Moving to Montreal: What You Need to Know

moving to montreal

© freeedomania

Being a Montrealer myself, it’s kind of hard to explain the things I have known ever since I was born, and taken for granted ever since I was old enough to live by myself (in my case, 16 years old). But I figured that considering just how popular Montreal is on the expat list, and how great a city it is, I could share my tips and insight on what it’s like to live in Montreal, and what you should know before moving there.

1… It’s an amazing place to be, geographically.

While Canada isn’t known for its short travel distances, Montreal, on the other hand, is. A mere 8 hour-drive away from New York City, Boston and Toronto, 2 hours away from Ottawa, the capital, and a 3 hour-drive from the magical city of Quebec. Plus, there are tons of things to do in the countryside nearby, whether you opt for the English-looking villages of the Eastern Townships or the remote cabins of the Laurentians Mountains up north. There’s something for everyone!

2… The costs of living are more than fair.

Montreal is actually a pretty cheap city to live in, whether you opt to rent or buy. For a central apartment, you can expect to pay between $600 and $800 for a two-bedroom, or $250,000 for a quality one-bedroom condo  – which, when compared to Vancouver or Toronto, is extremely cheap! Electricity costs are also pretty low, thanks to our powerful hydroelectricity installations in the Bay James up north. This especially comes in handy when winter decides to send -35 degree weather our way…

moving to montreal

3… Moving day is July 1st.

That’s the national rule of thumb. Strolling through the streets of Montreal on that particular day is a unique sight! There are moving trucks everywhere, tons of pots&pans, couches, ovens, mattresses, all over the sidewalks! Some apartments will be available throughout the year, but more often than not, it’s a case of sublet or end of lease. This July 1st tradition goes back a long way, and was meant to facilitate the children’s life by not switching schools in the middle of the year.

By the way, when looking for an apartment in Montreal, here’s a few facts you should know:

  • There ARE apartments available for rent year-round. But there is much less availability for April or January than for July, that is a given.
  • If your goal is indeed to rent something for July, you better get on it quick – ads start coming out in early March, and they go fast!
  • Apartments are referred to by number of rooms in total, not just bedrooms. Instead of looking for a ‘two-bedroom’, you’ll look for a 4 1/2 (the half being the bathroom). This means you’ll get two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. A 3 1/2 for example, will only have one bedroom, a kitchen, and a living room. And so on.
  • Most rental apartments in the city are over a 100 years old. Some are refurbished. Some are not. Expect all kinds of things when planning a visit!
  • Agencies are not very common in Montreal when it comes to renting. Most locals find their apartment on Kijiji, lesPAC or even Craigslist, and the local newspaper ads (think the Globe and Mail and La Presse).
  • On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy a property, agencies are not only common but recommended. You can get all the listings, regardless of the agency, on the MLS website. Don’t hesitate to negotiate the commission sale once you’ve found your agent.
moving to montreal

4… Learning French will never be easier.

Montreal is a wonderfully bilingual city (some might argue that it’s a bit too anglophone, but that’s a whole other debate). Most people speak both French and English fluently, and will be happy to assist you in both languages. While there is a law that protects French and makes sure that French is predominant on everything (bill 101), English is never very far, making it easy to understand for all non-French speakers. Montreal IS the perfect place to learn French!

5… Taxes are high, but benefits are high.

Canada is only ranked average among the OECD countries, but I do feel like we pay a hell of a lot of taxes. We pay taxes on both the provincial and federal sides, as well as having quite onerous sales tax (about 14% at the moment). So yes, a lot of money goes out our pocket before it even made its way there. But, on the other hand, we don’t have to pay a cent for a lot of things. As I always said, there might be downsides to living in Quebec, but not having to worry about paying for basic rights like health care and education, makes up for everything else.

In Quebec, public education is free from kinder garden until college,  public health care is free of charge, woman can get up to 52 weeks of maternity leave paid at an average of 70% of their annual salary, and so much more. Remember though that those benefits are mostly provincial and exclusive to the province of Quebec – it might be different in Ontario and BC.

6… The cultural scene is to die for.

