Here in Montréal, it’s possible to live well even when you’re on a tight budget. From housing and transportation to food and fun activities, the city boasts one of the lowest costs of living in the world, making it the ideal destination for international students.
Crunch the cost of living numbers
From one continent, country and city to the next, the cost of living can change dramatically, which can make it pretty hard to compare. But before you give yourself a headache trying to crunch the numbers, give our student living costs comparison tool a try!
This handy tool is designed especially for international students, making it easy to compare the cost of living in Montréal to other major student cities. For example, did you know that the cost of living in Paris is almost twice as high as Montréal? That means you can get two croissants for the price of one here … not a bad way to start the day!
More money in your pocket
Everybody loves a good two-for-one deal … and that’s exactly what you get in Greater Montréal! According to Mercer, the metropolis is almost half as expensive as Paris—just one more reason to make the move to Montréal!
What does a monthly budget look like?
According to a 2019 study conducted by Mercer, you can expect to spend around $808 CAD per month on goods and services. The data was collected from students across the city, and takes into account expenses including sports and activities, the cost of appliances, restaurant meals, personal care products and public transport.
Here are just a few examples of what different everyday products will cost you on average:
- 1 store-bought beer: $1.56 CAD
- 1 store-bought bag of chips: $3.07 CAD
- 1 burger: $9.65 CAD
- 2 cinema tickets: $21.98 CAD
- 1 restaurant outing for 2 people: $76 CAD
Based on an index of 100, the study shows that the cost of these everyday goods and services—covering a range of different categories—are considerably lower in Montréal compared to other major student cities around the globe. Take a look for yourself with our student living costs comparison tool.
Rent is one of the biggest expenses in any budget. But that’s what makes Montréal such a great place to live for students as it’s home to some of the lowest rental prices in the world.
According to a 2019 Mercer study, you can expect to pay around $1,005 CAD a month for a studio close to downtown. And you can always bunk with a roommate to share the cost of rent, meals and fun weekends!
In Greater Montréal, you can take your pick of places to live in a diverse range of neighbourhoods, all with their own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a modern loft or an older building with character, a place in the heart of the action or somewhere a little closer to nature, it’s easy to find student housing you’ll love.
Get from A to B easily
You don’t need a car to get around Montréal. The city has an extensive and efficient public transit network, as well as bike paths and car-sharing systems, saving you significant costs on owning and maintaining a car.
It’s a good idea to pick up an OPUS card to use the Montréal bus and Metro network. You can find all the information you need on the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) website. Great news: as a student, you’re entitled to a monthly discounted rate $52 CAD versus $86 for the regular rate*, proving that being a student really does pay off!
The public bike sharing system
With the BIXI public bike sharing system, you can get around the city for only $94 CAD a year. Download the app to access an interactive map that will tell you where to find a BIXI near you and the best routes to take.
If you want the fresh air without all the effort, you can always grab a JUMP or BIXI electric bike that make getting around the city a breeze.
Car sharing options
Sometimes you need a car, like when you want to get away for the weekend with friends. Luckily, Greater Montréal has handy car sharing services like Car2Go, Communauto and Turo, all of which are affordable and accessible. Check out their websites for all registration details.
Studying and culture go hand in hand
In Greater Montréal, you can get your culture fix without breaking the bank, whether you’re into the opera, theatre, history, visual arts or anything in between. Some museums even offer free admission on certain days of the week. Get informed to make the most of them!
Don’t forget to factor in your phone bill
In addition to rent, transportation, food and activities, you’ll also need to think about your phone bill! In Greater Montréal, the plans, minutes, data and storage may be different from your home country, so do your homework before committing to a plan.
Try to sign up for a plan that best reflects your monthly consumption. To help you make an informed decision, check out the 2019 cellphone comparison tool (in French) developed by Protégez-Vous, a guide that’s dedicated to consumer protection. And check out our article on mobile phones in Montréal for more information.
Moving to a new place can bring up a lot of unknowns. Fortunately, Montréal has a world of options for every budget to take the financial stress out of your move.
* Fare on July 1st, 2019
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