What Does a Kitchen Renovation Cost in 2021? Toronto vs. Montreal


Thinking of renovating your kitchen? You’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost. A new kitchen is a major investment and a room that gets a ton of use so you want to get it right.

If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, expect to outlay anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000+. Factors that affect the cost of your project include the size of your kitchen, the materials and, yes, your location! We’ve put Toronto & Montreal head to head to compare the cost of a new kitchen in these two major cities.

Assuming a new kitchen does not include new appliances, here is what we usually see our customers paying:

Greater Montreal
Economic 16 000$ +
Resurfacing 19 000$ +
Standard custom 22 000$ +
Mid-Range 33 000$ +
High-End 40 000$ +
Luxury 50 000$+
Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Economic 19 200$ +
Resurfacing 22 800$ +
Standard custom 26 400$ +
Mid-Range 39 600$ +
High-End 48 000$ +
Luxury 60 000$ +

*Note that many factors can influence the total cost of renovations, including but not limited to the type of work to be done, the required labour, the needed materials, the protective measures, the length of the project (faster=higher cost) and contingencies.

Consequences of COVID-19 on the construction and renovation sectors

Keep in mind that certain unforeseen events due to COVID-19 may affect the cost of renovation projects without notice. For example, the industry has come across a treated lumber shortage since the first lockdown, resulting in a massive fluctuation of prices. Other construction materials are likely to experience similar issues. For more details, read our article: Rising Lumber Prices: Another COVID-19 Effect?

Why do the prices vary so much?

If you’re only changing cabinets, expect project costs to be on the lower end of the spectrum. However, if you’re thinking about reconfiguration, installing recessed lights or removing a wall, you’ll need specialized professionals to move plumbing and electrical work, and the price will vary accordingly.

Why is it more expensive in Toronto?

Everything is more expensive in Toronto and unfortunately, the renovation industry isn’t immune to this reality. At the same time, a renovation will add more value to your house – so there’s a silver lining to the extra expense.

Want an idea of the price for the project you have in mind?

Our renovation advisors have thousands of projects under their belt, so they can give you a fair assessment of the budget required, backed by experience. And if you’re ready for an in-depth estimate, we can refer up to three 360° Verified Contractors, including specialist kitchen renovators, to compete for your project.

Hochart Project - Kitchen

What trades will you need for your kitchen reno?

Wondering who you may need to hire for your kitchen makeover? These are the most common trades you will need:

A Kitchen Designer
A kitchen designer can help you squeeze the most out of your space. Let’s face it – a well laid-out kitchen is an efficient kitchen. Expect to discuss the kitchen work triangle, layout and cabinet sizing.

A Cabinetmaker
A dedicated kitchen cabinetmaker can help you achieve exactly what you want in terms of cupboard and pantry storage, the latest hardware like soft-close drawers and a handy wine rack (a must for any modern kitchen). Expect to pay a premium for custom cabinetry.

Quality Typical Cost (per linear foot, installed)
Stock / MDF $60 – $200
Semi-custom Hardwood $120 – $500
Custom Hardwood $300 – $1000

A Countertop Manufacturer

Proper surfacing is essential in a home chef’s kitchen. A kitchen counter specialist can choose and install the right one for you, be it laminate, hardwood, quartz or natural stone, among others.

Material Typical Cost (per square foot, installed)
Laminate 25$ – 60$
Quartz 60$ – 200$
Hardwood 45$ – 250$
Marble 85$ – 300$
Granite 60$ – 250$
Stainless Steel 90$ – 180$

Kitchen Renovation Guide

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An Electrician

An electrician is a must-have tradesperson for any kitchen project, no matter the size. Besides the obvious elements such as lighting, you’ll also need several power outlets as well as new appliances wired and installed. Expect to be charged anywhere from $70 to $95 per hour.

A Plumber
A licensed plumber is one of the most crucial trades for a kitchen renovation. They will install your kitchen sink, faucet and taps and your new fridge with a water/ice dispenser. Expect them to charge hourly rates ranging between $150 and $200.

