questionT asked in TravelCanadaMontreal · 10 years ago

Montreal INFO please!?

Hey

I'm an American and am just starting to think of Montreal as a possible place to look into moving to next. I mean I would be ok with a visit too...so this is info regarding both i guess. I already speak some french so that's not the problem. Here are a few random questions:

What are some of the major benefits of montreal? what is the weather like / feel like (I'm from Southern California but I have lived in colder places)? What are some of the decent neighborhoods to look into living- as in decent priced, close to everything, public transportation, safe, nice etc? What is the rent generally like for either a studio/bachelor/1 bedroom in a decent place (for a young professional /grad student) in these decent city areas? What are some of the cool neighborhoods to visit? what are some of the best things to do in Montreal? What do the tourists like and what to do the locals like? How easy is it to access other cities or even the US without a car? What are the people like in general, compared to other areas of canada (i would ask in comparison to Americans, but i'm guessing that answer would just be 'nicer'...same compared to the french). Also wondering if anyone knows about the process of gaining residency, or going to grad schools in the city. And the job market.

Basically i just want any info on montreal. I can read wikipedia or look at the tourism site but it doesn't help as much as hearing it from others who know first hand. or can search deeper than i can :)

Thanks

Update:

Oh i guess in quebeqois terms, i meant I was wondering about anything up to a 3 1/2 for an apartment in a decent area

7 Answers

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  • SteveN
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've lived in the Montreal area all my life, and worked in Montreal for the last 20 years, so I think I qualify to give you some pointers. I've also been to California on business several times, including to L.A. and South Beach so have an idea of the climate and lifestyle you are coming from.

    Montreal is an island city, so instead of urban sprawl, we tend to go up and down rather than spread out. That is convenient because it puts a lot of the stuff in one central place, so you don't have to drive for miles to get to a mall, a restaurant, the airport, a business, etc.

    Climate in Montreal tends to be similar to Boston or Buffalo. We get lots of snow, and it gets piled up everywhere. Temperatures can get pretty cold in January and the winds can really bite at your nose and ears, but we also have the other extreme of getting hot and humid days in July or August. If you are from California, you may notice it a bit more than the locals.

    The nice neighborhoods are usually the more expensive areas in town (Westmount, Mount Royal, Cote St. Luc), but almost all of Montreal is ok to live in. The only areas I would avoid would be perhaps Cote-Des-Neiges, which is a bit of a ghetto for poorer immigrant families, and the area has traditionally had high vermin and roach infestation statistics. St. Henri and Verdun used to be run-down sectors of town, but renovations and improvements to those areas have made them respectable again. One cool thing is that Google completely mapped out the city streets for their "Street View" feature, so you can actually see what things look like in each neighborhood as they were last year (their camera car went around town in Spring 2009).

    Rent will vary from district to district. A bachelor apartment in Verdun might cost around $500 a month, while in Westmount the same apartment is almost double.

    Public transportation in Montreal is really good. We complain about it at times, but it's fantastic compared to some cities. The subway is safe, extremely clean, and well lit at all times. The buses are usually only off their schedules if there are bad snowstorms. Take a look at the maps, bus routes, and subway lines at the STM website:

    http://www.stm.info/English/info/a-plans.htm

    Tourists come to Montreal and they love the architecture (some buildings are 300 years old), the downtown clubs and bars, the old port of Montreal with its cobblestones and horse-drawn carriages, and how bike-friendly the city is with all the bicycle paths we have.

    http://www.canadatrails.ca/biking/qc/montreal.html

    Getting out of town without a car can be a challenge depending on where you are going. Montreal's airport is downtown and you can easily catch flights back to major US cities, but most flights to/from Canada are pricy. We have really high airport fees and taxes and it is often more expensive to make a trip from Montreal to Detroit than it would be to fly New York to Los Angeles, and that's almost double the distance! But you do have Amtrak offering trains to stations in New York, Greyhound has buses to Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, and east coast US cities like Boston or New York. Worst case scenario, if you have a California driver's license, you should be able to rent a car (just have to check on legality of going to USA with a Canadian rental).

    Quebecers are generally friendly and nice people. If you ask someone on the street for directions they will help you, or can recommend a good hotel or restaurant. You can have idle chit-chat with someone else in the checkout line at the supermarket or at the Walmart. Where we tend to get aggressive is when we are behind the wheel. I personally think the worst drivers on the planet are found in Quebec, and I include myself in that group...We all speed 10-20mph over the speed limit, no one signals, they jump over solid lines, cut people off, and everyone refuses to yield the passing lane. You'll be thankful if you never drive here!

