The bins cost more than $2,400 each, and 147 of them are to be installed in the district around Place des Arts by the end of the year.
But the city says the cost is high because the bins not only look good, they are also built to last.
"It seems high from everyone at home because they can buy a garbage can for much less price in the store, but these garbage cans must resist to heavy use by a very large number of pedestrians, people that go to the different festivals," said David Ross, the city of Montreal planner in charge of the Quartier des Spectacles facelift.
Ross acknowledged that the 147 bins will not be compatible with a multimillion-dollar underground automated trash system already built under the area. He said it would take "a lot of work" and money to connect them, and the city had to strike a balance between cost and having enough trash receptacles in the district.
The opposition Project Montréal party says even the current cost is too high, calling the new wastebins "ridiculously expensive buckets" with none of the bells and whistles to be expected at that price.
"There's no compactor associated to it, there's no internet related saying 'I'm empty [or] come and empty me.' So none of that fancy stuff," said Marc-André Gadoury of Projet Montréal, the city councillor for the borough of Rosemont—La Petite–Patrie.