Should I Live in Edmonton or Montreal?

Living in Edmonton vs. Montreal: Where Should You Live?

The largest city in the far north of Canada and the capital of Alberta, Edmonton, is a thriving urban hub in the middle of a wilderness. The warmth of Edmontonians usually leaves a lasting impression on those who move to the city. In 2014, Edmonton was recognized as the eighth most livable city in Canada by MoneySense magazine based on its economy, amenities, housing market, climate, and tourist attractions.

Montreal, the largest French-speaking city in Canada, is home to several cultural attractions. Montreal offers something for everyone, from historical monuments to museums and art galleries, to stunning architecture. Despite being the second most populous city in Canada, the Montreal Metropolitan Area, the cost of living in Montreal is among the lowest of all major cities in the country.

This article compares the costs of public transit, housing, groceries, entertainment, and job opportunities in Edmonton and Montreal to help you decide where you should move to. Without further ado, here’s our guide on Living in Edmonton vs. Montreal.

Edmonton vs. Montreal

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Public transit in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Public transport in Edmonton

The fully integrated and user-friendly Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) annually provides over 80 million rides. Transit plays a significant role in the city’s development by focusing on service, infrastructure, and technology pillars. Buses and a 20.5 km light rail system facilitate seamless transport inside Edmonton and the surrounding areas.

Fares can be purchased online, by appointment at the Edmonton Service Centre, at the ticket vending machines found in every LRT station, or at sales shops spread out in several convenient places across the city.

Public transit fares in Edmonton

Here’s a quick summary of transport costs in Edmonton:

 

 

Single Ride

Ticket (book of 10)

Monthly pass

Youth (0-24 years)

$3.50

$19.75

$73

Adults (25-64 years)

$3.50

$27.75

$100

Seniors (65+ years)

$3.50

$19.75

$35

How much is a transit monthly pass in Emonton?

The cost of a public transit monthly pass in Toronto is $100.00.

Public transport in Montreal

Montreal’s metro (subway) system is clean, secure, and swift. The public transportation is quite simple, with just four lines connecting the downtown area to most places of interest, bus stops, and railway stations. The Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), a public transportation company, runs the transit bus and metro services in Montreal.

All metro stations, some depanneurs (corner stores), and grocery stores sell tickets. The Opus card is commonly used by Montreal’s commuters. You can purchase this card either at one of the metro stations or one of STM’s offices.

Other transit options include the 747 Shuttle service and BIXI. For a $10 ticket, the 747 shuttle bus will carry you directly from the airport to downtown and vice versa as an extension of the STM bus service. It is one of the most affordable travel options from the airport to downtown.

With more than 500 drop-off locations, BIXI is a bike-share company with more than 6,000 bikes available across the island. You must pay $5.25 for a day pass to rent a BIXI; only credit cards are accepted.

(*Mtl.org & STM info)

Public transit fares in Montreal

Here’s a quick summary of transport costs in Montreal:

 

Single Ride

Day Fares

Evening Pass

Weekend Evening

Weekly Pass

Monthly

Pass

STM Metro

$3.50

$10.0

$5.50

$14.50

$28.0

$94

747 Shuttle Airport System

$10

Free for children under 11

BIXI

1$ unlock fee

Regular

$0.1/min

Electric

$0.3/min

$5.25

18$

(includes unlimited 45 mins and under)

(*STM & Tripsavvy)

How much is a transit monthly pass in Montreal? 

The cost of a public transit monthly pass in Montreal is $94.00.

Cost of groceries in Edmonton vs. Montreal

The comparison of the cost of groceries in Edmonton and Montreal is illustrated in the table below:

Average cost of groceries (Items X kg)

Edmonton

Montreal

Milk (1 litre) 

$2.58

$2.93

Loaf of fresh white bread (500g)

$2.93

$3.79

Rice (white), (1 kg) 

$4.22

$3.73

Eggs (12)

$3.65

$3.79

Local cheese (1 kg) 

$14.50

$16.32

Chicken fillets (1 kg) 

$14.53

$14.67

Beef round (1 kg) 

$18.14

$17.20

Apples (1 kg)

$4.90

$4.35

Bananas (1 kg)

$1.84

$1.84

Oranges (1 kg)

$4.47

$4.22

Tomato (1 kg)

$4.48

$4.69

Potato (1 kg)

$2.80

$2.61

Onion (1 kg)

$2.25

$2.60

Lettuce (1 head)

$2.88

$2.42

Water (1.5-liter bottle)

$2.31

$2.25

Bottle of wine (Mid-range)

$15.00

$15.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

$2.84

$3.35

Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)

$3.62

$3.63

(*Numbeo)

What is the average cost of groceries for 1 person in Edmonton?

The average cost of groceries for 1 person in Edmonton is $269.85.

*Groceries for one person are multiplied by 2.5 for a monthly average.

What is the average cost of groceries for 1 person in Montreal?

The average cost of groceries for 1 person in Montreal is $273.48.

*Groceries for one person are multiplied by 2.5 for a monthly average. 

What to do in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Edmonton or Montreal

Entertainment in Edmonton

Edmonton is renowned for its attractions, culture, and natural beauty. 

