Montreal (Montréal in French) is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-largest city in Canada.
Montreal was the largest city in Canada up until the 1970s, when Toronto eclipsed it in size and importance.
Originally called Ville-Marie, Montreal takes its present name from the middle French pronunciation of Mont Réal (Mont Royal), the name of the hill at the heart of the city and formerly the name of the island where the city is located.
The official language of Montreal is French. Many inhabitants of the city speak English and many businesses advertise themselves as bilingual French/English. In the 2006 Canadian census, Montreal city recorded a population of 1.6 million and the Greater Montreal Area population came to 3.63 million.
Montreal is known as a clean and pleasant city. Alongside the historic cityscape of “Old Montreal”, the city’s attractions include a strong arts community and a range of musical, cultural and seasonal festivals.
More information on Montreal can be found at the following sites:
A comprehensive Wikipedia article covers history, geography, climate, downtown Montreal, culture, tourism, cuisine, religion, education, economy and transport information. For GA specific transport details, please go to GA Transport Links
Montreal’s official tourist information site has a two-minute video introduction to the city.
Money in Montreal - Canadian Currency
The unit of currency used in Montreal is the Canadian Dollar. The Canadian Dollar is presently slightly higher than the US dollar. Check the currency rates for Canadian dollars today against selected currencies at the following currency exchange website, www.xe.com
Canadian coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents. Coins are also used for $1 (a large gold-coloured coin) and $2 (a large gold-silver coloured coin).
Canadian dollar notes come in denominations of $5 (blue), $10 (purple) and $20 (green) and are in common circulation. Dollar notes for $50 (red) and $100 (brown) are issued by banks, but not by most automatic teller machines (ATMs). Some shops will not accept dollar notes larger than $20 because of counterfeits.
Automatic teller machines (ATMs)
Most ATMs are networked to Cirrus and Interac card systems and accept major credit cards if you have a PIN to enter into the machine.
A tip of 15% is usually offered to waiters and waitresses at restaurant tables, calculated on the total of the bill before tax. It will not be calculated for you - the additional charges on a restaurant bill are taxes and are not voluntary. You are free to leave more than a 15% tip if you have received particularly good service. In bars, the tip is handed over as you pay for each drink or round. Taxi drivers are normally paid a tip of 10 to 15%.
Montreal Time Zone
Montreal summer time is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. Check the time in Montreal now at timeanddate.com
Weather in Montreal
The weather in Montreal is very warm and humid in July-August. Average temperatures for Montreal in July-August range from 27°C - 14°C (78°F - 57°F), with very high levels of humidity and rainfall. Delegates are recommended to bring light summer clothing and raingear. The GA venue is not air-conditioned.
The international dialling code for Canada is 1. The island of Montreal uses the 514 area code.
International letter rates begin at C$1.40 for under 100gms. There is no distinct postal rate for postcards. Postcards travel at first-class letter rate.
Details on shopping and activities in the vicinity of the GA venue Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf are available on the GA venue and accommodation page
What are they saying about the GA?
6 Nov 2008
"Highlights of the GA, of mine, there are plenty. Those many moments when I felt really connected with some of the lovely people, sharing, laughing and hugs, the special night out in town with friends, chats with The Wise Woman, drawing a mind map with the solidarity workshop group...