15 Things To Explain To Out-Of-Towners About Montreal

What you need to know if you're new in town or visiting.
15 Things To Explain To Out-Of-Towners About Montreal

Photo cred - Khoa Tran

Being a tourist in Montreal can be a little difficult, and it's time we threw the visitors of Montreal a bone. Any Canadian, American, or anyone who lives outside the city may experience some intense culture shock when they visit Montreal, as there are a lot of strange things the city and its citizens do that isn't found elsewhere.

To prepare all travelers, and yourself as a host, here are 15 things you need to explain to tourists about Montreal.

1. When we say metro, we mean subway

  • Some 'merican cities call it the same thing, but most other nearby metropolises refer to the metro as subway.

2. North is not north

  • Montreal does its own thing, even when it comes to cardinal directions. Just go with it.

3. Smoking & drinking in public is totally fine

  • Feel free to light a joint or sip on a bottle without fear of getting in trouble, s'long as you're not an asshole about it.

4. Crescent street isn't the only place with bars & clubs in the city

  • Tourists come into the city with a Crescent state of mind, and honestly, the street is probably the worst (save a few spots) when it comes to going out.

5. Jaywalking is a way of life

  • Think of traffic lights as suggestions, not strict rules. No one listens to them anyway.

6. Dep = Convenience Store

  • Short for depanneur. Be familiar with the term, you'll hear it a lot.

7. There are English speakers in Montreal

  • They just tend to live in the West Island or McGill Ghetto

8. No one goes out before midnight

  • Don't expect any bar/club/party to be happening before the dawn of the new day, it's just how it works

9. You can't make a right on a red

  • On the island of Montreal, this is not a thing.

10. 5-à-7 is just another term for Happy Hour

  • Everyone should know when the best drink deals happen.

11. Our beer is stronger than yours

  • Quebec and Montreal made beer regularly rocks a +6% alcohol content, even going into the double digits. Just beware, and check the labels.

12. The Main can mean a few things

  • Generally people are referring to a section St. Laurent street, but it can also refer to the deli, which is on the aforementioned street.

13. It's not a patio, it's a terrasse

  • Just so you know when a server asks you where you'd like to sit.

14. We don't really eat that much poutine, smoked meat, or bagels

  • Of course we adore all of them, but its not everyone's diet. Go nuts and try them all, just know they're a special treat for us too.

15. Downtown technically isn't called Montreal

  • The city-center is officially named Ville-Marie, the original title of the city, a cool factoid for tourists and citizens alike.

What would you mention to tourists?

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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