That’s one of the most popular reasons why people come to Montreal, either to live or to visit. We have Arcade Fire. Leonard Cohen. The Stills. One half of Tegan and Sara. And SO much more! With over a hundred festivals every year, and a dozen of amazing museums spread throughout the city, the cultural life in Montreal is absolutely vibrant, and has nothing to envy of mega cities like New York or London.

moving to montreal

7… Traffic is bad… really bad.

That’s the problem with islands. There are only so many ways in and out! 15 bridges and a tunnel, in all directions, and yet there are huge traffic jams every rush hour. My advice? Don’t bother living in the suburbs – to me it’s not even worth it. Living on the island is the best way to avoid traffic, since you can go just about anywhere with public transit. It’ll save you loads of time, and white hair!

8… And so is parking.

Montreal is filled with charming, quaint, tree-lined streets, which make for great-looking neighborhoods. But these streets are also very narrow, and can only fit a few cars. Finding a parking after 7PM anywhere on the island will be a challenge, that is for sure! There are two types of parking spaces: public, and vignettes. Both will be a piece of work, because there are only a handful of them (again with the cute narrow streets). My recommendation? Ditch the car, and opt for Communauto when you need to get out of the island. Best of both worlds!

moving to montreal

Moving to Montreal can be scary – moving anywhere abroad  is, really! But if you’re seriously considering it, I can only encourage you that way, and say that Montreal, all in all, is one of the best places in the world. I love Montreal dearly and no matter how many cities I visit… I always come back home.

Have you considering moving to Montreal in the past? Is this something you would do in the future? Do you have additional tips to add?


121 Comments Moving to Montreal: What You Need to Know

  1. Alexa Meisler

    I love that they have an actual moving day. You definitely have to be prepared for it. Thanks for advice when looking for places to rent! I would certainly keep those in mind. The shots you took alone are convincing enough to move there.

      1. Jessica Sideways

        I’m thinking about going to a Cégep in Montréal to perfect my French and advance my design education… but I’m curious, how hard is it to get an apartment in the autumn?

      1. Jackie

        I am American and I want to visit/stay for a litte while. What are the best sites to find a job and best ways to get best places to stay with kids?

        1. Samantha

          Are you fluent in French? If not, you will need a company that conducts its internal business in English, otherwise, you will likely find a job at a call center. You can search Kijiji, Craigslist,, etc. All of those websites will list job opportunities and about 99% of them will insist on you being fluently bilingual.
          I moved to Montreal with my husband (he got a job offer here at an English company) and have been job hunting since November… you may be able to order in both languages but job hunting is quite a different scenario.
          As far as getting places with kids; like Marie says, cars are cumbersome, traffic is terrible and finding parking is about as difficult as it gets – think Manhattan and inner-city London. You will be doing lots and lots of walking. There is an metro and bus system and some walking tunnels underground that connects parts of the city.

    1. Damian

      There are no jobs in Montreal and the rent is ridiculously expensive. This is a black hole, it will take all your savings with it, do NOT move here.

  2. Helena

    Don’t bother living in the suburbs … J’approuve ! C’est you tout le temps, l’argent et le stress qu’on sauve lorsqu’on réduit nos déplacements ! Oui, les appartements sont plus vieux, oui la cour est moins grande mais c’est agréable d’être chez soi en moins d’une demie-heure !

    Pour les stationnements, c’est encore possible d’en acheter avec son condo ou encore de louer une place… c’est cher par contre.

    Finalement, au plan de la langue, on n’a pas besoin de chercher très loin pour rencontrer des gens qui parlent l’espagnol, l’arabe, le mandarin ou l’allemand ! Les nombreux quartiers de Montréal forment un microcosme multiculturel très varié : Petite Italie, Quartier chinois, Quartier grec, la présence de la communauté haïtienne dans Saint-Michel, celle de la communauté juive dans Outremont et j’en passe !

    Super article !

    1. Marie

      Pour les stationnements, à moins de cracher un 20,000$ de plus pour l’avoir inclus avec le condo, c’est en effet très difficile à trouver. Vive Communauto!

