Moving to Montreal

This page will discuss what Montreal as a city has to offer as well as important factors about what you should consider before moving there. From Sirelo’s top tips to getting a free removal quote, all you need to find out about moving to Montreal is on this page.

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Why choose Montreal?

The city of Montreal is known as being a ‘cool hip’ city and is truly beautiful at that. Experiencing the extreme climates is a key factor that attracts many UK expats as well as the extremely friendly locals. Montreal is well known for it’s traditional ‘poutine’ dish, which in England we would call chips an gravy. But it is a must try!

The dominant language spoken is French but the city is bilingual and almost everyone can speak English. Before moving to Montreal it is important to know there are a number of things you must do before your move, the most important is of course a visa. This can take a while to process so it’s better to be prepared. For a more accurate checklist read the ‘top tips’ section of this page.

How much will it cost you to move?

In comparison to most North America cities the rent prices in Montreal and dirt cheap. The other great thing is that the sizes if the apartments are not compromised because of cheaper size. Pairing up with someone can mean spending £180 -£420 a month depending on the area.

On average the cost of living in Montreal is low, especially in comparison to London, but London is quite pricey anyway. The main difference is the grocery prices are around 15% more expensive in Montreal. This can be seen in the table below:

ProductLondon priceMontreal price
Milk£0.90£1.27
Bread£1.00£1.94
Rice£1.35£2.53
Chicken£6.66£8.09
Oranges£1.85£2.89

Shipping costs

Shipping costs to Montreal will be dependant on where in the UK you are moving from. The costs also vary if you opt in for insurance and other factors such as additional services. On average it take around 3-5 weeks to ship a household from the UK to Montreal. Below are estimated prices of a 3 bed household move from a variety of cities in the UK to Montreal by sea:

CityCost
London£5,000 – £6,800
Birmingham£4,800 – £6,500
Manchester£5,000 – £6,800
Leeds£5,100 – £6,900
Newcastle£5,300 – £7,100
Bristol£5,200 – £7,000
Moving to Montreal?
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Top tips before moving to Montreal

The city of Montreal has a number of factors that you wont be used to:

Language

For starters the dominant language is French, but don’t worry the city is bilingual so they can speak English. The French language in the province Quebec is however quite different. Firstly the accent, Quebec French is quite nasally and the accent is described as more extreme. The vocabulary also differs, words for certain items aren’t the same for example, the car (la voiture) is le char in Montreal which is a tank in France. So you can see there can be a confusion. Slag is also widely used which can make it also ore difficult to understand

Jay walking

In England when we see no cars we usually cross the road, simple. However make sure not to do this in Montreal. The traffic light system is also different in comparison to the UK. There are traffic lights for both pedestrians and cars, and you will face a similar penalty if going through a red light similarly to a car would. If you are caught by the police you will incur a $50 fine. So make sure to only cross when the green man is showing.

Weather

The Montreal summers are gorgeous! Hot lovely summer with temperatures around 30 degrees; however the winter is something you need to be prepared for. The cold frigid temperatures can cause a problem for many, from December to around April temperatures will be on average -20 degrees. So thinking about moving to Montreal? Make sure you have a warm jacket prepared.

Alcohol

It’s pretty easy to get hold of alcohol in the UK, you simple pop over to your nearest Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s, easy. But it’s not this simple in Montreal. All liquor stores are government owned so you can only purchase spirits from certain shops known as SAQ’s. This is to try regulate the prices of alcohol in the city. Wine and beer, however can still be bought at your local convenient store ‘depanneur’ and are usually open until late. So remember to make note of the nearest SAQ and depanneur near you.

Milk in bags

A very strange feature of Montreal that stands out is the way you can purchase milk. In the UK it’s simply bought in a carton or if you’re a bit more fancy a glass bottle from the milk man. But this isn’t the case in Montreal. A common way to buy milk is in fact in bags. It may sound very strange but is a lot more cost effective, especially if you have a large family or simply just love milk!

Visit our page moving to Canada to find out about the key requirements before your move.

How to find your new home

As previously mentioned, the rental prices in Montreal are very cheap! But a factor affecting this is also on the neighbourhood you choose to live in. Montreal’s housing market consists of over 50% renters. The top neighbourhoods to live in include:

  • Plateau-Mont-Royal
  • Sherbrooke
  • Ahuntsic
  • Notre Dame de Grace
  • Ville Saint Pierre
  • Mile End

Common websites to find rentals include: KijijiPadMapperForRentRentJungle

When looking at the advertisements the sizes of the apartments may seem strange. The scale that is used to indicate the sizes is rather confusing, a basic breakdown is as follows:

  • 1 1/2 – A single room studio
  • 2 1/2 – Includes a bedroom and a living room, plus a kitchenette and bathroom
  • 3 1/2 – Includes a distinct living room, bedroom, and kitchen.
  • +4 1/2 – Each +1 indicates an increase in a room e.g a 6 1/2 will have will have four bedrooms along with a living room, bedroom, and kitchen.

Moving from the UK to Montreal

Transportation in Montreal

The great thing about Montreal is the size means most places are accessible by foot and if slightly further you can always rent a Bixi bike which are located almost everywhere. It only costs $5 for 2 hours and if you return the bike within an hour you get the trip free. This is to encourage the use and reduce carbon emisions within the city

The transport in Montreal is excellent and really reasonably priced. The main saviour is STM travel. You can purchase an adult OPAS card for $15 and then you can top it up monthly, yearly etc. The travel is valid on all metro routes in Montreal and busses so is really good value. Below is an overview of how much trips cost when having an OPAS card:

TripsCost  ($CAD)Cost  (£)
1 $3.25£1.95
2$6£3.60
10$27£16.19
1 month$83£49.77
4 month$197£118

Montreal awaits!

Moving to Montreal will be an adventure -an adventure we want to accompany you on. At Sirelo, we offer you a number of resources for your move. To start with, we recommend that you take a look at the pages we have linked for you below 😉.