Montreal City Guide

Montreal City Guide

Interns and volunteers coming to Vancouver and Toronto now have their guides on how to get around their Canadian city of choice. Of course we haven’t forgotten those that are coming to Montreal, the second most populous city in Canada. So read on for useful information on public transportation, free wifi hotspots and the best local blogs in this Montreal city guide.

Montreal City Guide

The Basics

With a population of over 4 million in the metropolitan area, Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada, after Toronto. Legally, Montreal is a French-speaking city, where 60% of Montrealers speak French at home and only 21% speak English and its one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec. The city also has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm / hot summers and cold / snowy winters. Back in 2006 UNESCO named Montreal the ‘City of Design’.

Public Transportation

Montreal’s public transportation is provided by SMT (Société de transport de Montréal) and it includes metro service, bus service and elevator services. The Metro service operates on four lines (yellow, green, blue and orange) and there’s a train leaving every five minutes from 6.30am until 10.30am so commuting during your internship in Montreal will be a piece of cake. Bus service covers a variety bus lines, starting from local and 10 minutes max lines, all-night services and express services.

Emergency Service

If you have an emergency you can call 911. Keep in mind that since Montreal is a bilingual city, most of the emergency services are also bilingual.  Aside from the 9-1-1 emergency number (police, ambulance and fire department) there is also a urgent health question number that you can call (811) and a skilled nurse will answer your questions and provide further information on the best course of action. Also, while completing your internship in Montreal if you need some information, make a service request or file a complaint you can call 311.

How to get from the airport to the city center

When coming to Montreal by air, whether on an international or domestic flight, you’d be arriving at Montreal-Pere Elliot Trudeau International Airport or simply Montreal – Trudeau. Just like in the of Vancouver and Toronto, there are several ways on how you can get to the airport to the city center.

The first one, and not so cheap is to take a taxi. The rates were fixed at $40 CAD for downtown. It’s customary to tip the taxi driver, 15% usually being the average. Taxis most of the time accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards, but in case they don’t, you can pay in cash (even in US dollars).

The most affordable commuting option would be to use the SMT system. From the airport you can catch the 747 Express buss which will take you to downtown Montreal in about 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Buses have wifi and tourist / transit maps. Tickets can be bought almost everywhere: international arrivals level, various SMT machines and on the bus itself. Fare warning, if you decide to buy a ticket on the bus, you will have to pay in coin. For a $10 CAD you will receive a 24h pass good for the metro and on-island bus lines run by SMT. Off-island trains and buses are run by other authorities and have a different fare scheme.

On regular days, you can use regular buses (public transit) to get from your accommodation to the place of your internship in Montreal. One trip fares are $3.25 CAD (coin only on buses) although the journey might be time-consuming since buses go every 30 minutes.

Best Montreal blogs to follow for news, events and sightseeing

Did you know that the predominant religion in Montreal is hockey? 🙂 All jokes aside, organized ice hockey, as we know it today, originated from Montreal back in 19th century. And if you get hungry from all the hockey excitement there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Especially because Montreal has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America. If you want to know more about what’s ‘hot’ and happening in Montreal, make sure to follow these blogs:

Free WiFi in Montreal

Montrealers have a reputation of being very nice. And one of them, in order to further support that claim, created a website that not only lists all the available free wifi hotspots, but also ranks them according to how good is the signal and how many power plugs are available. Let’s face it, if you cannot power up your laptop or phone, you won’t be browsing for too long. Oh and let’s not forget the best feature of this website. It informs you about the noise level at each spot, so you can find the most quiet one where you will be able to hear yourself think and do some work.

Welcome to Montreal!

Thinking about taking an internship in Montreal? We’ve got you covered with our Student Internship Program and Charity Internship Program. Or are you looking for something that will get you out of the city and into the great Canadian wilderness? Try our Wilderness Volunteer Program!


Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely