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

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 amidst wilderness. The warmth of Edmontonians often leaves a lasting impression on newcomers to the city. In 2014, MoneySense magazine recognized Edmonton as the eighth most livable city in Canada, 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

Type of fare

Rate

Single ticket

(90 minutes)

$2.75

10 Ticket pack

$27.75

Daily pass

$10.25

Monthly pass

$100

Family Pass (Up to 5 people)

$10.25

ETS Edmonton Transit Service (Sept 2023)

How much is a monthly pass in Edmonton?
The ETS public transit cost of a monthly pass in Edmonton is $100.

 

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 dépanneurs (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.

Public transit fares in Montreal

Type of fare

Rate

Single ticket

$3.75

Daily pass

$11.00

Weekly pass

$30.00

Monthly pass

$97.00

747 Trudeau Airport/Downtown

$11.00

STM (Sept 2023)

How much is a transit monthly pass in Montreal?
The cost of a public transit monthly pass in Montreal is $97.00.

 

Cost of groceries in Edmonton vs. Montreal

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

Groceries costs

Edmonton

Montreal

Milk (regular), (1 gallon)

$8.99

$10.86

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)

$2.88

$3.69

Rice (white) (1 lb)

$1.91

$1.96

Eggs (regular) (12)

$4.15

$4.28

Local Cheese (1 lb)

$6.69

$7.32

Chicken Filets (1 lb)

$6.95

$7.28

Beef Round (1 lb)

$9.00

$7.94

Apples (1 lb)

$2.58

$1.98

Banana (1 lb)

$0.83

$0.88

Oranges (1 lb)

$2.28

$2.19

Tomato (1 lb)

$2.43

$2.43

Potato (1 lb)

$1.35

$1.23

Onion (1 lb)

$1.26

$1.43

Lettuce (1 head)

$3.61

$3.17

Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)

$16.00

$18.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

$4.13

$3.69

Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)

$4.80

$4.31

Average monthly cost of groceries for 1 person 

$319.36 per month.

$330.56 per month.

Numbeo-Edmonton (Sep 2023) & Numbeo-Montreal (Sept 2023)

 

What to do in Edmonton vs. 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 the 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 theater event in North America, the biggest blues festival in Western Canada, and the substantial folk music festival Folk Fest, all of which take place outside the summer

Explore Edmonton (Jan 2024))

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 (Jan 2024)

Cost of entertainment in Edmonton vs. Montreal

The cost of entertainment is relatively less expensive in Edmonton. A Mid-range restaurant meal costs about $7.50 dollars more in Montreal. In Edmonton, a monthly adult health club membership costs $63.01 compared to only $47.33 in Montreal. In both, a seat in a movie theater showing an international release costs similar. 

 

Entertainment costs

Edmonton

Montreal

Mid-range restaurant meal

$50.00

$57.50

Taxi 1h

$30.00

$44.25

1 cinema ticket

$16.00

$15.00

Total

$96.00

$116.75

Numbeo-Edmonton (Sep 2023) & Numbeo-Montreal (Sept 2023)

 

Cost of housing in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Edmonton’s home prices remained largely steady compared to other Canadian housing markets. The average sales price in the Greater Edmonton Area was $374,100, whereas in Montreal, the average home price was $521,600.

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. Since June 2021, prices haven’t decreased for two straight months. 

Cost of Housing in Edmonton vs. Montreal

In the tables below, you’ll find two charts that display the average cost of renting an apartment, including two apartment types, and the average home price in Edmonton vs. Vancouver.

Cost of rent in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Edmonton (Outside of Center)

$1,125.04

$1,694.15

Montreal (Outside of Center)

$1,221.81

$1,979.26

Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Montreal (Sept 2023)

Cost of buying a property in Edmonton vs. Montreal

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Edmonton

$374,100

Montreal

$521,600

CREA (Aug 2023)

 

How much is a house in Edmonton and Montreal ?
The average price of a house in Edmonton is $374,100, while in Montreal it is $521,600.

 

Job opportunities in 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 (Jan 2024)

Salary comparison in Edmonton vs. Montreal

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

Professions

Average salary in

Edmonton

Average salary in

Montreal

Registered Nurse

$95,992

$74,880

Software Developers

$81,244.80

$91,436.80

Electricians

$76,960

$76,960

Welders

$76,960

$54,080

Heavy Equipment Operator

$81,120

$66,560

Government of Canada Job Bank (Nov 2023)

 

Cost of living in Edmonton vs. Montreal

 

 

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

Monthly cost in Edmonton

Monthly cost in Montreal

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$1,125.04

$1,221.81

Numbeo’s monthly grocery expenses

$319.36

$330.56

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$294.97

$110.21

Internet with 60 Mbps

$86.41

$59.54

Transit pass

$100.00

$97.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$96.00

$116.75

Gym membership 

$63.01

$41.14

Total

$2,084.79

$1,977.01

Numbeo-Edmonton (Sept 2023) & Numbeo-Montreal (Sept 2023)

 

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

Outdoor recreation 

Capilano

Families and Students

Parkallen, Secord, Lymburn

Accessible

Avonmore, Cameron Heights

Where to live in Montreal?

Lifestyle

Neighborhood

Outdoor reacreation 

Verdun, Anjou

Families and Young Couples

LaSalle, Kirkland, Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie

Accessible

Lachine 

Is tax cheaper in Edmonton vs. Montreal?

Income tax rates in Edmonton (Alberta)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 10% from $0.00 to $142,292 of annual taxable income.
  • 12% on the next $142,292.01 up to $170,751.
  • 13% on the next $170,751.01 up to $227,668.
  • 14% on the next $227,668.01 up to $341,502.
  • 15% on the amount over $341,502.01.

Personal Income Tax (Dec 2023)

Income tax rates in Montreal (Quebec)

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 14% on annual taxable income of $51,780 or less.
  • 19% on the next $51,780 up to $103,545.
  • 24% on the next $103,545 up to $126,000.
  • 25.75% on the amount over $126,000

Revenu Quebec (Jan 2024)

Federal tax rates in Edmonton vs. Montreal

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

  • 15% on annual taxable income from $0.00 to $55,867.
  • 20.5% on the annual taxable income from $55,867 up to $111,733.
  • 26% on the annual taxable income from $111,733 up to $173,205.
  • 29% on the annual taxable income from $173,205 up to $246,752. 
  • 33% on the annual taxable income over $246,752.

Canada Revenue Agency (Jan 2024)

Sales tax rates in Edmonton vs. Montreal

In Canada, there are three types of sales taxes that vary by province: the federal GST (5%), the provincial sales taxes PST (varies depending on the province), and the HST, which is a combination of the two. In Alberta, there’s the GST only, set at about 5%, which applies to purchases of goods and services. Whereas in Québec, there’s the PST and the GST, which are set at about 5% and 9.975%, respectively, totaling 14.975% and applying to purchases of goods and services

Government of Canada (Sept 2023)

 

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 best moving companies in Edmonton and the best moving companies in Montreal.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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