Is 50k enough in Montreal?

Montreal, the cultural capital of Canada, is known for its vibrant arts scene, diverse population, and affordable living compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. If you're considering a move to Montreal or wondering if a salary of $50,000 per year is enough to live comfortably in this city, read on to explore the cost of living and determine if it meets your financial expectations.

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Cost of Living in Montreal

Before diving into specific expenses, let's take a look at the overall cost of living in Montreal. While it may not be as expensive as some of Canada's other major cities, it's essential to have a realistic understanding of the costs you can expect to incur.

Housing Expenses

Housing expenses will likely be your most significant monthly cost in Montreal. The average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1,200 per month, while outside the city center, it drops to approximately $950 per month. If you're looking for a larger place, a three-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $2,300 per month, and around $1,800 per month outside the city center.

Transportation Costs

Getting around Montreal is relatively affordable thanks to its well-connected public transportation system. A monthly pass for unlimited access to buses and metro lines will cost you around $86. If you prefer to drive, keep in mind that gas prices in Montreal are higher than the national average, currently averaging around $1.30 per liter.

Food and Grocery Expenses

When it comes to food and groceries, Montreal offers a range of options to fit different budgets. A basic dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $60, while a meal at a fast-food restaurant will set you back about $10. If you prefer to cook at home, a monthly grocery bill for one person can range from $200 to $400, depending on your dietary preferences.

Entertainment and Recreation Costs

Montreal is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and cultural events. Movie tickets cost around $14, while a fitness club membership can range from $30 to $80 per month. With numerous parks, bike paths, and free festivals throughout the year, there are plenty of free or low-cost options for entertainment and recreation in the city.

Healthcare Expenses

Healthcare in Canada is publicly funded, so you won't have to worry about expensive medical bills. However, it's essential to have private health insurance to cover prescription medications, dental care, and other services not covered by the provincial plan. Depending on your needs, health insurance can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per month.

Education Costs

If you have children, education costs will be an important consideration. Montreal offers a range of public and private schools, with tuition fees varying depending on the institution and grade level. Public school education is generally free, while private schools can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per year.

Other Expenses

Other expenses to consider include utilities (around $100 per month), internet and mobile phone plans (approximately $70 per month), and clothing (varies depending on personal style and preferences).

Comparison with Other Canadian Cities

When comparing Montreal to other major Canadian cities, it's clear that the cost of living in Montreal is relatively lower. For instance, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto can be double or even triple the price compared to Montreal.


While $50,000 per year may not allow for a luxurious lifestyle in Montreal, it is possible to live comfortably with careful budgeting and prioritization of expenses. With its affordable housing options, diverse food scene, and numerous free or low-cost entertainment options, Montreal offers a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is $50k a year a good salary in Montreal?

Yes, $50,000 per year is generally considered a good salary in Montreal. With careful budgeting and prioritization of expenses, you can live comfortably in this vibrant city.

2. How far can $50k go in terms of rent in Montreal?

With an annual salary of $50,000, you can comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal, either in the city center or outside the city center.

3. How much should I budget for transportation in Montreal?

A monthly pass for unlimited public transportation in Montreal costs around $86. If you prefer to drive, budgeting for gas and parking expenses is also necessary.

4. Can I comfortably afford to eat out with a $50k salary in Montreal?

With a $50,000 salary, you can comfortably afford to eat out occasionally at mid-range restaurants in Montreal. However, budgeting and cooking meals at home will help you save money in the long run.

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