Montreal is the second largest region in Canada with a population slightly more than 4 million. Montreal is one of the important city for commerce, arts, culture and architecture though Toronto is currently the commercial province of Canada.
Montreal’s capital, Quebec, is culturally different from other cities in Canada. The general language used in Montreal is French. After Paris, It is the second largest city in the world that speaks French officially. Its climates changes extremely for all seasons.
Quebec winters are well known all over Canada as being cold, wet and icy just like Ottawa’s even icier than Toronto’s. All thanks to the province snow clearing system that acts fast and efficient. Summers are always warm in Canada. The temperature rises between 23-27 degrees Celsius everyday however it can go as low as 13 degrees and as high as 35 degrees.
The UNESCO “city of design” and Monocle Magazine named Montreal “Canada’s Cultural Capital”. It is rated as one of the world’s most livable cities. Montreal was also included in the list of “10 happiest places in the world” compiled by The Lonely Planet travel guide. It states that Montreal is a clean, welcoming and refreshingly multicultural. It becomes very funny in July, “just for laughs” takes over the city in summer, presenting the best in English and French comedy.
Montreal is the commercial hub of Quebec and the second largest city in Canada considering its population size. This makes it ethnically different from other cities. Montreal has a china town, a little Italy, a mini Portugal and other cities replicated by immigrants from those places. These adopted areas offers Montreal a taste of different continental dishes, cultures and music.
The official language used in Montreal is French, about 66% of its residents communicates with it. Based on the result of the census conducted in 2011, only 12% of Montreal residents speak English as their mother tongue. The amount of communities where English is used as the mother tongue is few. Most of the street signs and public notices are written in French therefore, it is necessary for you to learn some basic conversation phrases before getting there.
Montreal poses its arts and culture scenery as a strong point. The region is popular for its many art galleries and public art fixtures displayed on the street all over downtowns and residential communities. Big arteries like St. Laurent Boulevard and St. Catherine Street are normally restricted to commuters to allow street festivals like just for laughs, the world’s largest comedy festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Montreal Fireworks Festival and so much more.
To select a place to live in, it is important you balance your ability to speak French; every community in Montreal has its own scenery and attributes. Few places in Montreal speak English while others speak French officially. You won’t find a lot of public posts in English, newspapers printed in English and neighbors to speak with.
Some immigrants understand that you need to be able to speak French to live and fit in these communities so they practice speaking it every day to improve their skills. In places like plateau or Mount Royal, majority of the residents are English and can communicate with ease speaking either English or French.
Renting a house in Montreal is not very expensive compared to other urban areas in Canada. Renting is a good choice for those who want to live in rural areas. Communities like the Plateau, Mount Royal and Rosemont have low and high rise buildings.
They provide less expensive housing and low level of crime. The average rental price for apartments in this area cost within $900-$1,900 for a 2 bedroom apartment monthly.
These communities also have the following amenities for those living there: grocery stores, hardware and home wares stores, hospitals and clinics, boutiques and cafes, bars and restaurants. Transport systems are top notch in such communities.
Communities such as Westmount and the Outremount offer rental rates of about $1,200-$2,500 for a two bedroom apartment and are seen as the high brow areas of Montreal with small boutique styles, food markets and a fewer large groceries stores.
If you are interested in buying a home, the average cost for a nuclear family home is $341,000 as at 2016, which is $115,000 less than countries average but higher than the regional average of $290,000, popular cheap places to buy homes include communities like Notre Dame De Grace, Laval and Kirkland.
If you are interested in more costly homes, you should look through Westmount borough as homes here cost between $500,000 and $3million.Montreal as a whole is secured. However, you should be security conscious if walking at dusk.
Places like St. Michel, park extensions and the northern areas of Montreal are some of the poor communities in the region and gang violence are like a norm.
Montreal used to be Canada’s commercial city until Toronto increased in economic strength and population in the 1970s. However, Montreal is still making great impact in different industries such as aerospace, software, electronics, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and transportation.
Montreal is one of the biggest aerospace centers in North America; Quebec’s aerospace industry provides more than 40,000 jobs available at companies like Bell Helicopter Textron, Bombardier Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and CAE.
The three prominent industries in Montreal are business service, manufacturing and retail. Through the last census conducted in Montreal, It was reported that about 50% of its employed residents worked in the sales and service industry. Average household income in Montreal is $75,010 yearly, which is 4.9% lower than the Canadian average.
The rate of unemployment in Montreal is about 7.8%, which is higher than that of Quebec 6.9% and the Canadian average7.0%. Montreal’s language laws states that employees working with the general public should be able to speak French fluently. However, most employers are quick to employ people who can speak English and French in order for them to reach more customers.
