The cost of living in Montreal is lower than in the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto, but higher than in Calgary and Ottawa. Montreal came 137th out of 209 cities in Mercer's 2020 Cost of Living Survey, making it the third most expensive Canadian city.

Montreal has the second largest economy in Canada and the primary industries include commerce, finance, technology and culture. Although Montreal is fairly 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 salaries are slightly lower than in the rest of Canada, but this often depends on the industry in which one works. Successful industries include 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 such as 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. For all major public transport in and around Greater Montreal and Quebec City, expats can purchase an OPUS smart 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 must meet various requirements to be admitted.

As such, many expats 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 hugely expensive. 

Cost of living in Montreal chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for January 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)


One-bedroom apartment in city centre

CAD 1,000 - 1,400

One-bedroom apartment outside of centre

CAD 700 - 900

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

CAD 2,000 - 2,400

Three-bedroom apartment outside of centre

CAD 1,200 - 1,500



Dozen eggs

CAD 3.35

Milk (1 litre) 

CAD 2.50

Rice (1kg) 


Loaf of white bread 

CAD 3.50

Chicken breasts (1kg) 

CAD 14.40 

Pack of cigarettes 

CAD 12.75

Eating out


Big Mac meal 

CAD 12

Coca Cola (330ml)



CAD 3.85

Bottle of local beer

CAD 6.75

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

CAD 70



Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute) 

CAD 0.35

Internet (Uncapped ADSL or Cable – average per month) 

CAD 65

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) 

1.20 CAD