You may have read the cost of living in Toronto we shared with you yesterday and been pretty blown away, so reading about the equivalent in Montreal might be less of a shocker because it actually seems…affordable?
If you didn’t catch our post on 20 things you need to know before moving to Montreal, you may have missed the bit about it being ranked one of 50 best cities to live in the World with affordability being a big factor.
With the city always pumping with events, new restaurants, bars and festivals, it’s still a surprise that as much as we indulge in life here, most of us don’t end up completely broke after all is said and done.
Perhaps it’s the harsh winter season that allows us to save a little to fully take advantage of the warm weather when we actually get it, but whatever the reason, Montreal is pretty Young Professional (YP) friendly when it comes to piggy banks.
Here’s how much it will approximately cost you to live in Montreal if you’re not trying to spend above your means.
Thankfully when it comes to getting a decent roof over your head without having to live in the suburbs or in a super sketchy area, Montreal gets major points.
According to Numbeo.com, a website that compares costs of living in global cities (using crowd-sourcing), the average monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal is $912.56. That’s practically free compared to cities like Vancouver where rent averages at $1565.33 or Toronto at $1456.33. According to the site, the average cost of utilities is $107.91/month – not too shabby right?
Overall, to live in a pretty cool neighbourhood with utilities included you’re looking at around $1030.47/month and slap on another $53.09/month for your streaming internet services, if you’re a Netflix addict you can probably increase that cost but overall, it’s all very affordable at around $1073.56/month. (Again, we’re not even going to touch how much your phone could be.)
If you currently live in Montreal, you know what a nightmare the city is right now when it comes to construction and road closures. Basically, to get anywhere, slap on another 20-30 minutes because you will be late. Whichever way you are getting around the city, it won’t be pleasant.
The city has a robust transit system of 197 bus routes, 23 all-night routes, and 4 subway lines with 68 stations called the STM (Société de transport de Montréal). The bus tends to run very often (around every 10 minutes) so at least you don’t have to wait long and the all-nighters are a saviour if you don’t own a car, can’t catch a cab, or have had too many shots of Jamieson. A one-way ticket will set you back $3.25 each way so if you’re a frequent user and take it to and from work, a monthly pass might make more sense at $82.00/month. If you’re mostly cabbing around get ready to pay $3.45 or you know, just call UBERx.
Overall we can assume that many YPs, excluding those of us that keep it green and cycle or walk, are paying around $110/month when all is said and done.
While some of us may be splurging on organic food without blinking an eye, most of us shop at local supermarkets and try to keep it as thrifty as possible. After evaluating our own expenditures here when it comes to groceries and other YPs that we know, it seems that around $380.00/month is being spent on feeding ourselves, so $95/week.
Entertainment and Dining Out
Everyone knows Montreal is a foodie city and if you didn’t, read up on it all here. According to Numbeo.com, the average price of a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is, on average, $60.00 unless you’re dining out at coveted places like Joe Beef where it’ll be much more than that. Add booze to the equation and you’re easily looking at over $100.00 to wine and dine at the trendier spots around town.
So if we’re going to assume that you eat at VERY well priced spots once a week (because Montrealer’s love to go out), you’re looking at dishing out a minimum of $240/month.
Gone are the good old days of cheap drinks. On a typical night out, it’s pretty normal we empty our pockets more than we expect on shots, cocktails, and beer. Thankfully, on average, drink prices are still pretty reasonable at clubs and bars with beer costing between $4-7 and mixed drinks running from $7-10. Now that’s not taking into account the fancier places around town where drinks can go as high as $16-18.
Let’s just assume as a real Montrealer you go out twice a week (8 x per month) and have an average of three drinks each time. You’re looking at spending around $112/month if you’re low maintenance or have a friend that works as a bartender (big bonus – seriously, look into this).
Health and Fitness
Have a gym in your condo building? Well, you’re lucky. For those of us who aren’t as blessed, buying gym memberships or classes is the next best option because with all the poutine being eaten around here, staying in shape is key.
According to Numbeo.com, the average cost of a gym membership in Montreal is $48.41. Shocked? Don’t be, there actually are gym’s around town that are very affordable but may not come with any fancy amenities – those will set you back much more.
To sum it all up, here’s what you’re spending on living expenses:
Dining Out: $240.00
Health and Fitness: $48.41
So, assuming you’re paying your standard Quebec taxes, you need to make a minimum of $30K a year to have anything at all left in your chequing account.
Montreal can be a very affordable city in so many ways but don’t forget that our list does not including shopping sprees, grooming, debts you may have, late-night poutine binges, car payments, clothes, and so on (and so on).
But overall, Montreal is quite a YP-budget friendly city and compared to our counterparts in Vancouver and Toronto, we have it pretty damn good.