When I first saw this on the north bank of the frozen Ottawa River, just below the Museum of Civilizations I initially thought that it was some sort of testing to check the ice thickness, perhaps being conducted by the museum itself. But nope, this is ice fishing.
What the fishermen do is drill a couple of holes to test the ice thickness and if it seems OK then they drill larger ones and drop their lines into them to see what they catch. By all accounts there are plenty of fish with walleye, pike and largemouth bass being the most common catches.
It's the international language. I have no problem functioning in either official language; most people here are very helpful and do their best for tourists. I've met folks from all over the world in Hull and the only ones who seem to have trouble are those that come from Ottawa, looking for a fight. I have a good friend who moved to Hull from Viet Nam; he spoke neither English or French when he arrived but found the residents of this city to be very friendly. If you know any Frrench at all, try using it; most locals will be impressed with you for your efforts and will often switch to English if they can. A lot of conversation in Hull takes place in Frenglish anyway.
Québec is primarily a French-speaking province. There are cities, like Montréal, where it is more bilingual... and there are places, like Québec City, where the workers in the hotels, restaurants and shops offer bilingual service for the tourists. But generally speaking, French is the main language spoken in Québec. Since Hull is located in Québec, French is the language you'll encounter.
The road signs, for example, are only in French. The signs of the shops and restaurants too will be in French. If you don't know French, please take a bit of time before you leave to to familiarize yourself with some key words and phrases, to make your trip easier.
Do not come to Québec with the assumption that you'll be served in English. Come with the assumption that French will be spoken. Generally I found that Hull is more bilingual because it's across the river from Ottawa, and it attracts a lot of tourism due to the Museum of Civilization and Gatineau Park. The people working in the service industry would greet me with "Bonjour, hello", to which, if I was feeling adventurous, I'd respond back with a "bonjour" - but if I thought that their English was better than my French, I'd speak in English.
You could get by in Hull without speaking French, but it would make life a whole lot easier if you did.
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Driving in Quebec
The roads have many potholes and if you drive a car in Quebec, prepare your self for some bumpy ride. Another thing is driving style of the locals. Quebecers speed and cut you off at occasions. If you're walking on the sidewalk, better look around twice before stepping on the road. Even if the light is green for you. If you don't want to be a victim of another hit & run, keep your eyes open. In my personal opinion, they drive like maniacs. There are road signs reminding Quebecers of existing pedestrians. See image.
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