Life in Montreal for Immigrants – Pros and Cons

Have you ever thought of how life in Montreal for immigrants will look like?

Have you ever thought of how life in Montreal for immigrants will look like? Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and its located in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec.

The city has a flourishing software and IT sectors, bringing new workers to businesses. Therefore, moving to Montreal can be a wonderful, life-changing career move.

Montreal City is affordable, culturally diverse, and Quebec has a high job vacancy rate, meaning there are many employment opportunities. Here are three great options for immigrating to Montreal as a permanent resident:

The city Montreal is a North American city that retains a European flair. Consequently, individuals and families who want to try something different in a cosmopolitan, multilingual city may consider Montreal as an immigration destination.

In addition, Montreal is a popular destination for international students, as many world-renowned universities are located here.

Therefore, if you plan to move to Montreal you may apply through the Quebec Provincial Nominee Program

In this article

Where is Montreal Located in Canada?

Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec, just 70km (43 miles) from the US border. The city itself is situated on the Island of Montreal at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers.

Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the second-largest predominantly French-speaking city in the western world.

Montreal population

Montreal is the city in Quebec province of Canada, lies in the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Montreal population in 2021 is estimated to be 1.8 million, covers city area of 431.50 sq km (166.60 sq mi), population density is 890 per square km, second most populous city of Canada after Toronto.

The city is named after the three-head hill called Mount Royal, in the southwest of the province of Quebec. Montreal economy depends on finance, commerce, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, technology, and fashion. Greater Montreal is the metropolitan area in Quebec with the urban center of Montreal

Weather in Montreal

Montreal experiences four distinct seasons, with winter being rather different to what most immigrants would be accustomed to in their native country.

Snow cover can be expected from early December until late March, though this is changeable year to year. January and February are bitterly cold, with temperatures often hitting -20°C or below.

You will need a sturdy pair of boots and thick socks, as well as a warm winter coat and hat, scarf, and gloves.

Spring tends to be short, with a warm May leading into hot, humid summers where you can expect daily temperatures well above 20°C, and sometimes above 30°C.

Autumn explodes in color, with orange and brown leaves covering Mount Royal and the large parks dotted around the island.

Cost of living in Montreal

The biggest financial bonus for anyone living in Montreal is that property and rent prices is typically more affordable than many other Canadian cities.

A decent room in a shared apartment in a safe Montreal neighborhood can be rented for as little as $450 per month, with some one-bedroom apartments starting at $600-700. These are base figures, and depending on taste and expectations you can expect to pay more.

Household utilities are quite reasonably priced and generally charged per month. Groceries and eating out, however, are at or above the national average.

A pint of local beer should cost about $6, but imports are more expensive, as much as $9.50 in the more touristy areas around Crescent St and the Old Port.

Tipping is standard practice, typically a dollar per drink or 15-20 percent of the bill for good service.

Overall, the cost of living in Montreal is affordable, but this can be offset by slightly lower wages and higher taxes than the national average.

Transit in Montreal

If you plan on living relatively close to Montreal and don’t plan on owning a car, it is likely that you will regularly be using the city’s Metro system. The Montreal Metro was first launched in time for the 1967 Expo.

The Metro has four lines, 68 stations, and is the busiest subway system in Canada in terms of daily usage.

Compared with similar systems in other large cities, Montreal’s public transit is comparatively cheap. Your costs of living in Montreal are unlikely to be too affected if you plan your commute and work/life balance appropriately.

The Metro runs until approximately 12.30 a.m. on weekdays and 1.30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Dining in Montreal

In any list of the best dining cities in North America, Montreal is usually in the top three or four. Some even rate it the best, and its only real rival in Canada is Vancouver. It is said that Montreal has more restaurants per capital than any other city on the continent.

Nearly every country is represented in Montreal cuisine. You will find numerous restaurants of the sort that are popular in any western city.

Nightlife in Montreal

Montreal is world famous for its nightlife. Whatever your budget or music taste, Montreal provides a seemingly endless range of options, from small bars to upscale nightclubs. It is truly the entertainment capital of Canada.

Retail alcohol sales stop at 11 p.m. and bars may serve until 3 a.m. The legal drinking age in Quebec is 18, a year earlier than most of Canada.

There are three main strips for bar-hopping:

  • Crescent St on the western side of downtown caters mostly to anglophones and tourists, though the adjacent Bishop St has more of a local clientele.
  • Boulevard St-Laurent on the edge of the Plateau — particularly the stretch from Sherbrooke Street to Avenue des Pins, where you’ll find stylish bars and clubs with a more francophone clientele — gets extremely busy when Concordia and McGill students are back for a new session.
  • The Latin Quarter on St-Denis comes into its own during the summer, when large outdoor patios (terrasses) line the stretch between de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke.

More local scenes can be found in the Village around Beaudry Métro station, Mont-Royal Avenue in the Plateau, Monkland Avenue in NDG, and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Festivals in Montreal

Every month of the year contains some sort of festival in Montreal. Things really get going when the sun comes out in summer and the area around Place des Arts hosts free shows all afternoon and evening.

The largest jazz festival in the world occurs from late June into July, with some of the most renowned acts on the planet entertaining locals and tourists.

Montreal is also home to the world’s largest comedy festival, Just for Laughs (Juste pour rire), which occurs just after the jazz festival.

The Osheaga music festival is a weekend-long summer jamboree on Île Sainte-Hélène, with multiple stages hosting some of the most recognizable artists in the world.

Life in Ottawa for Immigrants

Things you will notice about Montreal

Mount Royal

The “mountain” is more like a hill at 233m/764ft (but don’t say that too loudly as locals take great pride in it). Mount Royal’s three peaks are conspicuous from nearly anywhere in Montreal, and few cities in the world have such a wonderful natural amenity right in the heart of the city.

Winter means cross-country skiing, tobogganing, and snowball fights, with the other three seasons providing lush parkland, an artificial lake, and paths where joggers and cyclists compete with pedestrians for space. A chalet with a lookout point overlooks downtown and beyond.

The “Underground City

Officially known as RÉSO and sometimes referred to as la ville souterraine, this series of interconnected passages provides refuge from extreme weather during the winter, as well as often being a pleasant getaway from particularly hot summer afternoons.

With more than 120 exterior access points and around 32 kilometre of tunnels, it connects Metro stations, commuter stations, shopping malls, offices, apartments, banks, universities, the main bus station, and the Bell Centre arena, home to the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, which competes in the NHL.


This is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, with hundreds of kilometres of paths. The BIXI system is rated among the best public bike systems in the world, with more than 600 stations dotted around the city.

Politics and identity

Lots of people from Quebec have a fiercely nationalist streak. The dream is to one day break away from Canada and form their own country, a feat they almost managed in a 1995 referendum.

On the other hand, many Montreal residents are proud Canadians, many of whom live in fear of an independent Quebec state. In the middle are those whose primary identity is neither Quebecer nor Canadian, but Montrealer. Before launching into a debate, be sure to know what you’re talking about. It’s practically impossible to avoid politics when living in Montreal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a decent room in a shared apartment cost in Montreal? 

A decent room in a shared apartment in a safe Montreal neighborhood can be rented for as little as $450 per month.

Where is Montreal located in Canada?

Montreal is located in the southwest of the province of Quebec.

What is the population in Montreal?

Montreal population in 2021 is estimated to be 1.8 million.


Undoubtedly, With its flourishing and progressive art scene, world-class restaurants, enthralling history, and serene parks, Montreal seems to be Canada’s true dark horse and one of the best places to live in Canada.