Get a Quote

Is Moving to Montreal Right for You? Complete Guide

Moving to Montreal can be an exciting and rewarding experience for those seeking a vibrant and culturally diverse city to call home. As Canada's second-most populous city, Montreal offers a unique blend of history, architecture, and a thriving arts scene, making it an ideal destination for expats and newcomers alike. With a more affordable cost of living compared to other major Canadian cities, Montreal attracts individuals from all walks of life, eager to immerse themselves in its rich culture and opportunities.

The decision to relocate to Montreal comes with several factors to consider, such as language, climate, and job opportunities. As the largest city in Quebec, Montreal is predominantly French-speaking, with a strong influence of bilingualism and a distinct contrast from its English-speaking Canadian counterparts. The weather in Montreal is marked by cold winters and hot, humid summers, requiring adequate preparation and adaptation. Meanwhile, the city has a growing job market, allowing for potential employment opportunities in various industries.

Montreal Movers

Why Move to Montreal

Montreal, located in the province of Quebec, is Canada's second-largest city and boasts a unique blend of North American and European cultures. As a predominantly French-speaking city, it offers a taste of European flair while still providing the comforts and conveniences of modern living. This section will focus on key aspects that make Montreal an appealing choice for potential movers.

One of the main attractions of Montreal is its affordability. Unlike many other metropolitan cities in North America, the cost of living in Montreal is relatively low. This is particularly evident in housing options, with renters finding cheaper apartments compared to those in other Canadian cities. For example, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Montreal is about $960.

Montreal's multicultural environment is another reason to consider making the move. The city is made up of a diverse community, including a blend of Canadian and European cultures. As a result, residents enjoy a rich cultural experience while living in the city. This includes exposure to a wide range of art, music, and culinary experiences, and the opportunity to participate in numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

The city's European influence is further enhanced by its status as a primarily French-speaking city, providing residents with a unique linguistic environment to immerse themselves in. Learning and speaking French in Montreal not only bolsters one's language skills, but also helps facilitate communication with locals and integration into the community.

Montreal's bustling lifestyle offers residents plenty to do and explore. From its vibrant arts and music scenes to its numerous green spaces and parks, the city ensures there is always something happening or to discover. Additionally, Montreal is known for its year-long festivities, which cater to a variety of interests and provide ample opportunities for socializing and building connections.

Moving to Montreal presents an opportunity to experience a unique and exciting lifestyle. With its affordable cost of living, multicultural environment, French-speaking community, and European flair, the city offers a refreshing blend of North American and European elements that make it an attractive destination for many.

Cost of Living

When planning a move to Montreal, consider the cost of living in the city. Montreal's cost of living is generally more affordable compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Rent is one of the significant factors contributing to the cost of living, and Montreal offers relatively lower rent prices. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center would cost around C$1,300 to C$1,500 per month, while a similar apartment outside the city center would be around C$800 to C$1,000 per month. These prices are favorable when compared to other cities like Toronto, where rent prices can be significantly higher.

In addition to rent, transportation costs should be considered. One-way tickets for local transport cost about C$3.50, and a monthly pass costs C$87.25. Taxi rates are reasonable, with a normal tariff of about C$1.70 per mile and a waiting charge of approximately C$40.00 per hour.

Here is a comparison of Montreal's average costs with Toronto and Vancouver:

ExpenseMontrealToronto/th> Vancouver
Rent (1-bedroom, city center)C$1,300 - C$1,500C$2,000 - C$2,500C$2,100 - C$2,600
Rent (1-bedroom, outside city center)C$800 - C$1,000C$1,300 - C$1,600C$1,500 - C$2,000
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)C$3.50C$3.25C$2.50
Monthly Pass (Regular)C$87.25C$156.00C$98.00

When moving to Montreal, it is crucial to create a budget and find accommodations suitable for one's needs. Given the city's lower cost of living, especially when it comes to rent prices, Montreal offers a more affordable option for individuals and families compared to cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Neighbourhoods and Housing

Montreal is a diverse city with a variety of neighbourhoods that cater to different lifestyles and preferences. When moving to Montreal, choosing the right neighbourhood can have a significant impact on your experience living in the city.

