About Life à Montréal - Montréal Rental Guide
Bienvenue à Montréal! Montréal is one of Canada’s most beautiful francophone cities. While you may be excited to practice speaking French, residents will sense your not so perfect French accent from a mile away and will likely begin speaking in English. Montréal residents are one of the most bilingual in Canada and the city is the second largest French speaking city in the world, after Paris. Thankfully, residents will welcome your efforts to speak the language. As you explore Montréal, you will notice the cobble stone streets and the European inspired architecture—you will feel as if you’re on another continent but at the same time, at home. Being in Canada, you will have to bare frigidly cold winters—it will be cold, wet and icy. But we promise you will mistake Montréal for Europe in the summers. Trust us, it will all be worth it.
Montréal is also known as one of the most liveable cities. It’s clean, safe, welcoming and multicultural. Its rich culture is evident in its restaurants, arts and music. Outdoor art installations and a plethora of art galleries are common and spectacular. Main streets like St. Laurent Boulevard and St. Catherine Street act as a conduit and venue to the city’s festivals. To name a few, there’s the Just for Laughs festivals which is the world’s largest comedy festivals, the Montréal International Jazz festival and Montréal World Film Festival that fill the streets. In other words, you will not find yourself ever bored in Montréal. Aside from the fun and games in Montréal, you’ll have to find somewhere to relax—a new home, perhaps? Here’s our in-depth rental guide in Montréal:
Where to Live in Montréal. The City of Beauty
Montréal’s beauty will pull you right into starting a life with it. Before you do, we’ll share a guide to renting in some of Montréal’s 130+ neighbourhoods that you can call home. Montréal covers just 365.1 km 2, of land—a little over half the size of Toronto. But, the selection of apartment sizes and shapes are not constrained. You can find high-rise, detached, semi-detached, condos, townhomes and basement apartments to rent in Montréal .
Each neighbourhood has a unique character that will meld with your personality and lifestyle. As a guide to renting in one of the many Montréal neighbourhoods, here are three distinct neighbourhood options you can consider before making the big move:
If you are familiar with the French language or looking to immerse yourself in French culture, consider Vieux-Rosemont apartments . It is located in the centre-east of Montréal where both newcomers and long-time residents live. It’s home to smaller ethic neighbourhoods such as Little Italy; Rosemont, and Nouveau Rosemont. It also features the Jean-Talon market, two hospitals and the Maisonneuve Park. In this area, you’ll generally find single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes.
LaSalle is a borough that is loved by just about everyone. There’s a range of apartments for rent in LaSalle to suit every lifestyle and budget. From upscale homes, duplexes, triplexes, row houses, condos and senior residences, there is bound to be something for you in LaSalle. It’s a great place for families as it is home to 40 parks, 7 outdoor pools, 13 parks with water playgrounds, 60 community playgrounds, a library and 7 skating rinks. What else would an active family need? Most LaSalle apartments are located minutes from downtown making it convenient for those commuting.
Plateau and Mont Royal
Overlooking the Montréal’s downtown and along the Mount Royal is the community of Le Plateau-Mont Royal. Its charm excludes through its lively community and narrow streets lined with mature trees. It is however Montréal’s most densely populated borough. The area is loved by younger generations and the area is primarily occupied by tenants. There are tons of sports and recreation available in the area which include 26 tennis courts, 53 parks, 4 community gardens, 6 swimming pools, 17 community centres, 2 libraries and 2 arenas. It’s a wonderful place to meet new people and immerse yourself in the culture.
How do I Get Around in Montréal?
Exploring everything that Montréal has to offer is a cinch with their public transportation system, Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The four main subway lines span across Montréal’s centre while busses help fill in the gaps. This is all possible with $3.50 a ride which lets you transfer between buses and the metro. If you’re looking to go to and from a destination you can save some pocket change as a round trip pass is $6.50. The metro runs North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West. It sounds kind of strange but that’s just how Montréal’s core is shaped.
For longer trips, VIA rail stops in Montréal and right in the downtown area. There is a bus that brings you from the downtown core right to Montréal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport for international travel.
