Moving to Montreal: What You Need to Know

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.

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!

moving to montreal

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.

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!

moving to montreal

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 expensive car and opt for user-friendly Car2Go or better yet, ride with Uber!

Readers of To Europe and Beyond are entitled to a free $20 ride with Uber! Use Marie’s code 869mf upon signing up. Valid for first-time users only.


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?

173 Comments on Moving to Montreal: What You Need to Know

  1. Alexa Meisler
    April 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm (4 years ago)

    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.

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm (4 years ago)

      Yeah better be prepared – otherwise you’ll be doomed! You need to book everything months in advance!

      • Jessica Sideways
        May 9, 2014 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

        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?

      • Marie-Eve Vallieres
        May 12, 2014 at 11:42 am (2 years ago)

        It really isn’t that hard, especially if you’re a student. There’s just not as much offers as there are for July, but I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding a flat.

    • tania
      January 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Where are you moving from?

      • Marie-Eve Vallieres
        January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am (3 years ago)

        I’m a Montrealer. These are just tips for people looking to move to Montreal, from an insider ;)

  2. Laurence
    April 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow. Informative post! If I ever find myself moving to Montreal (you never know!) I’ll be coming to this page :)

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm (4 years ago)

      You better :) Nothing like a true Montrealer to help you with that should you ever move to Montreal!

      • Jackie
        January 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm (2 years ago)

        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?

      • Samantha
        March 31, 2014 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

        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.

    • Damian
      May 25, 2014 at 10:33 pm (2 years ago)

      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.

      • Tim
        August 19, 2015 at 9:45 pm (3 months ago)

        Rent is cheap in Montréal. It is much cheaper than Toronto, New York or San Francisco. It’s even cheaper than many places in Asia and Latin America.

    • Barbara
      March 24, 2015 at 10:18 am (8 months ago)

      I spent better than a year of my young life living in Montreal and was fascinated by it. Was there with my French-Canadian boyfriend who had returned from the Yukon after working in an asbestos mine. He was a former chef and I loved his cooking.

      Resplendant and captivating city…wonderful to walk through…I walked 20 miles in one day (my first real day in the city). Life is colorful and big there and just jumps out at you.

      I brought my husband on a few occasions…our best trip was renting an apartment in Old Montreal for a week and biking that wonderful trail that follows the St. Lawrence River. So much more to say about it….GO! and don’t do what I did (don’t ever leave it). LIVE THERE IF YOU CAN

  3. Helena
    April 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm (4 years ago)

    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 !

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm (4 years ago)

      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! :)

    • Barbara Dion
      March 24, 2015 at 10:22 am (8 months ago)

      Helena…is that you? You were married to Rober (now in Switzerland)? You remarried and lived in Gloucester, MA? In that gorgeous house on the ocean? (did you manage to sell it…I knew the realtor)….

      What an incredibly small world if it is you! You remember me (Pierre’s old friend…)

      I miss you. We could have done some really neat things. . .when you lived in Cambridge. Like visiting that Japanese House!

  4. Christy @ Technosyncratic
    April 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm (4 years ago)

    There’s actually an official move-in day? I LOVE that! And I wouldn’t mind paying high Canadian taxes if it came with the social benefits… just sayin’. :)

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Yup, 90% of people who will move during the year will do it on July 1st. Absolute mess on that day though :)

  5. Lolo
    April 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm (4 years ago)

    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.

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, ideal for students – 4 universities and more! English AND French :)

      October 17, 2013 at 1:18 am (2 years ago)

      I am glad to read your comment, I want to speak French so I want to move somewhere people do just that.

  6. Wanderplex
    April 20, 2012 at 12:25 am (4 years ago)

    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?!?!

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm (4 years ago)

      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.

  7. Joe Wong
    April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks a lot for the tips, I’m hoping to visit this great city sometime soon…

    • Marie
      April 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm (4 years ago)

      My pleasure :) Montreal is an amazing place to live in!

      • Dani
        May 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm (3 years ago)

        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

  8. Justin
    April 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm (4 years ago)

    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!

    • marie
      April 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm (4 years ago)

      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!

