- Moving to Montreal and don't know what the hell you've gotten yourself into?
- Don't worry, the construction never seems as bad as the first drive in.
- Here are 10 Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind if Montreal is your nouvelle ville.
Every year, herds of students flock to Montreal to attend our schools, party at our clubs, eat our foods and smoke our weed. This city is one of the best places in the country to go to school because there is so much to offer. Not only will you get a good education but you will be living in a city that loves to live, which is pretty special.
Moving to a foreign city is always new and exciting but of course, it is nerve-racking. Not knowing what to do, where to go or what to say can sometimes be intimidating.
Montreal is known to be a very welcoming city but it still has its quirks.
As you are planning your move to Montreal, there are a few little details you should know about. Take this as a little preview, or even a warning, these are the do’s and don’ts when heading to live in the 514.
Good luck new-comers, you’re going to love it!
Do: Start Watching Hockey
Montreal locals love watching hockey and being a Habs fan is part of our culture. The reality is that even if you don’t follow the game, you will just know what is going on after living in Montreal.
Come October, this city turns into Habs town and everyone in the city is watching the games and talking about the players. It is also a great go-to conversation starter in pretty much any setting.
If you want to be ahead of the game before the season starts, freshen up on your hockey knowledge.
Don’t: Panic About Where To Find Beer and Weed
Here is the deal with booze: the SAQ sells hard liquor, beer, wine and everything in between but you can usually find a bigger beer selection at the deps (depanneurs) and gas stations until 11 p.m, as long as you are over eighteen.
You can also find your weed at the SQDC, which are easy to locate, so do not panic, everything is going to be okay when it comes to party supplies.
Do: Be Aware That There Is Always Construction
The rumours are true, Montreal is a full-blown constant construction zone. You will be amazed at the amount of work being done and of course, traffic is always a nightmare.
My advice is to take the metro, but if you insist on driving, always leave way in advance because you really never know when or where Montreal traffic will appear.
Don’t: Expect to Find Parking
If you do take your car, don’t expect to find parking downtown, it’s not a thing. Since there is constant construction in Montreal the city minimizes parking spots, making it a dreadful looking for somewhere to leave your car.
If you are lucky enough to find parking, you can only pay the meter for 3 hours at a time, so make sure to download the P$ Mobile Service app, that way you can keep paying directly from your phone and avoid getting a ticket. You’re welcome.
Also, beware, the signs indicating free parking can sometimes be very confusing. But there are apps for that, too.
Do: Get Really Prepared for Winter
Winters are seriously not a joke in Montreal. It's not only the fact that the city hits ridiculously low temperatures, but when there is a snowstorm, it looks like the world is about to end.
Personally, the craziest thing about Montreal winters is that everything keeps moving, people drive on highways; schools are open and everyone just keeps living. It's pretty crazy to witness, but then again, that's Montreal.
Don’t: Turn Right on Red
Most places in North America allow you to turn right on red light, but not on the island of Montreal. This is something a lot of tourist and newcomers don’t realize and they end up getting a ticket!
Save yourself the money and the headache just don’t turn right on a red light, unless you are in Laval because then you are off the island!
Do: Eat as Much as You Can
Montreal has such amazing food it would be a shame to not try and eat your way through our city.
From every ethnicity to every price range, Montreal has some incredible places to eat so do not come here expecting to cook every night, you are going to want to experience this city and part of the experience is eating.
Wondering where to start? Take a scroll through our Eat & Drink section for a little inspiration.
Don’t: Stay Home All The Time
In a city that has so much to offer, it would be a shame to stay home all the time. The people that live in Montreal have a certain “joie de vivre” that is unmatched and you should be part of that electricity.
From numerous festivals of all kinds, to great clubs and bars and incredibly scenic views, if you are moving to this city you should take all of this in because it is not everywhere that you find a place that is as lovely as our Montreal.
Do: Try To Speak French
Learning a new language is super difficult and very intimidating but I do think it is important to learn a few things, like merci and bonjour. Learning a few words is both important and respectful to the culture and I believe that this little effort really does go a long way.
Wondering where you can freshen up your français on a dime? Here are 6 cheap options for learning and practicing French in Montreal.
Don’t: Compare Us To Toronto
Whatever you do, whatever you say, do not compare Montreal to Toronto. This rivalry is a tale as old as time and with Toronto thriving right now and Montreal looking like a war zone, we are a little bitter.
Regardless of how good Toronto is looking on the surface, when you dig deep, they just don’t have the same flair and je ne sais quoi that us Montreal folk have.
So don't even try to compare us.
You are now ready to face your new life in Montreal with some expert advice from a local native.