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 147th out of 209 cities in Mercer's 2018 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 is not 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 August 2018.



One-bedroom apartment in city centre

1,200 CAD

One-bedroom apartment outside of centre

1,000 CAD

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

1,800 CAD

Three-bedroom apartment outside of centre

1,450 CAD



Dozen eggs

3.30 CAD

Milk (1 litre) 

2,20 CAD

Rice (1kg) 

3.15 CAD

Loaf of white bread 

3.20 CAD

Chicken breasts (1kg) 

13.45 CAD

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) 

11 CAD

Eating out


Big Mac meal 

9.50 CAD

Coca Cola (330ml)



3.70 CAD

Bottle of local beer


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

65 CAD



Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute) 

0.33 CAD

Internet (Uncapped ADSL or Cable – average per month) 

57 CAD

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment) 

90 CAD



Taxi rate/km 

1.70 CAD

City centre bus fare/train fare 

3.25 CAD

Petrol/gasoline (per litre) 

1.16 CAD