      • Heather Grant
        March 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm (3 years ago)

        Where is the ‘Fleury’ metro Station? I can’t find it on the Metro map. Thanks!

      • Marie-Eve Vallieres
        March 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm (3 years ago)

        There is no Fleury metro station. You have to get off at Sauvé, and then there is Fleury Street.

    • Michel Tanguay
      August 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Dear Justin : I live in downtown Montréal in a very average condo bldg… When my Neighbors rent their places I see a trend in the $ 1300-1500 a month for a 2 bedroom 800 sq foot . Now from there it’ s downhill for the rent as you move away from the center. The elephant in the room is heating ! Take a good look at the insulation before you rent since most of the time it is not incl. The other thing is center vs suburb.. Unlike Boston , Montréal is not at the water edge… The amount of suburbs is amazing. A paradise for car lovers but cars are expansive and living downtown you don’t need it in the first place ! My parents live a 25 min car ride from the center … Neighbors had a hard time selling in recent months. prices in the low $ 200 ‘ for standard bungalow (buyers market ). But please remember that faraway suburbs are boring as hell for teenagers ! ( I know from experience )

  9. Shawn Spencer
    September 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      September 6, 2012 at 9:13 am (3 years ago)

      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 :)

  10. Jean
    October 3, 2012 at 8:29 am (3 years ago)

    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.

    • DC
      January 31, 2013 at 4:46 am (3 years ago)

      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.

      • Mar
        April 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm (2 years ago)

        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.

  11. Louis Ross
    October 19, 2012 at 7:03 am (3 years ago)

    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

  12. Kattu
    November 27, 2012 at 12:42 am (3 years ago)

    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!!

    • Louis
      October 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm (2 years ago)


      Sorry but I never saw your reply. Yes, I moved early this year. Things are going great and we are happy to be here…

  13. Adrienne
    December 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm (3 years ago)

      You’ll find it easier to learn French in Montreal than anywhere else in the world, because everyone speaks so good English!

      • adrian
        June 19, 2013 at 5:35 am (2 years ago)

        *speaks English so good ! :)

        correction ;)

      • timothy
        February 9, 2014 at 7:24 am (2 years ago)

        …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.

      • Marie-Eve Vallieres
        February 11, 2014 at 11:53 am (2 years ago)

        I think it’s a more brutal experience, a more immersive one for sure, but not necessarily easier.

  14. Leah
    January 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm (3 years ago)

    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!


    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 30, 2013 at 11:12 am (3 years ago)

      If you stick to the west side of the island it should make your life easier (starting from Westmount to Lachine)

  15. Donna
    February 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm (3 years ago)

    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.?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      February 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm (3 years ago)

      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 ;-)

  16. Katy
    March 21, 2013 at 1:26 am (3 years ago)

    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.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      March 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm (3 years ago)

      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 :-(

      • Katy
        March 25, 2013 at 3:28 am (3 years ago)

        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!!

  17. Kathleen
    March 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm (3 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm (3 years ago)

      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.

  18. Ricky
    April 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm (3 years ago)

    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..

  19. Amy
    May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm (3 years ago)

    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?

  20. Laura
    May 20, 2013 at 9:56 am (3 years ago)

    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?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      May 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm (3 years ago)

      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.

    • Linda
      June 8, 2013 at 12:29 am (2 years ago)

      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!

  21. Frank
    June 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

  22. Paige Magrogan
    July 26, 2013 at 7:19 am (2 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 7, 2013 at 5:03 am (2 years ago)

      Glad I could help, Paige! Let me know if you have other questions.

  23. Heather
    August 5, 2013 at 1:31 am (2 years ago)

    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. :)

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 7, 2013 at 5:01 am (2 years ago)

      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.

  24. Nadine Pelletier
    August 8, 2013 at 5:13 am (2 years ago)

    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

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 9, 2013 at 4:14 am (2 years ago)

      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!

  25. Jan
    September 2, 2013 at 3:39 am (2 years ago)


    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!

  26. Nick
    September 4, 2013 at 2:43 am (2 years ago)

    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 :-/

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      September 8, 2013 at 5:35 pm (2 years ago)

      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.

