Are you planning to move to America's largest French-speaking city and wondering about the cost of living in Montreal? Perfect! You've come to the right place.
What if we told you that Montreal is THE city for professional and personal opportunities? Indeed, Montreal is recognized as a major player in the field of information and communication technologies. The scale of the digital industry is such that some Montreal companies are experiencing a shortage of computer scientists and developers; a godsend for finding your future job... well, "your future job", as we say here 😉
Example of a cost of living analysis in Montreal
Moving to Montreal to seize a professional opportunity is great, but increasing your purchasing power is even better! That's because the average salary for a developer with five years' experience is around $85,000 CA gross per year. The same applies to more junior profiles: salaries are undeniably more attractive in Montreal than in France for Tech profiles.
Let's take a look at how much it can cost to live in Montreal as a newcomer (you will find at the end of this article an example of a concrete budget for daily life as an expatriate in Montreal).
Have a drink
Telephone and internet
Although the price of housing varies greatly depending on the neighborhood and the floor space, Montreal remains a relatively low-cost city compared to the rest of the country's major cities. If you move outside the downtown core, you can easily find a decent apartment or condo for between $1,200 and $1,600 a month (for a 3 ½in France, a one-bedroom apartment). Downtown rents will be between 1600 $-1800 $. You'll need to add about $30 $ per month for minimum home insurance coverage.
ℹ️ Note that there is no habitation tax for tenants in Montreal.
If you want to get an idea of what's available, don't hesitate to take a look at Canada's leading classifieds site: Kijiji as well as Centris Facebook's Marketplace platform is also widely used in Montreal. You'll also find a number of offers for roommates. As of March 2023, the average cost of home ownership in Montreal was approximately $535,000 . Here's a few tips for finding your future apartment in Montreal and choosing your future neighborhood.
Water is free in Quebec! For electricity, count on average $50 for a 3 ½. It all depends of course on your electricity consumption and the insulation of your apartment... In winter, the bill may increase a little 😉
ℹ️ Please note that for some apartments, electricity is included in the rent.
Telephone and internet
Unfortunately, cell phone packages are more expensive in Quebec than in France. The same applies to Internet and cable TV packages.
A word of advice: plan on spending around $60 a month for WiFi and a decent bit-rate. This amount can sometimes be included in the rent, depending on the landlord!
Cell phone prices vary widely. You can find packages around $60 for a smartphone at Fizz , with unlimited calls and data.
The Maplrs' trick:
Koodomobile or Fizz offer great prices (sometimes even under $50) for a mobile plan with over 10G0 of data!
The average monthly cost of food for one person is estimated at between $350 and $550.
And don't forget to allow yourself a period of adjustment. If you're looking for brands you're used to buying in Europe, don't forget that these are exported products, and therefore more expensive than North American brands.
To find products at unbeatable prices, don't hesitate to shop far from the city center. Local markets and grocery stores offer products at very attractive prices. Would you like to save money while fighting food waste? Many Montreal merchants use applications such as FoodHero or Too Good to Go to sell their unsold products at reduced prices.
Enough to lower the cost of your average basket!
When it comes to buying your own clothes, you'll find what you're looking for in outlets selling brand-name items on sale, and in Montreal's many thrift stores.
The Maplrs' trick:
For your shopping, check out Costco for discounts on bulk purchases!
Living in Montreal also means being able to enjoy many activities! In summer as well as in winter, the city often offers free activities for children and adults. Here are a few examples of prices for the most "classic" activities:
Count $14. 50 for a regular ticket. On Tuesday evenings, at some of the city's Cineplex theaters, it's half price at $7.25.
For a two-course meal (starter with main course or main course with dessert, non-alcoholic) in an "à la carte" restaurant, you can expect to pay around $50 per person. Don't forget to add taxes (15%) and tip (in Quebec, the norm is 15%). For a gourmet restaurant with a three-course meal, the bill will be closer to $100.
☝️ Tip from the Maplr team: don't hesitate to try a "bring your own wine" restaurant, a popular formula in Quebec, to save money on your drinks!
As far as fast food is concerned, the average cost is between $10 and $15 for a trio or a good poutine!
A gym membership costs around $50/month, depending on the type of membership. It's also worth noting that in Montreal, some apartments have a gym right in the building, and it's free for tenants to use!
Have a drink
A beer in a pub
Montreal is renowned for its many microbreweries and pubs. The price of a beer will vary according to its origin and size (a glass v.s. a pint). It's also cheaper during the famous "happy hour " for your 5@7 with colleagues. Prices range from $6 to $10 (without tip).
A drink with friends
You're invited to a colleague's home for a dinner ? As a good guest, don't forget to stop by the SAQ (Société des Alcools du Québec) to buy a nice bottle of wine! It will cost you between $14 and $18. More of a beer fan? You'll be looking at $18 for a six-pack.
A coffee in a restaurant
A coffee in a restaurant or neighborhood café will cost you between $3 and $6 depending on whether you're more of a "filter" or cappuccino type (it's cheaper at Tim Hortons 😉 ).
In Montreal, a monthly public transit pass (OPUS card) costs $94. This gives you unlimited use of the metro and bus. A single fare is $3.50. For more information, visit the STM (Société de transport de Montréal) website for a complete schedule of fares.
In Quebec, the equivalent of Social Security is the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ). Depending on your work permit, you may be eligible for RAMQ and basic medical expenses will be covered. Please note thats in France, some medical care is not covered by the RAMQ (dental care, eye care, etc.), but rather by your group insurance, the equivalent of the mutual insurance company in France.
The vast majority of Quebec employers offer group insurance (mutual insurance). If this is not the case, you can always subscribe to a basic private insurance.
Cost of living in Montreal: example of monthly budget for an expatriate
Below is an example of a budget for an expatriate in Montreal:
|Apartment 3 ½ in downtown||1 700$|
|Home insurance||30 $|
|Opus Card||94 $|
|5 pints per week||160 $|
|1 "traditional" restaurant per month||50 $|
|1 Fast food per week||48 $|
|1 Restaurant with friends||90 $|
|2 Evenings with friends||32 $|
|2 cinemas per month||29 $|
Some coffee (and donuts 😉 at Tim Hortons)
|TOTAL EXCL.||1033 $|
|TOTAL with taxes (approx. 15%)||1187, 95 $|
Monthly total (recurring expenses and daily living)
A very attractive cost of living in Montreal
With this example, an approximate monthly budget is $3088. A developer with 5 years' experience will earn a gross salary of approximately $85,000 annually, a gross income of about $7,083 per month. Once taxes have been deducted at source, the net monthly income is therefore approximately $4,781.
That's why the cost of living in Montreal is so attractive! We'll tell you all about it in this article.
Here's also an interesting site for examples of other expenses in Montreal.
Check out our other blog posts to help you prepare for your move to Montreal!
What is the salary of a computer developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada?
When it comes to the cost of living, it's interesting to compare it to the salary you could expect. Discover our complete study on salaries for computer developers in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.