Most competitive operating costs in North America


Low operating costs

Running a business costs less in Greater Montréal than in any other major North American metropolitan areas

  • The most competitive operating costs of North America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas

Total operating costs for an average of 19 activity sectors (Montréal = 100)
20 largest metropolitan areas in North America, 2013


Source: KPMG, April 2, 2013

  • All sectors combined, the cost advantage over the average of North America’s 19 other largest metropolitan areas is more than 10%
  • Competitiveness is supported by moderate costs (labour, rent, electricity) and targeted financial incentives
  • High-tech sectors boast an even higher cost advantage

Greater Montréal’s cost advantage (%) compared to the average of the 19 other largest metropolitain areas in North America, 2013


 Source: KPMG, April 2, 2013

What Eidos Montréal has to say

«Before they made their decision, my bosses asked me to study several Canadian cities. Montréal came out ahead in terms of competitiveness, creativity, attractiveness, critical mass, government programs, operating costs, and innovation. Like in 2007, Montréal International was beside me every step of the way. Very few cities have such highly developed support structures to help companies like ours to develop and recruit strategic talent. That’s extremely valuable.»


Stéphane D’Astous, ex-General Manager Eidos-Montréal

Competitive salaries

  • Notwithstanding the high level of creativity and expertise of workers in Greater Montréal, salaries are lower than elsewhere in North America
  • The employees, however, still enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living
  • Low mandatory benefit costs for employers

Medians annual salaries for 8 typical professions
Selection of 7 large cities in North America, 2013

Montréal Toronto Chicago San Diego Seattle Boston San Francisco
R&D Manager (technical) 104,152 110,059 116,464 119,115 125,269 127,339 132,926
Manager 83,379 88,365 90,902 92,161 97,516 99,344 104,486
Aerodynamics engineer 82,088 87,016 84,085 86,172 86,144 91,142 95,016
Software developer 86,418 91,538 93,430 93,114 96,288 101,226 106,729
Industrial Engineer 74,131 78,707 74,221 75,756 76,021 80,240 83,603
Computer Prgrammer 73,132 77,664 78,949 78,070 81,106 85,136 89,821
Chemist 63,272 67,169 66,449 66,853 66,048 71,716 75,123
Scientific researcher 62,602 66,666 64,591 65,101 64,272 70,209 73,009

Note: Median salary of employees with 7 years’ experience occupying the position in question. Source:Economic Research Institute, Inc. , 2013

Affordable rent

  • Office and industrial spaces are available at highly competitive rates in downtown Montréal as well as in the North Shore and South Shore business districts
  • Average rent for a class-A office building : $21/sq. ft./yr
  • Average rent in the industrial sector : $5/sq. ft./yr.


Average office space rent ($/square foot/year)
12 of the largest metropolitan areas in North America, 2013


Source: Cushman & Wakefield, 2013


Low, stable energy costs

      • Rates among the lowest in North America

Average electricity rates (¢/KWH-including taxes)
Small power, 10 lagest metroolitan areas in North America, April 1st, 2012
(Power – 40kW, 
Consumption  10 000 kWh, Load factor 35%)


Source: Hydro-Québec, 2012

  • Stable electricity rates thanks to the hydro heritage pool which shelters rates from oil price fluctuations, and a low-cost natural gas outlook assured by huge continental reserves
  • Preferential energy rates available for major consumers: aluminum smelters, data centres, etc.
  • Major natural gas distribution infrastructure: over 10,000 km of underground pipes serving 185,000 residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers across Québec
  • 20% Average annual growth between now and 2015 in the number of cloud-computing related jobs in Greater Montréal—a total of 7,800 new jobs

Find out more :

The commercial power : Direct access to the North American market
The power of human capital : A pool of highly qualified workers
The financial power : attractive tax treatment and tailor-made incentives
The industrial power : 7 clusters of excellence in high value sectors
The power to attract the best : One of the world’s top 10 hip cities
The power to help you