one of their bikes from their stands and leave it at one that is closer to your. According to reports, a 30-minute trip will cost around $2.99, a day will cost around $5.25 (24-hours), and you will have to pay $15 for 3-days and $97 for annual membership.
Groceries in Montreal
Reports have it that the average household of 2.5 people spend $5,792, or about $483 per month in 2019. Note that this comes out as $193 per person, and when you add 2% inflation for every other year, it comes out as $200.72 per person. While prices will most definitely vary from person to person, here is a breakdown of items and their prices in Montreal;
- Milk (1 Litre): $2.71
- Loaf of bread: $3.60
- Rice: $3.43
- Dozen Eggs: $3.51
- Local Cheese: $16.84
- Chicken: $15.37
- Beef round: $18.13
- Apples: $3.99
- Bananas: $1.77
- Oranges: $4.12
- Tomatoes: $4.72
- Potatoes: $2.46
- Onions: $2.53
- Head of Lettuce: $2.17
- Water Bottle 1.5L: $1.82
- Cigarettes 20 Pack: $14
Phone and Internet
Truth be told, phone plans are not really cheap in Canada, regardless of the location, but they are quite affordable in Quebec. Have it in mind that a good number of major service providers Rogers, Telus and Bell offer monthly plans for between $50 and $60, for 3 to 6GB of data and unlimited, Canada-wide calling.
Meanwhile, Koodo offers 6GB of data with unlimited Canada-wide calling for a similar price and around $49. Bell, Videotron and Teksavvy all offer affordable Internet plans (between 50 to 60 Mbps) for an average of $63.61.
Note that Montreal is predominantly a French-speaking city. Owing to that, it can be quite challenging if you are moving to Montreal with kids who haven’t grown up speaking French. Note that the cost of studying in Montreal will depend heavily on the program, institution, and level of study.
- Kindergarten-Grade 12 (Public Schools): C$ 9,500 to C$ 15,000
- Kindergarten-Grade 12 (Private Schools): C$ 45,000 to C$ 65,000
- Language Programs (English or French): C$ 335 per week on average
- College: C$ 6,500 to C$ 20,000 depending on the institution and field of study
- University: C$ 9,000 to C$ 50,000or more depending on level and field of study
Health and Fitness
Without doubts, it is easy to bike in the city — and get a great cardio workout to boot. However, if you are eager for something more, or if you’re simply looking to keep fit during the long winter months, there are numerous indoor gym options, too.
- Spin Class: $15
- Gym membership: $32
- Bicycle Hire (8Hrs): $35
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: $20
- Skiing (weekday pass): $50-80
- Local Beaches and Hikes (summer): Free
While the cost of living is genuinely low in Montreal, taxes are really not encouraging. Note that you spend as much as a third of your salary on income taxes alone. In the city, you will be expected to pay 16% provincial income tax if you earn up to $42,300.
You should add this to the 15% you would pay in federal taxes. Also, note that sales taxes are very high in this Canadian city. Reports have it that the Quebec income tax is approximately 10%, coupled with the 5% tax on goods and services.
Every month, expect to spend at least $2,370.63 to live in Montreal. Note that this is before you take into consideration debt payments, savings, and variable expenses like clothing, toiletries or auto or life insurance into account. However, have it in mind that it’s still much less than what it costs to live in Vancouver or Toronto.