If you're moving to Montréal, congratulations! It's a city with a unique atmosphere and an incredible culture. There is so much to take in that it can feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few of our favourite things about life in Montréal.
Bonjour - Hi!
When it comes to life in Montréal, there really are no language barriers. While being bilingual is definitely an advantage, and locals usually appreciate at least an attempt at speaking French, you can get by very well knowing only English. Some neighbourhoods are certainly more Francophone than others. If you live near downtown --Old Port, Westmount, the Plateau, Mile-End, St. Henri or Little Burgundy-- speaking English only is easy.
You've probably heard tales of legendary Montréal nightlife. The tales are true. Montréal is a city that loves to celebrate and nightfall seems to be reason enough for revelry. There are always new and exciting bars to check out. From the fashionable, glamorous grit of the Saint Laurent strip, to the upscale elegance of Old Port, there is a lot to do every night of the week.
The cinq-à-sept life
Even if you're not a night owl, there is a place for you in the bar scene of Montréal. Cinq à sept (or 5 à 7) is a lifestyle here. The work-life balance is a priority and people look forward to leaving work at 5 o'clock and heading to their favourite watering hole to unwind until around 7 pm. When the weather is warm, the terraces of the city come alive and everyone in town makes merry while the sun shines.
Cyclist and pedestrian paradise
No car? No problem! Montréal is a city that loves to cycle. Whether you're commuting to work or school, or you simply want to feel the wind in your hair (through your helmet, of course) as you take in your new city, do it on a bike. There's over 700 km of bike paths to explore. No bike? No problem! Rent one from the ubiquitous Bixi rental spots that dot the city. If walking is more your speed, simply go for a stroll with no particular plan or destination. Montréal is a relatively safe and friendly place to live. You are sure to soak up some local culture, see some exceptional architecture and find amazing (cheap) spots to eat.
Low cost of living
With so much urban excitement to enjoy, it can be easy to forget that Montréal is also a nature-lovers paradise. The city's namesake Mount Royal is a gleaming green gem in the heart of the city. The enormous park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the man behind Central Park in NYC. Hike, bike, cross-country, skate, rent a rowboat or pack a picnic. Drinking wine and beer at picnics in a public park is permitted in laid-back Montréal.
There is so much to love about life in Montréal. Welcome to the next exciting chapter of your story.