I would say Montreal is sort of in the middle of the road.I used to live in Austin, Texas which I believe may as well be the friendliest major metro area in North America.Over there, everyone is a friend that you just haven’t met yet.
You can definitely find friendly people in Montreal, but my impression is that it has a big-city mentality, vibe, attitude, pace etc.You do not usually initiate chit-chat, small-talk with strangers or people that you run into.It’s more of a ‘let’s get from A to B and live through the day’-kind of place.
There are couple of reasons to this.#1 Montreal was the largest city in Canada for many years : normally you do not find the friendliest residents at a big city.It still is the 2nd largest city in Canada and the city is a big deal.
People in big cities are transient and “easy-come-easy-go”.#2 Montreal has that anglophone / francophone divide and it probably deterred people from striking up a conversation with just anyone on the streets.I can totally see Montreal becoming a friendlier city if it was just all French or all English.
#3 Many immigrants settle down in Montreal and some of them come from cultures that are not very friendly.In my experience, Americans are way friendlier than Europeans or Asians.EDIT : Montreal is friendly if you compare to NYC, Paris, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Toronto, etc.
It is extremely friendly for a big cosmopolitan metropolis.But there are many other places that are way friendlier.
I have lived in different neighborhoods over the years and the experience was different ever time.I have learned a lot about the different nationalities that make up Montreal.My mother tongue is French, I speak English and my roots are Italian, which means I am a little bit of all these cultures.
I have discerned that French Canadians are very polite, very nice, but I find them a little bit distant.I lived in Ahuntsic for twenty-five years and one of my landlords did not want me to hang garments on my clothesline on weekends, because he was in the yard with his family.Yet my Italian neighbor, who had a huge garden, always offered me fruits and vegetables.
When I was not home, she kept them for me.In another apartment in Ahuntsic, an elderly couple was very nice and helpful, but when I when to their apartment, I did not go past the hallway; the lady never invited me in.Yet, she could talk hours with me on the phone.
During the ice storm in 1998, I went to my brother’s house, because I had no electricity for three days.During the third day, he had a power outage too.His mother-in-law invited her daughter and her two grand-children to her residence, but she left my brother and me in the house to freeze.
My mother, who had passed away, would never have done that.She would have found everybody a place to sleep, even if it meant sleeping on heavy blankets on the floor.During two years, I lived downtown in an apartment complex with people from different countries.
They say Anglophones are cold, but it was not my experience.One of them, of American origin, lived across my apartment.Sometimes I would give him a dish that he particularly liked.
He would ask me to come in for a few minutes.A few minutes for him, meant an hour!We still keep in touch.
I now live in a condo building in the east part of Montreal, where most of the tenants are French-Canadian.People are very nice, but here again, they keep their distances.
People are people everywhere but you will generally find people in Canada friendly, and, in my opinion, Montreal is the friendliest place in Canada.I lived for two decades in the states and got used to being interrupted and ignored.Back in Canada people smile at each other in passing.
Not cruising, just friendly (okay some cruising.)Men, women, children.In general people will listen to what you have to say and wait until you give them an opportunity to respond.
I was afraid I was remembering Canada with rose-coloured glasses, but I think people are friendlier now than they were when I was young.There’s a reason people love living in Canada.
Montrealers are traditionally not friendly at all….for example, if you are waiting at a bus stop, do not expect anyone to talk to you, nor to greet you with a friendly “Good morning.“ One of the reasons for this is that this is a big city…you stay safe by not approaching strangers.The second reason, in my opinion, is that the French are not a friendly outgoing people.
Absolutely friendly.I am an introvert person and I made friends the first two weeks here.Of course, you have to be where the action goes.
If you are shy, the best is going through an app like MeetUp.You will find loads of activities, (and friendly people) mostly in summer.If you’re an expat, InterNations could be an excellent option too.