  27. Susie
    September 6, 2013 at 8:55 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      September 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Looking forward to having you back in Montreal then :) Thanks for the kind words!

  28. tay
    September 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm (2 years ago)

    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.

  29. Doug
    September 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm (2 years ago)

    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?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      September 11, 2013 at 5:10 am (2 years ago)

      I really am not a visa adviser and I would strongly suggest you call the Immigration Canada visa office to inquire about this. I would hate to steer you in the wrong direction!

  30. irfan
    September 13, 2013 at 7:01 am (2 years ago)

    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

  31. Yianni
    September 16, 2013 at 11:11 pm (2 years ago)

    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.

  32. Josef
    October 6, 2013 at 11:25 am (2 years ago)

    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?

  33. Todd
    October 7, 2013 at 7:18 am (2 years ago)

    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.

  34. Emily
    October 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the advise! What neighbourhoods are the best to live in?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm (2 years ago)

      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).

  35. Josef
    October 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm (2 years ago)

    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?


    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm (2 years ago)

      I am not an immigration officer and I cannot help you with your immigration process. All I can do is give you practical tips on how to move here once you have a visa. Good luck!

  36. Ben
    October 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm (2 years ago)

    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?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm (2 years ago)

      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.

  37. Jan
    October 28, 2013 at 3:06 am (2 years ago)

    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

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm (2 years ago)

      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.

  38. Brian
    November 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm (2 years ago)

    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?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      November 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm (2 years ago)

      The job market in Montreal is quite booming, and there are opportunities even for those who don’t speak perfect French. Especially in the service industry.

  39. Ashley
    November 12, 2013 at 9:39 am (2 years ago)

    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

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      November 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm (2 years ago)

      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!

  40. Simone
    November 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

  41. Simone
    November 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

  42. Éric
    February 1, 2014 at 11:19 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      February 2, 2014 at 11:45 am (2 years ago)

      You’re welcome! I fell in love with Montreal a long time ago too :)

  43. Jennifer
    February 9, 2014 at 4:50 am (2 years ago)

    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)

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      February 11, 2014 at 11:53 am (2 years ago)

      Definitely. Agencies usually ask for what people want before they begin searching!

  44. Guilherme Machado
    February 19, 2014 at 1:23 am (2 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      February 19, 2014 at 9:39 am (2 years ago)

      Tanks Guilherme! Happy to help. It really is the best way to learn, I think! It makes for a smoother introduction to French than going to France where pretty much no ones speaks English.

  45. Adriel Moraes
    February 25, 2014 at 8:37 am (2 years ago)

    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! :)

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      March 3, 2014 at 10:47 am (2 years ago)

      Montreal really is amazing despite the winter. Bonne chance avec le français! ;)

  46. Judy Mullen
    March 7, 2014 at 1:45 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      March 9, 2014 at 12:07 pm (2 years ago)

      I think it’s essential to speak some French to work in Québec, although you can get by in Montreal without hardly any French at all (although probably not in work context).

  47. Belle of Acadia
    March 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

  48. Belle of Acadia
    March 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm (2 years ago)

    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.

  49. Gladd
    March 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

    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.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      March 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

      I completely agree with you! While I do like Toronto, I would never live there. I love Montreal too much! Glad to see we are kindred spirits :-)

  50. Tejas shah
    April 9, 2014 at 1:22 am (2 years ago)

    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 !!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm (2 years ago)

      It really depends on your budget! I recommend the Hyatt Regency, the St-Martin Hote, the Crystal Hotel, or for budget travelers, the HI Hostel in the Village.

  51. Diana
    April 10, 2014 at 11:06 am (2 years ago)

    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. (^_^)

  52. Penny
    April 21, 2014 at 3:32 am (2 years ago)

    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 ?

  53. Amber Lea
    May 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I want to call montreal home..

  54. shady
    May 16, 2014 at 9:53 am (2 years ago)

    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

  55. Lucille
    May 17, 2014 at 3:40 am (2 years ago)

    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.

    • Michel Tanguay
      June 19, 2014 at 10:41 pm (1 year ago)

      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…

  56. Ioana
    May 21, 2014 at 4:51 am (2 years ago)

    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?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      May 22, 2014 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

      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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  58. Michelle
    June 12, 2014 at 12:47 am (1 year ago)

    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!