      La cosmopolité de Montréal est l’une de ses plus belles valeurs – oui, il y a la dualité anglo-franco, mais il y a tous les autres langages aussi, qui enrichissent incroyablement le tissu de la ville! :)

  3. Lolo

    Montreal is a great place to call home, and yes, believe it or not, you can get by on limited French.

    Our city is a great place for students, singles, and families too. Welcome, bienvenue.

  4. Wanderplex

    Very informative guide – I’d never have guessed the way the room “count” works there! Also, the July 1st move date is kind of nice in that you’re likely to find an apartment available when your lease is up, but I do have one question: how hard is it to find a moving company and what do they do during the rest of the year?!?!

    1. Marie

      It’s not that hard to find a moving company – all you have to do is book them months in advance, and be willing to pay much more than the rest of the year. The companies hire extra men for these dates, but are low-staffed during the rest of the year because there is much less demand. People sometime move on other days than July 1st, but the big big rush is on that day.

      1. Dani

        Allo Marie,

        Votre site est tres interessant. Nous vivons en Ontario, nous pensons demenager dans a peu pres 2 ans vers Montreal, vu que mes enfants auront au mons 13 and 14 ans et qu’ils devont integrer une ecole de langue francaise j’imagine que ca sera un petit peu plus complique deja de trouver une maison ds un quartier residentiel et une bonne ecole. Votre site s’adresse plutot au couple sans enfants ou aux celibataires, ou du moins c”est l’impression que j’ai eu en le lisant.Est ce que vous pourriez suggerer des noms de quartiers residentiels avec une bonne ecole ? Merci j’apprecie votre aide d”avance. Dani

  5. Justin

    Very helpful! Actually my wife is Canadian and we are thinking of moving up north from Boston at some point. I didn’t know rent was 600-800 a month – that is fantastic for a city like Montreal. Great city! Thanks!

    1. marie

      Of course, the nicest neighborhoods will have higher rents (think 1200), but most of the area between Laurier and Fleury metros will be in the 600-800 fork. Which is pretty cheap for a great city like Montreal!

  6. Shawn Spencer

    Hi! That was a very well written piece, and I am more excited about my move to Montreal, coming up in three months or so. One question about the “moving day” concept through: Since I will be moving in somewhere sometime in December, is that a major disadvantage? How long are typical lease contracts?

    Thanks so much! There is so much information online from expats and others, sometimes it is hard to sort everything out!

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      You’ll definitely have some availability, just a lot less than for July. Have a look at the websites I mentioned in the post and see what the market is like at the moment, since it’s likely to be quite similar for December.

      A typical lease is for a year. It’s automatically renewed unless you ask your landlord not to.

      Let me know if you have more questions :)

  7. Jean

    Hey, yeah it’s a nice city culturally, but she needs to tell you the whole story…the rent is low for a reason…cos the unemployment rate is ridiculously high, particularly if you are not fluent in BOTH English AND French. So unless you are perfectly bilingual (which is an oxymoron if you are an Anglophone by birth) and/or already retired, PLEASE do not even consider MOVING to Quebec. Besides, Montreal is somewhat different from other American cities when it comes to city maintenance, driving etiquette and cleanliness standards…so you have been warned. Overall, Montreal a perfect place for Latin Americans, Eastern Europeans, people of Jewish and Mediterranean background, Afro-Carribeans and other mixed-race folks, but, let’s be honest, it is somewhat a mismatch for White Anglo-Saxons.

    1. DC

      To your comment about how a city you view in a negative light is fit for a certain “group” of people. FUCK YOU! From an african american.

      1. Mar

        Exactly, how narrow minded would u need to be to assume a “let’s be honest, white Anglo-Saxons need higher living standards” posture.

        From a fluently tri-lingual latina.

  8. Louis Ross

    I am preparing to move to Montreal this December to start a new (tech) company and am very excited about it. Been looking for some insight on the move and interested in hearing more. Will be working and living in the Old Town area.

    Great article and thanks a bunch.

    Best, Louis

  9. Kattu

    Hello thanks for all this great information about Montreal. I am very excited and planning to move to Montreal this summer 2013. With out this information life would have been very difficult for me, so grateful wow. @ Louis Ross, did you move to Montreal. Very interested in this Tech company you started, how is it going? I would like some info from you if you are willing.