    To become a permanent resident, you have to apply with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You can come as a tourist (no visa required for US citizens), you can apply for a student permit, you can apply for permanent residence and a work permit, and eventually apply for citizenship (you don't give up your US citizenship in the process).

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

    As for jobs, the government of Quebec has a "Skilled Worker" program designed to streamline entry for people that have the skills we need here. You can check to see if you qualify for that service. Otherwise, the job market is pretty dry at the moment. Quite a few Quebecers already here are looking for work, so you'd be competing with them for jobs. Although you speak some French, they would have the upper hand as they're probably fluent and know the area and the requirements better.

    Here are a few other websites that may help you come to a decision:

    Attractions and Events for Montreal:

    http://www.go-montreal.com/attraction_event

  • 10 years ago

    Very safe place to live and safe public transportation. I used to ride the subway by myself when I was 13-14 and I'm a girl. Ok, that was 20 years ago! but still, I have no fear taking my little kids in the subway. Easy to access other cities with a car, you have Via Rail & Amtrak by train, or buses. Since you're in the city, you can access those station by bus or subway, you really don't need a car.

    To get an idea of rentals, check craigslist http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/apa/ Not sure what your budget is, but rentals in Canada is a lot cheaper than US.

    Best place to shop is St. Catherines Street, my favorite summer hangout is in Old Montreal, it's just beautiful out there although quite pricey to eat. Lots of fun bars, "Les 2 Pierrots" is a favorite, usually live music chansonnier style, fun place. Mont Royal is also very nice, mountain in the city if you need to see some green.

    As far as language, pretty much a bilingual city although it is always appreciate when people make an effort to speak french, so while unnecessary, you might be treated better by french-canadian if you try, some are very stubborn with english speaking folks.

    Haven't lived there in 10 years so can't help with job, but from what I hear, they haven't been touched with the recession as much as we did.

    Source(s): I'm a stubborn french-canadian ;)
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Though I don't live in Montreal I was there in September, so I'll try to help you out. The good thing about Montreal was that almost everyone was bilingual, so you don't really need to worry about speaking French all the time. The weather was pretty nice when I was there, probably not as nice as you're used to, but for early fall it was nice. If you want to be close to everything I would suggest downtown. You could honestly walk almost everywhere. I took a bus while there, which isn't the common thing to do, the subway is what everyone takes apparently. Probably safer than a New York subway. Shopping is great, they have tonnes of underground shopping, which is super cool. it also depends the time of year though as far as activities go. The people were all really nice, I'm a girl and was completely safe walking the streets late at night, for the most part they were all friendly.

    Hope I helped a bit.

  • 10 years ago

    Hi from Montreal,

    I've already wrote an article about the neighborhoods I like on my blog.

    The most important to have a pleasant time on Montreal is to know French. You could also live only in English... but you know some Quebekers wont like the attitude of talking to them in English expecting they know it and not to trying to learn their language. So take some courses if you really want to LIVE in Montreal.

    All the answers to your questions are on the web site of immigration quebec. They have statistics, suggestions, all. Go and check it please. It would take the same time for anybody to write it for you.

    Learning about a place takes time.

    http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/index....

    Check the section for permanent workers. They have the process of residency and becoming a citizen.

    Don't trust too much other people's opinion. You know the experience of the city depends on you. If you're well prepare and get a good job and speak English and French... your experience will be very different that some body with no studies, underpaid or with credit problems. You know what I mean.

    The best would be to test it. You should come and visit. Take a tour, see the places and compare and check how do YOU feel about it. Check Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec city. They're in line and closer. Check Vancouver. Choose the one that grows on you the most. On my case it was Montreal.

    And you should check more the facts on the Wikipedia. The information there is more objective. Check the weather median and compare it to your city.

    Source(s): Check my blog specially the comparison between cities http://travelimmigrationmontreal.blogspot.com/
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  • 10 years ago

    There was a guy from San Diego at McGill with me, and I remember him saying (would have been around April) "Ok, when exactly does it stop snowing?" I thought it would have been the last time but I think it snowed in May that year.

    I love Montreal but Spring sure comes late.

  • 10 years ago

    I came here almost 40 years ago & never left, I love Montreal.

    But ... you can't just up & move here. You need to apply to come and live, and especially to work here. This site will explain the whole process.

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

  • 4 years ago

    I have not heard of it I know you forgot the network but if you remember someday then give it to me also I want to know more k ?

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