Cost of Living in Montreal

The cost of living in Montreal is lower than in other cities in Canada, such as Vancouver and Toronto. Montreal came 139th out of 209 cities in Mercer's 2019 Cost of Living Survey, making it the third most expensive Canadian city.

Montreal has the second largest economy in Canada and the primary industries are commerce, finance, technology and culture. Although Montreal is inexpensive in a Canadian context, the cost of living is still quite high compared to certain cities in the US and Asia. 

A downside to the low cost of living in Montreal is that often salaries are slightly lower than in the rest of Canada, but this often depends on the industry in which one works. Successful industries are gaming, aerospace and film.

Cost of accommodation in Montreal 

Many expats who move to Montreal find that accommodation is affordable and readily available. Montreal does not suffer from the affordable housing shortage that other Canadian cities like Calgary and Vancouver do. 

Cost of food in Montreal

Both groceries and eating out are relatively affordable in Montreal. Expats should be able to find a variety of restaurants serving food from every country, and there is something to suit any budget. However, expats will find that alcohol and tobacco are expensive. 

Cost of transport in Montreal

Montreal has an effective and inexpensive public transport system. Expats can purchase an OPUS Card and top it up with credit. 

Cost of schooling in Montreal

Public education in Montreal is free for residents, but unless expats’ children are fluent in French, public school isn't really an option. English public schools are available but children have to meet various requirements in order to be admitted, for example, they must have one parent who was educated in English in the Quebec province. 

Many expats will opt to send their children to private schools or to an international school that corresponds with their home country’s curriculum. Both of these options, however, are very expensive. 

Cost of living in Montreal chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for March 2020.

Accommodation (monthly)


One-bedroom apartment in city centre

CAD 1,300

One-bedroom apartment outside of centre

CAD 850 

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

CAD 2,300 

Three-bedroom apartment outside of centre

CAD 1,400 



Dozen eggs

CAD 3.30

Milk (1 litre) 

CAD 2,20 

Rice (1kg) 

CAD 3.15 

Loaf of white bread 


Chicken breasts (1kg) 

CAD 15.40 

Pack of cigarettes 

CAD 12 

Eating out


Big Mac meal 

CAD 10.50

Coca Cola (330ml)

CAD 2.20



Bottle of local beer


Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant 

CAD 65 



Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute) 

CAD 0.33 

Internet (Uncapped ADSL or Cable – average per month) 

CAD 64

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment) 

CAD 100



Taxi rate/km 

1.75 CAD

City centre bus fare/train fare 

3.50 CAD

Petrol/gasoline (per litre) 

1.30 CAD

Expat Health Insurance


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