    Sincerely, excited to move to MONTREAL!!

  10. Adrienne

    Bonjour! Thanks for this great advice! I will be moving to Montreal in August of 2013 with my partner who is starting school at McGill. I need to learn French to be licensed in my profession (social work). I’m practicing with a computer program right now but it’s reassuring to hear you say Montreal is a great place to learn French, because there’s nothing like being around native speakers!

        1. timothy

          …speaks English so well! :)

          in my experience, and as logic would allow you to deduct, learning French or any language is much easier when living in a place where people don’t speak English and one is therefore forced to constantly attempt to decipher and speak.

  11. Leah

    Hello! I am moving to Montreal August 2013 and am wondering if anyone knows how I can find a job with minimal french? I am thinking of find a nanny job!


  12. Donna

    Are you serious about the move-in day? July 1st? So, if I wanted to show up on April 10th, I would get turned away? I want to drive my car there, too. Are hotels and vacation rentals cheap? Why is Canada so different from the U.S.?

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Moving day is a very real thing. If you show up in April, you will find apartments for let, of course. But slightly less than you normally would for July.

      Hotels are cheaper than in the US, and car rentals are about the same.

      Also, better keep in mind that Canada is NOT the US. IF you intend to move here, don’t go about comparing everything to the US. You won’t make any friends by doing that ;-)

  13. Katy

    Hello I just moved to Montreal from Toronto (following my boyfriend’s lead last spring) … great tips on your blog. Living in Vieux Montreal so gorgeous! I’ve heard about “move day”. ha

    Looking into French classes for pleasure and work. Looking for a 1-month immersion kinda thing to start. Any suggestions on where to learn français … other than McGill/UofMontreal or the Berlitz route? My boyfriend is a francophone so doesn’t really know where to go. Also, I prefer not to be in a class with 18 year olds …. love 18 year olds but in early 30′s so the headache after the night of drinking hurts more than it used too. :) Thx.

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Glad I could help! You are very lucky to live in Old Montreal, such a lovely neighborhood. I’m afraid I have the same problem as your boyfriend – French being my first language too I don’t know any good French classes. Sorry :-(

      1. Katy

        No problem. I registered for a class at ILSC in Old Montreal … apparently I’m the only Canadian. haha Start tomorrow and super excited!! Thanks for the response! :) Loving the neighbourhood btw!!

  14. Kathleen

    Hi! Thank you for this post! We will be moving to Montreal within the year from Chile, and I wanted to know if you could tell us what kind of fees we should expect to pay when renting an apartment. Do you have to pay monthly maintance fees? Do you typically pay for all the utlities seperatly, or are some included like hot water, electricty or the heat? any help is greatly appreciated!

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Typically you will have to pay all the utilities separately. Some larger buildings will have heating or hot water included, both for smaller buildings everything is in supplement (but the rent is therefore cheaper). There typically isn’t any monthly maintenance fees (if there are, it’s included in the rent). Rule of thumb is that your rent only covers rent, and everything else is a supplement.

  15. Ricky

    The French don’t show no respect for the English with thier stupid language police checking stores to make sure nothing is English EVEN IN RESTRANTS! it’s crazy I’ve been living in Montreal all mylife & it’s only getting harder 2 live. You need to speak French if not good luck on finding a job & what not…I’m planing on moving 2 toronto in the next year or so..

  16. Amy

    i love the fact that there is an official move in day! Makes it easier than to hassle the move in date. It sounds like its easier to remember. My only issue is learning French. I am a hearing impaired/hard of hearing female. When I do make that jump to move, what is an easy way for someone like myself to learn the language easier? Also what about finding jobs in Montreal? Is it easier than the states or harder?

  17. Laura

    I am planning to go to Montreal, but if I go I would like to stay there for working. Do you think I should get a job first and then go; or I can find it there?
    I speak english, spanish and chinese; unfortunately no french. But I’m a fast language learner.
    What will it be your advice to me?

