A mix of an old European city and a modern North American one, Montreal is certainly unique in many ways. Few cities offer an environment where you can just be yourself and experience something new every day. The freedom of diversity, it’s creative flair, the bilingualism, and the vibrant neighborhoods and atmosphere never fail to make people fall in love with the city. Here are just a few reasons why Montreal is a great place to live in.
Joie de vivre.
Few cities allow you to experience “joie de vivre” — “the joy of living.” Montreal is a city where you’re free to enjoy everything around you. You can explore the city in so many ways that it never gets boring. You can keep going to your favorite restaurants, or try a new one every week. You can try different activities, discover hidden talents, learn something new every day, and truly enjoy life. In Montreal, people work to live rather than live to work.
You can walk from one neighborhood to another and feel like you’re traveling to a different city each block.
Can’t decide between North America, Latin America, or Europe? There’s a bit of everything in Montreal. Montreal is the multicultural hub of Quebec, and one of the most diverse cities in Canada. Stroll through the European-influenced Old Montreal and you’ll feel like you’re in Paris. From there, head to Chinatown to get a taste of Asia. Don’t forget to explore Little Italy and the Latin quarter — and try the food! Marvel at the many neighborhoods and parks dedicated to the Portuguese, Jewish, Romanian, Ukrainian, Greek, Indian and other communities.
You can take road trips to other major cities.
We all need to get away from where we live once in a while, and what’s better than hitting up another major city, minus the cost of a flight? From Montreal, you can plan a weekend getaway to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Quebec City, Boston, and New York City.
It’s one of the most affordable cities in Canada.
Housing in Montreal is much cheaper than rent in other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Just to give you an idea, buying a house in Montreal costs around $300,000 less than a house in Toronto, and $500,000 less than buying a house in Vancouver. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal costs at least $1000 less per month than renting a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver — that’s at least $2000 less per month than an apartment in New York City.
There’s no other place in the world where many locals express themselves in “Franglais” – a mix of Français (French) and Anglais (English). While French is the dominant language in most cities in Quebec, Montrealers take pride in being bilingual and using both official languages in their everyday speak – tres charmant/ very charming!
The Festival Season that lasts all year.
Montreal is home to some of the largest festivals in the world, and they all happen one after the other. Most of the festivals draw thousands, if not millions of people; from locals who like to have fun to tourists who come just to check out certain festivals. The summer festival season usually starts in early June with the Grand Prix Festival; the International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs, Nuits d’Afrique (African Nights), Osheaga, the Montreal Pride Festival and many more follow until the end of August. The festivals even continue in winter with Igloofest. Millions go out to celebrate despite the beyond freezing temperatures.
You can depend on a bridge to tell you what the weather and traffic is like if your phone dies.
As a present for Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the iconic Jacques Cartier bridge has been lit up with about 3000 interactive LED lights. These lights give the bridge a vibrant look at night and change depending on the weather, traffic and the overall energy of the city.
It’s foodie heaven.
Foodies, rejoice. Montreal has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, second after New York City. Its restaurant food scene offers a diverse dining experience. You’ll find top-notch restaurants that offer unique dishes that mix international flavors with local flavors. Whether you’re looking for something quick and cheap, or a creative spot that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to another country, Montreal has it. Not to mention that there is a great selection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. It is also home to the Jean-Talon market, the largest open-air market in North America.
All roads lead to laughter.
Montreal loves to laugh, and every summer, it hosts the Just for Laughs festival, the biggest comedy festival in the world. Local and international comedians and audiences come together to share wit and humor in both official languages. Despite differences and the issues they have to deal with, Montrealers have a good sense of humor, and laughter always brings them together. Almost every Montrealer is looped in on the same inside jokes about Montreal weather, the amount of endless construction, the language laws and politics. For example, since construction seems to be never-ending in the city, several stores have started selling Montreal construction souvenirs.
There’s dancing everywhere.
If you love to dance but don’t love clubs so much, there are many of other places to go dancing. If a bar has good music, chances are people will be dancing even if there is no dance floor! There are also always a number of salsa, swing, jive, rock and roll, and slow dance events. In the summer, you can enjoy free outdoor Latin and swing dancing events, or just sit back and watch dancers get their groove on.
There is a whole neighborhood dedicated to the LGBT scene.
Few cities offer the freedom of diversity and support for the LGBT community. Most Montrealers are very liberal and accepting. You can be openly gay, and feel free to go anywhere without being judged. Montreal’s Gay Village is one of the largest neighborhoods dedicated to the queer community in the world. It’s vibrant atmosphere, fun restaurants and flamboyant bars attract everyone.
It has the best nightlife scene in Canada.
Montreal is renowned for its vibrant nightlife scene; there’s something for everyone in every area of town. Whether you’re looking to just sit down for drinks, dance the night away, or savor some delicious dishes, you’ll find a place for it. In Montreal, you’ll find chill bars, speakeasies, Irish pubs, outdoor terraces, jazz bars, salsa bars, dance clubs, supper clubs, and an endless array of restaurants for both fine and casual dining. And of course, there is always an event or festival going on.
It’s one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Often compared to Paris, Old Montreal never fails to capture one’s heart with its history, scenic waterfront and cobblestone roads. You’ll also find beautiful parks, scenic views, luxurious spas, an exquisite array of dining options and activities to keep the sparks flowing all year long.
Not too big, not too small; Just the size of Montreal!
These lines come from a jump-rope rhyme that many kids used to chant in schoolyards. Montreal is small enough that you can easily get around on foot, by bike and by public transportation, but still big enough to be considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America.
It has one of the biggest underground cities in the world.
Montreal has a really cool ‘underground city’ – a series of interconnected tunnels under the city that run for over 32km. These tunnels connect shopping malls, over 2000 stores, metro (subway) stations, universities, offices, museums, restaurants, and more. It’s amazing to explore, not to mention it provides shelter from the cold in winter, and from the heat in summer.