Language in Canada is diverse but largely divided between English and French. Montreal has one of the largest French-speaking populations in the world, however visitors to Montreal can get by easily only speaking English.
Weather & Climate
Summer is a great time to visit Montreal. The city can be extremely hot and humid. With the heat index, summer days can feel like more than 37°C/100°F. The summer also receives more rain than many expect, with July receiving around 11 days of rain.
Average Temperatures in July
HIGH: 27°C / 79ºF
LOW: 17°C / 63ºF
What to Pack: Temperatures are typically hot and humid, avoid packing synthetic fabrics like polyester or other materials that don't breathe. Pack light, breathable fabrics along with a light cardigan for the evenings when temperatures drop. An umbrella is also a must-pack.
The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents. Foreign currencies may be readily exchanged at banks, your hotel front desk, or at currency exchange bureaus located throughout the city. Bank debit or credit cards are the most convenient means of getting cash at the many 24-hour automated banking machines (ATMs). Banknotes are $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Coin denominations are 0.05¢, 0.10¢, 0.25¢, $1.00 (Loonie), $2.00 (Toonie).
The standard voltage in Canada is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
Tipping & Tax
Tipping is generally expected because most of the service providers receive a relatively low base pay and rely on tips to bring their earnings to a decent rate. In most cases, a tip in the range of 15% to 20% is perfectly acceptable. The good and services tax (GST) and the Quebec sales tax (QST) are applicable to most products and services at a rate of 9.975%.
Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (formerly Montréal–Dorval International Airport) is the main Canadian airport East of the Great Lakes, serving Québec, Atlantic Canada as well as Eastern Ontario and Northern New England. Each year some 30 air carriers transport more than 13 million passengers via Montréal-Trudeau; there are direct flights to and from about 130 regular and seasonal destinations in Canada, the United States and internationally. Owing to its geographic location, Montréal is a major hub for air traffic between Canada and Europe.
TRAVEL TO DOWNTOWN MONTREAL FROM (YUL)
BUS/ 747 EXPRESS
The 747 bus line runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between Montréal-Trudeau Airport and downtown Montréal (corner of Berrie and Sainte-Catherine - Berri-UQAM station). Travel time may vary etween 45 to 70 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. More information >>
As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada offers inter-city connections along the Ottawa-Montréal, Toronto-Kingston-Montréal and Quebec City-Montreal corridors. More information >>
Orleans Express, Greyhound, Aeroshuttle, 747 P-E-Trudeau Airport/Downtown, all offer a return shuttle service between Montreal-Trudeau and Montreal. Tickets can be purchased aboard the coach at the passenger drop-off areas in the international arrivals level. More information >>
Entry to Canada - VISA
Entry rules to Canada are changing. Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S citizens and travellers with a valid visa. For more information, click here.
Regular banking hours in Canada are 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours including weekends at some locations. Visitors who wish to cash cheques or require other banking services are advised to check times of operation with the institutions. Main branches of Canadian chartered banks, particularly in major centres, are equipped to exchange foreign currency as well. Most banks have automatic teller machines, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, using bank or credit cards on major international banking networks such as Cirrus, Plus and Interac.
Visitors are not covered by Canadian health insurance plans. Check with your personal medical plan before leaving your home country to ensure you have adequate travel insurance. Delegates are urged to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to, or loss of personal effects whenever traveling outside of their own country.
Montreal is in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
Montreal has two main area codes: 514, 438. They cover the Island of Montreal, Île Perrot, and Île Bizard in the province of Quebec.
By law, smoking is not permitted on terraces of bars, restaurants or other places of business. It is also prohibited on playgrounds, sports fields, bus shelters or within nine metres of the entrance to a public place.
As of October 17, 2018, Cannabis use was made legal in Canada. To learn more about Cannabis laws and regulations in Canada, please visit the Government of Canada website.