  59. Danielle
    July 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm (1 year ago)

    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!

  60. Berr
    July 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm (1 year ago)

    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.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      July 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm (1 year ago)

      Indeed, the low rents are a good reason to like the city (as are the restaurants, the parks, the vibe, and so many other things!)

  61. Marivic ambon
    July 31, 2014 at 8:13 am (1 year ago)

    Hi marie… Your topic is really for us especially those who wants to go to quebec… I am applying for immigration in quebec and it takes a long processing before we get there in quebec but i am hopeful one day i will experience what you are telling because it feel amazing to hear those nice thing about montreal… But please can u tell me or advice me which part of montreal will suit best for me… I am a filipino and i dont have knowledge in french but trying my best to learn the language… I have a husband and a son who is 6 yrs old… Your help and suggestion will really appreciated… Thank you so much and keep on posting a very helpful tips about the life in montreal… : )

    • Michel Tanguay
      August 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm (1 year ago)

      To Marivic :
      Montréal is big ! Before you decide where to settle, you have to know a few things… the busiest bridge (Champlain ) has to go … The new one will be ready in 2018. and then biggest interchange ( Turcot ) has to go as well,in short ,that area will be a traffic nightmare for many years . Before you decide where to live I would suggest a temporary address. It’s good to know where the work will take you before making longer term decisions . Unlike Paris ,the Métro here doesn’t cover the whole city and waiting for a bus in january at – 20 celcius is unpleasant…

    • Michel Tanguay
      August 5, 2014 at 12:02 am (1 year ago)

      Was going thru Google … found some’tin ! It’s called FAMAS, for Filipino association of Montréal and suburbs. Good luck !

    • veigha
      October 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm (2 months ago)

      Hi Kabayan!!! I will be in Quebec early next year and I am quite anxious about the winter. When are you going to be there?

  62. Sarvar
    August 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve,
    Is LaSalle good neighborhood to get settled for a family with 2 kids under 7?
    I am wandering if our kids go to the French school in the area with zero French or there are English ones as well.


    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 4, 2014 at 11:41 am (1 year ago)

      Hello Sarvar,
      I’m not familiar with LaSalle area and as a French-speaking person I don’t know much about English school boards. Best to contact the City Administration directly.

    • Michel Tanguay
      August 4, 2014 at 11:38 pm (1 year ago)

      Dear Sarvar :
      Google Immigration Québec …upper righthand corner ,choose spanish ,french or English. This would be the best place to start… lots of infos about school ,daycare for the kids etc. Try to get the kids in a french school if you plan to stay. Québec is an aging society, good job prospects for Young people !
      If your plan is to live in La Salle, locate the Métro station Angrignon on a map. The green line gives you quick acces to dowtown .

  63. Karma
    August 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm (1 year ago)

    This is a grrreat article, very helpful! I am moving with my boyfriend and we are hoping to make a life there and make friends! Thank for you your tips!! #Karma

  64. t
    August 25, 2014 at 6:57 am (1 year ago)

    Merci pour le blog. Tres informatif et beaucoup de motivation . Je void raise habiter a cote de Centre ville , par example pres de Mc gill universite, rene Levesque . Ce sont très chers?

    • Michel Tanguay
      August 26, 2014 at 1:29 am (1 year ago)

      Cher T :
      J’ai un example… René-Lévesque coin St-Laurent. Immeuble à condo ,seulement 40 % des proprios y habitent . 60 % en location. un peu moins de $ 1000 pour une chambre … autour de $ 1200 pour un 2 chambres. Allez voir du côté des agents d’immeuble qui peuvent vous orienter Remax, Royal Lepage etc. En ce moment, beaucoup de gens achètent des condos dans le but d’investir plutôt que pour y habiter, ils ont donc besoin de locataires…Beaucoup d’immeubles en construction au centre-ville ! Beaucoup de condos à louer !

      • t
        August 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm (1 year ago)

        Merci Michel

        Les quartiers Centre ville sont hors de danger aussi?

