, 4 min read


For two weeks, from 02 to 16 September, I stayed in Montreal, Canada, to practice my French language skills.

City Population in million Dominant language
Toronto 2.8 English
Montreal 1.8 French
Calgary 1.3 English
Ottawa 1.0 English
Edmonton 1.0 English

1. Public transport. From YUL you can take the bus 747 to the city center.

The best approach is to buy an Opus card for 6 CAD. Add to this the actual fare: 11 CAD for an entire day, 30 CAD for the week starting on Monday and ending on Sunday -- for zone A. On the vending machine you can use Visa credit cards. Other cards are not accepted. Within the bus or metro you cannot buy the Opus card.

I would recommend to install the STM Chrono app. With this app you can check the content of your Opus card using NFC. Though, it needs an internet connection to work; no internet means no infos on schedules.

The metro covers the majority of the city center and runs frequently. The metro operates on rubber wheels. Many buses are hybrid, i.e., they use a combustion engine and an electric motor.

During rush hours busses and metros can be quite crowded.

2. Mont Royal. Montreal is named after this mountain. It has a georgious park and many paths within, which are nice to walk and rest on the many banks. The parc surrounding Mont Royal is way larger than Central Park in Manhatten.

3. Everyday life. I did not use any Canadian cash. Google Pay ("Google Wallet") and credit card served me well. Some everyday life images: construction, police man, housing, monuments, etc.

4. Old port and surrounding. The old port and the nearby Chinatown are a common tourist attraction.

In the city center unfortunately you will smell hashish quite often. This has this unpleasant smell:

Die für den Geruch verantwortlichen Substanzen, die zum Spitznamen „Shit“ führten, gehören zur Gruppe von flüchtigen prenylierten Schwefelverbindungen. Als primärer Geruchsstoff wurde die Verbindung 3-Methyl-2-buten-1-thiol identifiziert, die auch im Analdrüsensekret von Stinktieren und bei der Zersetzung von Bier auftritt, Identification of a New Family of Prenylated Volatile Sulfur Compounds in Cannabis Revealed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography.

5. Universities. Montreal has more than five universities:

  1. University of Montreal
  2. McGill University, the most prestigious one
  3. Concordia University
  4. UQAM (University of Quebec in Montreal)
  5. TELUQ (Tele university of Quebec)
  6. And other

You will find lots of young people, mostly students in the city center. According Why Montréal is the top student city in North America:

Each year, some 185,000 students – including 25,000 international students from 150 countries – call Montréal home. Students make up an active part of Montréal’s population

6. ec English language school. This school teaches English and French. The equipment is modern. Many students come from Latin America. In my case many students came from Colombia and Mexico. There were students from China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, though, I didn't notice any student from the US.

My French language teachers obviously really liked their job. All rooms are covered by WiFi, which is reliable. The teachers recommend not to use smartphones during classes.

As to be expected, most of the students in the school are young, i.e., way younger than 60.

7. Cars and trucks. On the roads you will find many US American like trucks. In Montreal you will see very many Tesla cars. According Which city in Canada has the most EVs?:

But when it comes to electric vehicle readiness, Toronto jumps to the top spot. In addition to its 6,300 EVs, it also has 864 electric charging points. Montreal came in second — it has 1,258 electric charging points in addition to the 3,633 EVs in the city.

You will find lots of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

8. Airport. Unfortunately every vacation reaches an end. Leaving Montreal will likely bring you back to the airport.

Au revoir, Montreal.