Why Montréal, Quebec is an affordable and exciting city for newcomers
By Alaana Kumar
Posted on December 6, 2021
Montréal, Que. is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. Travellers from all over the world come to the city to witness the beautiful architecture, experience the delicious food, and attend the annual music festivals. Similarly, local Montrealers hold the city close to their hearts all-year-round. From culture to affordability, here are a few reasons why Montréal might just be the city for you!
While the official language of Quebec is French, the city of Montréal is bilingual. This means you can move to Montréal knowing just English or French—and you’ll have the opportunity to learn the other! Additionally, Montréal has entertainment in various forms, including music, heritage and architecture, theater, and comedy.
Each year, the city hosts hundreds of festivals and public events, including the summer Jazz Festival and Osheaga Music Festival. These events draw crowds from all over the world, highlighting the city’s cultural institutions and creative individuals. Montréal also has a thriving art scene with art shows, galleries, and street murals constantly evolving.
Recently, the Centre d’art daphne opened in downtown Montréal, the city’s first Indigenous artist-run art centre. Along with the various entertainment opportunities, the city is also filled with historical sites, museums, cathedrals, and numerous neighbourhoods to explore.
Living in Montréal is sure to captivate you with its history and learning opportunities, connecting you with lots of interesting individuals from all walks of life.
Whether you’re looking for a nice restaurant to dine out with your partner, a bar to grab drinks with friends, or a rave to dance your heart out, the city has it all. Living in Montréal, you might adopt the “work hard, play hard” mentality given the numerous cafes to visit during the day, and vibrant restaurants and clubs to frequent at night. These bars and clubs are allowed to stay open until 3 a.m., so if you’re a night owl, you’ll surely find something to do!
Comprehensive public transport
If you’re opposed to sitting in traffic, long commutes, or driving in general, Montréal public transportation is an ideal solution. The city’s transit system, called the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), includes the metro and bus systems.
These services operate daily from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., and even later on the weekends, with several night buses running after metro hours. There are four lines that make up the Montreal metro system, and 68 stations to get on and off the train, with each station containing its own history and architecture.
A single fare on both the metro and the bus costs $3.25, a one-day pass costs $10, weekend passes (from Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 5 a.m.) cost $13, and a weekly regular pass costs $25.50. Children under the age of 5 can travel for free year-round. Other package options include an unlimited evening pass, a three-day pass, and a 10-trip pass to be used sporadically throughout the year.
Living in major cities often comes with high living expenses. However, Montréal is the exception to this rule. Housing in the city is much cheaper than in other major Canadian cities, like Vancouver and Toronto.
If you’re looking to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, the average rent starts at about $2,120 per month. A similar room in Toronto would start at just under $2,000. In Montréal, however, the average rate of rent for a one-bedroom is around $1,230. If you’re interested in buying property, buying a house in Montréal costs around $300,000 less than a house in Toronto, and $500,000 less than buying a house in Vancouver. With this lower cost of living, you’ll have more savings to spend on Montréal events, eateries, and nightlife!