As others have said, learning French is important to really access everything the city has to offer.A lot of anglophones who come here don’t (and some who are born here, which is another story), but it means certain transactions are more challenging, you are limiting your friend and dating pool, you have fewer job options, you miss out on great plays and music, and you can’t fully partake in the cultural and political discourse of the city and province.(If you already speak French, skip down to my other recommendations.)
To learn French, try the following: If you are immigrating, language classes are offered by the Immigration office with financial assistance options.Community centres and CEGEPs (a 2–3 year college most people here attend for free before going to university) offer French classes.A really good way to gain fluency once you’ve learned the basics is to do a conversation course.Meet with your teacher in a café and spend an hour awkwardly making conversation.You will improve much more quickly than you can imagine.
Sometimes you can do an exchange where they teach you French for a half hour, you teach them another language for a half hour.Ads for these types of courses can be found on Craigslist, in the entrances of cafés, etc.The biggest thing: don’t be embarrassed if your French is bad.Tell people you are new here and learning, and they’ll almost always be patient and understanding ( and if not, they’re jerks).Learn the phrase “Comment dit-on…?” (How does one say…?”) and use it whenever you don’t know or forget a word.Practice your vowel sounds, since that’s the main way English speakers massacre French.Tell your coworkers or French acquaintances you are comfortable with being corrected because you want to learn.These are all things that helped me become fully bilingual.
Other than that: Consider renting, at least initially.Rent is affordable here, and it will give you a chance to get to know the city without committing to a neighbourhood.Rent is affordable here, and we’d like it to stay that way!Familiarise yourself with your rights as a tenant.
A landlord must charge you rent based on what he charged the previous tenant, cannot ask for a security deposit, and cannot increase your rent without justifying the increase based on his outlay in costs.You can find tenants who will transfer their lease to you, which is fully legal and safe under our laws.This can get you started: Housing Resources: Your Guide to Rent, Rights and More | Special IssueThe best public transport methods are the metro and commuter trains – these are the most reliable in the winter and during construction (which is all year now :/).
When deciding where to live, use Google maps to figure out what your travel times will be.Invest in good boots and a really warm coat.Our winters can be fierce.If you are strapped for cash, you can greatly improve a pair of not-so-great boots by adding wool insoles, which are easy to find here.
Having warm clothes is obviously good for your physical wellbeing, but also for your brain – it means you won’t find the winter so overwhelming and are much more likely to get out and participate in our many outdoor events and activities.Food here is relatively cheap and bountiful.We care about food A LOT.There are loads of bakeries and fruit stores, and if your nearest one doesn’t do it for you, ask around.If you live in the city or inner suburbs and will occasionally want the convenience of a car without the full time hassle and expense of ownership, join Communauto and/or AutoMobile car-sharing service (same local company, slightly different service).As others said, we have lots of free festivals – in the summer, they’re non-stop.
In general, in fact, Montreal is a great place to enjoy life on a budget.There are a lot of cheap and free cultural activities.You can join the library and use public pools.
You can rent skates in the winter (or buy second hand), or go sledding on the Mountain.There are a lot of parties, picnics, and dinner parties.You are legally allowed to drink at the park here, so long as you are having a “meal” as well, and a picnic with friends at a park is a great and common way to spend a summer afternoon.People even have weeknight family dinner in the park, bringing their own hibachi.We have many pubs, which is especially great in the winter.
Québécois culture has a proud blue collar streak, and we have a lot of good, strong beer, loud music, and hearty food.We have a decent variety of restaurants, and it’s getting more diverse all the time.We are very strong on bistros and greasy spoons.In general, people are less status-obsessed than in other cities I’ve spent time in.It’s perfectly normal to go to a party and find artists, professionals, and manual labourers all rubbing elbows.
People aren’t obsessed with knowing what you do for a living or how much money you make.My artist friend commented that people here don’t rudely ask “what’s your real job?” You don’t need to get bottle service to impress people – we are quite happy spending an evening chatting on someone’s balcony.I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say French Canadians are not particularly impressed by authority.This means you may hear your coworkers talking to your boss in a surprisingly frank, familiar way.
