The new year began with me in a new city knowing only one individual and the language foreign to me. Although I did not leave Canada, travelling from my home of 15 years in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia to spend some time in Montréal, Québec, it sure does feel like I’m in a different country.
Here are a few things that I find noticeable different in Montréal:
- While both English & French are the official languages of Canada; the province of Québec has made French their official language and laws applied in such a fashion that most people in Montréal use french as their primary language. Je parle anglais!
- For many residents of Montréal, -8°C or warmer during the winter months is considered a hot day.
- The snow removal system here is quite fascinating. The city must spend most of it’s budget on snow removal and that probably explains why they have so many potholes and corroding streets.
- The ethnic diversity is substantial larger than back out west. I kinda miss the brotherly love with the head nods and “what up!” but totally understand that I’d have a sore neck if I was to physically acknowledge every person with dark skin out here.
- The Métro system is vastly more reliable than TransLink’s SkyTrain system however Metro Vancouver’s bus system is superior to the STM buses in a number of ways.
- The restaurant scene is absolutely amazing in Montréal. It is like a child being in a toy store if you’re a foodie in Montréal. I can dine out multiple times a day and not get bored here.
- The cost of living is significant cheaper here in Montréal. I don’t know what the wages are like here however rental cost, tobacco and basic entertainment including dining out are less in comparison.
- I’ve noticed that some Francophones will have a grudge against me because I don’t speak French. I found this to be extremely true while at an emergency department at one of the hospitals here. That was a total shocker to me.
- Being able to purchase beers & wines from convenience stores and grocery stores makes it so much easier to enjoy a cold one after regular hours. While Metro Vancouver is slowly implementing this now, it seems they are decades behind.
- The history in Montréal seems to be much deeper and that is displayed in their architecture & the numerous large churches.
These are the most significant difference I noticed between Vancouver and Montréal and while I believe I can come to love this city, I feel my time here is drawing to an end.
On a side note; after some deeper thoughts I think I’m beginning to understand why the province of Québec fights to be a sovereign to Canada.
Either way, my trip here has definitely opened me up to expanding my horizons and while I’ve always felt that I’d like to travel the world, this experience within the country I was born has given me much to think about.
I would enjoy reading in the comments somethings that you’ve noticed that are rather consistent during your travels from different cities and countries. Please do share them in the comment section below.