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Montreal, the largest city in the French-speaking province of Quebec, provides a bridge between the cultures of Europe and the cultures of North America. It is a vibrant mix of French, English and immigrant cultures. Montreal is the party capital of Canada, and has the most fashionable and hip population. It also offers amazing historical and cultural sites, as well as the famous Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches.
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The coldest month of the year is January which has an average daily temperature of -10.4 °C, though because of "wind chill," it can fee much colder. The "wind chill" will be included in the weather forecast, indicating how cold it feels outside. The warmest month is July, which has an average daily high of 26.3 °C; lower night-time temperatures make the average 20.9 °C. High humidity is common in the summer. In spring and autumn, rainfall averages between 55 and 94 millimetres a month. Some snow in spring and autumn is normal. Similarly, late heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are a regular feature of the climate.
Information on weather norms in Montreal can be found at the Environment Canada website at Montreal Weather Averages.
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (airport code: YUL), formerly called Dorval Airport - a name still in use by many locals, in the City of Dorval serves all international and domestic passenger traffic. Trudeau airport is approximately 20 kilometres from downtown Montreal.
From the airport to downtown, the Montreal public transportation service provides bus service from the airport on route 204. The fare is $2.75. Take the eastbound bus to Dorval Circle, then the 211 to Lionel-Groulx Metro station. There is also bus service on route "209 Sources" Monday to Friday, and route "356 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue" night bus. All three routes can take passengers to and from the Dorval bus terminus and train station which is within walking distance of the VIA's Dorval station. A shuttle bus runs between the airport and VIA's Dorval station. In 2010, STM introduced the 747 – Express Aéroport route which operates seven days a week all year long. The route has nine stops in each direction, including transfer stops at Lionel-Groulx metro station, Central Station, and Berri-UQAM metro station. The service runs every 10-12 minutes from 8:30am to 8:00pm, every 30 minutes from 5:30am to 8:30am and from 8:00pm to 1:00am, and every hour from 2:00am to 5:00am. Check the STM website for more route information.
To add, there are also plenty of taxis available, as well as rental cars. Several companies offer cars from about 35 Canadian dollar for the smallest car, including Hertz, Avis, Budget and Alamo/National.
For more information on the airport, check out the Airports of Montreal homepage.
Most intercity trains arrive at Gare Central (Central Station) in downtown Montreal. Services include the Via Rail service between Windsor and Quebec City, including trains from Toronto, and service from Ottawa. Amtrak provides service to and from New York: the Adirondack travels this way via Albany.
The Gare Central is connected to the Montreal Metro system, providing easy links to spots in the city.
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There are several highways connecting Montreal with other Canadian cities, like Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto. From Toronto, take Highway 401 east. It takes about 6 hours. Ottawa is just about 2 hours away. From Quebec City, it's about 3 hours west on either Autoroute 40 or Autoroute 20. Even New York City and Boston are just about 6.5 to 7.5 hours away, depending on traffic, so easily doable in a day.
The STM operates buses and subway (Metro) as well as commuter trains within Montreal. The subway is called the Metro, and has 68 stations and four lines, covering most of the downtown core and beyond. Cost for buses or metro is $2.75, and requires exact change, or tickets. Tickets can provide a substantial savings, as 6 tickets cost $11.75 - for a ride rate of $1.96 per ride. Weekly and monthly passes are available for $19.00 and $65.00 respectively. Weekly passes run from Monday to Sunday. Monthly passes are good from the 1st of the month until the last day.
There is also a tourist card that allows unlimited access to the bus and metro network for one day for $9.00 or three consecutive days for $17.00. The cards can be purchased in advance, and then you just scratch off the day that you want to use the card. Get more information from the Tourist card information from the STM website.
When boarding buses, board by the front door and pay your fare in cash or ticket, or show the driver your pass. When exiting, exit by any door. Travellers will enter the Metro stations and pay the fare prior to descending to the Metro station. No proof of payment is required on exiting.
If travelling by different bus routes, or moving from the bus to the Metro or Metro to bus, you will need a transfer. A transfer is a temporary transit voucher, valid for 90 minutes, entitling a passenger to board more than one STM vehicle in order to complete a trip. However, it does not allow its holder to carry out a return trip or temporarily interrupt their trip to resume it later on the same bus route. Obtain a transfer when paying your fare initially.
One of the interesting things about the STM Metro is that each station was designed by a different architect, and Montreal takes much pride in both the architecture and art within the stations. Read more about the art in the Metro at the STM Art page.
