Architecture and harbor - Toronto vs Montreal

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

Suppose you’re considering relocating to a cosmopolitan city on the eastern side of Canada. In that case, only one question must have popped into your mind. Living in Montreal vs. Toronto: Where Should You Live? The brief answer is that, when it comes to making money, Toronto is the finest city with a population of 2,731,571. Montreal, on the other hand, has a population of 1,704,694. The largest francophone metropolis in North America is more laid-back and relaxing, with a distinctly European feel thanks to the tremendous cultural influence in the city. 

Moving to a new city can be one of the hardest decisions of your life. Our comparison guide will help you make the right choice for you between living in Montreal vs. Toronto.

Montreal vs. Toronto

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Public Transit in Montreal vs. Toronto

The public transit in Montreal is known as Société de transport de Montréal (STM). Whereas public transit in Toronto is known as Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). If you heavily rely on public transit for your daily commute, it’s important that you know the cost of public transit in Montreal vs. the cost of public transit in Toronto.

Keep scrolling to see all you need to know about these transits and their fares.

STM Fare Prices

The Société de transport de Montréal is a government-owned corporation that runs transit bus and rapid transit services in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The subway has been expanded to include four lines with 68 stations, more than 186 bus routes, and 23-night services. It is the most critical urban mass transit system in Canada and one of the largest rapid transit networks in North America.

Here are all the essential fares that you can consider while traveling within Montreal. 

BUS AND METRO FARES IN MONTREAL

TRANSIT-FARES

REGULAR FARE

6-11 YEARS OLD

12-17 YEARS OLD

STUDENTS

18 YEARS OLD AND OVER

65 YEARS OLD AND OVER

1 trip

$3.50

$2.50

$1

1-day pass

$10

Weekly pass

$28

$16.75

$8.50

Monthly pass

$90.50

$54

$54

$27

(*STM)

What Are the Subway Opening Hours in Montreal?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The metro operates daily between 5:30 am to 1 am. On Saturdays, the metro operates until 1:30 am. The exact times vary by station.

TTC Fare Prices

TTC or Toronto Transit Commission runs three modes; subway, streetcars, and buses. The subway is served by two major lines. The Yellow Line (from northern Yonge Street to Union Station, back north once again) and Green Line (beginning in the Etobicoke neighborhood and running through Central Toronto to the Scarborough district).

Checkout the table below to find out the average cost of public transportation in Toronto.

BUS AND METRO

TRANSIT-FARES

REGULAR FARE

STUDENTS

(18+)

YOUTH (13-19 YEARS OLD) AND SENIOR (65+)

1 trip

$3.25

$2.30

1-day pass

$13.50

Monthly pass

$156

$128.15

$128.15

Note: There is no fee for children between the ages of 12 and under.

(*TTC)

What Are the Subway Opening Hours in Toronto?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The metro operates daily between 6 am to 2 am Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, the metro operates between 8 am to 2 am. The exact time varies by station.

We can see that public transit is cheaper in Montreal compared to Toronto. If you pick Montreal, traveling from one place to another won’t be an issue. The STM has a solid network efficiency. However, Toronto does provide an added advantage of making traveling free of cost for children under 12. So, if you decide to move to Toronto and have kids, you can save money through this. TTC is trying to catch up gradually but for now, STM is more organized and has longer rapid transit system lengths.

Cost of Groceries in Montreal vs. Toronto

Groceries include items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, and others. Here is the average cost of groceries in Montreal and the average cost of groceries in Toronto for a few items. 

Average Cost Of Groceries In Montreal

Average Cost Of Groceries In Toronto

Items (1 kg)

Prices

Items (1 kg)

Prices

Milk (1 Liter)

$2.51

Milk (1 Liter)

$3.90

Loaf of bread

$3.49

Loaf of bread

$2.84

Rice

$2.98

Rice

$3.57

Dozen Eggs

$3.35

Dozen Eggs

$3.40

Local Cheese

$16.29

Local Cheese

$13.64

Chicken

$14.40

Chicken

$13.58

Beef round

$19.43

Beef round

$16.41

Apple

$3.94

Apple

$4.14

Banana

$1.92

Banana

$1.60

Orange

$4.35

Orange

$3.65

Tomatoes

$2.39

Tomatoes

$3.66

Potatoes

$2.39

Potatoes

$2.92

Onions

$2.66

Onions

$2.50

Head of Lettuce

$2.55

Head of Lettuce

$2.46

Water Bottle 1.5L

$1.95

Water Bottle 1.5L

$2.23

    

Grocery for 1 person

$350 per month.

Grocery for 1 person

$283.60 per month.

 

As a result, the cost of groceries for one person living in Montreal is more expensive than the cost of groceries for one person living in Toronto.

