The cost of living in Montreal is lower than in the likes of Vancouver and Toronto but higher than in Calgary and Ottawa. Montreal placed 118th out of 226 cities surveyed in Mercer's 2024 Cost of Living Survey, making it the third most expensive Canadian city.

While the cost of living in Montreal is reasonable, earnings in the city are also slightly lower than in the rest of Canada, but this varies across different sectors.

Cost of accommodation in Montreal 

Many expats who move to Montreal find the city's accommodation affordable. Although demand is slowly rising, the housing market is also much less competitive than in Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto, so expats should have little problem finding their ideal home.

Utilities, which can add up during the Canadian winter months, are another consideration for expats, as they are typically not included in rental agreements in the city. Those looking to stretch their earnings should consider living outside the city centre, as housing prices in these areas and suburbs are usually cooler.

Cost of transport in Montreal

Montreal has an effective and inexpensive public transport system. To save even more, regular commuters can purchase and top up an OPUS smart card to access major public transport in and around Greater Montreal and Quebec City.

Cost of groceries in Montreal

Gourmands looking to explore the culinary scene in Montreal will be delighted to find that groceries and eating out are both relatively affordable. Expats will find a great variety of restaurants, with something to suit any budget and palate. However, newcomers should note that alcohol and tobacco are expensive.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Montreal

Expats moving to Montreal are in for a treat when it comes to entertainment, eating out and lifestyle opportunities. Bars and clubs in Montreal stay open much later than anywhere else in Canada, so revellers who are always ready for a night out on the town will have no problem finding a spot. That said, expats should budget carefully, as it can get fairly pricey. 

Foodies will find everything from classic French cuisine to upscale bistros and quirky sandwich shops, while arts and culture lovers will also find events and performances to suit every budget. Finally, Montreal also has plenty of free or low-cost outdoor activities for nature and sports enthusiasts. 

Cost of healthcare in Montreal

The healthcare in Montreal is subsided, and most expats living in the city will be eligible for coverage. Quebec requires its residents to take out health insurance to cover their prescription medication, and expats can choose between a public or private policy, with the former being the most affordable option. 

Cost of education and schooling in Montreal

Public schools in Montreal are free for residents, but most are French-speaking, which may be a barrier for English-speaking students. English public schools are also available, but admission requirements can be strict.

As such, many expats opt to send their children to private or international schools that teach their home country's curriculum. While the facilities and teaching standards at these schools are usually superb, both options are pricey.

Cost of living in Montreal chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for July 2024.
Accommodation (monthly) 
One-bedroom apartment in city centreCAD 1,700
One-bedroom apartment outside of centreCAD 1,300
Three-bedroom apartment in city centreCAD 3,000
Three-bedroom apartment outside of centreCAD 2,200
Milk (1 litre)CAD 3
Loaf of white breadCAD 4.40
Chicken breasts (1kg)CAD 18
 Rice (1kg)CAD 4.70
Dozen eggsCAD 4.80
Pack of cigarettesCAD 16
Eating out 
Big Mac Meal CAD 15
Coca-Cola (330ml)CAD 2.90
Cappuccino CAD 5.30
Bottle of local beerCAD 9
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant CAD 120
Mobile phone monthly plan with dataCAD 55
Internet (Uncapped ADSL or Cable – average per month) CAD 62
Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment) CAD 112
Taxi rate/km CAD 2
City centre bus fare/train fare CAD 3.80
Petrol/gasoline (per litre) CAD 1.75

Expat Health Insurance

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