The island-city of Montréal is the cultural and food capital of Canada, with a unique mix of North American flair and European savoir-faire. The city is a giant playground for artists and creators, and is also a hotbed of innovation that attracts some of the top talent from around the globe. Montréal is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind experiences, full of big-city attractions and yet, it has a warm and welcoming small-town vibe.
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Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is located in the city of Dorval, on the island of Montréal. It’s the international airport serving Montréal, and is the third-busiest airport in Canada by passenger traffic (after Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International).
Airport ground transportation
You can get a taxi at the arrivals level, near the central exit located in front of the cloakroom, where a dispatcher will assist you. No reservation is required. All taxi operators working out of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport are required to have a permit and must comply with specific terms and conditions.
• Fare: $40 to $50 CAD to downtown Montreal
• Payment methods: Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted. Some drivers accept U.S. currency, but provincial regulations require customers to pay in Canadian currency.
• Reduced mobility: a limited number of adapted taxis are available. Speak to the dispatcher at the airport in order to secure reduced-mobility taxi.
Bus / 747 Express
The 747 bus runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between Montréal-Trudeau Airport and several downtown Montréal locations. Travel time may vary (between 45 to 70 minutes), depending on traffic conditions. Fare is $10 CAD. Find out more about the bus and its schedule here.
Uber cars are now available at Montréal-Trudeau airport. The fare estimate is $25 to $35 CAD.
May is the last month of spring in Montreal before the hot summer begins. It’s a comfortable month, with an average high of 18.4°C (65.1°F) and an average low of 8.7°C (47.7°F).
Montreal’s time zone is Eastern Standard Time (EST), like Toronto and New York. Montreal follows Daylight Saving Time (DST) as of March 13, 2022.
Montreal is served by various public transit providers.
The city’s transit system—called la Société de transport de Montreal (STM)—provides bus and metro services throughout the city. Operating hours vary according to the day of the week and the metro station, but the first trains usually depart from the terminuses between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. The last train usually departs between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.
• Regular taxi services are provided by several companies in identified cars. These taxis can be hailed on the street, or they can be summoned via phone or a mobile app.
• Téo electric taxis and Uber transportation can be summoned via a mobile app
Service to suburbs
Public transportation to Montreal’s suburbs is provided by the following companies:
• Société de transport de Laval
• Réseau de transport de Longueil
• Exo, which provides commuter bus (as well as commuter rail) services to suburbs not served by the above two companies
Tipping 15% to 20% in a restaurant is generally expected. For hairdressers, estheticians, etc., a tip of 15 to 18% is standard. In bars, tipping can be 15 to 20% but is often $1 to $2 per order. A tip of 10 to 15% is appreciated for cabs. Of course, tipping can be done for anything for which you feel the service was exceptional, but that’s entirely up to your discretion.
Montreal is a bilingual (English and French) city. About 60% of residents speak English in addition to French, the official language of the province of Quebec. You will be able to find bilingual menus and information at places such as restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions in English. Most street signs, directions and ads are in French only. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask—Montrealers are always willing to give a helping hand!
Find out about Montreal’s 720o Safety Protocol, which describes what the city is doing to make to ensure delegates feel safe and welcome,
here. It includes a general overview on hotels, restaurants, transportation, etc. You can also visit the Congress web page on COVID-19.
Disclaimer: the information provided by the WFH on this section is for general informational purposes only. All information contained in this section is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, completeness or other of the information.
It’s an island—and a cruise destination
Montréal is the largest of over 200 islands that make up the Hochelaga Archipelago. It is nestled in the estuary of the St. Lawrence River, which is the largest estuary in the world. Fun fact: because it is conveniently located at the crossroads of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, Montréal is a major destination for international and river cruises.
It’s right next door to the U.S.
Montréal is just 46 miles (75 kilometres) from the U.S. border, making it an easy drive from New York and Boston. The newly revamped Montréal-Trudeau airport (YUL) offers direct flights to over 150 global destinations, plus the city is less than a 3-hour plane ride to major American cities like New York, Washington, Chicago, and Atlanta. In fact, over 90 million people live within a 2-hour flight of Montréal.
It’s perfect blend of Old World charm and New World energy
Montréal was founded in 1642, making it one of the oldest cities in North America. You can feel its deep roots in the historic districts of the city. And yet, the city is also forward-looking, modern, and high-tech, with a youthful, spirited energy that visitors love.
It’s multicultural, cosmopolitan and international
As a gateway to North America from Europe and beyond, Montréal is a multicultural hot spot that’s not only the most multilingual city on the continent, it’s also Canada’s international capital, with the largest community of international organizations in Canada, and the third largest in North America. More than 60 governmental and non-governmental IOs are headquartered in Montréal. Some 80% of Montrealers speak both English and French and the city boasts the largest bilingual workforce in Canada. Many Montrealers also speak three and even four languages.
