12 Tips for Living in Montreal, Canada
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Montreal boasts a rich cultural heritage, numerous employers and food that rivals many of the great cities in the world. Here are several things to know before taking the plunge and moving there, whether you're trying to bolster your career path or looking for unique retirement options.
Expat Life in Montreal
Montreal is an international city that attracts people for a variety of reasons. Montreal's economy is the second largest in Canada.
As far as expats that move there for work, the largest industries include aerospace, electronics, pharma, printed goods, software, telecom, textile and apparel manufacturing, tobacco, petrochemicals, and transportation.
According to CanadaStop0100, Montreal's top employers include such international heavyweights as Bristol-Meyers Squibb (Jobs), Sandoz Jobs, Dassault Systemes (Jobs, and many, many more.
There are retirees who will spend part of the year in Canada (U.S. expats who live there up to 180 days can be there without the need of a visa) - visit Travel.State.Gov's Canada Page for more information). Montreal, and other places in the Province of Quebec and its rich French heritage, such as Quebec City, have a lot to offer in terms of cultural experiences for expats.
Cost of Living in Montreal, Canada
Here are a few comparisons from numbeo - the cost of living in Montreal vs. New York City and the cost of living in Montreal vs. London and the cost of living in Montreal vs. Sydney, Australia.
Local Clubs and Organizations
Montreal Hash House Harriers describes itself as a "drinking club with a running problem."
Anyone interested in Rugby can investigate the Montreal Barbarians, the Montreal Wanderers, the Montreal Irish.
Also consider Montreal Women's Book Club
Burgundy Lion is a pub and local favorite place to watch football (soccer) and rugby. Stop in, hoist a pint and you'll rub elbows with a lot of expats and others that can steer you toward just the right athletic club and much more.
The is also the Montreal Rowing Club
International Schools in Montreal
There are lots of privare school options in Montreal, so you'll need to do your homework to settle on the best one for your kids and your family. Remember that your kids'school can be a huge lifeline in terms of meeting people and establishing a network of friends.
Note that students that are not Canadian citizens typically cannot receive English-language instruction at public schools in Quebec.
Here are some of the options and brief descriptions as found on their websites:
The St. George's School in Montreal
Lower Canada College
Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School
Selwyn House School
The Priory School
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal
Trafalgar School for Girls
West Island College
Shopping in Montreal
We visit Marches Public Market, specifically the Jean-Talon Market. It has so many fresh and freshly-prepared options. You can eat there and then bring home all kinds of wonderful culinary delights. We had delicious crepes that happened to be gluten free, some fresh sausage. Just shopping at this market may make you feel like you're living a vibrant, fulfilling, and healthful lifestyle.
We also visited a Boulangerie Le Marquis sans gluten. Excellent. The GF Croissants were amazing.
Many people have cars in Montreal... there is on-street parking, and you can get a parking permit sticker for your neighborhood.
Bike sharing is available seemingly all over the city.
Here is an introduction to the Montreal's transportation system... it includes the Metro, a subway system, and a network of bus lines.
Here is the official website of the Metro and the bus lines.
The summers can be warmer than you would think, fall and spring are great though too short, and the winters are exactly what you would expect in the Great White North. COLD!
Restaurants and Nightlife
Oh the food! The restaurants in Montreal, with their French influence will just about knock your socks off. There are plenty of Italian, Asian and all kinds of other ethnic restaurants that just about make life worth living!
You'll need to definitely visit Old Montreal. Is it a bit touristy? Sure, but the restaurants and charm will easily win you over.
Our favorite restaurant in Montreal is Modavie in Old Montreal. In addition to a great atmosphere with live music, we have received excellent service and the food is fabulous. Try any of the salads, the Braised Lamb Poutine, and the Steak Frites.
Health Care Facilities in Montreal, Canada
Health Care in Canada is a publicly funded health care system that is organized through the provinces and territories of Canada.
Quebec's provincial health care authority is the Regie de l'assurance maladie du Quebec or (RAMQ).
Expat Health Insurance in Canada
Expats living in Canada interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
Residency and Visa Requirements
You can find extensive information about immigrating to Canada on their official website.
There is a program where you may be able to apply as a Quebec Skilled Worker.