A Specialized backsplash installer
A backsplash installer can meticulously install a glass, tiled or stainless-steel backsplash among other materials.

A Tiler
Whether you’re thinking of an elegantly tiled backsplash or simple flooring, an experienced tiler will do the work with absolute precision.

A General Contractor
If you are looking for an expert to manage the entire project for you, then a dedicated kitchen builder is the perfect professional for you. These general contractors can manage and coordinate all of the above trades and save you a lot of time by not having to juggle it all on your own. Expect to pay a little extra for the convenience.

Contractor Meeting

Does my kitchen contractor need to be licensed?

This will depend on which province your property is in and the work being performed. Many elements of a kitchen renovation require plumbing and electrical work, which requires licensing no matter where you are.

In Toronto, a general contractor will require a Metro Building Renovators Licence while their electrical and plumbing sub-trades will require their Certificates of Registration respectively.

In Montreal and the rest of Quebec, every contractor, general or specialized, will require a relevant RBQ licence.

Hiring the right tradespeople

To make sure a pro is right for your project, you should verify a few things in advance:

  • Are they properly licensed?
  • Are they insured to work in my home?
  • How long do they estimate the job will take?
  • Will they provide a detailed and written quote?
  • Will they include everything in the initial quote or will I end up with a bunch of extra charges?
  • Do they have references I can call and even visit to ensure they’re legitimate?
  • Can I see genuine examples of their work?

Getting your dream designer kitchen for less

What materials you choose can make a big difference to the final cost of your kitchen. Countertops, for example, range from relatively inexpensive laminate to stainless steel at the high end of the scale. Similarly, the cheapest cabinet doors you can purchase tend to be melamine. At the high end, gloss white 2-pack polyurethane doors, can easily cost four times as much.

Konidas Project - Kitchen Renovation

Other savings tips:

  • Check out the designer ranges of laminates for a budget alternative to stainless steel. There are laminates designed to have a stainless steel appearance, but for a durable countertop that will still look great after years of use, look for textured and/or patterned laminates.
  • Do you like the rolled edges and glossy appearance of polyurethane but not the price? Vinyl wrapped (also called thermo-formed) doors are almost indistinguishable from 2 pack polyurethane but at a fraction of the cost.
  • The same principle applies to other materials. If you like the look of granite, for example, consider a granite-look laminate. If that is not to your liking, check out the ranges of engineered stone or quartz countertops that are available on the market today.
  • As solid and durable as natural stone (some argue more durable), engineered stone costs less and has a distinctive uniform appearance many kitchen designers prefer to natural marble or granite.

Quality kitchen cabinetry – what to look for to save in the long run

The one place you don’t want to cut corners with is the construction quality of your kitchen cabinetry. Almost all kitchen cabinets are constructed from water-resistant MDF (medium-density fibreboard). This is the least you should expect in either a custom or flat-pack kitchen. Ideally, the backs of the cabinets should be sturdier than the 6mm vinyl-covered backing used in some cheaper kitchens, but where you will really notice a difference is in the quality of the drawer construction:

  • The cheapest drawers tend to have flimsy bottoms that are built into grooves along the bottom edges of the melamine or vinyl-wrapped drawer sides. They will inevitably buckle and break under even a moderate load.
  • Higher-grade drawers are more sturdily constructed and fitted with quality, durable drawer runners designed for long-life use.
  • The best quality drawers are metal-sided drawer systems.

Most door hinges look very much alike but can differ significantly in quality. If you’ve ever had kitchen doors that sag and bind, you’ve most likely had inferior hinges installed. Most kitchen companies will be more than happy to offer you quality hinges if they don’t come as a standard feature. You will have to pay a bit more for them but they are of good value for your money and won’t break the bank.

Cardin Project - Kitchen

Updated January 2021

For more information, visit our Kitchen Renovations page or speak to an advisor at 1-888-670-9742.