- You don't really need a car to get around the city. Public transit is really good, clean, and safe.
- It is a very bike-friendly city, with over 500km of bike trails on the island.
- Much of downtown is connected underground by tunnels, malls, and subways so you almost never have to step outside in winter if you do not want to.
- The city has a very European feel to it, with lots of terasses and open-air cafes in summer.
- Montreal (and Canada in general) has a low crime rate, especially violent crimes.
- Food is fresh and affordable in supermarkets. Restaurants offer a wide variety of ethnic foods to sample.
- No poisonous animals or insects to worry about in or around Montreal. The worst is probably wasps, bees, and mosquitoes.
- You will want to learn at least rudimentary French to get by here in Quebec. Montreal is the most bilingual city in the province, but it still helps to know the language.
- Montreal drivers can be a little fanatical. They run yellow and red lights, exceed the speed limit almost all the time, and ignore crosswalks. Likewise, pedestrians are not afraid to jaywalk or cross against the signal.
- Rent can be a bit expensive, depending on where you live.
- Sales taxes in Quebec are on the rise. We now pay 5% federal tax (GST) and 8.5% provincial tax (TPS) which is charged on top (effectively taxing the GST tax). And the TPS tax is going up to 9.5% in 2012. So every $1 you spend in Montreal, you will pay 14 cents in tax on that purchase.
- January/February you face -10C weather and lots of snow regularly. The road salt will stain your pant legs as you walk through the slush. July/August can be over 30C and very humid, making you pray for air conditioning or a pool.
- Montreal is facing (as many other North American cities) areas of bedbug infestation. It is not a big problem yet, and usually affects hotels, but apartments and school dorms are certainly not immune. You can check the area where you may be living in the Bed Bug Registry (below)