The largest inland port in the world is found in Montreal. Over 26 million tonnes of cargo goes through the Port of Montreal every year. It is a port for shipment of sugar, grain and oil products packed for world markets.
Montreal is also one of Canada’s largest railway centers and home to the headquarters of the Canadian National Railway. Activities carried out at this port yields $1.5 billion revenue and more than 18,000 jobs.
Most of Canada’s French language film, television and radio production are hosted in Montreal. A lot of streets in the community of old Montreal still keep the historical homes and cobblestone roads. These streets are usually used in period pieces and movies set in Europe. It is not out of place to see a lot of film makers and heir crew working on set as you pass through the city on a sunny day.
Living in Montreal should not be difficult if you can converse and study in French language. If you are looking for schools that have their lessons in English, it will be a very difficult search as public schools who have their curriculums and lessons in English are rare or not even in existing.
The transport system in Montreal is one of the fastest and efficient in Canada. The region has a large transport system of 185 bus lines and 4 subway lines, called the Metro, and 68 stations.
Majority of these bus stops work once every 15 minutes while the metro lines work once every 6 minutes, yet you still see a lot of people waiting in the morning and evening rush hours. The subway systems in Montreal are all very beautiful. Every station was decorated by different architects who display unique art works and themes.
A lot of people make use of the transport system to work and use their cars only on weekends. Driving your vehicle during the day can be stressful since most people have cars and there are only few parking spaces. The city is smoggy during summer and gets highly congested during rush hours.
A public rail system makes movement of people and services possible for about 15.7million riders every year. Cycling is a famous sport in Montreal ant the region is occasionally describes as an example of a bike friendly city.
Being the largest French city in Canada, Montreal, has a whole lot of cultural attractions. It has museums, art galleries, historical sites, beautiful architecture and so much more for all.
Mount Royal provides one of the best known attraction sites in Canada. The park has modern hiking and cycling trails during summer and cross country skiing and tobogganing during winter. The 233 meters summit provides a great view of the whole region.
Museums like the Olympic, the Musee d’ art, the Biodome, and contemporain de Montreal (Montreal Contemporary Art Museum) provide tour guides at very affordable prices. The Museum d’ art contemporain de Montreal exhibits the art works of Quebecois, Canadian and international contemporary artists.
The Biodome, Botanical Gardens, Insectarium and Planetarium make up the Montreal Nature Museum which is the largest nature museum in Canada. The Biodome is one of the most popular vistas. It displays the four eco-systems of the Americans, plants and animals.
The Olympic park was initially created for the summer Olympics but now open to everyone and professional athletes too. There is a tour guide to tell visitors the history of the stadium. Your visit is incomplete if you didn’t go to the observation tower. It is the largest inclined tower in the world.
Taking a walk around the port helps you to see how much Montreal has changed. The port shows art works from the 17th century to the 20th century. Most of its streets are too narrow to allow cars drive through which makes it difficult to move around however, there are small restaurants and cafes where one can stop for a decent lunch, rest or grab a glass of wine.
The National Hockey League team, the Canadians, Canadian Football League team, the Alouettes and the Major League Soccer team, the Impact are major sport teams in Montreal.
Montreal is a very special place in Canada being the only French metropolitan city Despite the fact that one needs to understand French language before migrating, the diverse cultures creates great chances to interact with people from other parts of the world and also take part in various activities.
Montreal’s transport system is very efficient, fast and one of the cheapest in Canada.
Business service, retail sales and manufacturing are the most common businesses. It has more universities and schools which makes it a study destination for students. It has low rental and housing prices as its average yearly family income is a bit lower than the national average.
- It gets very chilly during winters
- There are a lot of Rules and regulations on who can be enrolled in English schools.
- It is quite hard for people who do not understand French to get jobs.
- Each resident has his/her own car and it makes movement and parking hard.
- It is only about 65% of Montreal’s residents that have a family doctor.
- Montreal is a place that features a lot of cultural and social activities.
- It is a metropolitan city with low rental and housing prices.
- It was rated among the top 50 most livable cities and the top 50 Eco- cities by the 2010 Mercer Quality of living city ratings.
- Montreal was rated second in the “10 happiest places in the world’ published by the Lonely Planet travel guide.
- Residents use the transit system frequently and with the aid of bicycles people can get to their destinations faster without a car.
- Based on the results gathered from a recent research, 94% of the people living in Montreal said they were satisfied with their lives.
- Quebec provides bursaries for residents who are interested in learning French and their university fees are made affordable for Quebec residents.