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10 Best Places to Live in Quebec in 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Quebec’s sole official language is French, with over 70% of its inhabitants being first-language francophones.
  • Quebec province is known for its unique blend of history, art, culture, beauty, and modernity.
  • Some of the best cities in Quebec include Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau, Lévis, Sherbrooke, Laval, Westmount, and Boucherville.

Home to over 8 million people, Quebec is Canada’s second-largest province by population. Its residents are concentrated around the metropolitan areas of its two major urban centers, Montreal and Quebec City.

In addition to its cosmopolitan cities and its diverse urban and rural environments, Quebec offers many kilometres of beautiful natural vistas and is home to three national parks.

As a whole, living in Quebec provides several unique advantages. It’s well known for its cosmopolitan offerings as well as its plentiful natural spaces, and it’s an affordable place to retire in Canada, settle down with your family, or move to for work.

How to Choose the Best Places to Live in Quebec

When you’re choosing where you’d like to live in Quebec, you’ll want to consider both your budget and the type of environment you’re looking for.

Here’s a table comparison of top 5 cities in Quebec.

 Quebec CityMontrealGatineauBouchervilleWestmount
Cost of living (monthly without rent)CA$1,433CA$1,308CA$1,196CA$1,047CA$1,029
Average cost of buying a home$363,000$504,800$247,500$304,500$1,830,000
Cost of rent (monthly)$620$829$772$1,015$1,006
Annual household income$77,306$82,589$82,672$97,401$132,170
Population549,5494,000,000284,55741,59520,000
Crime severity index (crimes per 1,000 people)53.5578.2666.70data unavailabledata unavailable

Top 10 Cities to Live in Quebec

Quebec’s capital, founded in 1608 by explorer Samuel de Champlain, is known for mixing history and modernity. At the center of the city lies the Old Quebec historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has preserved a charming old European style.

1. Quebec City

The city leans on its European roots to offer an aesthetic appeal that matches its colonial stylings while still providing modern amenities and a robust cultural scene.

It also provides the best urban environment that still incorporates plenty of green spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities.

With one of the lowest crime rates in North America, Quebec City and its surrounding metropolitan area are known for safety. It was named the safest city in Canada in which to raise children and is the perfect place to start a family.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,433
  • Average cost of buying a home: $363,000
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $620
  • Average annual household income: $77,306
  • Crime severity index: 53.55
  • Average temperature in summer: 20° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -11° C

2. Lévis

Lévis-Quebec is renowned for its scenic beauty, and it’s located at the heart of the province’s three national parks.

It sits on the bank of the St. Lawrence river, directly across from Quebec City, and it’s a small city with a village-like feel to it. Lévis is home to just 143,000 people.

There’s plenty to do in Lévis, as it’s full of both historical and natural attractions. The city center has many restaurants with diverse cuisines, and there are ferries that leave from Lévis in half hour. It’s an affordable city with many selling points.

  • Average monthly cost of living: CA$983
  • Average cost of buying a home: $284,900
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $1,050
  • Average annual household income: $74,101
  • Crime severity index: 30.17
  • Average temperature in summer: 20° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -11° C

3. Boucherville

A suburb on Montreal’s south shore, the humble city of Boucherville, has been dubbed Quebec’s “best-kept secret.”

Founded in 1667, the city is home to much of Quebec’s rich history, and its historical district, Vieux-Boucherville, is sure to charm with its slender European buildings and numerous cafés and art galleries.

The city also houses Quebec’s largest industrial park, meaning that it has plenty of economic opportunities and job offerings.

Boucherville has a healthy mix of families, young people, and retirees, making it a great place to raise a family or spend your elder years.

It combines green spaces with modern amenities and gourmet restaurants, resulting in a beautiful place to live.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,047
  • Average cost of buying a home: $304,500
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $1,015
  • Average annual household income: $97,401
  • Crime rate: data unavailable
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.5° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.5° C

4. Sherbrooke

Located about 48 kilometres north of the U.S.-Canada border with Vermont, Sherbrooke originated as a fur trading outpost.

In modern times, it has developed into an industrial, commercial, and cultural centre within Quebec. The capital of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, it has been dubbed “The Heart of the Townships.”

Some of its most popular attractions include its gastronomically renowned restaurants, its museums, its 17 outdoor murals, and its numerous trails for hiking and biking.

Sherbrooke is also flanked by three rivers, making it perfect for recreation and sports.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,205
  • Average cost of buying a home: $249,000
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $481
  • Average annual household income: $69,032
  • Crime severity index: 52.77
  • Average temperature in summer: 19.5° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.7° C

5. Laval

Located in southwest Quebec, Laval is Montreal’s largest suburb and is the third-largest city in the province (after only Quebec City and Montreal).

It’s linguistically diverse, with only about 60% of the population speaking French as a first language, meaning it’s an excellent place to live in Quebec for English speakers.

Laval offers all of the cosmopolitan attractions of a big city – it has plenty of museums, restaurants, and shopping while still providing access to plenty of green space and year-round family-friendly activities. About 65% of Laval’s households have children, so it’s a great place to raise a family in Quebec. 

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,111
  • Average cost of buying a home: $435,000
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $699
  • Average annual household income: $70,216
  • Crime severity index: 53.17
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.4° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.6° C

Related: Best Places to Live in Saskatchewan.

6. Montreal

Home to over 4 million people, Montreal is Canada’s second-largest city, smaller than only Toronto. It has been rated one of the world’s most livable cities and dubbed “Canada’s Cultural Capital.”

Montreal is also ethnically diverse, so it has a range of foods and cultures within its metropolitan area, making it a cultural hub full of fun and entertainment.