  65. Laura
    August 27, 2014 at 11:08 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you very much for your post. My husband and I have worked the immigration process for a year and we are looking forward to live there soon.

    We are going to visit Montreal for the first time this September (23 days, yay!) and, as it is only possible for us to go for 10 days, we would like to know which are the key places to visit to know the Montreal culture. We are planning not a tourism oriented trip, but to really know the deep Montreal culture; and we wonder where to go, what to do. We would very much appreciate your advice on this matter.

    Thanks for posting this!

  66. t
    August 28, 2014 at 8:48 am (1 year ago)


    That’s a great question. I would love to know the same. I want to experience the daily life there as close as possible.

  67. Mat
    September 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm (1 year ago)

    Great blog! Some very useful info on Montreal here. I have lived in Montreal my entire life and have also travelled a lot, especially to Europe.

    I would have to disagree with you when you say that Montreal has culture like London and Paris. Culture is not judged by how many museums a location has but by the actual day by day lifestyle of the people from that location. London and Paris are oozing with culture, but to me Montreal is lacking greatly in a solid culture, besides the famous poutine and maple syrup.

  68. fola
    November 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm (12 months ago)

    nice post.this was was a really good read with lots of useful information. I’m moving to Montreal next august. I’m looking to stay in a neighborhood close to downtown Montreal that is quiet and rent is not expensive. any suggestions.

    thank you

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 4, 2014 at 8:49 am (12 months ago)

      I guess Saint-Henri and Hochelaga would be your best bet in terms of quiet and cheap. Plateau is great, but expensive as hell. Villeray should be considered too even though it’s a tiny bit further north from downtown.

  69. Alan
    December 6, 2014 at 10:24 am (12 months ago)

    Moving on Jan. 1st. from Vancouver Island for school — pretty nervous/excited

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm (11 months ago)

      I’m sure you’ll have a splendid time in Montreal – if you can handle the cold, that is :-)

  70. Tom
    January 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm (10 months ago)

    Wow! this is so informative! how does Montreal compare to Vancouver? I have been living in Vancouver for couple of months now and really want to move to another city. Montreal sounds so much cooler. Vancouver is a nice city, but hasn’t really stolen my heart. I can’t speak French but I can speak Spanish, would this help in any way whatsoever in finding a job? thanks for the great read!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm (10 months ago)

      They are both very different. Montreal is more European and cheaper, and Vancouver is more sleek and more expensive. Not sure how Spanish would help you in Montreal but hey, speaking more than one language never hurts :-)

  71. Bernadette
    March 21, 2015 at 10:57 am (8 months ago)

    Hi great article, very informative.As a black person interested in moving to Montreal, I wondered how blacks are perceived and there a black community

    • Marie-Eve
      March 31, 2015 at 8:14 am (8 months ago)

      The black community is alive and well in Montreal with lots of Haitians and French-speaking Africans. You’ll have no trouble befriending people here, black, white or otherwise :-)

  72. Nicholas
    March 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm (8 months ago)


    I was just wondering, what is the tourism industry like in Montreal? I am hoping to move there and find a job in tourism, and by that time I am hoping to be fluent in French. I assuming being a French speaker increases your chances of getting a job over there? Especially in Tourism? Montreal looks like a beautiful city, my type of city where I feel I would fit in.


    • Marie-Eve
      March 31, 2015 at 8:08 am (8 months ago)

      Yes, being fluent in French increases your chances of getting a job in Montreal. In the tourism industry any additional language is a plus :-)

  73. Marcelo - Brazil
    April 27, 2015 at 11:12 am (7 months ago)


    I have just found your blog, three years after you posted this info on Montreal. My wife and I are Brazilians and we have two kids (4 and 2 years old) and we are planning to move from our Country.

    We haven’t been to Canada yet, but are planning to do it in 2015 or 2016.

    How about Québec City? It seems a nice place to live too, but it also seems to be colder than Montreal, right?


