Montreal move

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Montreal move

Postby barbara30 » Thu 25 Mar 2010 04:24

we are considering an opportunity to move to Montreal from Hong Kong where we currently live. (Both from UK) I have no french but don't intend to work so hope that wont be too much of a problem.

Firstly can anyone advise the best place to live when working in Victoria square area. An English speaking area would be preferred and we don't mind a 30/40 minute commute. Even an idea of the nicest English speaking areas to live in Montreal would be great and much appreciated.

Can you tell me if businesses will communicate with you in English if necessary ie utilities, banks government departments etc. I intend to learn some french but in the mean time will i be able to manage?

Lastly are signs and say restaurant menus etc in both French and English as a rule?

thanks in advance for any and all help given
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Postby carolinedraper » Fri 26 Mar 2010 01:20

As a general rule from the areas in Montreal that I know and from where our relatives live - Nun's Island - Signs are in French only. Menus etc are in French only, taxi drivers etc only speak French or at least the Quebec version of French.

Now in lovely McGill (which I adore) people do speak English (if they have to) but signs, tube station directions and menus etc are still all in French. Unless you are in a musee etc.

You are noticeably treated as second class if you do not at least try to speak French - my husband was really upset by this and this is despite the fact that I speak French and that his Aunt is a Francophone and member of the Bloc Party, and his uncle runs Scotia McCleod in Montreal. But cos he speaks no French at all he was made to wait behind everyone else in a food queue in McGill. Nothing we could do would make the people serving change their minds.

My advice is Montreal is lovely but you have to move their either speaking good french or make a real determined and fast effort to learn it. This is esp true once you move into the countryside even near the Vermont border.
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Postby barbara30 » Fri 26 Mar 2010 02:42

Thanks Caroline

Wow i can't imagine what tourists think when there treated that way. I didn't think such things still went on in the civilized world.
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Postby carolinedraper » Fri 26 Mar 2010 13:24

It is not as black and white as that, but it is around, I would imagine that most tourists treat Montreal etc like aholiday in France and resign themselves to the fact that they will not be able to speak the lingo.
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Postby alexfiona » Fri 26 Mar 2010 17:51

we are considering a move to Montreal too. I have never been but we are travelling as a family next week to have a look at potential places to live. We have absolutely no french either! We are looking a the areas of Beaconsfield and Kirkland which are more english speaking. My husband has been offered a job at McGill university but it a joint appointment with U d Montreal. He speaks o -level french and has been to Montreal a number of times and has no problems with anyone in any shop or restaurant being rude to him. He tells me that if you make an effort with them they're happy with that. I've also found this whenever we went to France on holiday. Everyone we've told about this move has made the same comment (either from personal experience or from stories they have heard) about how rude people in Montreal are. I guess I'll find out next week and I'll get back to you on my own experience. I was thrown out of my french class for getting 8/40 for an oral exam and saying la horse at some point during the exam so I am dreading the fact that I could be living in a place that I'll be shunned because I can't speak the language or I will be lonely because no one understands me! One other thing that I noticed online was that the Beasonsfield's newcomers' group is all in english and seems like they have lots of good activities.
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Postby barbara30 » Sat 27 Mar 2010 01:17

alexfiona i hope it all goes well for you from responses i've had on other forums it appears we have nothing to worry about. You do get the odd person who may be rude but they are just that. We would also be looking to live in those areas to live so if all goes well for both perhaps we could meet up for coffee one time. My email is barbaratindley1.com at yahoo dot co dot uk if you fancy keeping in touch.

Good look and try not too worry
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Postby carolinedraper » Sat 27 Mar 2010 14:59

Like I said - it is not black and white. It is there so just bare that in mind. Also remember that my relatives live in a heavily French area. As stated else where - Please make the effort to learn and then you find yourself accepted better. I love Montreal.
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Postby LisaR » Mon 27 Sep 2010 20:17

Hello,

I am a new member of British Expat. I actually live in Montreal, as an anglophone and would be more than happy to provide you with accurate reliable information about how to get along in Montreal with no French. Its not as dire as the previous writer (who lives in Ontario) would have you believe. I realize your post is many months old however. If you are still needing information, just drop me a line and I would be pleased to help.
Everything you need to know about Montreal...
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Postby Kay » Tue 28 Sep 2010 12:34

Hi Lisa and welcome. I hope you find our forum useful and enjoyable. :D
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Invaluable resource for non-french speakers in Montreal!!

Postby LisaR » Tue 28 Sep 2010 21:22

Hi there,

[edit by Site Admin - see below. Dave]

I noticed there was some talk about where the English neighbourhoods in Montreal are. Here they are:

Westmount (most exclusive neighbourhood in the city - traditionally english - right next to downtown)
NDG (historically english - now more mixed)
Montreal West - very, very english - great family neighbourhood - nice detached homes

The entire "West Island" is the western tip of the island of Montreal and it consists of a series of lovely lakefront municipalities that are all mostly english. Here you will find that you don't really have to speak much french to get by at all. Many Brits like this part of town very much.

Any other questions??
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Neighbourhoods that would be good for you

Postby LisaR » Tue 28 Sep 2010 21:28

Hello Barbara30,

I am new to this forum and I came across your questions about Montreal. As your post is a few months old you are probably all sorted out by now. If you are needing information however:

Working in Victoria Square is fortunate because you are right downtown and next to a major metro station. The following neighbourhoods would all be great for you: Westmout, NDG, Montreal West. The are called the West Island is very English but, during rush hour, would be pushing your desired commute times.

Have you found a place yet? Any other question? I relocated here 8 years ago and have alot of tips.
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Postby Dave » Wed 29 Sep 2010 02:37

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Re: Montreal move

Postby sbourgeois13 » Mon 21 Oct 2013 03:00

HI,
Montreal is bilingual so don't worry for the french. I can tell you that if you make small efforts to learn some words and try to speak the language even for 2-3 words ihere and there, peopole will be so friendly with you :-))

If you want to live in downtown or around, you are going to pay a lot for your appartment (not a house) and you'll live in a small appartment but it's a great experience espacially when you are young and want to hangout everyday and nights. Otherwise, the ''West Island'" is pretty much populated by english people (i would say 75%) and french that speaks english very well. Dorval city is the city where you going to land in Montreal and this city is situated along the lake St-Louis (beautiful) with the train station (15 min direct to downtown), direct bus line to downtown (15min). There is other
Firstly can anyone advise the best place to live when working in Victoria square area. An English speaking area would be preferred and we don't mcity than Dorval like Lachine, Pointe-Claire, Lasalle but the transport is more bus than train. Otherwise, there is the North Shore where you won't enjoy if you do not speaks french because they don't speak english !!!! or very little .... but there nice people too :-))
Don't worry for signs and the other stuff, Montreal is probably one of the best place in the world to learn french when you do not speak a word other than english (trust me I traveled a lot!!)

I wish you all the best and do not hesitate if you need anything else, I know it's hard when you arrive in a new country (we did it a few times) and it's very nice to have people that are welling to talk and share.
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Postby Dave » Mon 21 Oct 2013 03:11

(Post above edited by Site Admin to remove property ad)
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