Bienvenue à Montréal!
Residency can present many challenges, especially when you are moving to a new city or country. Try to enjoy your time in Québec, it is a beautiful, multicultural, multilingual province. Go out and immerse yourself into life in the City- whenever you have a free moment! Below are a list of resources and tips I collected to ease your transition into life in Montreal.
Above all, remember you are not alone, and I guarantee that someone else has had the same question or problem you encounter. Ask us! We are here for you!
Weather / Winter
This will likely be one of the most challenging aspects of life in Montreal / Quebec. Winter seasons can be cold and long. Weather is reported in degrees Celsius; ensure that you also check the “wind chill factor”, as temperatures are often significantly colder with wind taken into account. The best advice here is preparation. There are several free weather Apps available, including The Weather Network App. Knowing what the weather will be like is half the battle. Next is appropriate gear: water proof boots, past the ankle; lined winter coat and sweaters for layering; scarf; gloves and “ tuque” (Quebec term meaning warm, woven hat). Make every effort to at least begin purchasing these items in October, as temperatures begin to drop around then.
SHOPPING AND ACTIVITIES
Trying to avoid the cold? Montreal has an underground network of tunnels, connecting multiple shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, museums, universities and theatres. Accessible through many downtown metro (subway) stations, including: Peel, McGill, Place des Arts, Bonaventure, Square Victoria and Place D’Armes.
Below is a list of Downtown Shopping centres to get you started: Complex Desjardins, Complex les Ailes, Le Faubourg St. Catherine, Place Montreal Trust, Place Ville Marie, Promenades Cathedrale, The Montreal Eaton’s centre
Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) provides bus and train schedules as well as a real time trip planner. There is also a STM App, for when you are on the go. If you're In a rush? Diamond taxi has you covered: (514) 273-6331
Trying to figure out where to live? McGill has compiled a list of Montreal neighborhoods. I would recommend starting your housing search with McGill's off campus listings. You can both find housing and offer to share housing with others. The unofficial "survival guide" provided by McGill can be downloaded here. It is also helpful to walk around your neighborhood of interest looking for “A louer” (for rent ) signs. Other housing tips:
- Ensure that you are aware of both your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Use the site for The Rental Board (Regie de Logement Québec). Often referred to as “the Regie”.
- Should you still run into trouble, despite your best efforts, there are several legal info clinics at your disposal
- Looking for affordable furniture to furnish your new living quarters? Check out Ikea. There are delivery options for your purchases, but you may need a car to get to the store. Several people have also found great deals on Kijjiji. Please be aware that these are private sellers, as such please follow the safety rules listed there.
- McGill Student Health Services provides check ups, prescription refills, vaccines and form completion for McGill students. Simply send an email to medwell [at] mcgill.ca with your McGill ID, full name, Date of Birth, and telephone contact information prior to the 15th of the month to schedule an appointment. If you require immediate medical assistance, there is a same day walk in service at Student Health Services (William and Mary Brown Building, 3600 McTavish Street West, room 3300) Monday through Friday.
- CLSC ( Local Community Services Centre) Network based walk in clinics in the community. You will need to have your Quebec Health insurance card- RAMQ (Régie de L’Assurance Maladie du Québec) to access services there.