Downtown Montreal, also known as Ville Marie, is the central business district and main commercial area. It offers convenient access to public transportation and a bustling urban atmosphere. With a mix of high-rise apartment buildings and condos, housing options here could suit those who prefer a lively city vibe.

Old Montreal, adjacent to Ville Marie, is a picturesque historic neighborhood known for its cobblestone streets and stunning architecture. Housing in Old Montreal mainly consists of renovated loft spaces and luxury apartments, perfect for those who appreciate a blend of old-world charm and modern amenities.

The Plateau, or Plateau Mont-Royal, is a popular neighborhood located northeast of downtown. Known for its artistic community, boutique shops, and BYOB restaurants, this area attracts creative types and young professionals. The median home price in The Plateau is around $899,840, offering a mix of single-family homes, duplexes, and condos.

Outremont is an upscale residential area that features a mix of grand homes and high-end apartments. With beautiful parks, trendy cafes, and top-notch schools, it is an ideal choice for families or individuals seeking a more prestigious address and higher quality of life.

La Petite-Patrie is an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its affordability and accessibility via public transit. Offering a mix of residential and commercial properties, La Petite-Patrie has a dynamic, multicultural vibe perfect for first-time homebuyers and young professionals.

Griffintown is a rapidly developing area southwest of downtown Montreal. Known for its revitalized industrial architecture, Griffintown is becoming increasingly popular among young professionals due to its modern condo developments and proximity to the city center.

When choosing a neighborhood in Montreal, consider factors such as proximity to public transport, overall ambiance, and housing type to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and budget. No matter which area you choose, Montreal's diverse and vibrant neighborhoods offer a wide array of options to suit your needs.

Language and Culture

Montreal is a culturally rich city, with its unique blend of French and English heritage. The official language spoken in the city is French, making it the only region in Canada where French is the sole official language. Nevertheless, Montreal is also home to a large number of bilingual residents, and English is widely spoken and understood throughout the city.

This historic city is characterized by its cobblestone streets, elegant architecture, and thriving arts scene. Montreal boasts a diverse population and a strong focus on arts and music. The city's cultural landscape is strewn with world-class theaters, galleries, and all types of venues that host musical performances ranging from jazz to rock music. In fact, several well-known artists, including Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire, have once called Montreal their home.

Throughout the year, Montreal comes alive with numerous festivals celebrating different aspects of its culture. Major events like the Just for Laughs comedy festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Montreal World Film Festival, draw artists and visitors from around the globe, adding to the city's diverse atmosphere.

For those moving to Montreal, it's important to be aware of the strong French culture that permeates the city. Speaking French is encouraged and can open up more opportunities, both professionally and socially. Learning the French language can help new residents feel more comfortable and connected to Montreal's unique, vibrant culture. By immersing oneself in the city's bilingual and artistic milieu, one can quickly feel at home in Montreal.

Employment and Economy

Montreal's economy is one of the largest in Canada, with a strong job market across various industries. Over the next decade, it is estimated that more than a million job opportunities will emerge in sectors such as information technology (IT), healthcare, education, and engineering. This growth in employment has been supported by Montreal's focus on commerce, finance, industrial work, technology, culture, and world affairs.

The city has experienced outstanding economic growth in recent years, and in 2018, Montreal saw the highest economic growth in Canada. As a result, Quebec's unemployment rate has significantly dropped, with nearly 1.4 million jobs expected to be available between now and 2026.

Montreal is known for its flourishing software and IT sectors, attracting professionals from around the world. The presence of highly respected institutions like McGill University contributes to the city's strong reputation for research and development. This, in turn, has led to the emergence of world-renowned companies and highly skilled labor force.