It’s the cultural capital of Canada
With 65 museums—including the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the most-visited in Canada—plus a vast and eclectic cultural calendar, Montréal is the cultural capital of the country. With two symphony orchestras, an opera and a classical ballet company, not to mention a non-stop line-up of contemporary dance, theatre and multimedia performances, it’s a city that attracts top artists and inspires audiences from around the world.
It’s a hotbed of creativity
From music and visual arts to high-tech digital creations, iconic Montréal-born creators run the gamut from Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire to technological magic-makers like Moment Factory. Montréal is also an international capital of circus arts, with the Cirque du Soleil born and still headquartered here. The city is also home to the TOHU, one of the world’s largest training, creation and distribution hubs for circus arts in the world.
From five-star restaurants and carefully prepared dishes from around the world to legendary local diners and street-side food trucks, Montréal offers one-of-a-kind experiences for all tastes, all year round. Over 120 cultures influence the culinary offering, with established and up-and-coming chefs constantly inventing and reinventing the dining experience. Open-air markets overflow with local produce and interesting niche offerings. From poutine to haute cuisine, Montreal has plenty to thrill your taste buds.
The great bagel debate goes on…
Are Montréal bagels better than New York bagels? The debate rages on, but one thing is certain: Montréal bagels are definitely different. And if you ask a local what makes the Montréal bagels so good, it’s that not only are they made by hand, but they are poached in honey water before being baked in a wood-burning oven. This cooking process gives the bagel its distinctive golden colour, crispy exterior and melt-in-your mouth chewy interior. Insider tip: eat them when they are fresh out of the oven for a taste of bagel heaven.
It’s the top student city in Canada
Each year, U.K.-based education group Quacquarelli Symonds surveys 50,000 students to compile their annual list of the world’s top student cities, and once again this year, Montréal came in at the top, ranking first in Canada, and second in the Americas after Boston. Source: www.topuniversities.com/city-rankings/2022
It’s full of fresh air fun
From the majestic Mount Royal, the green oasis in the centre of the city, to greenspaces, parks, beaches and river cruises, there are tons of ways to kick back and connect with nature in Montréal. If you want to stretch your legs, rent a bike and explore over 800 km of paths winding their way through town, more than any other North American city. Fun fact: Mount Royal Park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed New York City’s Central Park.
You can go surfing in the city
Yes, urban surfing in Montréal is a thing, and a very popular thing at that. The fast-flowing St. Lawrence River, which wraps around the Island of Montréal, has a number of white-water rapids along its course, and several of these have what are called standing waves. These are permanent waves—you go to them; they don’t come to you. Many of them, like Guy’s Wave and Big Joe (not for the faint of heart), are located just minutes from downtown and are ideal for river surfing. And if river surfing isn’t for you, there’s also stand-up paddleboard (SUP), recreational kayaking, white-water kayaking and even SUP yoga.
Sport is in Montréal’s DNA
Montréal’s sport legacy goes back many decades. North America’s first YMCA opened here in 1851. It was the first metropolis outside of the U.S.A to have a major league baseball team: the Expos. Fun fact: In 2005, the Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and were renamed the Nationals. Montréal is also home to the most historic team in the NHL—the Montréal Canadiens—and a classic local experience is to watch a hockey game at a neighbourhood bar. The city also hosts annual events that attract fans from all over the world, like the Canada Masters tennis tournament and the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. Plus, Montréal is also a hub for urban sports like skateboarding, climbing and 3X3 basketball.
It’s the only Canadian city to have hosted the Summer Olympics
The 1976 Summer Olympics remain a point of pride for Montrealers, and the city’s landscape and skyline still sparkle with Olympic magic. And, unlike some other Olympic cities, Montréal’s venues are still hosting world-class sporting events over 40 years later. Star athletes include 14-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci and decathlon gold medalist Caitlin Jenner. Fun fact: For years after the games, Nadia was one of the most common names for baby girls born in Montréal.
It’s hockey’s capital.
The first official hockey game was played in Montréal on March 3, 1875. It took place indoors, at Victoria rink (near where the Centre Sheraton stands today). Just a slapshot away, at the Windsor Hotel, located across Stanley Street, the National Hockey League (NHL) was founded in 1917. And our local team, the Montréal Canadiens, have won the Stanley Cup more than any other franchise.
Its flag features the five founding peoples.
Montréal’s flag showcases five symbols that represent the five founding peoples. The white pine tree and its roots for the indigenous peoples, the fleur de lys for the French, the rose for the English, the thistle for the Scottish and the shamrock for the Irish.