Montreal has a reputation for being a town with good bang for your rental buck. 

But in many neighbourhoods that's changing, and the days of a $500-a-month find may be a thing of the past.

"You will not find a tenant who is going to leave a $500 or $600 rental and an owner that will be stupid enough to give up a chance to raise the rent to market level," said Hans Brouillette, director of public affairs for Quebec's property owners association, CORPIC.

As neighbourhoods shift and rents rise, how do you know if you're paying too much for your pad?

Radio-Canada crunched the numbers neighbourhood by neighbourhood, comparing 10,000 ads posted on the online classified site Kijiji and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data to give you an idea of what the average apartment is going for in your area.

Priciest rents: Downtown and Île-des-Soeurs

The prize for Montreal's most costly rental living goes to the area that takes in downtown and Île-des-Soeurs. On average, renters there pay $1,349 a month for their lodging (according to a Kijiji sample of 677 ads).

Even a studio apartment will set you back more than a grand. The average studio was $1,101, according to the 244 ad sample from Kijiji.

That may be because the area has a higher-than average share of new condos. Between 15 and 20 per cent of new units become rentals in downtown, compared to the rest of the island where the average is below 10 per cent.

Cheapest units: Montreal North, east island and Longueuil

It's no surprise that the further you get away from the city centre, the cheaper rent becomes. According to the Kijiji survey, these areas had the cheapest rents on average:

Montreal North: $682 (283 ad sample)

Pointe-aux-Trembles/Montréal-Est/Rivière-des-Prairies : $722 (173 ad sample)

Longueuil : $748 $ (575 ad sample)

Changing city

Every year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) surveys thousands of property owners to determine occupancy rates and average unit prices across the country.

How do the real-market prices from Kijiji stack up? In Montreal, the gap is significant, especially in one of the fastest developing areas: the southwest and Verdun.

A studio in the formerly working-class area was $828 on Kijiji, 70 per cent more than the CMHC average.

Mind the gap

Biggest difference (average across all unit sizes):

  • Sud-Ouest/Verdun: +45 per cent (average price on Kijiji $956, CMHC $660)
  • Plateau-Mont-Royal : +39 per cent (average price on Kijiji $1168, $841 CMHC)
  • Hochelaga-Maisonneuve : +35 per cent (average price on Kijiji $907, CMHC $673)

Smallest gap (average across all unit sizes):

  • Mirabel/Oka/Pointe-CalumetSainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac/Saint-Eustache/Saint-Joseph-du-Lac/Saint-Placide/Deux-Montagnes: +5 per cent (Kijiji average: $766, CMHC $731)
  • Longueuil+9 per cent (average Kijiji $748, CMHC $687)
  • Beauharnois/La Prairie/Léry/Candiac/Châteauguay/Delson/Maple Grove/Melocheville/Mercier/Sainte-Catherine/Saint-Constant/Saint-Isidore/Saint-Mathieu/Saint-Philippe: + 10 per cent (average price Kijiji $764, CMHC $694)

Find out more about the methodology used to create the rental maps here.

With files from Radio-Canada's Pasquale Harrison-Julien and Florent Daudens