Buy the correct phone card
This tip applies mostly to travellers coming from the United States, where phone cards aren't in such common use as they are in Canada or Europe.
Luckily, there are pay phones in Montreal which accept coins, but if you decide to go with the convenience of phone cards, make sure you buy an *official Bell card* with the magnetic strip that can be inserted into public phone slots and read instantly - *not* a random long distance card.
As you can guess, I made the mistake of buying the wrong one. The one I bought at a convenience store is for long distance use only and you still have to pay to make the initial call to the local access number. Fortunately, there is a toll-free number to use the card in the United States so the purchase wasn't a complete wash.
The official Bell cards can be bought at vending machines at the airport and Metro - and probably convenience stores - in increments of at least $5, $10 and $20. They expire after awhile, so check the fine print.
Or better yet - bring your cell phone from the US. It probably works.
Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve statue
At Place d'Armes in Old Montreal the statue of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve is located.
Paul was a French military officer and the founder of Montréal. He was born at February 15, 1612 and left from La Rochelle in 1641. After a difficult crossing of the Atlantic Ocean he arrived in Quebec City and spent the winter there. He was hired by the Jesuit Jérome le Royer de la Dauversiere to help with the start of a new settlement. He lead the settlers and after conquering the local Iroquois Ville-Marie was founded.
The sculpture is by Louis-Philippe Hebert.
Hurry up, Montreal is the city...
Hurry up, Montreal is the city of festivals. There is always a festival not too far away.
The Jazz festival in early July, then the Just for Laugh comedy festival, the Grand Prix, food and drink festival of all kind (we love to eat).
Just a thought...
One of thew best things about Montreal is that even if it's a large city, while driving on autoroute 15 north trought downtown, look to your right and it almost looks like a forest!!
Nature everywhere makes this city much more beautifull and alive than other Metropolis's across the globe.
Anglophone & Francophone neighbourhoods
Montreal, originally an Iroquois settlement called Hochelaga, was first visited by the French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535. It wasn't until 1642 that the French began to settle the area. Montreal therefore developed naturally as a completely French-speaking city. Yet, over a 100 years later, in 1760, the English would acquire possession of the land and Montreal started to change. The biggest change was that English-speakers started to settle and change the fabric of the city. The once-French city was shifting into a bilingual city.
Through the following decades many English speakers moved to Montreal and this influenced the neighbourhoods. Some neighbourhoods became predominantly English-speaking while others became predominantly French-speaking.
Nowadays, Montreal is working hard to become a predominately French-speaking city again, but there are still neighbourhoods where native English-speakers (called Anglophones) are the majority.
The general rule of thumb is that rue St-Laurent, the road which divides Montreal into east and west, is the general division of Montreal's French and English speaking communities. Neighbourhoods which exist on the east side of St-Laurent, such as Outremont and the Plateau, are French-speaking. West of St-Laurent, neighbourhoods such as Westmount and NDG (Notre-Dame de Grace) is where you'll find more English speakers.
Of course, this is all general. There are indeed many francophones that live in the neighbourhoods west of St-Laurent, just as there are anglophones who live east of St-Laurent, however, anglophones that live east of St-Laurent are definitely becoming a shrinking minority.
Random side note: Montreal is pronounced "MUN-tree-all" by Anglophones, but the Francophone pronounciation is "Moe-ray-AL" (AL as in Albert).