For visitors

Welcome to Montreal! One of the most vibrant cities in North America. Montreal has North American fun blended with European ambience – and it’s hard to beat.

So, now that you’re here – or you want to come, what do you need to know?

Language:

Montreal is in the province of Quebec, which is a majority French-speaking province. However, a great many of Quebecers are bilingual and there is a vibrant English community in and around Montreal. People who work in the tourist industry usually not only speak English, as well as French, but other languages as well.

Currency

The Canadian dollar is the national currency of Canada. To see what the exchange is with other currencies, go to Universal Currency Converter.

Our dollar is no longer a paper dollar and hasn’t been for several years. The brass/gold colour coin has been dubbed the “loonie” because the back of the coin has an image of a loon. So, if you’re in a store or restaurant, and someone mentions a loonie, they’re talking about a dollar coin.

Interesting fact about the loonie: It almost wasn’t a loonie. The original design for the new dollar coin was to have a voyageur on the back but something happened to the cast so it was replaced with the loon.

The two dollar coin, which came out a few years later, was then dubbed the “toonie,” so, not only do we have colourful paper money, our coins are loonies and toonies.

Weather:

The weather in Quebec can be very cold, very hot, and lots of in between. Winter weather consists of lots of snow and cold temperatures, but most Quebecers have learned to embrace the season. This allows for endless runs of cr0ss country ski trails, ski hills, skating rinks and more.

Distances and more:

Canada uses the metric system although many of us still go by some imperial measurements. You’ll see the roads are ruled by kilometres, but we buy our meat by the pound. Part of the unique Canadian identity, I guess.

Getting around town

Montreal has an efficient public transit system consisting of buses, metro, and train. The cost, compared to other North American cities, is very reasonable.

You can find bus schedules at the STM site.

This metro map is interactive. If you click on the individual stations, you will learn about connections, points of interest, and much more.

Cost for the metro and bus depends on if you are paying cash, using tickets or buying a pass. There are tourist 1-day and 3-day passes as well.

Emergencies:

Quebec uses the 9-1-1 emergency system. Generally, calls can be traced in case of emergency, but it’s important to remember safety rules when calling for help. When dialing 9-1-1, be sure to state the nature of your emergency right away so your call may be directed to the appropriate resource. Stay on your phone until the operator tells you that you may hang up.

The Poison Control Centre can be reached at 1 800 463-5060

And most important?

Have fun!