Montreal's diverse economy and booming employment opportunities make it an attractive destination for professionals looking to relocate. The city's standing in the global market, coupled with its commitment to fostering a highly skilled workforce, indicates a promising future for the city's economy.


Montreal is a vibrant city that offers a diverse and well-structured education system. From preschool to university, residents have access to high-quality education options. The Quebec education system comprises four distinct levels of study, designed to foster the growth and development of children and young adults.

Preschool education is optional in Quebec and is intended for children aged 4-5 years old. Known as kindergarten or "maternelle" in Quebec, this level provides a solid foundation for children's social and cognitive development before they enter elementary school.

The compulsory education in Montreal covers both elementary and high school and is designed for students aged 6-16 years old. Public schools offer excellent education, and parents' primary concern when relocating to Montreal is navigating the Quebec education system and understanding the province's Charter of the French Language and Eligibility Laws.

It is important to note that high school in Montreal goes up to grade 11 instead of grade 12, as in the general Canadian education system. Students who wish to continue to university level must complete grades 12 and 13 in post-secondary college. Options for these years of study include career-oriented programs or pre-university programs preparing students for university academics.

Montreal is home to renowned universities that attract students from around the world. One of the most prestigious institutions is Concordia University. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields such as arts, science, engineering, and business. Other prominent higher education institutions in Montreal include McGill University and Université de Montréal. These universities contribute to the high quality of education and shape the city as an academic hub.

Montreal's education system offers comprehensive and diverse options to suit the needs of locals and newcomers alike. From preschool to university, students can benefit from the excellent educational opportunities available in the city.


Montreal offers a well-developed and efficient public transport system, which provides a convenient way to navigate the city. The public transit system is comprised of buses, a subway network known as the Montreal Metro, and nearby train services.

The Montreal Metro is renowned for its cleanliness, rapidity, and ease of use. It operates four lines that cover a vast area of the island city. The Metro is an essential part of Montreal's transportation network, serving not only residents but also tourists and commuters.

In addition to the Metro, Montreal has a comprehensive bus network with 185 different lines. These buses connect various parts of the city and are intended to work in tandem with the Metro, providing optimal coverage for residents and visitors.

For those living in the suburbs or needing to travel outside of Montreal, the Exo train system offers suburban rail service. Exo connects Montreal with the surrounding areas, making it easier for residents to commute to work or travel to nearby cities.

Montreal's public transport system is operated mainly by Société de transport de Montréal (STM), which collaborates with other regional transit authorities such as Société de transport de Laval (STL) and Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) to provide seamless transportation options.

Montreal's public transport system is an efficient, reliable, and affordable way to navigate the city. Whether you need to commute to work, travel to different neighborhoods, or explore the city's attractions, the Metro, buses, and Exo rail service have you covered.

Climate and Weather

Montreal has a semi-continental climate, characterized by warm, humid summers and bitterly cold winters. The city experiences a wide range of temperatures throughout the year, making it essential for newcomers to be prepared for diverse weather conditions.

During the summer months, Montreal's weather can be quite pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 68°F to 80°F (20°C to 27°C). Heatwaves sometimes occur, leading to higher temperatures and humidity levels. Nevertheless, Montreal's summers, overall, offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, picnicking, or visiting Mount Royal Park, the city's largest green space.

In contrast, the winter months in Montreal can be harsh, with temperatures often dropping to -4°F (-20°C) or even lower when factoring in the wind chill. Heavy snowfall is common, and the city is well-equipped to handle snow removal and upkeep of roads and sidewalks. Expats moving to Montreal should invest in high-quality winter clothing, including warm coats, gloves, and boots to combat these freezing conditions.

The temperature variations between seasons make for beautiful spring and fall transitions. Spring brings new blooms and milder temperatures, while fall showcases vibrant foliage across the city, particularly around Mount Royal. These seasons can also be somewhat unpredictable, with occasional rain or snowfall, but they offer a charming balance between the extremes of summer and winter.

