While the city is still not close to having the most expensive average rent prices in Canada, the cost of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments in Montreal will definitely make you sweat.
Liv.rent looked at current average rents in nine Montreal neighbourhoods. Prices in the most and least expensive areas evaluated in the report, Downtown Montreal and Ahuntsic-Cartierville, respectively, are outlined below.
Most expensive: Downtown Montreal
The downtown had the most expensive average rent among all unfurnished apartment listing types included in the report.
Average rent for unfurnished one-bedroom: $1,450
Average rent for unfurnished two-bedroom: $2,077
Average rent for unfurnished three-bedroom: $2,509
It's no surprise that some of the most central Montreal neighbourhoods are also the most expensive. The Plateau had the second-highest average unfurnished one-bedroom apartment rent with a rate of $1,351 per month.
You're much better off getting an empty apartment downtown if your budget is tight. You'll pay nearly $250 more per month for a furnished one-bedroom apartment, according to liv.rent.
Least expensive: Ahuntsic-Cartierville
The borough along the Rivière des Prairies had the least expensive average rent among all unfurnished apartment categories.
Average rent for unfurnished one-bedroom: $942
Average rent for unfurnished two-bedroom: $1,454
Average rent for unfurnished three-bedroom: $1,720
Verdun had the second-lowest average rate, with rent at $1,079, $1,567 and $1,771 for unfurnished one, two and three-bedroom apartments, respectively.
Ahuntsic-Cartierville is everything Downtown Montreal isn't. It's quiet, suburban, and at the end of the orange line. But don't let that deter you from looking for an apartment there.
As one of the few neighbourhoods where you can still find a reasonable rental rate, Ahuntsic-Cartierville is certainly an up-and-comer.
As usual, unfurnished is the way to go if you're on a tight budget.
Around 80 housing advocates gathered in front of Justin Trudeau's campaign office in Montreal on Tuesday to protest on behalf of social housing and against inadequate housing and what they say is Trudeau's "lack of commitment" on the issue.*
"The health crisis exposed the serious physical and mental health consequences for tenants in Mr. Trudeau's riding living in substandard overcrowded housing, and in particular for the development of children and the safety of abused women. One would hope that this would lead to greater interest on his part, but it didn't," Comité d'Action de Parc-Extension coordinator Amy Darwish said in a press release.
Crise du logement: @JustinTrudeau interpellé sur les besoins urgents de logements sociaux dans sa circonscription
FRAPRU and other housing advocate groups in Montreal have called on the government to "commit to a recurring investment of $3 billion per year to fund new social housing."
The investment would allow Quebec to build around 7,000 social housing units per year, according to FRAPRU.
Montreal's Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough has been at the centre of the social housing debate for quite some time.
Advocates claim thousands lived in unaffordable housing or housing that was too small before the pandemic.
"We already cannot rely on the private rental market to take care of low-income households, the response must be political, the State must take this on. This response requires social housing and we want clear commitments from Mr. Trudeau," Charles Castonguay, community organizer at the Association des Locataires de Villeray, said.
A Montreal studio apartment for rent has been making waves on social media — because it's actually a converted car garage.
A now-deleted Kijiji ad for the space put the rent at $505 per month.
"It was a garage initially, transformed into a studio," the ad stated, adding that the apartment included an oven, fridge, toaster, TV, wardrobe, BBQ and a table.
Heat, electricity and Wi-Fi were included in the rent.
It was described as "ideal for a single person, worker [or] student."
The closed door of the former garage was visible in the photos on Kijiji.
An address wasn't listed, but the ad said the space was eight minutes by bus from the Henri-Bourassa metro station in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough.
Screenshots of the Kijiji ad posted to the popular mtlflextv Instagram account amassed over 5,000 likes and 200 comments. Followers of the page mostly poked fun at the apartment listing and implied that it demonstrated the state of the Montreal rental market.
So did a tenant rights group.
The Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ) shared a photo of the listing on Facebook.
"Housing at $500, said Premier François Legault a few months ago," the group captioned the post, referring to the premier's now-infamous suggestion that Montreal rents "start at $500 or $600 a month" — a comment that many of his opponents and tenant groups denounced as out of touch.
Contacted by MTL Blog, the person who posted the Kijiji ad for the garage studio declined to comment on this story.
They told the Journal de Montréal, however, that they were not the owner of the property but had been living in the apartment.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The May 23 tweet by Montrealer Sam Donald compares the Montreal of 2021 to famously expensive Toronto — a city whose glitzy glass towers and lack of accessible cultural offerings (at least, according to Quebecers) are often the subject of anecdotal warnings by Montrealers worried about the fate of their city's vulnerable indie arts scene amid a rising cost of living.
Montréal 2011: do you want to live in a city with low rent, a thriving music scene and great locally owned bars?
Donald, who is a city council candidate for Balarama Holness' Mouvement Montréal party, told MTL Blog that "it seems like the people in power are pushing a corporatization of Montréal at the expense of the culture that's at the heart of the city."
"I came to Montréal because of the city's artist-friendly culture and accessible rents, which seem to be disappearing at the hands of our local government," they said.
Tenant rights groups have called on political leaders to take action.
In a June survey, the Regroupement des comités logements et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ) declared that "the price of housing is exploding in Quebec." The group's survey showed an 11% increase in the price of a two-bedroom Montreal-area apartment between 2020 and 2021.
The RCLALQ called on "François Legault's government to implement real measures to guarantee access to affordable housing," including a public rent registry.
Ahead of the September federal election, the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) is also calling on federal party leaders to "make clear commitments to social housing" to address the housing crisis.
Though it saw the largest month-over-month drop in average rent per square foot last month, falling 6.2% to $2.21 per square foot, Montreal's rental rates have been going up over the last few years and the pandemic didn't do much to slow things down, the report states.
In an attempt to give the most accurate rental numbers possible, the report lists the 16 most popular apartments in Montreal over the past 19 months based on pageviews.
Norgate & Renaissance
The Olympic Village
Côte Vertu I
Place Du Boulevard Apartments
District C.D.N. Apartments
Place Kingsley Apartments
5015-5025 & 5051 Clanranald Avenue
La Tour Lafontaine
Domaine d'Iberville Apartments
Terrasses Embassy Apartments
"In these 16 select popular rental buildings, the average rent is up 3% annually to $1,406 per month, and the market is just as strong as the overall data suggests," the report says.