It has a robust art scene, too and hosts many music festivals. Montreal has plenty of jobs and economic opportunities and is a center of industry in Canada.

Coupled with its low cost of living, Montreal’s job opportunities make it a very attractive place to live.

  • Average monthly cost of living: CA$1,308
  • Average cost of buying a home: $504,800
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $829
  • Average annual household income: $82,589
  • Crime severity index: 78.26
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.6° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.3° C

7. Gatineau

Located near Ottawa, Gatineau is a robust French-speaking community with all of the amenities of modern city life.

It is a young and dynamic city with ever-developing industrial and business prospects, making it a hotbed of economic opportunity. It’s known as one of three “gateways” to Quebec.

Its strong arts and cultural scene is bolstered by its three-kilometre Culture Trail that highlights urban art, restaurants, festivals, and microbreweries in the heart of the city.

Gatineau Park, around which the city is centred, offers a taste of the outdoors, with trails for walking, biking, and cross-country skiing. It’s the perfect combination of natural and urban environments.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,196
  • Average cost of buying a home: $247,500
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $772
  • Average annual household income: $82,672
  • Crime severity index: 66.70
  • Average temperature in summer: 20.8° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.8° C

Related: Best Places To Live in Ontario.

8. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville

Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville is a picturesque town that’s situated on the westernmost side of Mont Saint-Bruno, one of the Montérégie hills. It’s an off-island suburb of Montreal.

The municipality offers its residents rich shopping options on its promenade, well-preserved cultural heritage sites, and proximity to a major commercial area.

It’s full of natural spaces and is at the heart of the parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno. The town is also home to 23 public parks that are idyllic attractions to the town’s 26,000 citizens.

It also has a strong art and cultural scene, making it an ideal place to escape while still being close to the action of a major city.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,046
  • Average cost of buying a home: $183,700
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $1,002
  • Average annual household income: $99,115
  • Crime severity index: data unavailable
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.4° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9° C

9. Westmount

The residential area of choice for Montreal’s wealthiest citizens, Westmount is an elegant, chic neighbourhood with palatial houses and apartments that are just as attractive.

Its architecture boasts a Canadian-English charm, rife with Tudor- and Victorian-style residences. Home to about 20,000 people, this Montreal suburb is highly sought after.

It’s also a neighbourhood where both English and French are spoken widely, unlike in much of Quebec.

Westmount is full of plenty of shopping, restaurants, and upscale commercial spaces, as well as green spaces. Its central Westmount Park and tree-lined streets have led it to be nicknamed “La Ville Jardin.”

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,029
  • Average cost of buying a home: $1,830,000
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $1,006
  • Average annual household income: $132,170
  • Crime rate: data unavailable
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.6° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.3° C

10. Saint-Lambert

Located in southwestern Quebec on the shore of the St. Lawrence River, Saint-Lambert sits across the water from Montreal. It’s home to about 21,000 residents and benefits from being closeby to Montreal’s commercial and metropolitan hub.

Saint-Lambert is a primarily residential community, and as the eighth-wealthiest city in Quebec, it has a sense of prestige.

The city has rich architectural and natural vistas, combining industrial frameworks with modern amenities. With a vibrant downtown full of restaurants and shopping, Saint-Lambert offers the comfort and closeness of a small-town community with the proximity and economic opportunity of a large city.

  • Average monthly cost of living without rent: CA$1,047
  • Average cost of buying a home: $913,852
  • Average monthly cost of rent (one bedroom): $1,004
  • Average annual household income: $78,319
  • Crime rate: data unavailable
  • Average temperature in summer: 21.6° C
  • Average temperature in winter: -9.3° C

Related: Check out these best places to live in Canada for families, young adults and jobs.

Conclusion

Are you hoping for an urban environment with art and cultural scene? Quebec or Montreal might be a good fit. If you’re seeking a combination of outdoor spaces and modern amenities, Gatineau or Lévis may work.

Each of Quebec’s cities has its own unique personality, so you’ll want to find the place where your budget and your ideal environment match up.

With that in mind, we’ve created a table to help you simplify your analysis of our top five cities and choose your new home.

Ranking Methodology

To find the top 10 places to live in Quebec, we researched many of its cities and towns, looking at what they offered in economic opportunity, culture, and safety. We analyzed the cost of living in each place to see where residents get the most value. The references below may be helpful additional resources for you as you continue your search.

References

FAQS

Is Quebec a good place to live?

Quebec is an excellent choice when looking for the right province to live in Canada. It combines cosmopolitan urban cityscapes with beautiful natural wonders, merging history and modernity in an unparalleled manner. With safe cities, vibrant culture, and unique Francophone culture, Quebec is a great place to retire or raise a family.

Where do the rich live in Quebec?

The ultra-chic suburb of Westmount, located on the edge of Montreal, is a prestigious neighbourhood full of Quebec’s richest citizens. With an average household income of $132,170 yearly and the average price of a home topping $1,800,000, Westmount of home to only Montreal’s most elite.

What are the disadvantages of living in Quebec?

Because Quebec is a primarily French-speaking province, English speakers may be at a disadvantage if they do not have at least a functional command of the language. Since 80% of Quebec’s residents speak French as their first language, there is no requirement for signage or forms to be translated into English. Quebec is also known for high taxes.

Why are people moving out of Quebec?

While the proportion of Canadian citizens who live in Quebec is declining, the population of Quebec is actually still going up – just more slowly than its neighbouring provinces. High taxes in Quebec can disincentivize potential residents from moving to Quebec, and the French-speaking culture may not appeal to all.

Related: Learn about the best places in Canada for immigrants.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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