By in Country Guides November 19, 2020

If you’ve decided to move internationally to Canada and want to know the true cost of living in Montreal you have come to the right place. Ville de Montréal (VDM) is undoubtedly praised for its overall low expenses, but how affordable is life there? We have prepared the Montreal cost of living guidelines just for you. Keep reading and see how much you’ll actually need to spend when you start your life in this city.

An image of a giant park, a river, and buildings
Is the cost of living in Montreal, Canada, as low as many say?

Since you’re moving to Montreal, you should know that this is one of the best places to live in Canada. VDM is the largest city in Quebec province, and the official spoken language is French. However, when you arrive, you’ll notice that many people speak both French and English, around 60% to be precise. It is still highly recommended to research some tips for learning a new language. Also, if you don’t speak French, you should find a course now and start learning a language abroad. After all, you’re moving internationally to one of the friendliest countries in the world and breaking the language barrier won’t be that difficult. Since you’ll be moving to Canada soon, you should also know that the official currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). You’ll be able to spend some US dollars when you start living in Montreal, but it is advised to convert your savings as soon as you settle in your new home.

Is Montreal a Good Place to Live?

The short answer is yes. Is it expensive to live in Montreal? The cost of living in VDM is among the lowest in Canada. Rents are cheap, university tuition fees are affordable, and this city has the lowest electricity bill in the country. You’ll also find the cheapest public transportation fees, much lower than in Toronto, for instance. Public transit is also well-connected, which means that you’ll be able to get around quickly. VDM is also the Canadian focal point of the art and culture scene, attracting many young artists to settle in the city and meet like-minded people. Montreal neighborhoods are very diverse, and no matter which one you choose to settle in, you’ll have access to a large number of public parks. Anyone moving with dogs will be happy to hear that there are many cafes and pet-friendly restaurants. Overall, VDM can offer a high quality of life.

However, there are some disadvantages. For example, taxes are higher, and we will elaborate more on this soon. Therefore, you should prepare a moving abroad checklist, weigh all the pros and cons of the cost of living in Montreal, Canada, and see if moving internationally to VDM is the right option for you or not.

A cityscape during the night
Electricity bills are the lowest in the country

What Is the Average Salary in Montreal?

Whether you’re moving across the world because of employee relocation or you’ll search for a job when you arrive, you’ll indeed want to know what the median income is. According to Salaryexplorer.com, the median salary per year in Quebec is 134,000 CAD (around $101,727) or 11,200 CAD (around $8,502) per month. This number can significantly vary depending on your professional field. For instance, the lowest average salary is 34,000 CAD (around $25,811), while the highest average can get up to 600,000 CAD (around $455,496).

What Is Considered a Good Salary in Montreal?

In order to cover all your expenses, you’ll need to earn 27,287 CAD (around $20,715) annually or 2,273 CAD (around $1,725) monthly. To live more comfortably in VDM, you should strive for a better wage. When searching for a job, remember that a decent one will be easily available if you speak both English and French. Language challenges are a real thing and are a serious obstacle for anglophones. We know that practicing a language you’re still not good at can be scary. But, as we mentioned before, Montrealers are very welcoming, and they’ll appreciate the effort by helping you overcome language barriers.

How Taxes Affect the Cost of Living in the City

It’s important to keep in mind that while the cost of living in Montreal is relatively low, Quebec enforces some of the highest tax rates in the country. If you know that the salaries are lower than in some other metropolitan areas, this is certainly not good news. You’ll maybe be spending less than in other cities, but you’ll also be making less money. Generally, the more money you make, the higher taxes you pay. For example, Montrealers pay 15% provincial income tax on an amount that is up to $48,535. To learn more about taxes in Montreal and beyond, check out the video below.

Rent per Month and Home Prices

No matter which neighborhood you choose to live in, rent costs will be your biggest monthly expense. The good news is that the rents are among the lowest in the country. According to Numbeo.com, monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the center is around 1,300 CAD ($988), while outside of the center is approximately 850 CAD ($645). When compared to Toronto, these rates are as low as it gets. For instance, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Toronto costs 2,209 CAD ($1,679) and outside of the center 1,808 CAD ($1,374).

Most Montrealers choose to live with a roommate. Even though renting rates are significantly low, we suggest you find someone to share expenses, especially if you’re moving abroad alone.

Are you thinking about owning a home in VDM? According to Numbeo, the average price per sq ft in the center is 550 CAD ($418), while one sq ft for an apartment outside the center is 325 CAD ($250). Affordable housing makes VDM one of the best places to live abroad with family.

Housing and Utility Expenses per Month

Now let’s move on to the boring things we all have to pay for every month, like electricity, cooling, heating, water, and garbage. If you settle in a 915 sq ft apartment, these essential utilities will be 97 CAD ($73,) while your internet provider will be charging you 63 CAD ($47) per month.

While utility costs are reasonably priced, you should keep in mind that winters can be really cold and long in this city. Thus, depending on the time of year, your bills such as heating will vary significantly.