  74. Monty
    May 20, 2015 at 10:42 am (6 months ago)

    Nice, crisp and very informative…

    But has bad news for me as I will be joining winter session in McGill, will need an off-campus 1-1/2 apartment for rent … looks like I will have to work hard a lot …

    Thanks a lot

    • Marie-Eve
      May 28, 2015 at 9:48 am (6 months ago)

      You may not have to work that hard. There is plenty of student accommodation near McGill – most leases in Montreal start on July 1st but it doesn’t really apply to student leases. I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding a nice pad :-)

  75. Michael
    June 11, 2015 at 2:28 am (6 months ago)

    Hello Marie,

    I’m American, currently taking French classes. I live in Arizona, and we have TONS of Canadians that stay here for part of the year, and the other part of the year at home in Canada. Do you, or anyone else here know if that would affect my ability to rent in Montreal? From what I understand we can visit each other’s countries for up to 180 days a year, I’d love to take advantage of that. I’m actually from NY, just over the border, but getting ready to visit Montreal for the first time in early September :-)

    • Marie-Eve
      June 11, 2015 at 10:12 am (6 months ago)

      Hello Michael! I suggest you contact the American Embassy in Montreal to validate the amount of days you can stay in the country. But I don’t see why you couldn’t stay for less than the usual 180 days.

  76. Malagasy lady
    June 15, 2015 at 7:52 am (6 months ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve, I like your article, it’s very helpful
    My name is Voary, I’m Malagasy and I live in the capital of Madagascar, I love Montreal and my dream is to go to live there. I speak both English and French but not fluently. I’m planning to go in Montreal on November so I want to ask if it’s possible for me to work there as a Supervisor Alarm Response Center GPS in a Security company, I have 2 years of experience with it. So, please will I have a little luck to get work there. I hope to get answer from you soon.
    note: I have an uncle who is studying at the university of theology in Montreal and he works as well.

    • Marie-Eve
      June 15, 2015 at 11:53 am (6 months ago)

      Hey Malagasy,
      I am not an immigration officer or a recruiter; the best thing for you would be to sort out your visa with your embassy/consulate and figure out a job once you get in Montreal. Best of luck!

  77. Andrea
    June 29, 2015 at 10:58 am (5 months ago)

    God, you’re blog is amazing! I can’t imagine starting to travel all alone at such a young age as you do! You are literally living my dream! :) Thank you for you blog and for taking me to all those great places though it!

    • Marie-Eve
      June 30, 2015 at 10:30 pm (5 months ago)

      Thank you so much Andrea! I appreciate your kind words. Let me know if you need any help relocating to Montreal!

  78. Azzah
    July 14, 2015 at 5:10 am (5 months ago)

    Thank you for the information, very helpful.
    I do have a couple of questions if you could help out. My son is starting at Concordia in September so I will be moving with my daughter next month, she will be going into year 11 so I need to find an English speaking school for her. Do you think is it possible to find a public school or do you think I just have to accept and look for a private school?
    I do not speak French but I am looking forward to learning but for ease, I would like to live in one of the English speaking areas (westmount, Hampstead, Notre dame de grace), could you recommend an area with a good English speaking high school.

    • Marie-Eve
      July 14, 2015 at 11:46 pm (5 months ago)

      Hi Azzah,
      Unfortunately I am not familiar with the English school system. I recommend you get in touch with one of the English speaking school boards in Montreal. Best of luck!

  79. Marina Ybarra
    July 19, 2015 at 3:42 pm (4 months ago)


    I am from Brazil and my husband was invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in Macgill University. we have 2 children (4 and 5 years-old) and I was wondering where to find information about apartments nearby the University, also schools…

    Do you happen to have any contact with people who can help me?

    Thank you very much,

    • Marie-Eve
      July 20, 2015 at 10:47 am (4 months ago)

      Hey Marina,
      Unfortunately, I am not a realtor and cannot help you in finding a property. Perhaps you can contact Navut?

  80. Bee
    July 27, 2015 at 12:37 am (4 months ago)

    Hi, i will be moving to montreal and will be working around rue wellington street.
    I wonder where will be a good place for me to stay near work that isn’t very expensive and maybe not in a full french neighborhood? because i duno french at all.

    • Marie-Eve
      August 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm (4 months ago)

      Well, Wellington Street is quite French speaking. There are plenty of English-speaking neighbourhoods but they won’t be in the immediate vicinity of your job.

