Frequently Asked Questions About Montréal

Montreal - Destination of the 12th Metropolis World Congress


What documents are needed to drive a car in Québec?

Visitors may drive a car for a maximum of six consecutive months without having a Québec driver’s license. However, a valid driver’s license corresponding to the vehicle category is required. For more information, visit Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec(Québec Automobile Insurance).


What is the system of weights and measures and what type of electrical current is used?

Canada uses the metric system. Electrical outlets in Canada provide the same current as in the United States–120 volts (60 cycles). If your appliances are designed for a different standard, you will need to bring an adapter.


Who do I contact in case of emergency?

You may dial 9-1-1 at any time. The service is free from a pay phone and available in French and English. Operators are in contact with emergency firefighter, police and ambulance services at all times. It is always a good idea to buy medical travel insurance in advance.

Québec Poison Control Centre: 1 800 463-5060

Info-Santé: 811

In case of a non-urgent problem, you may dial this number to reach a health professional easily.


What are the legal holidays?

Canada observes standard North American holidays with a few differences. The national holiday is celebrated on July 1 (Canada Day) and Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. Québec also celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24.
In Montréal, banks and government offices like the Post Office observe the holidays listed below. Some businesses may also be closed.


What languages are spoken in Montréal?

French is Québec’s official language but English is widely spoken in Montréal. The city has more than 120 cultural groups and over 20% of the population speaks three languages.


What are the applicable taxes in Québec and on what goods do I pay them?

Goods and services
A federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is charged on most goods and services in Canada. A Québec provincial tax (TVQ) of 9.975% is added to all goods and services purchased in the province of Québec.

There is a tax on the cost of each accommodation unit rented in an establishment located in the Montréal tourism region. The amount of the tax is 3.5% per night if visitors pay for the accommodation themselves, but $3.50 per night if the room payment is made by a travel agency.

No tax refund is granted to leisure travellers.

For more information:

Canada Revenue Agency
1 800 959-2036 (in Canada)
1 204 983-3700 (from outside of Canada)

What is the official currency of Canada?

Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. One and two dollar bills have been replaced by coins, sometimes referred to as “Loonies” (the bird on the $1 is a loon) and “Toonies” ($2).

What is the rule for tipping?

Service is not included in restaurants, so it is customary to add a 15% tip to the total before taxes (if you’re with a group, 15% for service may be automatically added to your bill). Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also normally tipped 15%. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc. generally receive at least $1 per suitcase or per service rendered.


What official documents do I need to visit Montréal?

You must have a valid passport, and in some cases, you may need a visa. To find out more, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada.
If you are an American citizen, please note that there are new requirements in effect for all United States nationals returning home. For more information, consult the U.S. Department of State Web site.

For details on what you are allowed to bring in your baggage (gifts, merchandise, etc.), go to: Canada Border Services Agency.


Is smoking allowed in public places?

The anti-tobacco law took effect on May 31, 2006. It prohibits smoking in all public establishments, including bars and restaurants.


What is the time zone?

Montréal switches to Eastern Daylight Time (summer time zone) on the second Sunday of March and returns to Eastern Standard Time (winter time zone) on the first Sunday of November. The time difference between Montréal time and Greenwich Mean Time is less than 5 hours in the winter.


What is the temperature in Montréal?

The weather in Montréal varies from -8.9°C (16°F) to 22.3°C (72.1°F) depending on the season, so visitors are encouraged to check the forecast before packing.
In June, the average temperature is 19.3°C (66.7°F).
To find out the temperature in Montréal:
Environment Canada
The Weather Network

Source: Tourisme Montréal