Parlez-vous français? In the city core, it’s not uncommon to hear Montrealers using French and English interchangeably as they commute across centuries-old cobblestones on their way to their gleaming skyscraper offices. Around half of Montrealers’ mother tongue is French, 12% call English their mother tongue, and one-third of the city speaks another first language, including Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Creole, and Chinese.
If you don't speak French, don’t worry—you’ll be able to get by with ease in English. But once you’re here, why not learn? Living in Montreal is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a new language and culture.
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Diversity and culture
Whatever your passion, Montreal has it. Whether you’re sampling local produce at one of five public markets, checking out the nightlife, trekking in the nearby Laurentian Mountains, or “festival-hopping” at more than 100 annual festivals, you’ll find plenty to see, do and enjoy. And as Lonely Planet notes, “Few cities can compete with Montréal’s mouth-watering mix of food, festivals and fun-centric living.”
If you like food, you’ll love Montreal. The city is home to some 6,000 restaurants—among North American cities, only New York has more per capita. Cafés, museums and green space abound—of Montreal’s 2,200 hectares of parks, perhaps the loveliest is Parc Mont-Royal, a hilly urban oasis beside McGill’s downtown campus, and designed by the planner behind New York City’s Central Park.
An international hub
The United Nations’ Montreal Protocol turned the tide in the worldwide fight to protect the ozone layer. The Declaration of Montreal outlined the basic human rights and freedoms owed to everyone everywhere, regardless of sexual orientation. And since its founding in 1642, our city has become a global hub for aerospace, pharmaceuticals, software engineering, telecommunications and more.
Montreal is one of the world’s great meeting points for people, products and ideas—a place where opportunities for students and graduates abound. When you move to Montreal, you join a thriving metropolis that’s home to leading corporations and international agencies alike—and the global talent they attract.
Geography and Climate
Located in the Canadian province of Quebec, Montreal is within easy travelling distance of New York, Boston, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City, and direct flights are available to more than 130 cities worldwide.
Temperatures can vary from a sunny 30°C in July to a snowy -20°C in January, but Montrealers always find ways to enjoy the outdoors—from skiing, snowboarding and hockey in winter, to hiking, volleyball, soccer, cycling and more in balmier months. When the weather turns warm in spring, Montrealers flock to hundreds of Parisian-style “cafés-terrasses”.
Montreal ranks extremely well on the affordability scale—less expensive than New York, Paris, Boston, Berlin or Los Angeles. Montreal is also less expensive than other major Canadian cities.
Canada is one of the world’s safest places, according to the The Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Canada comes in 12th among 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index—ahead of Japan, France and the United Kingdom. Mercer’s annual Quality of Living ranking rates Montreal as the fourth-best place to live in North America.