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      You should definitely learn French at some point if you want to thrive in Montreal. I don’t think it will be possible for you to find a job before moving here, it’s just not the way things are done around here most of the time. It always depends on your background, though. I would recommend coming here first, get a feel of the city and see from there.

    2. Linda

      It may be tough to find a job in Montreal without speaking french. If you need to make some money while in school learning French you can try and find a temporary or freelance job. You never know it may lead to a more permanent position. Perhaps you can translate or have another skill. You can go on to post your profile and find flexible jobs for free. Good luck and Welcome to Montreal! It is a fantastic city!

  18. Frank

    Hi Marie-Eve,
    Nice blog! I’m also a Montrealer and also blog on Montreal (among other places). Always good to compare notes with others, and you do a good job.
    My own “Mini-Guide” to Montreal that might supplement what readers find on your site:
    Keep up the good work!

  19. Paige Magrogan

    Hello! Very helpful and informative article! I am moving to Montreal in about a month and will be starting at McGill University, and I am very excited, if not a little nervous. This has answered a lot of my questions!

  20. Heather

    My husband and I have dreams to relocate our family of five to the country near Montreal, and learn French and experience more culture than we are currently experiencing in Alberta.

    This is a great article, I have already noted it to share later.

    Are there many executive sales positions that do not require bilingualism? Thanks…er, merci. :)

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Hello Heather. Montreal is a great city to live in for aforementioned reasons, and I’m sure you’ll find your experience rewarding and amazing. Learning French is just a bonus :) As for executive sales positions, I am not really familiar with this field but I would say you could probably get a position as long as you have proof that you are taking French lessons. But then again it always depends on the company.

      Thanks so much for your comment! Let me know if you have other questions.

  21. Nadine Pelletier

    Bonjour. Je suis americaine avec des orgines quebecoises. Je veux demanager a montreal mais je ne parle ps courrament le francais. seulement d’un niveau elementaire et je ne comprends bien l’accent quebecois ni le joual! je veux habiter dans un quartier exclusivement francophone. vous pensez je pourrais me debrouiller a un boulot la bas ou non? Merci, Nadine

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      If you French is half as good as the French in your comment, you will not have any trouble living in Montreal! I think you will do very well in Montreal and worst case scenario, most of us speak English so if your French fails at some point there are always ways to be understood. I really hope you can move here, it’s such a great place!

  22. Jan


    I’m also thinking about moving to Montreal. But getting scared when I’m reading all those comments about “no jobs if you don’t speak France”. It’s the same thing as visting Paris where the don’t wanna speak English.

    Still planning to go, talk English & Dutch ;) . And if it not work out I will move back or to another city, but then if have tried it.

    Thanks for the advice. Hopefully I can find a house & job soon and explore montreal!

  23. Nick

    Great post! My partner and I are moving from New Zealand to Montreal in a few months for my work, so this is reaally helpful!
    Most of the people I’ll be working with speak English but we’re keen to learn as much French as possible to get the most from our time there.
    I’m a little worried about my partner being able to find work without being able to speak French :-/

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      I think if you stick to the west side of the island you’ll have no problem getting by in English. But to be honest, the best part of Montreal is in the centre, so you’ll have to learn a bit of French to fully immerse ;) Although everybody speaks good English.

  24. Susie

    Enjoyed your post. I lived in Montreal in 2005 and 2010. I will be returning in a year and a half, perhaps the west side of Montreal as it does make things easier if english is your primary language. Though l loved living in The Village better than D.D.O. I agree with you there is no place like Montreal. I grew up in Toronto and currently reside in Edmonton Alberta. I currently self-study french with my two year old and watch lotS of French channels and children shows. You provided great info and pics. Merci Beaucoup!

  25. tay

    Merci beaucoup pour votre poste ici. Je voudrais habiter et travailler a montreal avec mon mari. Mais il ne parle pas francais. Il a beaucoup d’ans d’experience dans technologies informatiques. Donc, j’espere que il se trouve travail la.
    Moi, mon français est un niveau intermediare.

  26. Doug

    Hey Marie. For an American who is really planning on moving to Montreal next summer. Do you have to be going to school? I mean i’m a tattoo artist so I don’t plan on going. But i want to move to Montreal to be closer to my boyfriend. He lives in Alma but plans to move to Montreal. Do you think its possible for me to get a workers visa without having to go to school? I would just need a job offer right?

