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FAQ

General

  • What official documents do I need to visit Montréal?
  • Do I need a travel health insurance?
  • What languages are spoken in Montréal?
  • What is the temperature in Montréal?
  • What is the official currency of Canada?
  • What type of electrical current is used?
  • What is the rule for tipping?

    Banking, Shopping and Applicable Taxes

  • What are the opening hours of banks?
  • What are the opening hours of shops and bars?
  • What are the applicable taxes in Québec?

    Driving

  • What documents are needed to drive a car in Québec?
  • What road sign system is used in Québec?

    Telecommunications

  • What is the cost of a pay-phone call?
  • Is there wireless Internet access on the island of Montréal?

    Other

  • What is the time zone?
  • Where can I find tourist information?

General

What official documents do I need to visit Montréal?

You must have a valid passport, and in some cases, you may need a visa. For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site. If you are an American citizen, please note that there are new requirements in effect for all United States nationals returning home. For additional 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.

For information on “Registration and Accommodation”, click here.

Do I need a travel health insurance?

It is very important to obtain travel health insurance before leaving home, since your regular health insurance may not include coverage outside your country of residence. Hospital care for non-residents of Canada is charged at a daily rate or on the basis of the medical condition and length of stay. The vast majority of hospitals are publicly managed and charges vary from province to province and from hospital to hospital.

What languages are spoken in Montréal?

French is Québec’s official language but English is widely spoken in Montréal – especially in tourist area, hotels and restaurants. The city has more than 80 cultural groups and over 20% of the population speaks three languages.

For information on the language used during the Congress sessions, click here.

What is the temperature in Montréal?

The average monthly temperatures for October is 9.2°C (48.6°F). To find out the temperature in Montréal visit:

  1. The Meteorological Service of Canada
  2. The Weather Network
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 type of electrical current is used?

Electrical outlets in Canada provide the same current as in the United States,that is, 110 volts (60 cycles). If you are traveling from Europe or elsewhere, you will need an adapter to use small appliances designed for the 220/240V standard.

What is the rule for tipping?

Service is not included in restaurants and it is customary to add a 15% tip to the total before taxes (a quick way to calculate the appropriate tip amount is to add the two taxes that appear at the bottom of your bill. It works out to roughly 13%). If you are with a group, 15% for service may be automatically added to your bill. Just ask when you are not sure if tip is included. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also normally tipped 15%. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc. generally receive at least C$1 per suitcase or per service rendered. Coffee and food counters often have a tip cup next to the cash register; spare change is always appreciated.

Additional useful information is available in the general FAQ section under the category “Planning: Prepare your Arrival”.

Banking, Shopping and Applicable Taxes

What are the opening hours of banks?

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00 and sometimes on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines and exchange offices are readily available. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept major credit cards.

What are the opening hours of shops and bars?

Most shops are open Monday to Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). Bars and restaurants serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. The legal drinking age in Québec is 18 years old.

What are the applicable taxes in Québec?

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 9.5% is added to all goods and services purchased in the province of Québec.

Accommodations
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.

Driving

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. If your driver's license is in neither English nor French, getting an International Driver's Permit is highly recommended. You must apply for a Permit in the country that issued your driver's license, before leaving.

What road sign system is used in Québec?

Québec uses the metric system, so speeds are indicated in kilometres (100 km/h = 62 mph) and gas is sold in litres (3 3/4 litres = 1 US gallon). Even though road signs are in French, most of them use international symbols.

  1. Right turn. Although turning right on a red light is authorized across Québec (except at intersections where a sign indicates this is not permitted), rights on reds are strictly prohibited on the island of Montréal.
  2. Cell Phone. Effective since April 1, 2008, use of a hand-held cell phone that does not have a “hands-free” function is prohibited while driving.

Telecommunications

What is the cost of a pay-phone call?

A local call at a Montréal pay phone costs only $0.50 for duration of the call. You can buy pre-paid phone cards for different amounts at some stores. When calling in North America, directory assistance (4-1-1) is free and there are 10-digit numbers to which no long distance charges apply (1 800, 1 888, 1 877 and 1 866). To make a call, dial the full telephone number including local area code. Most tri-band frequency cellphones work in Canada.

Operator: 0
Area codes: 514 or 438 (Montréal Island) and 450 (Montréal surroundings)

Is there wireless Internet access on the island of Montréal?

Free wireless Internet access is available in many of the city’s districts. To find out more, visit: www.ilesansfil.org

Other

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 4 hours in the summer and less than 5 hours in the winter.

Where can I find tourist information?

http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/

Additional FAQ about WCIT 2012 can be found here.

Source acknowledgement: Tourisme Montréal.