You will adore the River Valley System if you are more of a nature-loving person. There are many trails in River Valley. They begin as far east as Northeast Edmonton, travel west through downtown, and terminate in the city’s extreme southwest.

Furthermore, you can enjoy the Edmonton River Valley 90-Minute Segway Adventure and Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Edmonton by Crazy Dash, attend performances at Winspear Centre, or stroll around the botanical gardens of Muttart Conservatory.

The “Festival City” also hosts the biggest live theatre event in North America, the biggest blues festival in Western Canada, and the substantial folk music festival FolkFest, all of which take place outside the summer.

(*Tripadvisor & Explore Edmonton)

Entertainment in Montreal

The city is known for its strong cultural identity and shines on with its artistic side. Montreal is also a haven for foodies. There are over 5,000 restaurants, including hundreds of excellent ones, delivering top-notch taste and presentation at rates that are much more affordable than similar big cities.

Nearly 700 acres of greenery make up Mount Royal Park, a huge park in the city’s heart. It is a terrific place to walk, exercise, laze around, and have a picnic with fantastic city views. The city is home and known for its museums at Place-des-Arts, academic campuses, planetarium, insectarium, and botanical gardens.

You can kayak, canoe, boat, and fish in the city because it is an island surrounded by the Saint Lawrence River. Whitewater rafting and jet boating are available at Lachine Rapids. More than a dozen ski hills, including the amazing Mont Tremblant, are within less than an hour’s drive to the north or south-east.

(*Mtl.org, Tripadvisor & Timeout)

Costs of entertainment — Edmonton vs. Montreal

A three-course supper for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $90 in both Edmonton and Montreal. In Edmonton, a monthly adult health club membership costs $60.07 compared to only $47.33 in Montreal. In Edmonton, a seat in a movie theatre showing an international release costs $15.50, whereas, in Montreal, it costs $15.00.

(*Numbeo)

Cost of housing in Toronto vs Edmonton

Edmonton’s home prices remained largely steady compared to other Canadian housing markets. The Greater Edmonton Area’s average sales price was $405,776, a rise of 1.7 percent from June 2021 and a minimal decline of 1.2 percent from May 2022.

According to information from the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, the median price of a single-family home in Montreal decreased by less than 1% month over month to $600,897 in June. Since June 2021, prices haven’t decreased for two straight months. 

(*Financial Post, Wowa – Edmonton & Wowa – Montreal)

How much is a house in Edmonton?

The average cost of a house in Edmonton is $405,776.

How much is a house in Montreal?

The average cost of a house in Montreal is $600,897.

Cost of rent in Edmonton

The cost of rent in Edmonton varies depending on the location and size of the apartment. The table below shows the prices of apartments in various sizes in some popular neighborhoods:

NeighborhoodStudio1 bedroom2 bedroom3 bedroom
Downtown Edmonton$995/month$1202/month$1638/month$1775/month
Oliver$1048/month$1101/month$1495/month$1370/month
Queen Mary Park$725/month$895/month$975/month$1099/month
Central McDougall$768/month$775/month$937/month$1270/month
Inglewood$699/month$850/month$976/month$1469/month
Strathcona$916/month$1100/month$1355/month$1275/month
Westwood$730/month$799/month$925/month$1345/month
Boyle Street$725/month$850/month$1399/month$2077/month
Garneau$908/month$1101/month$1550/month$1750/month
Canora$725/month$825/month$900/month$1238/month

(*Zumper & Wowa – Edmonton)

How much is rent in Edmonton?

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Edmonton is $999.

Cost of rent in Montreal

NeighborhoodStudio 1 bedroom2 bedroom3 bedroom
Quarter Ville Marie$1190/month$1600/month$2100/month$2950/month
Crémazie$725/month$1270/month$1300/month$1420/month
Vieux Montreal$1310/month$1585/month$2370/month$3260/month
Snowdon$1037/month$1380/month$1699/month$2200/month
Verdun$935/month$1325/month$1450/month$1838/month
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce$975/month$1495/month$1925/month$2100/month
Parc-Extension$1250/month$1700/month$2200/month$2450/month
Lachine$575/month$1410/month$2005/month$2723/month
Parc-La-Fontaine$1050/month$1599/month$2049/month$2950/month
Saint-Léonard$950/month$1125/month$1550/month$1750/month
Marie-Victorin$895/month$975/month$1315/month$2500/month

(*Liv & Zumper)

How much is rent in Montreal?

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Montreal is $1,450.

Job opportunities in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Job Opportunities - Edmonton vs. Montreal

According to Alberta Occupational Outlook, several professions will experience a labor shortage by 2030, including teachers, petroleum engineers, information systems analysts, and consultants. Edmonton’s unemployment rate in May 2022 was 6.2%, a reduction of 0.7% from the previous month. 

Popular job markets include agriculture, utilities, construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, science, healthcare, information & culture, and food services.

There is a severe labor shortage in Montreal. Due to a scarcity of competent personnel, Quebec’s industrial sector has lost $1.8 billion over the last two years. Over the next ten years, there will likely be 1.2 million job openings and a surge in the number of employees moving to Montreal. Computer network technicians, engineers, educators, and programmers are in-demand professions.