  27. irfan

    hi maria. its very well written articles, i have saved it in my favourite list and found very useful links too on your site, i am moving in december with my kids, none of us can speak french, but still montreal is on priority because i think it suits my nature of business. thanks again

  28. Yianni

    Sorry to say.. But we DO indeed pay for schooling. I mean the citizens do, PAY, the famous School taxes you pay forever!!!, weather you have or don’t a kid attending a school… they go for paying the schools.
    Living in Montreal and traveling around by transit?? expect to pay triple of what you would pay, lets say in Paris or another city in Europe; and wait 3 to 4 times longer than you’d do in a city in Europe. Finally at the end. Owning a car and moving around with it, SPECIALLY in winter, it’s far better, EVEN in traffic.
    We have so many free services only because we pay them dearly out of our paycheck. Those making $80K + wont care much, those with less, like me, do see the downsides. Thus I’ll give you that… Cost of renting or buying a house, is still VERY cheap compared to other provinces, and Making $40K and less could land you a House, or maybe a nice rental.
    Like every country you have the ups and downs. Quebec is, its language Rules, it’s democratic cover dictatorship rules. Ex: it’s Construction field legal ”Mafia” called CCQ, meaning,if you’re not registered at it, you simply can’t find proper work in the field. Quebec in a way pushes you to stay in front of your TV and claim taxpayers money, which a lot do…But the Construction field in Quebec, would land you one hell of a very lucrative pension not even dreamed in European construction field, if so many hours are worked. But Montreal IS one hell of a city in North America, and is Pinned well on the Global map, with its festivals, great nightlife, beautiful people ad mixes, activities to do, day trips and so on, its a city that like some does seduce you, pretty much slaps you with a smile, even if it’s winters are grumpy and you dream of hot weather in Cuba that is just 3 hours flight…. Montreal… is simply…. Wonderful, take away Very Greedy Politicians and you’d have an uncompared Jewel.

  29. Josef

    Hi,im going to move to Montreal next couples of month,i speak english and french,im a soccer coach for youth player academy soccer school here in London,can anyone tell me if is possible to find job as a soccer coach?

  30. Todd

    Thanks! That was a great article. My wife and I just visited Montreal last week and I really like the French culture. We’re thinking about moving to Montreal if we can get jobs there. We currently live in Houston and are programmers. We only know English though so I assume it will be hard to get a job there not knowing French.

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      I suggest anything along the orange line; Ahuntsic (more family-oriented), Villeray (quite ethnic with awesome restaurants), Rosemont-Petite Patrie (very French-Canadian) and le Plateau (artsy, hipster and expensive).

  31. Josef

    Hi again,no bodies answer me?i asked if its possible to find a job in montreal as a soccer coach youth player..i have livel2 FA and ex soccer player semi professional.
    i speak french and english,can anyone help me for more information?


  32. Ben

    Great article. Any advice on where to live that has life to it but is not too bad a commute to Dorval. We were thinking le Plateau area but have heard driving to work would take 1.5 hours! Is that right? And if so were should we be looking? Hampstead? Cotes des Neiges?

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      I think 1.5 hours is slightly exagerated, especially if you travel by car! But areas like Westmount, Ville Saint-Laurent, Pointe-Claire and NDG/Côte-Saint-Luc/Hampstead are all great areas to live, but slightly less lively than le Plateau or Rosemont, for example.

  33. Jan

    am thinking of relocating but am unsure how the medical system is. i have more then a few health issues n need to know what its like medically. THanks

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      I am by no means an immigration agent but you need to pass a health test before you can become a permanent resident. If you are living here and not a permanent resident you need to have travel insurance in order to have your medical expenses covered.

  34. Brian

    I had every intention to move to Montreal before reading this, now I’m utterly convinced! It sounds like an incredible place, and your passion for the city is so obvious!
    I’m hoping to move over next September, but now I’m left worried about my level of French- I’m taking classes at the moment, but still consider myself a beginner.
    Are jobs readily available for someone with good French/English?

