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Old 10-15-2011, 11:04 PM
 
17 posts, read 30,979 times
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Hi everyone!

I'm thinking of visiting Montreal for 10 days sometime before the end of October. The main reason is to scope out the city and it's environs before I make a big decision to live there.

A little information about me.....
I'm a 26 year old male who is single and served in the military for exactly 4 years. I don't have a college degree but working on that since I received the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill while being in the Navy which I plan to use and eventually attain it. I know that French is the official language spoken in the province of Quebec and I'm learning it as of now because I'm a native English speaker. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and recently got back to the metropolitan region I grew up in after finishing my service in the U.S. Navy two months ago. The cost of living is getting too expensive here for average middle-class folks among several other reasons and decided to move out as soon as I can, preferably before this year ends or sometime early next year in 2012.

Some questions I have about the Montreal area.....
1) How is the weather like during different seasons throughout the year especially in Autumn/October? I imagine that December is not a good month in making a move there since Montreal is known to be very cold during that time of year.

2) How is the job market there? Would it be possible for someone like me with no college degree to find employment? If so, then, could you specify on what will be my best options? Working at a store, shop, or any other retail place would make me content as long as it can earn me enough money to support myself sufficiently while taking college classes for my selected course.

3) What are some of the neighborhoods do you suggest for a person like me who is in their late 20's that primarily speaks English can live in? I would be really glad if there is a fun, vibrant, and young neighborhood with close proximity to groceries, restaurants, libraries, laundromats, schools, etc. that I could reside in with a regular income.

4) How fluent will I have to be in speaking French to get by comfortably? I know that being able to speak French will raise my chances in finding a job there and want to be totally fluent in it anyways.

5) How are the people like? Are they generally friendly, aloof, or somewhere in between? I haven't been in a relationship for quite a while and thinking about getting into a new one. How is the dating scene there for singles? What places do you recommend that I can socialize not only for finding a mate but also to make friends? I know cafes and clubs would be a good start but how is the nightlife also?

6) Are there cheap decent places I can stay in for a 10 day period? My sister told me that she has a friend who stayed in a hostel on her visit to Montreal and the price was $50 for a whole week or something like that. Is this true?

7) How easy or hard is it to immigrate to Canada? I'm a U.S. citizen and I have never lived in another country as a permanent resident before. I have a god-brother who happens to be an Immigration Lawyer so that might make the process easier. MAYBE.

I heard so many great things about Montreal! It has a lot going for it such as the beautiful architecture, affordability (at least from what I've heard), 4 distinct seasons, excellent schools, a cool vibe, and an amazing variety of ethnic cuisines. I would appreciate any helpful and honest input for the questions I have. It would be nice hearing from all of you. I'm looking forward to visit and hopefully live (if feasible) in your lovely city!!!! Take care everyone!

Last edited by Kaboom85!; 10-16-2011 at 12:34 AM.. Reason: Grammar correction
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:40 AM
 
34,384 posts, read 41,480,724 times
Reputation: 29863
Heres a few sites you'll find informative starting with a few pages of flavor

MONTREAL - Living in a North American Gem of a City


Montreal Hostels Listing - All Hostels in Montreal at Hostels.com


Welcome to Citizenship and Immigration Canada

You'll have to deal with the visa issue before you can legally work.
Plenty of bars and restaurants if you can waiter or bar tend,Bicycle couriers and drivers are always in demand,also the rentacar companies have a high turnover of staff.
The Plateau the Mcgill ghetto area the Latin quarter are where many of the younger generation seem to habitate.
Your lack of French will be a distinct handicap in the job market.
Any kind of networking you can lean on could prove very helpful.
Bonne chance eh!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: NY
344 posts, read 1,160,981 times
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kaboom,
I don't live in montreal and neither do I have too much information.
About the weather, I have heard that DEc and Jan are very cold months. I live pn the east coast and we get lots of snow but I would still not move in Dec/Jan. Having said that, if you are comfprtable with moving in winter then go ahead because I have heard that apartments even post lot of discounts on rents etc during the Dec-feb period since no one moves at that time.

Have you thought about completing yor college degree up in montreal? It could be a good way to get a degree and also get your feet wet in the canadian job market. However, since you are already working toward completing urcollege degree, you would have to research on the credit transfer.

I think montreal is the best place for youngsters, looking for dating, to be. From what I have heard, people are friendly in general.
Immigration is a little long process but not too hard. I have just turned in my PR application and I could share details about the immigration if you wish.

I have also heard a LOT of good things about montreal. The french language fluency may be a barrier in finding a job though. I have knowledge of french and can communicate on daily directions/communication but working in a francophone atmosphere is not something that I am confident in.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: NY
344 posts, read 1,160,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Your lack of French will be a distinct handicap in the job market.
Ahh and how much of a handicap would this be? I would assume that this is more dependent on service industries like hotel or travel.

So how is it for a typical office environment - accounting/finance, mANAGEMENT roles etc??
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,947 posts, read 27,354,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nehs View Post
Ahh and how much of a handicap would this be? I would assume that this is more dependent on service industries like hotel or travel.

So how is it for a typical office environment - accounting/finance, mANAGEMENT roles etc??
It is likely to be a significant handicap because a large majority of offices even in these areas operate in French most of the time or at least some of the time.

The best opportunity for a non-French speaker would be in companies whose operations and business are mostly outside Montreal or Quebec.

Or to simply learn French!
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:04 AM
 
34,384 posts, read 41,480,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nehs View Post
Ahh and how much of a handicap would this be? I would assume that this is more dependent on service industries like hotel or travel.

So how is it for a typical office environment - accounting/finance, mANAGEMENT roles etc??
It gets complex but you are much better off being bilingual if looking for a job..

French Language Laws and the Workplace
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: NY
344 posts, read 1,160,981 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
It is likely to be a significant handicap because a large majority of offices even in these areas operate in French most of the time or at least some of the time.

The best opportunity for a non-French speaker would be in companies whose operations and business are mostly outside Montreal or Quebec.

Or to simply learn French!
Ofcourse, learning French is the best thing but I'm assuming that it would take a beginner atleast a year to come up to native fluency?? Also, I'm not a beginner in French, but I'm am intermediate speaker instead. So reading formal communication or responding to it is fine with me. But ,working in a francophone environment will probably take me a few months to get used to. isn't it?
I'm guessing that its pretty hard to find companies that have operations outside QC.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:22 AM
 
Location: NY
344 posts, read 1,160,981 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
It gets complex but you are much better off being bilingual if looking for a job..

French Language Laws and the Workplace
Yes, I can understand that but I wondering what it would take me to get to native fluency in French
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:45 AM
 
34,384 posts, read 41,480,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nehs View Post
Yes, I can understand that but I wondering what it would take me to get to native fluency in French
Depends on your skills at picking up other languages, i just retired from a factory after 32 years of working with 300 guys,295 of which were French and although i spoke French most of the time its still quite obvious i.m not French as i make plenty of grammatical errors when conversing in French.,
My 2 daughters who grew up in the French immersion school program are so fluent in French you couldnt tell by listening to them speak whether they are English or French..
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: NY
344 posts, read 1,160,981 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Depends on your skills at picking up other languages, i just retired from a factory after 32 years of working with 300 guys,295 of which were French and although i spoke French most of the time its still quite obvious i.m not French as i make plenty of grammatical errors when conversing in French.,
My 2 daughters who grew up in the French immersion school program are so fluent in French you couldnt tell by listening to them speak whether they are English or French..
Yeah, I see your point. Well, I can communicate in French but working in a French environment is a little intimidating

Thank You for your inputs anyway.
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