People drive on the right side of the road. Speed limits in Montreal is 50 km/h unless otherwise posted. Right turn on red lights is not allowed.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:
Walking is a great way to get around the downtown area and the narrow streets of Old Montreal, especially during the warmer months. However, beware during winter months, as sidewalks can be icy and extremely hazardous after winter snow and ice storms. Shoes with good grip are essential for the pavements that have not been cleared. Beware also of ice falling from overhanging balconies and roofs. But you can always take the stairs down to Montreal's famous "Underground City", a network of pedestrian corridors connecting Métro (subway) stations, shopping centres, and office complexes.
Cycling is the best way to visit the City, especially its central neighbourhoods like the Plateau Mont-Royal; it is a very popular mode of transportation once the coldest winter weather is over. The city is criss-crossed by 660 kilometres of cycle paths, including some which cross the St. Lawrence onto the island of Montreal. By far the nicest path is the Lachine Canal path that stretches from Lachine, along Lac St-Louis, down to Old Montreal along the canal. You can cross over to the South Shore either on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Île Notre-Dame, or via the Estacade ice bridge from Île des Soeurs. The Bixi system is a public bike share system and functions perfectly. For a flat $7 fee, you can use Bixi bikes as much as you like for 24 hours provided you don't use a particular bixi bike for more than 30 minutes at a time before returning it to a docking station. After returning the bike to a docking station, you can get another bike (even at the same station) after a 2 minute waiting period. There are over 400 Bixi stations with over 5,000 bikes around the city concentrated in the downtown and central neighbourhoods like the Plateau (though its expanding all the time).
Montreal is a culinary-lover's delight. From local fares like poutine (french fries [preferrably home-cut], curd cheese, and gravy) to dining out at the Ritz, Montreal offers something for everyone's plate.
With bars that stay open till 3:00am, Montreal's streets are filled with hungry post-partiers weekdays and weekends alike. Although many turn to traditional fast-food fare, Montreal's greasy-spoon staples often have line-ups that stretch outside - even at 4:00am. Among the favourites:
Located on St. Laurent just south of Jean-Talon, Little Italy is the heart and soul of Montreal's extensive Italian community. Along with the all-season Jean-Talon Market and Milano's Italian Grocery, this part of the island offers up traditional Italian fare - sometimes the only place an authentic Italian will venture to eat Italian food that isn't mama's cooking. Some prima choices:
Montrealers' eclectic tastes extend to sushi of all kinds - from 5-star luxury to all-you-can eat sushi buffets. Located here and there throughout the city, sushi bars cater to everyone with menus that usually include terriyaki options for non-believers.
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Bernard and Laurier streets offer up some of the trendier, more upscale restaurants around. From French to fusion to Brazilian and steak-frites, Outremont will make the extra you spend well worth the investment. Be sure to stop by Bilboquet on Bernard, if you still have room, for the best ice cream around - made in-house with real inredients (no syrups here) by the resident artisan glacier and offered in lord-knows-how-many flavours and counting.
The trendy place for new-generation hippies, the Plateau offers everything from tapas bars to beer restaurants to French cuisine, Portuguese restaurants, tea rooms, and more. Walk up and down St. Denis - with a stop along Mount Royal - to take in a little of this and a dash of that.
