Country Guides January 8, 2021

Things to Know Before Moving to Montreal From the US

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

There are some things you must know about a place before you decide moving overseas is the right choice for you. If you are thinking about moving to Montreal, there’s so much to learn. Stick around to find out all about this intriguing Canadian center.

Is Moving to Montreal a Good Idea?

The largest city in the province of Quebec boasts many interesting sights and things-to-do. Apart from its vibrant and buzzing cultural scene and the title of student’ capital, it’s also proud of its rich history. All these different influences can be felt in the city’s energy, and you’ll be amazed by the things on offer. Still, there are always two sides to every international moving story, and certain clouds appear on the otherwise bright sky.

Pros of Moving to Montreal

One of the best places to live abroad, MTL is replete with great perks and pros. You’ll find a dynamic job market here, a burgeoning cultural and restaurant scene, and things to do galore. And if you are moving with dogs, they’ll be over the moon with the city’s mesmerizing public parks. The public transportation network is great, and the cycling network is also well-developed.

Cons of Living in MTL

On the other hand, the roads are relatively poor since they have only recently started being repaired and encore une choseyou should speak French if you want to use your time to the fullest and guide yourself through all the challenges. And don’t forget parkas and new winter gear while deciding what to pack when moving abroad. The winter can get freezing around here.

You’ll like the nature of the parks

First Things First – Getting a Visa for Quebec Canada

One of the first questions that pop up while thinking about how to move abroad and start a new life is how to get a visa. Canada is generally open to newcomers, and there are numerous ways to apply for temporary visas or permanent residency. The first thing you should check out is the Government page’s Immigration and Citizenship section. If you believe you can help the country’s economy, consider the Express Entry program. And if you are moving to another country for love and have a loved one waiting in Canada, you can always try family sponsorship. Quebec has slightly different immigration rules than the other provinces, so make sure you study them thoroughly.

canadian passports
Getting documents for Quebec is fairly easy and straightforward

Is It Expensive to Live in Montreal?

The gem of the province of Quebec is one of the most affordable cities in Canada, and being here is less expensive than moving to Vancouver or living in Ottawa, the city’s first neighbor. The biggest part of its appeal are housing and renting costs, which are lower than in other big cities (but beware of taxes). Food is also available at reasonable prices, and entertainment is of the best quality and among the cheapest in the whole country.

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Housing Costs and Best Neighborhoods

Housing costs are the best thing about the cost of living in Montreal since they are among the lowest in Canada, and you can also find many places that offer first-month rent for free. If you are a fan of the classic and old-school, Old Montreal might be your cup of tea with its cobbled streets and European charm (warning: it’s quite pricey). If you are on the completely different end of the spectrum, you might enjoy Mile End, which is a hipster nouveau blend of Canadian, American, and global. Finally, if you’re searching for the best places to live abroad with family, don’t overlook Villearay with its breathtaking nature and the calm peacefulness it exudes.

World-Class Food and Entertainment

MTL is one of the top global destinations to be hungry in. You can feel like Anthony Bourdain while you pretend to travel around the globe, tasting different cuisines. Around here, you can find just about anything, and at any price, you are willing to pay. And, if you need more than food, you are in for a treat. The city is Canada’s Paris in terms of culture. From music festivals, theatres and circus, you’ll have to try hard to avoid being outgoing here in the heart of one of the friendliest countries in the world. And the city really offers the best entertainment money can buy.

Restaurant life won’t disappoint here

Can You Move to Montreal Without Speaking French?

Along with documents needed to travel abroad, a French dictionary might come in handy too because you might need to break the language barrier when you move. Though the city is bilingual and both languages are equally accepted, many job placements require the knowledge of both, and you’ll miss many fun opportunities if you don’t speak French. Don’t worry even if you don’t speak French at the moment learning a language abroad will be easy. Let’s take a look at this video to get a local’s perspective on it.

How to Get Around MTL?

Investing in overseas vehicle shipping is never a mistake when moving internationally, but the fact is that the public transportation system here works like a clock, and you can always rely on it. An extensive network of bus lines and four subway lines connects all neighborhoods and major landmarks, making it very easy to get around. People who prefer driving should know that parking is a bit hard to find around those touristy spots, but overall at least it is not pricey.

A street during winter
Do you prefer driving or walking?

Is It Better to Live in Montreal or Toronto? Or You’re Hesitant About Vancouver?

If you are moving to Montreal from the US, you might be tempted to compare it to living in Toronto. It’s really hard to say which city is better for living overseas since they can both blow your mind. Bear in mind that Toronto is 22% more expensive, according to Expatistan, but it all depends on your spending priorities. Still keep that in mind if you are contemplating moving to Toronto as well.

On the other hand, you might say that living in Vancouver is shinier, more modern, and following the latest trends. But, the cost of living in Northern Paris is about 10% lower in all aspects, according to Numbeo. The new ethnic makeup is also different, and Vancouver has one of the largest Asian communities in the world, whereas MTL opens its doors to people from all over the globe.

MTL can stand in comparison with Canada’s New York

Time to Move?

If you are dreaming of French Canada and Montreal’s magic, start preparing your international moving and find a reliable overseas shipping company. Think about how you’re going to do the packing and what boxes and moving supplies you’ll need. And, if you’ve got valuables, consider professional packing services, top-notch custom crating, or excellent storage services. With the right organization, your dream can come true in no time.

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