If you are the boss, you might be a bit taken aback – but get used to it.Relative to other places, Montrealers are fairly open to diversity.But that is not really saying that much.You still encounter racism here, although I have heard African Americans comment that it’s a lot less than what they’re used to in the States.
As I say, not saying much.If you are not from Canada, you should know that many here are finally starting to acknowledge our mistreatment of indigenous people.This is a massive, complex, and painful issue that many prefer to stay in denial about, or relegate to the past.Genocide is not something people can easily reconcile with their patriotic image of Canada, and you may hear (and read in msm) comments that cast indigenous people in a bad light.
Mistrust this.Learn about the indigenous point of view, and the issues facing them today.Be aware that Montréal and the surrounding area is located on unceded Kanion’ke:haka (Mohawk) territory.
I think it’s important to know this and learn about the issues facing indigenous people in this area and more broadly across the province and country.Yes, as someone else said, Tim Hortons is a big thing among anglophone Canadians, but it’s a relatively new phenomenon here.We also have Starbucks, but who cares?It all depends if you like things to be always reassuringly the same, but mediocre, or if you prefer variety.
My pros and cons for Montreal are as follows.PROS Good public transportation.A lot of people complain, but they don’t understand how good they have it here compared to most North American cities.
Metro is reliable for the most part, and buses are ok, they depend on route and frequency.If you live/work near a metro, you can easily live here without having a car.French.Different vibe, language and culture.
Quebec does move on a different wavelength than the rest of Canada, and that’s normal seeing its history.Montreal, in my opinion, has a good English/French relationship.Even though you hear stories, it is the exception, not the rule.
I maintain that the best way for you to fully enjoy the city is to be bilingual or at least be functional in both English and French.Montreal isn’t centralized.By this I mean downtown isn’t where it all goes down.The great thing about this city is that each area has its charm and spots.
Outremont/Mile-End, Le Plateau, La Patrie, Sainte-Anne de Bellevue, etc – all spots that have their specific charm.Housing and rent that is ACTUALLY affordable (well, compared to Toronto/Vancouver for sure).Despite being one of the largest cities in Canada, Montreal is pretty affordable.Assuming you want to live off island and drive a car, it’s even more affordable.Summer – Once the snow melts, the city explodes with events.
People seem to be buzzing with energy.It’s almost palpable.Oh – a lot of green space!Cons Infrastructure can be killer.
Pot holes, construction, etc.It’s hard to show pride in your city sometimes when you can practically swim in some potholes.That said, I do think it is getting better.Corruption is pretty rampant.
It’s not a recent thing either.Unfortunately, the city has a history of corruption that goes all the way back to the 50s.A history of corruption is always harder to break down than an emerging one because it kind of becomes the fabric of the city.
That said, there has been some strides in that regard.Winters.This is very person dependant.Some people love the winter.
Some hate it.I’m a fall kind of guy so I sit in between.I love skating, hate -40 winds smacking you in the face.High taxes.
The issue isn’t high taxes as much as it is what we’re getting for it.Which is, not as much as we should.This ties into corruption and a bloated bureaucracy.Can be difficult to find a job.
Although, this seems to be an issue in most of the developed world.It’s harder to find positions in certain fields.Unfortunately, Toronto is where the jobs are at.
That said, the tech/software field seems to be booming in Mtl.This is just what comes to mind for me personally.There are probably quite a few more, but since I don’t know you personally.
I am here for about 10 months now.The things I observed were: Learn French.Never forget that Montréal is always under construction or on fire.Be prepared for WINTER.Winter is a bit tough here and rather depressing.
People tend to stay inside their home and you find very less people outside.Enjoy summer to the fullest.It’s easily the best time to be in Montreal.A lot of events and a hell lot of activities to do.Attend everything you can.
There are hundreds of events going on in the city and trust me there is nothing better in Montreal than these events.The streets are very average.Pain for driving cars through those broken streets!Get used to Tim Horton’s.It’s gonna be your survival key all year.
It can be french vanilla and hot chocolate during the winters and Ice Capp during the summer.Though the Begel, Timbits and Donut will always be your pick.Try new bars in the Downtown area if you are a fan.You will love the night life of Montreal.Explore places in the city.
