Last week, I was in New York City meeting with locals from the Big Apple and giving away free trips to Montreal (Oh, isn’t life rough?) And as I interacted with people on the street, I quickly realized that many myths about Montreal persist in the collective imagination of Americans. Myths that need some rapid debunking…
Myth #1: Montreal is far – Now, I know that geography is not everyone’s forté, but I was really surprised that a lot of people didn’t know whether Montreal was on the East or West coast of North America. So, let’s clear that up. Montreal is a 7-hour drive or a swift 45-minute flight north of New York City. We are much, much closer than you think!
Myth #2: Montreal is always cold
– I will admit that our winters are pretty intense, but our summers gloriously hot. And not just the temperature! From May to September, the city is burning up with FESTIVALS
and FUN SUMMER ACTIVITIES
Myth #3: We live in an underground city – New Yorkers are so impressed that Montreal has a large underground shopping network that somehow they’ve blown it completely out of proportion. Some Americans I spoke to referred to Montreal as “an entire secret city that lives underground.” Although that sounds like it would make an amazing apocalyptic movie, I would like to clarify that Montrealers don’t literally live underground. Yes, we have an extensive network of shopping malls that connect to each other under the downtown streets, but Montreal is very much alive on terra firma.
Myth #4: Montrealers only speak French – Ironically enough, French Canadians speak very good English. Perfect example: yours truly. Montreal bilingualism is one of the reasons why I love living here so much. You can come practice your French in Montreal, but rest assured that service is available in English almost everywhere.
Myth #5: Mount Royal is a dormant volcano – This is probably one of the most tenacious myths about Montreal. And considering that a lot of locals also believe Mount Royal is an old volcano, I forgive you on this one. The truth is that Mount Royal is one of the eight Monteregian hills formed by the intrusion of igneous rocks through the sedimentary layers of the St-Lawrence plain. So no risk of ending up like Pompeii.
Myth #6: Montrealers are beautiful – In fact, Montrealers are stunning. No debunking needed here!
Know of a Montreal myth living abroad? Let me know and let’s start debunking!