Moving to Montreal requires adaptability to the city's climate and weather conditions. While it may be challenging to adjust to the harsh winters, the beauty and charm of the city's different seasons make it an enjoyable and dynamic place to live.

Leisure and Entertainment

Montreal is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, offering a diverse range of bars, clubs, and live music venues to suit various tastes. From student bars to jazz clubs and European-style nightclubs, there's always something happening after dark in this lively city. For those looking to explore the local culture, Montreal boasts an impressive number of museums, theaters, and art galleries showcasing the city's rich history and artistic talent.

The city is also home to an abundance of green spaces, providing residents and visitors with a serene respite from the urban buzz. Parks such as Mount Royal Park and Parc La Fontaine offer picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities throughout the year. Montreal is also within close proximity to Ottawa, Canada's capital city, making it easy for Montrealers to access the national museums and cultural institutions located there.

Sports enthusiasts can indulge in their passion in Montreal, as the city has a strong sports culture, particularly when it comes to hockey. Ice hockey is practically a religion in Montreal, and the city's professional team, the Montreal Canadiens, have a passionate and dedicated fanbase. In addition to hockey, there are various opportunities in the city for recreational sports, including cycling, skating, and even activities like dragon boat racing.

Montreal's gastronomic scene is one of the city's highlights, with a diverse range of restaurants featuring both local and international cuisine. One can't mention Montreal's food scene without talking about poutine, the city's beloved culinary creation consisting of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. From fine dining establishments to cozy neighborhood eateries, Montreal's food scene caters to all palates and preferences.

Montreal offers a rich selection of leisure and entertainment options, effortlessly blending nightlife, culture, sports, and gastronomy. This makes it an attractive destination for those considering a move and provides an exceptionally high quality of life for its residents.

Tips for Moving to Montreal

When considering a move to Montreal, being prepared with the right tips can make the process smoother and more enjoyable. In this section, we will provide some essential tips to help ease your transition to this vibrant city.

Montreal is well-known for its friendly residents, making it easier for newcomers to feel at home. However, it's important to keep in mind that French is the primary language spoken in the city. Even though many residents speak English as well, it's a good idea to learn at least some basic French phrases. This will not only help you communicate with the locals but also make you feel more integrated into the community.

Before moving to Montreal, it's crucial to research and secure the appropriate visa or immigration status. There are different types of visas available, such as work permits, study permits, and permanent residency. Having the correct documentation in place before your move can save you time and potential complications upon arrival in Canada.

Planning your moving day well in advance can make the process smoother and less stressful. Create a moving checklist to stay organized, and be sure to research and book a reputable moving company or storage facility if necessary. Packing your belongings efficiently, labeling boxes, and keeping track of important items can help the process run smoothly.

Since Montreal experiences harsh winters, it's important to pack the appropriate clothing and accessories to deal with below-freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. Additionally, summers in the city can be very hot, so include clothing suitable for warmer weather as well.

Here are a few more tips for moving to Montreal:

  • Research different neighborhoods to determine the best fit for your lifestyle, budget, and needs.
  • Investigate transportation options, including public transit, car-sharing, and bike-sharing programs.
  • Familiarize yourself with local services, such as healthcare facilities, schools, stores, and restaurants.
  • Explore the arts, culture, and nightlife that make Montreal a unique and exciting place to live.
  • Connect with local support networks and communities, either online or in-person, to make friends and establish connections.

By following these tips and staying well-prepared, your move to Montreal will be a more enjoyable experience. Embrace the city's rich culture and welcoming environment as you begin your new life in Montreal.

Choose Allied Van Lines for Your Montreal Move

Allied Van Lines is a reputable and reliable moving company that can help you move to Edmonton with ease. With over 95 years of experience in the moving industry, Allied Van Lines has become a trusted name in the business. We offer a wide range of moving services that can cater to your specific needs and requirements.

Request a free estimate today!