If you’re looking for a multicultural, charmingly hip, and lively city to call home, well, welcome to Montréal! This place has so many parks and green spaces to explore, restaurants to try, and landmarks to hit up that you might want to start packing your bags now. Take a stroll through picturesque neighbourhoods and catch a show at the many performing arts centers. But, before you get there, let’s give you the basics about this Canadian gem in our moving guide to Montréal.
Cost of Living in Montréal
Here are some facts and figures about the average cost of living to keep in mind before moving to Montréal.
- Rent: the average cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,310 and $1,620 for a 2-bedroom. These rates make Montréal the 5th most expensive city to rent in Canada.
- Transportation: Montréal residents spend an average of 18.1% of their income on monthly transit passes. We’ll go into more detail on transportation options later.
- Food costs: residents in Quebec spend 16.2% of their household budget on food, well higher than the national average of 14.3%.
- Taxes: sales tax in Montréal is 9.975%.
- Utilities: the average cost of utilities in Toronto is around $119.
- Internet: internet services range from $25-$100. Below are some of the largest providers in the Montréal area.
This place isn’t for the faint of heart. Montréal experiences all four seasons, and winter months see average temperatures dip below -6 degrees C. Its average snowfall hovers around 203 cm, but winter months also see lots of rainfall. Luckily, summer and late spring are pleasant, with average temperatures in the 20s.
Of course, living in certain parts of the city can alter your cost of living, so here are a few popular Montréal neighbourhoods.
- Little Italy: There might not be a more charming neighbourhood in all of Montréal than Little Italy. This hood is a diverse mix of old-timers, pizzerias, and plenty of green space. Head to the Jean-Talon Market for your fresh produce, cheeses, and catch-of-the-day seafood; it’s a local favourite.
- Mile End: Think the Brooklyn of Montréal. Mile End is packed with locally-owned bagel and coffee shops, boutique stores, and cocktail bars, giving locals plenty to do. This hip and artsy neighbourhood has multicultural roots and its entrepreneurial spirit draws an eclectic mix of people to its streets.
- Quartier des Spectacles: In Montréal’s entertainment district, you’ll find everything from comedy clubs and performing arts theaters to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Montréal. It’s where Montréal goes out for a night on the town.
- Le Plateau-Mont-Royal: Sandwiched between Little Italy and Gay Village, the Plateau gives locals a taste of everything. It offers easy access to Mont Royal, is home to Schwartz’s Deli–famous for its smoked meat sandwiches–and boasts hip bars and eateries along Mont Royal Avenue.
Montréal’s massive green space, Mount Royal Park, was designed by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Affectionately referred to as the city’s backyard, the park offers impeccable views of the city during both the day and night and provides ample space for biking, strolling, relaxing, and exploring. In the winter months, Mount Royal also gives locals a place to cross-country ski and ice skate. Montréal also boasts a collection–more than 50 pieces, in fact–of outdoor art sculptures. The Musée plein air de Lachine is the largest open air museum in Canada; spend a day checking out all the artwork by foot or bike. Spend a day and night out in Gay Village, Montréal’s LGBT-friendly neighbourhood. It’s North America’s largest gay village and its vibrant energy is contagious.
Montréal has an expansive public transit system, and it’s fairly easy and inexpensive to use. The la Société de transport de Montréal, or the STM, is a bus and train system that covers most of the city. A single ride will run you about $3.75.
How to Get to Montréal
The first thing to know about Montréal is that it’s an island. There are plenty of ways to get here, though. Route 112, Route 134, Autoroute 20, Route 138, QC 335, and many more options will get you onto the island from the surrounding areas. If you’re flying, Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is conveniently located on the island. Bus 747 Express runs directly from downtown Montréal to the airport, and Ubers are now permitted to drop off and pick up passengers.
Relocating to Montréal from Toronto
From nearby Montréal, driving might be the easiest way to move. Head east on ON-401 and it’ll take you to your new city in just under 6 hours.
Relocating to Montréal from Vancouver
You’ll want to hop on a plane for this move. A road trip from Vancouver to Montréal would take you about 48 hours, so a flight out of Vancouver International Airport and into Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is your most efficient option.
Tips for Moving to Montréal
- Do: make a trip to Basilique Notre-Dame in Old Montréal. The basilica dates back to 1824 and its Gothic revival architecture alone is worth the visit.
- Don’t: miss out on the chance to see tennis pros compete for the Rogers Cup. This annual event takes place the first week of August, so be sure to grab your tickets early.
- Do: check out the Gardens of Light at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Immerse yourself in this Chinese tradition and take in the beautiful, glittering lanterns that light up the garden.
- Don’t: forget your bike! Montréal is super bike-friendly. It even hosts the Montréal Go Vélo Festival in May and June every year where locals go on bike tours of the city, night rides, and more.
Montréal is truly a city filled with locals who enjoy life, and it’s easy to see why. From pizzerias and bike-friendly streets to massive city parks and hipster neighbourhoods, residents here have it all. Make sure you find the perfect Montréal apartment and, once you’re settled in, get excited to explore your new city.