      Consider Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Westmount, Hampstead, Pointe-Claire, Dorval, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Kirkland, Beaconsfield. You won’t have any trouble fitting in with your English there.

  81. brittany
    July 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm (4 months ago)

    i need some brutal honesty here. My husband (francophone) myself and our two young girls are seriously considering relocating to montreal from vancouver. We have no family in van anymore and it is just ridiculously expensve. I do not speak french. Very willing to go to classes though. My husband and all of his friends and family are there. We would like to buy a house in the suburbs because of backyard space and more bang for your buck. My fear is that all of the french will be too much for me to handle. Not being able to work for the next few years is ok for me because i would like to stay home with the kids anyways. However, day to day life in the suburbs of montreal if you dont speak french makes me already want to cry. Is it really that boring there, are french people really that rude to english people. Obviously i wouldnt just go around only speaking english i would try my very best to start in french and pray for the conversation to switch to english. lol.
    Im really worried to make the move, we lived i calgary for 7 years so we have dealt with crappy winters already.

    • Marie-Eve
      August 3, 2015 at 11:52 am (4 months ago)

      Hey Brittany! I think you will be able to get by easily by staying at home, your lack of French won’t be a concern. Although I do suggest you take lessons because it will help you feel more local, most people in the Montreal Metropolitan Area speak English. A few silly ones might be rebutted by your English but it will be exception, not the rule.

      There are a few English-speaking neighbourhoods and cities in and around Montreal, perhaps that would suit your situation better? Consider Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Westmount, Hampstead, Pointe-Claire, Dorval, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Kirkland, Beaconsfield. You won’t have any trouble fitting in with your English there.

      Best of luck with your move! :-)

  82. Stephanie
    September 22, 2015 at 11:18 am (2 months ago)

    Marie – This was a really great post – no wonder you are still getting comments years later! I, too, was hoping you could help with a language question. My husband and I want to move to Montreal. My French is fairly strong, so I am not too worried, job-wise. My husband is a beginner, though. While I know he’d be okay after a year or so of lessons, it makes me worried for his job prospects right away.

    We have read about Bill 101 but here’s the thing: I am having trouble believing it is actually enforced in a lot of the multinational companies in MTL. I also know there must be many smaller businesses where business is conducted in English. But if you search online for advice about English-speaking jobs, you’ll be advised to take on menial jobs, call centers, childcare — one site even recommended (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) becoming an escort! I was in Montreal last summer, and having witnessed the amount of English spoken, I find all of this very hard to believe!

    My question to you and others is: do you know just how enforced Bill 101 is in the larger companies in Montreal? And do you know where I can find a directory of smaller companies that are likely to conduct business in English? I would appreciate any advice/intel you have. We want to get a better sense of what it’s like out there for English-speakers in the job world. Thank you so much!!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 30, 2015 at 11:02 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks Stephanie! It is indeed a very comprehensive post :-)

      I think English is more and more present in the commercial sphere, despite Bill 101, considering the global economy. If he understands French and takes lessons I think he will have a fair chance of getting a job, although being bilingual makes things a thousand times easier. A lot of people chose to speak English in the workplace but can speak French when required, that’s the main difference.

  83. veigha
    October 3, 2015 at 11:53 pm (2 months ago)

    Very informative blog and it makes me more excited to move to Montreal. I am from the Philippines and will be in Quebec sometime January or February next year. I’m currently working on my french but I can speak English fluently. Since I will be there in winter, my major concern is job hunting. Do you think it’s hard to find jobs in winter? I am a nurse by profession but have not practiced it for quite some time. I have experience in call centers here in the Philippines and clerical jobs as well. Me, coming from a tropical country would surely be a big adjustment especially to the cold.

    P.S. I don’t find a lot of Filipinos on this post but would love to hear from them.

    • Marie-Eve
      October 13, 2015 at 5:39 pm (2 months ago)

      Hey Veigha, finding a job in winter won’t be harder than in any other season. You will need to work on your French but I’m sure you’ll find something easily!

  84. internet marketing money
    November 26, 2015 at 1:07 am (2 days ago)

    What’s up, I log on to your new stuff named “Moving to Montreal: What You Need To Know” on a regular basis.


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