  35. Ashley

    Great Review on Montreal. I live in Toronto and have been here my whole life and I am getting tired of it . Plus it is getting more and more expensive to live here and in Scarborough . My only concern about Montreal is that I have no experience whats so ever with speaking french. So is getting jobs there going to be a problem. That worries me sometimes when I think about moving there. Thanks

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Thanks Ashley! French isn’t as necessary as it once was but it will make your experience easier and more fun. I suggest that you take a couple of French lessons to get the basics and then think about moving here. It will be that much more enjoyable!

  36. Simone

    Hi, I’ve been living in Montreal for close to 3 1/2 years. I think it’s great that you’re inspiring people to move to Montreal, however I think it is dishonest of you to tell a monolingual anglophone that they will have no problems finding a job if they move here. The reality check is that most people in Montreal are bilingual and if you only speak one language ( either French or English) it does make it harder to find a job. Not to say that it’s not possible, but it does put you at a disadvantage.

    And if you only speak English also be prepared for the attitude and rude behaviour you will receive from people at times for not speaking French. Lest everyone think that I’m saying this because I only speak English, I’m completely bilingual (and have also lived in France).

    But I do have strictly anglophone friends. I’m not trying to discourage anyone from moving here, because it is a great city, I just think people should have a realistic picture painted of what they’re walking into.

    Please note that the author is a native québécoise and really has no idea what life is like for an Anglo for that matter. So take from that advice what you will.

    Also, if you are coming here to learn French I highly recommend taking the intensive French government classes. They are very good and very inexpensive. They are a big time commitment, but it pays off if you put in the study time that it takes to learn a new language. Good luck!

  37. Simone

    Also to the person talking about how hard montreal is for a white Anglo Saxon, well proof in the pudding about how close minded people can be here. If you are not white, depending on the neighbourhood that you live in, you won’t always be received with open arms!

  38. Éric

    It is normal to fall in love with a place? Because I fell in love with Montréal many years ago, but finally moving next year. Cannot wait!
    Thanks for the amazing post!

  39. Jennifer

    I can’t be sure how old this article is, but do you know of any service that I can hire to find an apartment for me if I provide them with my wish list? It’s not a big wish list, but it’s rather hard to look for an apartment if you’re not actually there (moving from Northern Ontario – where rent is 2 times as expensive for way way less)

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  41. Guilherme Machado

    Really liked your post! I’m moving to Montreal on April to stay there for a year just to learn french. I thought this was the best way to learn the language, in a great city with lots of students and also a city that has both english and french as “official” languages!

  42. Adriel Moraes

    I just loved you post, this makes more and more excited to live in the “Magnificque Ville de Montréal”. I’m from Brazil, and my dream is to live there someday!!! J’apprends à parler peu français! :)

  43. Judy Mullen

    I work as a School Counselor in Vermont and was wondering if it’s hard to find work in high schools? I do not speak any french!

  44. Belle of Acadia

    Wow, those are some gorgeous buildings! I am Acadian but cannot speak French due to my mom being adopted by Anglophones as a baby. Would love to learn French and be able to practice it daily there. My grandmere visits Saint Anne de Beaupre and she just loves it!

  45. Belle of Acadia

    What is a good part of the city for single non-drivers who like heavy metal? My friend, who is from Nova Scotia like myself, adores the Montreal metal scene.

  46. Gladd

    Just seen this now and just want to say very well done with the information about this great city Marie-Eve

    I moved from Montreal to Toronto few months ago for my work and I’m sadly dying to go back, I have family here too but it’s not the same. Montreal is just LIVE and FUN, especially in the summer with the cultures and festivities, downtown St Catharines, Crescent street etc, public transit (although drivers can be late @ times) is very very accessible. The many great restos, food, affordable everything.

    I am from the West Island and love love love the area; in general I will so recommend this amazing city (despite their annoyance of the French language, although I speak it) to anyone thinking of moving or visiting. Try it and you will keep coming back. I’m looking forward to moving back in 2015, Toronto life is just too sad & expensive for nothing, although making the money, they all go to bills & can’t do it anymore. After my lease is done, I will be happily going back to MY MONTREAL. Can’t wait.