(*Finances.gouv.qc.ca)

Salary comparison in Edmonton vs. Montreal

The table below presents the comparison of average job salaries in both cities:

Job title

Average salary in Edmonton

Average salary in Montreal

Dentist

$145,494

$125,907

Physician

$156,279

$120,843

Pharmacist

$92,911

$89,839

Business Development

$78,780

$82,158

Hardware Engineer

$76,174

$80,827

Chemical Engineer

$81,015

$80,671

Product Manager

$87,285

$77,430

Finance Manager

$78,850

$76,123

IT Manager

$80,013

$76,003

Mobile Developer

$73,127

$75,550

Sales Manager

$67,071

$70,632

Operations Manager

$96,175

$68,451

Software Engineer

$63,284

$67,952

Architect

$69,629

$67,8,72

Financial Analyst

$50,208

$55,692

Research Scientist

$69,902

$53,328

UX designer

$73,760

$52,863

Teacher

$59,528

$49,391

Interior Designer

$44,720

$38,753

Chef

$52,513

$37,308

Customer Support

$42,311

$35,534

(*Teleport – Edmonton, Telport – Montreal, CREA & Alberta.ca)

Cost of living in Edmonton vs. Montreal

The differences in the cost of living in Edmonton and Montreal are insignificant. Montreal consumer prices are 3.58 percent higher than those in Edmonton without rent and 0.98 percent higher with rent. 

Rent in Montreal is 14.11 percent more expensive than in Edmonton. The grocery costs in Montreal are 0.38 percent less expensive than Edmonton’s.

To maintain the same quality of living in Montreal that you can get in Edmonton with $5800, you would need about $5857 (assuming you rent in both cities) which is about 0.98% difference. 

The table below shows the cost of living indices of Edmonton and Montreal:

City

Cost Of Living Index

Edmonton

72.23

Montreal

69.7

(*Numbeo)

Average monthly costs to live in Edmonton vs Montreal

The table below compares the cost of moving to Edmonton and Montreal based on accommodation, groceries, traveling, and utility costs:

Category

*For 1 person

Edmonton

Montreal

Average house price 

$417,470

$600,897

Average monthly rent price (1 bedroom in City Centre)

$1,204

$1,362

Public transit (One-way ticket)

$100

$94

Groceries

$269.85

$273.48

Utilities (electricity + internet) 

$318.43

$172.87

Cell phone plan

$80, unlimited talk, text, and data included

$80, unlimited talk, text, and data included

Gym membership (monthly)

$59.96

$44.39

Clothing and shoes (1 pair each)

$228.7

$266.18

Total$2,261$2,293

(*Numbeo)

Note: Edmonton might seem to have slightly higher costs than Montreal here but it does not fully reflect Montreal 28% higher consumer prices. 

 

Conclusion

Both Edmonton and Montreal have a wonderful artistic identity and can offer a comfortable life. In Montreal you can live a quality lifestyle enhanced by its cultural and artistic scene and also have great walkability. Edmonton can be a quieter city and has strong job opportunities. If you are planning to move soon, check out the 5 best moving companies in Edmonton  and the 5 best moving companies in Montreal.

FAQ - The most frequently asked questions about Edmonton and Montreal

What is the biggest difference between Edmonton and Montreal?

Edmonton is less densely populated than Montreal and offers slightly warmer winters. However the biggest difference would be the cultural aspect since Montreal is located in the only French-speaking province in Canada so its culture will heavily reflect that. Montreal has much higher housing costs than Edmonton but otherwise both have similar living standards.

Where to live in Edmonton?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young professionals 

Old Strathcona and Downtown Edmonton

Families

Glenora and Hazeldean

Students

Parkallen and Queen Alexandra

Where to live in Montreal?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young Professionals 

Ville-Marie and Outremont

Families

Villeray and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

Students

Côtes-des-Neiges and Plateau Mont-Royal

 

Is tax cheaper in Edmonton vs. Montreal?

  • In the province of Quebec, they have a GST which is set at about 5% and their own provincial tax (TVQ) set at 9,975%.
  • In the province of Alberta, they have GST which is set at about 5%. They do not have a provincial tax. 

Income tax rates in Alberta vs Quebec

Income tax rates in Alberta

Income tax rates in Quebec

10% on the first $131,220 of taxable income, +.

15% for $45,105 or less.

12% on the next $26,244, +.

20% between $45,105 and $90,200

13% on the next $52,488, +.

24% between $90,200 to $109,755

14% on the next $104,976, +.

25,75% on the next $109,755, +.

15% on the amount over $314,928

Federal tax rates

The federal tax rate is the same in both cities. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $50,197 of taxable income, plus
  • 20.5% on the next $50,195 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 50,197 up to $100,392), plus
  • 26% on the next $55,233 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $100,392 up to $155,625), plus
  • 29% on the next $66,083 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 155,625 up to $221,708), plus
  • 33% of taxable income over $221,708

(*Revenu Québec, Alberta.ca & Canada.ca)

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