|Appartement Qualitas Hostel||2146 Montgomery Street (second balcony), Montreal,||HOSTEL||79|
|Auberge de Jeunesse Maeva Montreal||3990, rue St-Hubert, H2J 2X6||Hostel||-|
|Auberge L'Apero||1425 Mackay Suite 2||Hostel||84|
|Bienvenue Bed and Breakfast||3950 Laval Avenue||Guesthouse||-|
|Casa de Mateo||440 St-Francois-xavier Address 2 :||Hotel||76|
|The Celebrities Hotel||1095 St Denis||Hotel||78|
|Econolodge Downtown Montreal||2060 Rue St-Dominique||hotel||-|
|Gîte Le Simone Bed and Breakfast||1571 Saint-André||guesthouse||84|
|HI-Montréal||1030 Mackay Street||Hostel||84|
|Hostel Chez Jean Montréal||4136 Rue Henri Julien||Hostel||79|
|Globetrotter Montreal||1304 , avenue Mont-Royal Est (coin Chambord) Le Plateau right on Mont-royal avenue||Hostel||-|
|Auberge De Paris Backpackers Hostel||901 Rue Sherbrooke E||HOSTEL||77|
|Hotel Auberge Manoir Ville Marie||3130 Ste-Catherine Est||hotel||-|
|Hotel Champ-de-Mars||756, rue Berri Vieux Montreal, QC||HOTEL||74|
|Hotel Le Saint-Andre||1285 rue Saint-Andr� H2L 3T1||HOTEL||84|
|Hotel le Saint-Malo||1455 rue du Fort||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Park Avenue||4544 Avenue du Parc Montreal, PQ H2V 4E3||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Ste-Catherine||1674 ste catherine east||Hotel||76|
|Hotel/Hostel Inn Tourist||1854 St. Catherine Street West Montreal, Quebec||Hostel||-|
|Studio McGill||105 rue Milton||Apartment||-|
|La Maison du Patriote||169, St-Paul Est Montreal||HOSTEL||88|
|Le Cartier Bed and Breakfast||1219 Rue Cartier||guesthouse||-|
|Le Gîte du Parc Lafontaine||1250 Sherbrooke East||Hostel||80|
|Le Jazz St. Denis||2099 St. Denis Montreal H2X 3K8||HOSTEL||78|
|Montreal Central||1586 St-Hubert Montreal, Quebec||Hostel||90|
|Montreal Espace Confort||2050 Saint-Denis Street||Hotel||83|
|Le Gite du Plateau Mont-Royal||185 Sherbrooke Street East||Hostel||83|
|Repos & Manna B & B||2140 Quesnel Street||GUESTHOUSE||90|
|Résidences universitaires UQAM||303 boulevard René-Lévesque est||Apartment||-|
|Résidences Universitaires UQAM Ouest||2100 rue Saint-Urbain||Hostel||77|
|Standard Studio 1||Rue Milton||apartment||-|
|The Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal||358 rue St-Pierre Montréal||Hostel||79|
|Loft Hotel -Montreal||334 Terrasse Saint Denis||Hotel||-|
|Beausejour Apartments - Hotel Dorval||440, Roy Avenue Dorval, QC||Hotel||-|
|St. Cathy's Residence||1480 Ste. Catherine St. West||Guesthouse||-|
|All Suites Deluxe Majestique Downtown Montreal||366-368 Sherbrooke West||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Villa||57, Sainte-Catherine East Montreal||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Ambrose||3422 Stanley||Hotel||81|
|Econo Hostel||(Second balcony) 2156 Montgomery||HOSTEL||-|
|Club Hotel Montreal||1560,Ste-Catherine Street East||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Bon Accueil||1601 Saint Hubert Street||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Stay Centre Ville||910 bldv Maisonneuve Est||Hotel||-|
|OASIS Montreal||1897 boulevard Rene-Levesque est.Montreal, Quebe||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Eureka||1553 St-Andre||Hotel||77|
|Loft Jacques-Cartier||4046 Cartier||Apartment||-|
|Visitel Hotel Montreal||1617 St hubert montreal , quebec||HOTEL||78|
|HI-Montreal St-Antoine||1320, rue St-Antoine Ouest||HOSTEL||-|
|Auberge de Paris Backpackers Hostel||901 Rue Sherbrooke Est||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Stay Mont Royal||438 Av du Mont Royal East corner Rivard||HOTEL||-|
|Auberge Bishop||1445 rue Bishop||HOSTEL||83|
|20 Dollar Backpackers Hostel||543 Rue Sherbooke East||HOSTEL||-|
|M Montreal||1245 Rue St-Andre Montreal, QC||HOSTEL||90|
|Auberge de jeunesse Maeva Québec||671, rue St-François||Guesthouse||-|
|$20 Hostel||901 Rue Sherbrooke Est (reception in Hotel De Paris)||Hostel||-|
|Le Clic||3953 rue de Bullion Montreal||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Lord Berri||1199 rue Berri||Hotel||-|
|GoodLife Studio||3937 rue du Mentana||APARTMENT||-|
|GoodLife Hostel||1650 Demaisonneuve Boulevard||Hostel||-|
|Hotel des Arts||2060 Saint-Dominique Montreal||Hotel||-|
|Hôtel Travelodge Montreal Centre||50 René-Levesque West||Hotel||-|
|Super 8 Motel Montreal||3200 Boul. de la Gare Trans Canadian Hwy 40 Exit 35 Vaudreuil||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Plateau Royale||4555 Avenue du Parc||Hotel||-|
|Les Studios Hotels||2450 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit||HOTEL||-|
|Montreals' Discovery Center||2131 Rue Saint-Christophe||Hostel||79|
|Goodlife Discovery Hostel Montreal||850 Sherbrook Street East||HOSTEL||-|
Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.
The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.
Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.
To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. 
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