  47. Tejas shah

    Hello ppl, I am coming for a holiday with a friend in JUNE to Montreal… since i am absolutely new to this city, Can you plz guide me a good place to stay ?

    a place which is centrally located, has good restaurants nearby and probably train stations too !!

  48. Diana

    Wow! Thanks for this article. I’m currently applying for immigration, hopefully I’ll be able to get this opportunity soon. I love the pictures. I’m excited to transfer and make a new life in Montreal. (^_^)

  49. Penny

    Many thanks for informative article. My daughter has been offered PhD at McGill. 4 year commitment . We live in England so a big move for her. She will want to walk or cycle to uni. Any recommendations for safe, friendly neighbourhood to look for accommodation ?

  50. shady

    woow thanks a lot for the article it is really helpful and make me think that i had took the right decision as we me and my wife and two kids just took our immigration visa and booked our flight to Montréal on the 23rd of June .. but.. i am little worried what is the best place to rent an apartment or condo 4 1/2 +
    Near a Coptic orthodox church and in an area with good public schools for my children 5 and 8 years old
    besides i am a logistics manager holding a FIATA diploma in freight forwarding and logistics management besides my 10 years of experience but i am trying to learn French and welling to take classes when i arrive too but i am afraid i can’t find an affordable job to support my family till i get better in French

    Your comments and links are very helpful thanks a lot
    if i have a hate on my heat it would be a pleasure rising it for you as a salute :)

    please, it would be very nice if you if you can guide me for the best Neighborhood to rent and if it possible to find a job with only Arabic and English + welling to learn French i am originally from Alexandria , Egypt

    merci beaucoup

  51. Lucille

    Very interesting piece, thanks so much. I’ve been looking at Montreal because, after more than 20 years in England, I’ve decided I want to return to Canada. I’m retiring early but don’t want to go back to my hometown of Toronto. I also like the fact that apartment rents are much cheaper, as well as the many other facets of Montreal life.

    Several questions – do you absolutely HAVE to move on that July date? So if I arrived there in September there would be no apartments to rent?

    Also, I have reasonable academically-taught French but want to improve it to be much more colloquial etc. What are the best courses for doing that? I know only immigrants can get the government courses. Personally I don’t think it a good idea to just say “I’ll pick it up” because I know that Montrealers will just speak to you in English then.

    1. Michel Tanguay

      For Lucille ,
      Just Google ” learn french in Montréal “. Many options for a small fee. Just in my arrondissemrnt (Ville-Marie ) the community center will offer french and many other languages… Check with Universités . UQAM and McGill have programs…

  52. Ioana

    Hello, tnx for the article, it was really useful :).

    I will move to Montreal next year , and I cant wait to discover a new world.

    Can anybody give me any tips or recommendations for safe, friendly neighbourhood to look for accommodation ?

    I am looking for Montreal-Ille, mYBE COTE DE NEIGE, ST.LAUREANT …what do u think?

    1. Marie-Eve Vallieres

      Cote-des-Neiges is a fun neighborhood, very diversified and sort of up-and-coming. The area around Lionel-Groulx métro as well, and Petite-Patrie, Plateau, Villeray are also very cool although more French-oriented.

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  54. Michelle

    Hi, I was wondering if you could recommend the info of any home-stay families in Montreal? My husband and our 2 boys will be making a one-month trip there in August, and I am looking for an affordable, family-friendly lodging option. Any recommendations? Thank you!

  55. Danielle

    I’ve been looking at Canada for a little over two years now why completing my Master’s degree to see if Montreal works best for me and my family. Does Montreal all skilled labor in the Public Health field? Also how safe is Montreal for people with food allergies? In the US I find it hard at times to make sure that the food is safe. Moreover, being a person not from Canada one of my main concerns is how my children will do there. That said, how is the public school system? Do you know how the schools protect children from bullying? Thank you!

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  57. Berr

    I love your pictures… I am an American who attended school in Montreal and did not like it in the beginning but now that I am back in the States I really miss it. A really miss the the low rents there….. If I got an opportunity to work there for a few months I would love to do so.


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