Hotels : Accommodations in rooms or suites where hotel services are included.
Bed & Breakfasts : Lodging in a private residence occupied by the operator. Breakfast is served on site and included in the package rate.
Apartment Hotels : Accommodations where guests can cook for themselves, but where hotel services are included.
Furnished Apartments : Lodging in apartments or furnished houses equipped with cooking facilities.
Youth Hostel : Lodging in rooms or dormitories. Meals or cooking facilities and 24-hour surveillance included.
Educational facilities : Facilities that rent to visitors rooms normally reserved for resident students.
Out-of-town Resorts : Hospitality or entertainment activities as well as breakfast and lunch or dinner are included in the package rate.
Camping : Grounds equipped with individual sites for tents or recreational vehicles—motorized or not—and including services.
Free wireless Internet access is available in many of the city’s districts. To find out more, visit: www.ilesansfil.org.
You must have a valid passport, and in some cases, you may need a visa. To find out more, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site. If you are an American citizen, please note that there are new requirements in effect for all United States nationals returning home. For more information, consult the U.S. Department of State Web site. For details on what you are allowed to bring in your baggage (gifts, merchandise, etc.), go to: Canada Border Services Agency.
French is Québec’s official language but English is widely spoken in Montréal. The city has more than 120 cultural groups and over 20% of the population speaks three languages.
You may dial 9-1-1 at any time. The service is free from a pay phone and available in French and English. Operators are in contact with emergency firefighter, police and ambulance services at all times. For less serious illness, you can see a doctor at a community health centre called a CLSC. These are smaller clinics, and there is one in every neighbourhood. It is always a good idea to buy medical travel insurance in advance.
Québec Poison Control Centre: 1 800 463-5060
Info-Santé : 811
In case of a non-urgent problem, you may dial this number to reach a health professional easily.
There are over 100 consulates in Montréal. Visit www.yellowpages.ca for the complete listing. Below are the numbers for the six most often requested consulates: Consulate General of France 514 878-4385 Consulate General of Great Britain 514 866-5863 Consulate General of the United States of America 514 398-9695 Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany 514 931-2277 Consulate General of Mexico 514 288-2502 Consulate General of Japan 514 866-3429
Goods and services
A federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is charged on most goods and services in Canada. A Québec provincial tax (TVQ) of 9.5% is added to all goods and services purchased in the province of Québec. Accommodations There is a tax on the cost of each accommodation unit rented in an establishment located in the Montréal tourism region. The amount of the tax is 3.5% per night if visitors pay for the accommodation themselves, but $3.50 per night if the room payment is made by a travel agency. No tax refund is granted to leisure travellers. For more informations: Canada Revenue Agency 1 800 959-2036 (in Canada) 1 204 983-3700 (from outside of Canada) www.cra-arc.gc.ca/visitors firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. One and two dollar bills have been replaced by coins, sometimes referred to as "Loonies" (the bird on the $1 is a loon) and "Toonies" ($2).
Service is not included in restaurants, so it is customary to add a 15% tip to the total before taxes (if you’re with a group, 15% for service may be automatically added to your bill). Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also normally tipped 15%. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc. generally receive at least $1 per suitcase or per service rendered.
Establishments have been assessed by Kéroul, an organization devoted to making tourism and culture accessible to persons with limited physical ability, according to criteria approved by the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec.
The following resources offer loads of tourist information: Downtown
Infotouriste Centre 1255 Peel Street Métro: Peel 1 877 Bonjour (266-5687) www.bonjourquebec.com Schedule: April 1 to June 20: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21 to August 31: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 1 to March 31: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on December 25 and January 1. In Old Montréal Tourist Welcome Office in Old Montréal 174 Notre-Dame Street East Métro: Champ-de-Mars www.tourisme-montreal.org Schedule: Open from May 1 to October 31, 2012. May: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June to September 3: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Schedule is subject to change during certain legal holidays and festivals.
Visitors may drive a car for a maximum of six consecutive months without having a Québec driver’s license. However, a valid driver’s license corresponding to the vehicle category is required. If your driver's licence is neither in English or French, getting an International Driver's Permit is highly recommended. You must apply for a Permit in the country that issued your driver's licence, before leaving.
