Off grid living in Quebec ( La Belle Province )

Quebec is located in the eastern parts of Canada, this is the biggest province in Canada. Currently, the population is around 8.5 million people and this province has 6 cities with a population above 100k residents. The biggest cities in Quebec are Montreal with 3.5 million population, followed by Quebec City 705k, Ottawa – Gatineau 280k, Sherbrooke 140k, Trois-Rivières 114k, and Chicoutimi – Jonquière with 104k residents.

Quebec can be a great province for off grid living, provided that you have money, on the other hand, if you want to live as frugally as possible then you will not be able to do it in this province. Quebec is leading Canada’s economy, which means that the cost of property, and the cost of living are fairly high. On the other hand, the local authorities offer several generous incentives and rebates both for solar and wind power systems.

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Quebec’s capital city is Quebec City, and Montreal has one of the strongest economies in the province. If you are planning to move here to live off the grid then you will have to learn French, as most people in this province speak french as their primary language. In some areas, you will have some difficulties if you do not speak french as not a lot of people speak English. Quebec is an economic hub, and around 20% of Canada’s GDP comes from this province.

Quebec is famous for the thousands of lakes and rivers, in fact, there are around 500k lakes in this province, although some argue that if you take into consideration the smaller lakes which are not actually categorized as lakes the number would be in the millions. Quebec is also the main provider of maple syrup, around 70% of the global market is supplied by this province. Living off the grid in this province is possible although it can get somewhat expensive.

Quebec has a fairly high population density in the south, and the cost of buying a house and property is extremely high. The housing sector is similar to Ontario, a lot of foreign investors bought a lot of properties thus driving the prices up and the average Canadians can not afford to buy a house or an apartment. If you want to compare this province to its western neighbor then check out my recent article Off grid living in Ontario ( The Heartland Province ).

Quebec climate

For the most part, Quebec has a humid continental type climate, all 4 seasons are present, summers tend to be hot and the winters tend to be cold. The average summertime temperatures are between 70 °F and 90 °F ( 21C and 32C ), the average winter temperatures are between  23 °F and 7 °F ( -5C and -14C ). The high humidity plays a major role in the local weather, and often the weather can change drastically in a matter of hours. If you want to compare this province to a state then check out my recent article Off grid living in Missouri ( The Show-Me State ).

Types of crops grown in Quebec

Quebec has one of the best climates and the mildest weather for growing crops in the country. The most commonly grown crops here are soybeans, oats, corn for grain, maple, nuts, and fruits. Quebec is the world-leading producer of maple syrup, and it is one of Canada’s leading producers of dairy products, fruits, berries, and nuts. Generally speaking, you will have no problem growing crops, especially in the southern parts. If you want to take a look at a province that has a lower cost of living and population density then check out my recent article Off grid living in Saskatchewan ( Canada’s Breadbasket ).

Freshwater availability in Quebec

Quebec has plenty of fresh water, it is one of the wettest provinces in the country. You will have no problem finding groundwater or topwater, just be careful in the southern regions where animal farms are as the runoff from them could contaminate the groundwater. The average yearly rainfall in Quebec is around 43″ ( 1100 mm ), in the northern regions the average yearly rainfall can get as high as 80″.

Quebec wildlife

Quebec has a lot of animals like white-tailed deer, black bears, caribou, moose, beavers, foxes, chipmunks, porcupines, and seals. In the local lakes, rivers, and coastlines you will find brook trout, walleye, Atlantic salmon, northern pike, lake trout, landlocked salmon, arctic char, and muskellunge. You will need a fishing license both for freshwater and saltwater fishing https://www.quebec.ca/en/tourism-and-recreation/sporting-and-outdoor-activities/fishing-rules/fishing-licence/.

Generating power off the grid in Quebec

  • Solar power: Quebec gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year, and you will have an easy time generating power with solar panels. This province has several local incentives for solar power like the Heating with Green Power, and the RenoVert Tax Credit which is around 20% and up to $10 000. In addition to this, you can also apply for federal programs like the Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) Renewable Energy and the Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses (CRCE).
  • Wind power: For setting up a wind turbine you can use the RenoVert Tax Credit,  Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) Renewable Energy, and the Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses (CRCE) to reduce your costs.

Quebec off grid laws

Living off the grid in Quebec is legal, and the local authorities offer generous incentives for renewable energy. Quebec’s education system is one of the best in the country, although you can still homeschool your children if you live off the grid in a remote area. The local homeschooling laws are fairly strict so make sure to follow the recommendations of the local authorities.

Road access in Quebec

Quebec is Canada’s economic powerhouse and the local infrastructure is fairly well maintained. In the southern parts of the province, you will have no issue with road access, but the lack of roads in the northern parts might become problematic. Generally speaking, if the area where you want to live off the grids doesn’t have road access and you will have to fly in everything, then this area is not good for off grid living as the cost of transportation will get you broke.

Price of land in Quebec

The price of land and property in Quebec is higher than the national average, not only due to the high population density but also because this is the richest region in the entire country. Near the bigger cities, you will find it extremely difficult to buy a cheap homestead or a plot of land, although with some luck you could do it.

Quebec cost of living

The cost of living in Quebec is high, and that is putting it mildly. Most people who live and work in this province have fairly high paying jobs, so if you come from another province or from the US then you will have to save up quite a bit. The good news is that the cost of living is not high due to inaccessibility but due to the high population density, and due to the economic stability of the region.

Quebec jobs

Quebec’s unemployment rate is at 5.1% which is well below the national average of 6.9%. The minimum wage is 12.50 CAD which is around the same as in the neighboring provinces. The biggest industries are mining, agriculture, forestry, renewable energy, manufacturing, and tourism.

Quebec natural disasters

Quebec is prone to having storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and wildfires. Overall when it comes to natural disasters this province is one of the safest ones, the most commonly occurring natural disasters are storms, although these are more frequent in the northern parts of the province than in the southern parts.

In conclusion

Quebec can be a paradise for people who want to live off the grid, but living off the grid in this province will cost you a lot more than in the other provinces. The main reason why so many people move to this province is due to the stable economy, it might cost you more to live off the grid here but if you want job security then Quebec might just be the place for you.