Parking spots are not cheap in Montréal and are about $200 to rent. The supply of parking spots to purchase are extremely limited due to by-laws that prohibit the sale of a spot to an outsider in most buildings. However, if you do find one, they tend to range anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000. Pay-as you go parking ranges from $12 to over $20 for 24 hour periods. You can also purchase permits for parking on residential streets which start from $60 annually for your first sticker.
Walking & Biking
If you prefer to travel by foot or by bike, Montréal is very bike friendly. It is known as one of the most bike friendly cities in the world, as of very recently. There is a newly created bike lane that spans the length of the downtown area. It’s also not a small lane by any means – it takes up an entire car lane and is separated by concrete for your safety. Of course, there are also signs that help ensure you’re able to navigate Montréal safety.
What’s the Cost of Living in Montréal?
Montréal is often praised for its low cost of living. Yes, surprisingly its beauty doesn’t cost a pretty penny. Before moving to Montréal, you should create a monthly budget. Let’s break down the cost of living in Montréal .
Rent & Utilities
For many of us, Montréal’s apartment sizes are confusing. A 1 ½ is considered a studio—1 room plus a bathroom (1/2). Every additional separate room, let’s say a bedroom, would act as a following increase of one unit—in this case a 2 ½. Anyways, the average rental rate in Montréal is $1,260/month. Living outside of the more popular downtown area, perhaps the McGill Ghetto or Old Montréal, could get you a rate on the lower end. Basic utilities will cost you around $100 which include heating, electricity and water. Then there’s internet $50 and cellphone $60. So, you’re looking at around $1,460+ in total for rent and utilities.
Owning a car in Montréal is probably the least convenient method to get around. So we’re going to assume you make the right decision and travel with an STM pass. That will cost you $86.50/month, unless you’re a student—students cut that cost in half.
Many of the residents in Montréal consider themselves foodies and you’ll find yourself slowly converting when you start trying some of the restaurants and cafes. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you about $13 and you’ll probably do that twice a week if you don’t cook much. Eating a reasonably priced restaurant with a date will cost you around $60—that’s if you’re picking up the tab. A quick bite at your favourite fast food restaurant will cost you $9 and you’ll probably do this twice a week. Last but usually first, coffee. That will cost you about $3.50 for a cappuccino, let’s say 4 times a week. For eating out, we estimate you’ll be spending $118 or a whopping $472/month.
Now, we know there are some mighty chefs out there. If you have a healthy, balanced diet with all of your fruits, veggies, carbs and meat, it will cost you about $200/month.
For all of you party animals or just for those looking to sip some wine on the weekends, Montréal has an amazing night life. Generally, a drink will cost you $9/glass and this will probably tally up to 4 drinks a week. Getting home safety will cost you about $10 for a cab ride. But we all know you’re going to need a late night snack before you go home, there’s another $9. Your total monthly cost for entertainment will be $220/month.
Health & Fitness
While we’re sure you’ll do tons of exploring in Montréal by foot, you may still be interested in a gym membership. It will cost you $50/month.
In sum, your monthly costs of living in beautiful Montréal will be approximately, $2,350+.
Crime in Montréal
Crime rates are important to consider when determining where to live. On average, the crime rate in Montréal is 29% lower than the rest of Canadian cities. Montréal is overall a safe place to live. Some pockets of Montréal may have higher rates than others, so it’s up to you to do your research and choose wisely.
How to find the Perfect Montréal Apartment - The Montréal Rental Guide
Ready to move right into Montréal? Traditionally in Quebec, jour du déménagement or moving day, is held on July 1 st . The tradition started when there were mandated lease dates for rental properties. While it is a tradition, it is by no means a requirement. But you may just become a real Quebecois if you do. Let’s get you started with a guide for renting:
Determine your needs and wants:
Identify must-haves and nice to haves to keep you on track.
Create a budget:
Use our rental calculator to help estimate your monthly budget. You’ll thank us later.
Do your research:
Our neighbourhood guides are a perfect source of information about, local amenities, demographics and crime statistics.
Tour apartments and neighbourhoods:
Once you’re narrowed down some places you like, go see them in person. Treat your interactions with the landlord like an interview.
Prepare your documentation:
To make this easy for you, AreaVibes allows renters to send a more detailed renter application with credit checks.
We hope that our guide to renting in Montréal helps you find the home of your dreams! Bienvenue à Montréal!