Although turning right on a red light is authorized across Québec, rights on reds are strictly prohibited on the Island of Montréal.
Use of a hand-held cell phone that does not have a "hands-free" function is prohibited while driving.
For more information, visit Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec(Québec Automobile Insurance).
Québec uses the metric system, so speeds are indicated in kilometres (100 km/h = 62 mph) and gas is sold in litres (3 3/4 litres = 1 US gallon). Even though road signs are in French, most of them use international symbols. Right turn Although turning right on a red light is authorized across Québec (except at intersections where a sign indicates this is not permitted), rights on reds are strictly prohibited on the island of Montréal. Cell Phone Use of a hand-held cell phone that does not have a “hands-free” function is prohibited while driving. For more information, visit: Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec(Québec Automobile Insurance).
There are many paid parking lots as well as meter parking in Montréal located near the major tourist attractions and in the downtown core. Some meters have automated pay stations that accept both coins and credit cards. Street parking is usually free after 9 p.m. weekdays and after 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to details on rates and regulations, the Stationnement de Montréal Web site also provides information on bicycle stands.
BIXI offers, at minimal cost, a bike-sharing service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and three seasons a year (May to November). This service allows citizens and tourists to get a bike at one station, travel to their destination, and return the bike to a nearby station in the network. The BIXI system currently has 400 stations and 5,000 bikes. In addition, a network of 560 km of cycling paths winds through the city.
The weather in Montréal varies from -8.9°C (16°F) to 22.3°C (72.1°F) depending on the season, so visitors are encouraged to check the forecast before packing.
Average monthly temperatures:
December -5.6°C (21.9°F)
January -8.9°C (16°F)
February -7.2°C (19°F)
March -1.2°C (29.8°F)
April 7.0°C (44.6°F)
May 14.5°C (58.1°F)
June 19.3°C (66.7°F)
July 22.3°C (72.1°F)
August 20.8°C (69.4°F)
September 15.7°C (60.3°F)
October 9.2°C (48.6°F)
November 2.5°C (36.5°F)
To find out the temperature in Montréal:
Environment Canada The Weather Network
Canada observes standard North American holidays with a few differences. The national holiday is celebrated on July 1st (Canada Day) and Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. Québec also celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24.
In Montréal, banks and government offices like the Post Office observe the holidays listed below. Some businesses may also be closed.
New Year’s Day
Montréal switches to Eastern Daylight Time (summer time zone) on the second Sunday of March and returns to Eastern Standard Time (winter time zone) on the first Sunday of November. The time difference between Montréal time and Greenwich Mean Time is less than 5 hours in the winter.
Canada uses the metric system. Electrical outlets in Canada provide the same current as in the United States–120 volts (60 cycles). If your appliances are designed for a different standard, you will need to bring an adapter.
There are many postal outlets located within other businesses, like pharmacies. Canada Post offices are also found throughout Montréal.
A local call at a Montréal pay phone costs only $0.50 for duration of the call. You can buy pre-paid phone cards for different amounts at some stores. When calling in North America, directory assistance (4-1-1) is free and there are 10-digit numbers to which no long distance charges apply (1 800, 1 888, 1 877 and 1 866). To make a call, dial the full telephone number including local area code. Most tri-band frequency cellphones work in Canada.
Area codes: 514 or 438 (Montréal Island) and 450 (Montréal surroundings)
Bars and restaurants serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Some restaurants have a BYOW policy, which allows you to bring wine and beer of your choice. You can purchase alcohol at convenience stores (dépanneurs) and grocery stores between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., but for hard liquor and a greater selection of wine and beer, stop by one of the many Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) outlets.The legal drinking age in Québec is 18 years old.
Most shops are open Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are usually closed on legal holidays – and on January 2 in the majority of cases – but some establishments (supermarkets, SAQ outlets, etc.) may still be open.
The anti-tobacco law took effect on May 31, 2006. It prohibits smoking in all public establishments, including bars and restaurants.
To file a complaint about tourism services provided in Québec, call or email:
Responsable des plaintes
Ministère du Tourisme du Québec Direction de la qualité des produits et des services touristiques
1 800 482-2433