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful city.Be open-minded.Dwell together with people from different cultures and you will enjoy the most.Montreal in of the most culturally diverse city.You will find people from many countries around the world.Try Poutine.
I don’t think it needs any description.Eat a lot of great food may it be Mexican, Asian or Indian, you will find a lot of restaurants here.Try living outside Downtown as well.It’s not just cheaper but extremely peaceful.Get yourself to try the Home | BIXI Montréal and travel across the city.Get used to travelling more by Subway and Buses.It’s the best means of transport in Montreal.Get yourself an Opus card to travel using this public transport.Follow MTL Blog (Look at your city) to know almost everything about Montreal in and out.If you are a student don’t dare to not follow the spotted pages.
The memes war are lit there.Get ready to pay a lot of Taxes here.As per the suggestion by Tamara Peyton, visit a “chansonnier” bar.Imagine a kind of karaoke where the performer will play and sing anything you request, in either language, and in any style, and everyone in the bar sings along.P.S A bit busy today.Will keep on adding later.
Montreal is an amazing city to live in.It’s quite dynamic, has great schools, transport, safety and truly gorgeous city.There are tons of job opportunites here and it’s somewhat less competitive than toronto since less people chose Montreal over toronto to immigrate here.
The taxes are relatively high and salaries a bit lower than in Toronto but they go to really good projects and the cost of living is much lower than the rest of canada.You also have more places for winter sports than toronto.My favorite city in Canada by far.
Montreal is a jewel yours for the taking.However buyer beware: If you haven’t already: LEARN FRENCH.I cannot stress this enough.
“Canada is a bilingual country so English is good ‘nough” won’t do here.You’ll survive in Montreal as everyone speaks perfect english here but you will never fully fit in without being able to fluently speak french.Finding work will be difficult if you don’t speak french unless you have a rare set of skills and work for a foreign company that brought foreign workers here.
Everyone speaks english but Quebecers really don’t like it (and frankly are personally insulted) when someone settles here and doesn’t speak french or make a genuine effort to learn the language and understand the culture.Like in any country, really.They’re understanding that it’s a tough language to master but will give you a very tough time if you don’t make the effort.
Luckily there are a lot of free classes for immigrants you can attend and the immersion experience will greatly speed-up the process.I do think that learning french is absolutely worth it though.It’s not as hard as it looks and the rewards are worth it.
Montreal isn’t the capital of the Quebec region of Canada; that honor goes to Quebec City however there are many astonishing realities about the city.For a certain something, it is the second city where its primary language is French, succeeded exclusively by Paris itself.In actuality, the entire area of Quebec is principally French and it is the solitary locale of Canada where French is the sole authority language.
This implies you will think that it’s hard to get around – and find a new line of work – on the off chance that you don’t have some past involvement with communicating in French.On the off chance that you have plans to move to Montreal soon, you will discover it to your advantage to get fundamental exercises in the language, particularly in the event that you are wanting to find a new line of work or to go to state funded schools.It is additionally the Canadian city with the most noteworthy pace of bi-lingual inhabitants.
More than 56% talk both English and French.Sadly, most managers and government-funded schools focus on French over English in spite of this.Populace savvy, Montreal is the second biggest city in the country, just after Toronto.
Montreal has been called everything from “The City of a Hundred Steeples” to “Quebec’s Metropolis” to “The City of Saints”.In the event that living in a widely acclaimed metropolitan zone bid to you, at that point, Montreal may be a consecrated spot to live.There’s a ton to like about living in amicable, reformist, and liberal Montreal.
As much as there are masters, be that as it may, there are some positive cons to moving to the city.The Pros of Moving to Montreal: 1.Lower Rents 2.
World-Class Culture 3.Beer in the Corner Stores 4.Tons of Festivals 5.
Cheaper Public Transit 6.Bicycle Friendly City The Cons of Moving to Montreal: 1.You Need to Be Bilingual 2.
High Taxes 3.Bitterly Cold Winters 4.Failing Infrastructure 5.
Public Transit Is Often Unreliable In the event that you have a work arranged, love the culture, and can communicate in French, Montreal is the spot to be.
