I was born, raised and lived in Montréal for the past 25 years. Lots of questions and statements found here could use answers and complementary information.
First, French is a huge part of living in Montréal. It is essential. If, as some might have stated, it would be possible for you to find employment speaking English, those jobs will never be quite interesting. The real challenge about not speaking French would definitely be socialization.
Québécois are, once again as stated previously, a bit hard to meet: using the social space, we are cold, kept to ourselves, and might seem impossible to attain. However, we are very warm people towards our friends. As the Danes (concept of «Hygge» or Swedes), we are, you can say, very private people, who do not really master the concept of «acquaintance». If it is hard to meet and get to know Québécois, French will definetly help you get easier social experiences. People here litterally wait for the bus a meter from one another to avoid having conversation with strangers. It has nothing to do with where you are from, it has to do with the fact that we don't know each-other.
My household has two people and a cat: groceries and drugstore items are about 150$ a week (we do not shop at the cheapest place, and cook a lot, with care), and utilities (all Hydro) go from 85$/2months in the summer up to 450$/2months in the winter. We tape up the windows, seal up the doors and take good care of our ecological print. Most apartments are old and isolation can somehow lack, but between -20 in the winter and +35 in the summer, it's quite hard to keep track of the climate.
Speaking of which: Winter can be cold, yes, but it's not the cold you shall fear, it's the wet. A Canada Goose coat won't get you far. Get a good coat which is impermeable. Lolë make tough ones for women, and Mountain Equipment coop can get the men happy. Sorel or Pajar boots will keep your feet warm, but you do not necessary need this. Wellies will get you on just fine, as between the tube commute, the bus, the indoors/outdoors walking, isolated boots just might get you wet from the inside... And once you're wet, there is no way to escape the cold. Downtown has the most vast underground city (RÉSO) in the world, so if you work there, you might not even need to get out on terrible weather days.
On finance: Yes, taxes are high, but that's what makes us equal, and we are quite proud to pay taxes. We are nowhere near wanting to get those down. If you do not like the idea of paying taxes, I suggest Alberta. It did not get them much luck, although. Minimum wage is not so high (11$ an hour), but only unqualified workers (usually on manual work, retail, coffee shops, etc) really end up working on minimum wage. This is not to be seen as an example of what your salary could be. Median income as of 2011 was 38 750$/year for one person. Median income is more representative than average income, as the middle class is quite enormous (although shredding)in Québec.
Hockey is important. Canadiens de Montréal's flag will rise upon the City Hall during playoffs season. About flags: Québécois are quite fond of the Fleurdelysé, and it flies mostly everywhere. It might seem odd for you at first, but you will get to love it. Plus, if you ever have children in Québec, you will get a Fleurdelysé in his/her birthpackage.
Public transportation is quite efficient, and there is a wide offer of carsharing [carpooling]. If you live in central Montréal, Public transportation qui cheap (87$/month), but if you live in the suburbs, it gets pricey quite fast. There is a special price for children and students. Most neighbourhoods do not have a school bus system, children mostly use public transportation to get to school if they go to a chosen school, but «neighbourhood schools system» grants them the right to be a walking distance of school. Parents usually go with them up to 3rd or 4th grade, but by 5th (they are 10 or 11), they often go alone. Children play and walk alone all the time, and it's quite safe.
I hope I have been able to help you figure out the life in Montréal.
I have uploaded the web pages to Immigration Québec and the Charte de la langue Française, those are documents you should seek information in. Please note that Immigration is a shared competency in Québec, so look at the documents you will find there in addition of the documents on Immigration Canada.
Hope you will love Montréal,
Posted by: initials J.D. on Jan 10, 2016;
Sourced at: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Canada&city=Montreal
Notes: Some areas have been edited and corrected for spelling and space errors.
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