An image of a calculator on a phone
Keep in mind that during winter your electricity bill will be higher

Dining Out Is a Bit Above the National Average

Every Montrealer is a foodie and loves dining out. This city can offer so many fantastic diners, restaurants, and cafes that simply can’t be ignored. Locals just can’t get enough of the delicious food and are prepared to put more cash on the side for a good meal. VDM is also known as one of the best vegan cities in the world and can offer many great vegan restaurants. If you decide to eat out in an inexpensive restaurant, you’ll need 15 CAD ($11.40) for two meals. If you’re moving to another country for love and want to take out your partner to a mid-range restaurant, you’ll pay 70 CAD ($53) for a three-course meal for two people. One cup of cappuccino in a regular coffee shop is around 3.92 CAD ($2.98), while a basic coffee will cost you even less.

Save Some Money in Your Pocket and Opt for a Grocery Store

You’ll have to get your food somewhere when you’re not dining out. Preparing your meals also means that you’ll save a lot of money, definitely more than 200 CAD ($150) monthly. After calculating basic groceries such as veggies, fruits, grains, cheese, and meat, your total grocery bill will be from 50 CAD ($37) to 200 CAD ($150) per month.

An image of vegetables in the grocery store
You can save up a lot if you cook for yourself

How Transportation Affects the Cost of Living in Montreal

Are you interested in finding out more about international car shipping because you’re thinking about hiring overseas vehicle shipping services? Maybe this is not such a good idea. Owning a car can be a real hassle, including costs for insurance, gas, and maintenance. Being stuck in traffic is also an unfortunate everyday scene. But why think about transporting your vehicle when VDM has an excellent metro and bus system that is also pretty affordable. One way ticket is 3.50 CAD ($2.66), while the monthly pass is 86.50 CAD ($65.73). Note that if you’re moving with pets, your beloved animal friends are allowed into buses and metro lines but must be kept inside a closed carrier.

Two parked vehicles near running bus
Getting around the city using public transportation instead of your car is more cost-effective

Is Healthcare Affordable?

Absolutely! Healthcare in VDM is of high quality and affordable to its residents and expats living in the city. You also won’t have to worry about a language barrier since many doctors can speak both English and French. To receive low-cost or free medical care, you’ll have to obtain health insurance. As an expat, you’ll have to register with Régie de L’assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and get your medical insurance card. In addition to this, you’ll need to obtain prescription drug insurance since the universal healthcare system does not cover drugs. You can opt for a private (usually arranged by employer) or public one (though RAMQ).

Doctor holding stethoscope
Universal healthcare is affordable or completely free

Health and Fitness Expenses

VDM is very bikeable, and it’s easy to get your daily workout just by taking your bike anywhere with you. However, a gym can also be found at every corner. There even might be one in your condo building. According to Numbeo, the gym membership fee is 33.27 CAD ($25.08). More affordable gyms might not have all those fancy amenities, but if you’re bothered with that, you won’t have a problem finding a better one. There’s simply no shortage of places for staying in shape.

Two people in the gym exercising
Find the nearest gym and stay in shape

Life During the Night: Budget for Going Out

There are many great things to do in Montreal, and going out is among locals’ favorites. Drink prices may vary significantly and will be more expensive, depending on where you decide to go out. According to Expatistan.com, one cocktail in the downtown club is 13 CAD ($9.88), while one 500 ml beer is 8 CAD ($6.08). Don’t forget the cab bill as well, because you’ll definitely need one during those harsh winter months. On average, a cab ride home will be around 13 CAD ($10), but it will be even more expensive if you live very far away. And count on one late-night meal too, which will be 11 CAD ($9).

People inside a nightclub
Find out how much money you'll need before you go out

Hire the Best International Moving Company to Relocate You Safely to Canada

Finally, we can conclude that the cost of living in Montreal is comparably low. Higher tax rates are probably the only disadvantage, but they are part of the equation. It’s important to note that even a minimum wage job can cover pretty much all your monthly expenses, while those earning more will simply enjoy their life in VDM.

You want to know how to immigrate to Canada? Remember to prepare all documents needed to travel abroad and start a list of what to pack when moving abroad. As soon as you decide to start your international relocation process, you should find reliable international moving services. Relocating during coronavirus is challenging, and that is why you’ll need to find a reputable international Montreal movers. Professionals will offer cost-effective packing services that will include boxes and moving supplies. You can also save some money on relocation expenses by avoiding moving during the holidays. Remember to book clean and climate-controlled storage units if your move-out and move-in day don’t match.

Now that you know how to move to another country, you should look up for some tips on how to move house plants long distance because most moving companies won’t do that for you. Also, while an overseas shipping company is handling your stuff, make sure to learn how to live in another country. True, adjusting to a new country can be difficult in the beginning, but Montrealers are friendly people. We are sure you won’t have any problems making new friendships as soon as you settle in your new home.