I was born and raised in Montreal and surrounding south shore.Great answers from the other 2 gentlemen, so would just add a few things that I miss since I moved away: I miss speaking french and the Quebec Joie de Vivre.So learning even a little French will make you feel more connected and will be appreciated by locals.I miss the beautiful mountain right in the middle of the city and all the greenery.I miss being able to work in the city but being able to escape easily to beautiful countryside and mountain parks for hiking, biking, skiing, etc.
which are as close as 30 minutes away.If you happen to live close to a metro and work downtown, you can almost get away from wearing a coat in winter as you will discover an amazing underground city below the city.Lastly, i think i miss the food the most.
Be well prepared for 8 months of cold and 4 months of severe cold.French is not mandatory, but helps, so start learning, you will find people to be more friendly (they are extremely friendly even otherwise).If working, you will be well adviced to take least 6 months of your living expenses.It can take a while to get a job there (unless you are in computer programming or biotechnology.)Montreal is a relative small city with high % of international residents.
It has the best of American and European culture and as I said before, the people are very friendly.Montreal is relatively cheaper – specially in terms of rents, daily expenses etc.Income tax is is however higher than anywhere else in Canada (at least it was when I left the city for personal reasons.)
My goodness, from the replies on here I must be living in paradise and never realized it!OK, mtl is a very poor city, high unemployment so you’ll probably end up on welfare or homeless unless you have connections to get a job.The only good jobs are guv jobs and they are reserved exclusively for Quebecois so forget that!About speaking French- sorry its not enough- you have to be French ie.
have French name and be born in QC.Any hint of an accent and you re in trouble!Weather is 2 ways: too cold or too hot ;-).
The legendary night life?You tire real quickly of hanging around noisy bars talking to drunks and emptying your wallet- most people who live here stay home at night like everywhere else.The debt level of Quebec rivals Greece so some day soon that is going to hit.
At night the streets are filled with roaming crack heads who will steal anything so be prepared to have your car broken into on a regular basis and your bike stolen every few weeks.
I like all the positive suggestions here and cannot add much to what is already on this page.However if you plan to drive you ought to know we have a 3rd-world road system.Every direction you try to go will have a detour that is poorly indicated and often take you to another detour.
The roads are very hard on your car—sucking the life out of it in no time.Average highway speed is far lower than off-ramp speed or city streets.Rarely above 20 km/h.
In addition while the city is diverse you will be disliked if you speak less than average Canadian French—which unlike European French, will give you a headache overtime.Don’t expect to get any services in English and do expect the government to send you one form or another every week or so—(and you’ll be worried about what it says) *If you run a business.
-Learn French, you need to speak French in order to experience Québécois hospitality.It’s not a must, it’s just better in every way.-Subscribe to MTLBlog (not an ad placement, just a fan)-Get a place close to a metro station, you don’t need to live right dab in the center of Montreal to appreciate its conveniences.-Get a OPUS Card, monthly passes are your key to the city.STM is hands down the BEST public transit system in NA.
-Get a Communauto subscription (not an ad placement, just a fan) if you want to drive, its so much easier than owning a car, cheaper too.-Get a bixi bike subscription (not an ad placement, just a fan) if you want to cover short distances.-the aforementioned commuting choices could be bought together in a bundle at a discount price.God I miss MTL.-Go out to eat for the first few weeks, the city has a great food scene!
Montreal is a University city, so students are constantly coming and going.With friends have to leave more often than I would like.However, new friends are made easily.
In Montreal, there are many benefits for different reasons: for newcomers, for families, children, students, people with disabilities.The locals mostly travel by bus, metro or Bicycle.For a student, a car will be expensive, but every family usually has a car.I recommend finding affordable housing.
In some areas, it is not mentally inflated.Remember that French here is almost as popular as English.Use good carriers to your things are not lost and you do not take the last money.
Like this company.
Montreal is a great city, I’m sure you’ll love it, especially if you’re a student.You will need to get warm clothing: think parka, winter boots, sweater, snow pants, gloves/mittens, and a toque.You’ll also need some power converters for your laptop and other electronics.
You may want to get a Canadian cell phone or at least Canadian SIM card for your existing cell phone.Not sure there’s anything else really worth buying in advance, since it will just be more to carry on the plane, and things are cheaper in Canada anyway.