The world's largest inland port, Montreal was founded as amissionary village in 1642, 100 years after Jacques Cartierdiscovered the area. The French stayed in control of the growingsettlement until 1760 when the British stepped in, sparking a nowcenturies-old French resentment of the British interference.Despite some undeniable English architectural and culturalinfluences, Montreal is today one of the world's largestFrench-speaking cities, set on an overwhelmingly English-speakingcontinent, and a metropolis of international repute, framed betweenMont Royal and the St Lawrence River.
The city is in the south of Canada's Quebec province, only 37miles (60km) from the United States border, and is an important hubof North American trade. It is a spacious, beautiful citycharacterised by a series of underground shopping and recreationcomplexes, linked by walkways and the metro. This subterranean citycontains more than 18.5 miles (30km) of office and apartmentcomplexes, major stores, hotels, restaurants, metro stations,parking garages, movie theatres, concert halls and more, all snuglyaccessible during the snowy winters.
Its population is a multicultural mix, which has fostered avibrant cultural life, cemented by its French and British roots.There are several theatres offering year-round plays, ballet andmusic, art galleries and museums. Like most Canadian cities,Montreal has interspersed urban development with green areas. Inthis case pride of place is taken by the spacious Parc duMont-Royal, designed by Frederic Olmsted, the American landscapeartist who also designed Central Park in New York. The city alsohas 30 museums and numerous other attractions of interest tovisitors all year round.
Time: Canada covers six time zones, from GMT 8 in the west to GMT -3.5 in the east. Electricity: Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American style flat two-pin plugs are standard. Money: The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is dividedinto 100 cents. One-dollar coins are also known as loonies (due tothe picture of a loon, a type of bird, on the coin), and two-dollarcoins as toonies. Banks and bureaux de change will change money andtravellers cheques, as will some hotels, but the rate will not beas good. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs areplentiful. US Dollars are largely accepted, though due to fraud,larger notes might not be and change is usually given in Canadiandollars.
Language: The official languages are English and French (predominantly in Quebec). Entry requirements for Americans: US travellers should have a passport that is valid for theperiod of intended stay. A visa is not required for a stay of up tosix months. Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals must have a passport valid for the period ofintended stay. A visa is not required for passport holders withendorsement British Citizen or British Overseas Citizen. SomeBritish Dependent Territories Citizens may not be allowed in toCanada without a visa. Visa exemption is for a stay of up to sixmonths. Entry requirements for Australians: Australians must hold passports valid for period of intendedstay. A visa is not required for a stay of up to six months. Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals must be in possession of a passportvalid for the period of intended stay. A visa is required. Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals must hold a passport valid for the period ofintended stay. A visa is not required for stays of up to sixmonths. Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealanders require a passport valid for the period of theintended stay. No visa is necessary for stays of up to sixmonths. Passport/Visa Note: All visitors must hold a valid passport. An onward or returnticket and sufficient funds to cover the period of intended stay isrequired by all visitors. From 23 January 2007 all US citizenstravelling to and from Canada by air will require a passport; by 1January 2008 the requirement will be extended to include all landand sea border crossings as well. Embassy or Consulate in US: Canadian Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 6821740. Embassy or Consulate in UK: Canadian High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 72586600. Embassy or Consulate in Australia: Canadian High Commission, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 62704000. Embassy or Consulate in South Africa: Canadian High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 4223000. US Embassy or Consulate: United States Embassy, Ottawa: +1 613 238 5335. UK Embassy or Consulate: British High Commission, Ottawa: +1 613 237 1530. Australian Embassy or Consulate: Australian High Commission, Ottawa: +1 613 236 0841. South African Embassy or Consulate: South African High Commission, Ottawa: +1 613 744 0330. Health: No vaccinations are necessary for travel to Canada. West NileVirus, spread by mosquitoes breeding in stagnant water, poses athreat during summer months in rural areas, so insect-repellentmeasures are advised for those visiting the countrysideparticularly in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, andQuebec. Rabies is a problem and can be spread by small animals suchas racoons and bats. Medical care is excellent, but expensive -medical