What to Do in Montreal vs. Toronto

When it comes to entertainment in Montreal vs. Toronto, each has its fair share of amusements for its inhabitants. So, let’s review it one by one:

Entertainment in Montreal

Montreal is filled with history. Walking through the Old Port of Montreal, you’ll get to see cobbled streets and historical monuments. French cafés are also scattered throughout the town providing a lovely way to spend an afternoon. There are also multiple street fairs throughout the year that offer music, food and drink to take in. 

Montreal takes the lead when it comes to sightseeing. If you are looking to be in nature outside of the town, there are several hiking trails and nature parks just beyond it. With Mount-Royal in the middle of the city, it is much easier to take a hike during the middle of the day compared to Toronto. Moreover, if you are a nature lover, Montreal Biodome is one of the most beautiful indoor zoos and aquariums you’ll ever visit. You can experience the greenery and humidity of its tropical rainforest in the depths of winter.

Entertainment in Toronto

Toronto is famous for its high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. Numerous walking tours will take you through the city at eye level from several hundred meters up. The breathtaking sights and sounds of the towering structures, like the CN Tower, don’t stop once the sun sets. 

Excursions up the Humber River and fine dining on the picturesque Humber River are also some of the favorite activities of people living in Toronto. Moreover, the biggest city in Canada is never devoid of activity throughout the year, owing to a variety of festivals held in the city like the Toronto International Film Festival, Ashkenaz Festival of Yiddish Culture, Toronto Caribbean Carnival, etc. 

Cost of Entertainment in Montreal vs. Toronto

Cost Of Entertainment In Montreal 

Cost Of Entertainment In Toronto 


The cost of keeping yourself amused in Montreal is not all that expensive. When you narrow down your search to only the essentials, the average expense of entertainment throughout the city of Montreal is as follows:

  • You can eat at any low-cost restaurant for $15.
  • Restaurant, lunch for two people, three-course (no alcohol): $70
  • Domestic Beer: $2.99
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $28
  • A taxi trip of 8 kilometers in standard travel time, with one intermediate stop: $36
  • Cocktail drink in a bar: $13

Now let’s consider the average cost. Suppose you purchase 4 beers, 1 restaurant visit with friends, visit the cinema twice, and consume 4 regular restaurant meals each month. In that case, it will cost you $170.


Entertainment is what makes living in Toronto a joy! The cost of entertainment throughout Toronto is as follows:

  • $20 for a meal at a cheap restaurant
  • $90 for a three-course, mid-range dinner for two people
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $7
  • $31 for two movie tickets
  • On a regular workday, a taxi cab ride costs $23. (5 miles)
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $15

Now let’s consider the average cost. For example, you may spend $230 on yourself if you have had 4 beers, a restaurant trip with friends, seen the cinema twice, and eaten four regular restaurant meals every month.

Consequently, you will get to do more at less cost in Montreal, whereas entertainment in Toronto is a little expensive.

Montreal vs Toronto

Housing in Montreal vs. Toronto

At the time when cities were denser, walkable places, Montreal was Canada’s largest city. It has hundreds of thousands of prewar triplex and walk-up apartment buildings with stunning and affordable housing. All these provide an attractive and affordable experience for almost a century.

As for Toronto, when you stroll about much of the city, you’ll notice a suburban streetscape with two- and three-story detached homes divided into tiny apartments. Pockmarked by gray concrete high-rises and glass luxury condo towers that most people cannot afford to live in.

Cost of Housing in Montreal

In the table below, you’ll find a chart that displays the average cost of housing in Montreal, including various apartment types, as well as their rents and expenditures in three critical zones of Montreal.

City District

Studio

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Montreal CMA

$1038

$1360

$1665

$2095

Cotes-des-Neiges

$1045

$1210

$1650

$1700

Notre-Dame-De-Grace

$1050

$1297

$1525

$1900

Verdun/Lasalle

$850

$1125

$1750

$1892

Plateau-Mont-Royal

$1098

$1254

$1851

$2953

Rosemont/La Petite-Patrie

$1046

$1109

$1615

$2272

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

$1053

$1325

$1220

$1550

Villeray/Parc-Extension

$1052

$1600

$1925

$2087

How Much Is a House in Montreal?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average price of a house in Montreal is $512,400.

(*Canada Immigrants)

Cost of Housing in Toronto

The following is a table summarizing the cost of housing in Toronto, including various apartment types and pricing.

City District

Studio

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Liberty Village

$1400

$1850

$2500

$4700

Kensington

$1525

$2350

$2400

Parkdale

$1295

$1563

$2099

$2897

Yorkville

$1525

$2069

$3600

$7800

Runnymede

$1498

$2200

$3525

Riverdale

$1550

$1915

$2450

$4025

The Beaches

$1288

$1695

$2450

$3850

East Danforth

$1295

$1550

$1860

$3250

Even if rent prices have risen in Montreal over the last decade, they are still only two-thirds of what they are in Toronto. Housing in Montreal is still cheaper compared to the housing in Toronto.

How Much Is a House in Toronto?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average price of a house in Toronto is $1,172,900.

