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Old 06-14-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
108 posts, read 218,942 times
Reputation: 85

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I've been planning a trip for me and my family to visit Ontario for the past few weeks. It would have been our first trip to Canada. Today, my husband informs me that his company is opening an office in Montréal and he has been asked to lead the new team. It's an amazing career opportunity for my husband, but this was completely unexpected! We're still trying to get over the shock. We talked about maybe moving to Canada someday, but we didn't think it would happen so soon....or like this!

The big boss is going to look at some offices with one of their Canadian clients next week. They are hoping to be up and running by the beginning of 2013.

My husband will have a workers visa, though we don't know for how long. We will be set up with accommodation.

Although my husband's office will be based in Montréal, we don't really want to live there. We would rather live in an English speaking part of Ontario, and then he could commute to Montréal either by train (if that's an option) or by car.

So, my question is...does anyone know of nice English speaking cities near the Ontario/Québec border? Or, are there any areas near Montréal that aren't completely French? My husband is French, but if we move to Canada, we would like to live in an English speaking part. We would like our kids to go to an English school, with the option of taking French classes.

This is the first of many questions to come, I'm sure!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,517,211 times
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Okay, I know exactly what you should do. Don't live in Ontario and commute. Ontario is too far away for that to be a viable option and the towns in Ontario that border Quebec are majority Franco-Ontarian so you wouldn't be in an English environment anyways. Where you want to go live is the West Island of Montreal, where I was born and raised. This is a group of suburbs in the Western part of the island of Montreal that is majority Anglophone. It is of course by no means homogenously English, but it is the language of the majority of the people there and it's a big area, about a 250-300 thousand people live in the West Island, so there's lots of services and clubs you and your children could be a part of. I think you will feel very comfortable there. For reference, in looking up the West Island on a map, it's the collection of towns that includes Beaconsfield, Kirkland, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Pointe-Claire and Pierrefonds. Would you be eleigible for English public schools? If not there's some private English language schools in the area, like Kuper Academy in Kirkland. There's also an English (meaning you can get service in both languages) hospital called Lakeshore General Hospital and two English language movie theatres. So all in all these towns are really your ideal place to be and can be quite attractive.

Please tell me any of your interests or priorities in looking for a town and I'll match you up with areas of the West Island that would serve your needs best. There are also "English" neighbourhoods that are more urban I could suggest if you'd prefer that sort of an environment.

Last edited by BIMBAM; 06-14-2012 at 12:03 PM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,248,282 times
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The only city that fits is Cornwall but it's not that big. There is a train station but the first train to Montreal leaves the station at 10:52 AM and the last train leaving MTL is at 3:40 PM.

There does seem to be a lot more trains from Ottawa but the train part of that trip is 2 hours. Plus the time to get to and from the stations.

There are some areas of montreal that have a log of english speakers.I'll let one of the locals answer that part.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,983 posts, read 27,463,390 times
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I would agree with the others: border areas of Ontario are not really a viable option for commuting into Montreal. West Island or some other anglo area of Montreal is the best option.

The only question is school in English. If you are temporary workers you might be eligible for an exemption to the law and be able to have your kids go to public English school. If you are immigrating or have another status then you cannot get such an exemption.

If you cannot get an exemption then private English schools are your only option.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
108 posts, read 218,942 times
Reputation: 85
Ok, so sounds like the West Island is the most convenient option. Though I did look into Cornwall. If my hubby's up for the commute, that might work as well.

I think it's a temporary work status at first, which might change depending on how well the company does there.

I just read the thread "What do Quebeckers want?" and I must say....it was a bit scary! I've read in the past about Québec wanting to separate from the rest of Canada, but I didn't think it was still a big issue. Is this something that could actually happen? Might sound a bit naive of me to ask, but I'd like to know if it's even a remote possibility before we move there!
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,983 posts, read 27,463,390 times
Reputation: 8627
Quote:
Originally Posted by DD78 View Post
Ok, so sounds like the West Island is the most convenient option. Though I did look into Cornwall. If my hubby's up for the commute, that might work as well.

I think it's a temporary work status at first, which might change depending on how well the company does there.

I just read the thread "What do Quebeckers want?" and I must say....it was a bit scary! I've read in the past about Québec wanting to separate from the rest of Canada, but I didn't think it was still a big issue. Is this something that could actually happen? Might sound a bit naive of me to ask, but I'd like to know if it's even a remote possibility before we move there!
It is a serious movement that is supported by a fairly large segment of the population (roughly 40%), but you should not be overly concerned. The issue is mostly debated (to death!) politically and in the media. This is where it plays out, not so much in everyday life. Since you live in France you are probably very used to having issues debated to death by the chattering classes...


As for the thread, well yeah there was a lot of hate on there, and it is reflective of a certain amount of anti-Quebec hostility that has always existed in the "rest of Canada". In Quebec there is also some hostility from francophones towards English speakers who refuse to speak any French at all. Of course, I assume you speak at least some French if you live in Lille so you won't have any issues on this front.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:56 PM
 
1,317 posts, read 2,039,502 times
Reputation: 1132
Quote:
Originally Posted by DD78 View Post
Although my husband's office will be based in Montréal, we don't really want to live there.
Do you know where your husband's office might eventually be located?
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:48 PM
 
242 posts, read 439,958 times
Reputation: 233
I was in Montreal last summer and everyone I talked with spoke English no problem. This is coming from someone who can barely speak French so that made me feel much better. As long as you are in the Montreal downtown or island, English will not be a problem at all!

As for the media drama, don't buy into it. Quebec is no different now then before. There are peaceful protests that occasionally become violent (throwing rocks) but Quebec has always been that way, it's just the culture. The fact remains, Montreal is one of the safest cities in the world, just as safe as Vancouver or Toronto. Quebec will not separate from Canada in my opinion. Even in the heat of the argument, the province voted twice to stay in Canada and the separatist movement has died down from that point. Quebec is beautiful, with Quebec City and Montreal being both great cities with plenty to offer. I personally love visiting, and always have a blast. I wouldn't worry at all. Living in Ontario would not be feasible, as it would take like 90 minutes to 2 hours to get into work and you'd be living in smaller towns. I'd just live right in Montreal.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,517,211 times
Reputation: 4898
Quote:
Originally Posted by DD78 View Post
Ok, so sounds like the West Island is the most convenient option. Though I did look into Cornwall. If my hubby's up for the commute, that might work as well.

I think it's a temporary work status at first, which might change depending on how well the company does there.

I just read the thread "What do Quebeckers want?" and I must say....it was a bit scary! I've read in the past about Québec wanting to separate from the rest of Canada, but I didn't think it was still a big issue. Is this something that could actually happen? Might sound a bit naive of me to ask, but I'd like to know if it's even a remote possibility before we move there!
Cornwall is farther than it seems because you've got to take into account the rush hour traffic. IT takes me an hour to get to downtown from my home in Kirkland, so I wouldn't recommend Cornwall.

I wouldn't worry so much about separation. This province can sometimes be frustrating politically, but I really feel like Montreal is a city where you can get alot of bang for your buck and it's a wonderful place to be. It's not as different from the rest of North America as I think you may be fearing it is, although it is of course distinct.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:08 AM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
108 posts, read 218,942 times
Reputation: 85
Maclock - We don't know where exactly in Montréal yet. We should know in a couple of weeks.

We just don't want to live in a French speaking area. We've been living France for a few years now, but we want a change. My husband doesn't mind working in French, but he would rather live in an English speaking area. Although he's French, you would never be able to tell by his accent. He also loves basketball, hockey, beer and rock music. I keep telling him he was born in the wrong country...
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