insurance is essential. Food and water is entirelysafe. Tipping: There is no service charge added to restaurant bills, and staffexpect to receive tips; 15% is the usual amount. Hairdressers andtaxi drivers are also usually tipped at the same rate, whilebellhops, doormen, porters and similar service providers at hotels,airports and stations are generally paid $1 per item of luggagecarried. Tour guides and bus drivers generally receive $3-$5 perday. Safety: Most visits to Canada are trouble-free. The country ispolitically stable, but does share the common international risk ofterrorism. There have been no recent terrorism events. The crimerate is low, but travellers are advised to take sensibleprecautions to safeguard their belongings as they would anywhere.Canada is prone to tornadoes between May and September. Customs: The plant Qhat (Khat) is illegal in Canada and prison sentencesare heavy. Business: Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal are the main businesscentres. English is the language of business except forFrench-speaking Quebec, where all written material and businesscards should be in French, which will be spoken in meetings.Business cards are not traditionally exchanged during an initialmeeting, but at some appropriate time thereafter; it is best towait for the host to offer theirs first. A firm handshake is usedby way of greeting, and meetings begin on time so punctuality istaken seriously, as is appearance, which should be conservative andsmart; business suits are the norm. Gifts can be given inconclusion to celebrate a deal, but should be understated; takingsomeone out for a meal is a popular way to conclude businessdealings. Hours of business are usually 9am to 5pm Monday toFriday. Communications: The international access code for Canada is +1. The outgoingcode is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 forthe United Kingdom); the outgoing code is not necessary for callsto the US and the Caribbean. The area code for Ottawa is (1)613,and (1)416 for Toronto. Internet cafes are widely available. Mostinternational mobile phone companies have roaming agreements withCanadian operators, however it may be cheaper to buy apay-as-you-go SIM card if visiting the country for longperiods. Duty free: Travellers to Canada are allowed to enter the country with thefollowing items without incurring custom duties: gifts to the valueof C$60 (excluding advertising material, tobacco and alcoholicbeverages); 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or cigarillos and 200g oftobacco or 200 tobacco sticks; 1.14 litres of liquor or wine or 24x 355ml bottles or cans of beer or ale. There are strictregulations governing the import of the following: explosives,endangered animal and plant species, items of heritage, freshfoodstuffs and weapons.
Message Edited by LL_Editor on 05-30-2007 05:43 PM
Great City............ we have stayed at three luxury link auctions properties. Auburge Vieux, Hotel Siecle and the Omni. Each one was great and offered something different. It does feel like a European city but you need not fear the French speaking most speak some english. The food is very good and their is much to see and do. They have a great Botanical Garden, the old town is fun in the good weather and you can take a boat ride. We are looking forward to another trip this coming June.
I'd recommend avisit to Montreal very highly. It's a wonderfully cosmopolitan and lively city with a lot of great sights (particularly the "Royal Mountain" that rises high above the Downtown and for which the city is named. The views from the top are superb.
Montreal has a lot of Gallic charm, as it's one of the few large French-speaking cities in North America (but most Montrealers also speak English). It's almost like being in France with amazing restaurants, lots of sidewalk cafes, and many lively late-night clubs that ensure a lively time. To me, the Old Town district is my favourite because of the charming streetscapes, old stone buildings, and statues
which set it apart from the rest of the city, which is quite modern. July is a terrific time of year to go with great weather almost a guarantee and lots of outdoor activities going on. My wife and I live in Toronto and have been to Montreal several times and always thoroughly enjoyed it.Check out the 2-minute video on http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/that'll give you an excellent glimpse of Montreal. For a good travel guide with lots of detailed information about Montreal, click on http://wikitravel.org/en/Montreal. Enjoy!
I call Montreal my home. I think that a young couple your age would love Montreal, especially during July. During the month of July Montreal is known for quite a few festivals. Just for Laughs (comedy festival), The Jazz Festival & of course The Montreal Fireworks. If you need restaurant or club recommendations, let me know, I will ask my daughter's advice who are your age.
For anyone coming to the beautiful city of Montreal there is a company called Goldworks Entertainment that builds luxury entertainment packages in and around the city of Montreal. their website is, www.goldworksentertainment.com.
Take a look at their website because they specialize in Montreal entertainment and can organize a very special luxurious trip!!