(*Canada Immigrants)

Job Opportunities in Montreal vs. Toronto

Montreal and Toronto offer the same number of opportunities. Both cities are home to high-tech (particularly cybersecurity and AI), financial services/fintech, live sciences/healthcare technologies, and fashion/retail businesses.

In the field of artificial intelligence, Montreal is comparable to Toronto. A large number of software and fintech firms can be found in both cities. For example, Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has a lab in Montreal, as do Google Brain, Microsoft Research, and DeepMind.

Salary Comparison Montreal vs. Toronto

Here is a list of all the top professions and their average salary. 

Average salary

Montreal

Toronto

Physician

$92,585

$89,224

Teacher

$37,889

$40,439

Software Engineer

$52,127

$57,673

Hardware Engineer

$62,004

$62,548

Lawyer

$57,629

$72,036

Sales Manager

$54,183

$59,519

Architect

$52,066

$47,727

Accountant

$40,054

$44,617

Fashion Designer

$32,528

$39,376

Chef

$28,620

$31,969

(*Teleport Toronto & * Montreal)

Cost of Living in Montreal vs. Toronto

Looking at the table below, you see that the cost of living in Toronto is more expensive, being the biggest city. Housing, insurance, transportation, entertainment, and communication costs are higher in Toronto. However, Montreal imposes higher provincial taxes because of additional services offered by the provincial government to the residents. Even so, in the end, the cost of living in Montreal is cheaper than Toronto. 

Category

Montreal

Toronto

Housing

$1285 / Month

for a 1-bedroom apartment

$1708 / Month 

For a 1-bedroom apartment

Housing Utilities and Insurance

$160 / Month

$215 / Month

Transportation

$90.50 / Month  (STM)

$156 / Month (TCC Pass)

Car Insurance 

$717 / Year

$1528

Entertainment

$170 / Month

$230

Grocery Cost for 1 Person

$350 / Month

$283.60

Communication (Phone and Internet)

$65

Unlimited talk, text, and data included

$80

Unlimited talk, text, and data included

Health and Fitness

$35 for the membership

$55 for the membership

Provincial Taxes

About 14.975%

About 13%

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Montreal and Toronto

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Montreal and Toronto?

In people’s minds, the biggest difference between the two metropolises is that they evoke very different images. While Toronto is modern, tall, and appeals to Americans, Montreal is considered more traditional, cultural, and European in nature. Moreover, the first language spoken in Montreal and in the province of Quebec is French. However, they are two cosmopolitan and dynamic cities to live in.

Where to Live in Montreal?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young Professionals and Singles 

Ville-Marie, Old Montreal, Outremont and Rosemont 

Families

Griffintown, Villeray & NDG

Students

Plateau Mont-Royal and Milton Park

Where to Live in Toronto?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Young Professionals 

Yonge-Eglinton, Liberty Village and King West. 

Families

Leslieville, Allenby and Deer Park.

Students

Harbourfront, Cabbagetown and Church-Wellesley. 

Is Tax Cheaper in Montreal vs. Toronto?

Income tax rates in Montreal (Quebec)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $45,105 of taxable income.
  • 20% on the next $45,105 and over.
  • 24% on the next $90,200 and over.
  • 25.75% on the amount over $109,755.

 

Income tax rates in Toronto (Ontario)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 5.05% on the first $45,142 of taxable income.
  • 9.15% on the next $45,145 and over.
  • 11.16% on the next $59,713 and over.
  • 12.16% on the next $70,000 and over.
  • 13.16 % on the amount over $220,000.

 

Federal tax rates

The federal tax rate is the same in Montreal and in Toronto. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $49,020 of taxable income, plus
  • 20.5% on the next $49,020 of the taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 49,020 up to $98,040), plus
  • 26% on the next $53,939 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $98,040 up to $151,978), plus
  • 29% on the next $64,533 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 151,978 up to $216,511), plus 
  • 33% of taxable income over $216,511

 

Sales tax rates in Montreal

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In the province of Quebec, they have GST as well as PST which are set at about 9.975% and 5% respectively, coming to a total of 14.975%. 

 

Sales tax rates in Toronto

There are three types of sales taxes in Canada. In Ontario, they have HST which is set at about 13%. 

Taxes are higher in Montreal compared to Toronto. However, keep in mind that the cost of living is cheaper in Montreal and services such as the educational system is cheaper in the province of Quebec.

Conclusion

Toronto is all about skyscrapers and the busy life of a big metropolitan city, while Montreal is on a slower pace. Being the biggest city in Canada, Toronto is also more expensive compared to Montreal. It all depends on what your preferences are, as both the cities offer tremendous opportunities to grow and make a living for yourself. Both cities have similarities, and both provide a wealth of exciting things to do and experiences you may have there. But there is a significant gap in living costs and the way of life. If you are planning to move soon, check out the 5 best moving companies in Toronto and the 5 best moving companies in Montreal.

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