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Old 03-26-2012, 06:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 20,744 times
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Hi, I'm just looking for some general advice from anyone who might know Montreal.
I'll probably be moving to Montreal around May or June 2012, from England. My husband is Canadian, from NB, and I lived there already for a couple years, and have permanent residency, and didn't like it (the weather, the city, other more personal factors). NB was always supposed to be temporary, and I'm in England now, he was supposed to be coming here, but that's looking like a no-go due to visas and stuff... so.
Montreal. I've never been before, my husband has, and thinks its the place to be. He's into making music, I'm into listening to it, lol, a lot of cool bands have come from Montreal, that's pretty much all I know about it. I like french (to hear it spoken), but can't speak it, my husband is bilingual. Our daughter is almost 3 and can only speak english.
So, any advice? lol, is Montreal a nice place for a small family with little kid to set up? Am I going to find it hard to get along at first without speaking french (I would definitely learn ASAP, already started with Rosetta stone).
And as far as money goes?
We would probably be living on 1400-2000 monthly, until we found jobs. I just take whatever jobs I can, call centre, retail, cleaning, whatever, my husband is an insolvency counsellor. Will we be able to manage on that amount?
Also neither of us can drive. In NB this was such a handicap- especially with a baby in winter. Would it be the same in Montreal?
Any advice on the best places to live would be great too, but really, any advice at all... lol I'm a worrier, and am just trying to anticipate any problems or issues, and try to deal with them, because once I book the flights.... I'm going!
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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Montreal has an extensive public transit system including a vast subway system so you can survive without a car a monthly bus pass costs $75 per person. living on 1400-2000 monthly is going to be tough and require some strict financial budgeting until more money starts rolling in..,
Use Craiglist to get an idea of available apartments
craigslist: montreal classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events
At 1400-2000 per month i'd be looking for something no more than $600 a month for rent and hopefully less. Probably in the Lachine,Verdun,St Henri,Point Ste Charles areas.

http://www.johomaps.com/na/canada/qu.../montreal1.jpg
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Mille Fin
410 posts, read 453,955 times
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With the right attitude you'll learn french in little time. Your daughter will learn it by default. Your husband's knowledge of french will put you on the fast track, though in reality many bilingual francophones would have no qualms about making friends with you, accommodating you, making you feel welcome.

Montreal is a music mecca. And probably one of the greatest cities in the world in which to be entertained for free (non-stop festival action)

Montreal is a great place to raise kids, including in the urban core. Families and strollers are everywhere. Sure it's a little edgy but hardly so in regards to what really matters: very safe, quite clean, no icky things like needles. Furthermore, the government is totally on your side (i.e. goes great lengths to help young families settle into Montreal) and since your Husband is Canadian, we're talking 7$ day/day-care, tax credits, etc.
Job-wise you will of course be limited at first, but I'd say the ''whatever jobs' you mentioned are the bare minimum you could expect as a unilingual anglophone. In other words, you'll find those jobs of course, but there's a decent chance you may find 'better' as well. There's a part of Montreal called the West Island that's predominantly english and very near Ontario. Many decent jobs for unilinguals anglophones there. Of course the faster you learn french the better, but no worries.
If by NB you mean New Brunswick, then expect a somewhat similar winter, though in reality no as brutal for a couple reasons...
-''heat island effect'' may gain you a degree or two
-Urban areas (even the far-flung suburbs of Montreal are more urban than all of NB) benefit from snow-removal... on sidewalks, streets, etc

As for driving, you'll be joining thousands of young families in Montreal who don't have a car. Excellent public transport so no worries. Not saying it's always easy but it's definitely do-able.

1400-2000$ is obviously not going to be the easiest budget to work with, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to live very well. for 800-900$ you could find a decent (not amazing) 2 bedroom apartment in a decent (perfectly acceptable), family-friendly neighborhood. I don't know if the balance is enough for all the rest, depends how you live I guess!

neighborhoods right in the urban core that are affordable, without significant language barrier, and are safe and trendy (albeit not ritzy) with a fairly decent amount of young families (order of preference):

- plateau mont-royal /mile end (for many, an urban utopia, a bit more $$, 30% anglophones)
- Rosemont-petite-patrie (next urban utopia, a tad cheaper than plateau, 15% anglophones)
- NDG (urban, authentic anglo Montreal, mix of working class and middle class, 60+% anglophones)
- villeray (one of many ''the next plateau''s but this is the nicest one imo, less $, 10% anglophones)
- ahuntsic (really like this one, quaint, quiet yet dense/urban, less $, mostly francophone (still bilingual))
- Verdun (cheapest, urban yet quiet in evenings, less safe/attractive, 20% anglophones)

Semi-urban/suburban options:
- Laval near metro (efficient commute, suburban, safe, ugly/boring, many families, 20% anglo)
- Lasalle (ok commute, neither hip nor that urban but close to city, safe/clean, 30% anglo)
- Lachine (pretty much like Lasalle)
- All of West Island (can be a rough commute, 50+% english, english jobs more common, safe/clean)

___________
All this info is off the top of my head but I think you'll do fine in Montreal! Sounds like your kind of city, and your attitude seem great! Many Montrealers would consider New Brunswick boring, sterile and lonesome. I have family there... I doubt you'll find many similarities with Montreal!

Check out Craigslist.org for an idea of jobs/living arrangements

Hope this helps!

ps:. Montreal is a very exciting city
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 20,744 times
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Question thanks

thanks for the awesome replies, really laid my worries to rest a bit. I'm not too worried about the money... we've lived on a lot less, lol, and it will only be short-term hopefully.

Could anyone tell me if it would be possible to rent an apartment for August 1st? Or will they all be snapped up by July 1st? Just trying to work out the moving on from the sublet... what is best to do? Move into a more permanent place July 1st, or August 1st?
Thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,592 posts, read 7,365,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmied View Post
thanks for the awesome replies, really laid my worries to rest a bit. I'm not too worried about the money... we've lived on a lot less, lol, and it will only be short-term hopefully.

Could anyone tell me if it would be possible to rent an apartment for August 1st? Or will they all be snapped up by July 1st? Just trying to work out the moving on from the sublet... what is best to do? Move into a more permanent place July 1st, or August 1st?
Thanks again for all the advice!
Quebec is a bit unusual in that pretty much everyone moves on the same day: July 1st. It's called moving day and you absolutely have the best chance of moving into an apartment if you want to this day because the majority of people's leases run out July 1st. Difficult to get a moving company though. Much of this has to do with July 1st being Canada Day and everyone getting a guaranteed day off at the beginning of a month which is in summer, when it's pleasant enough to move.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Temporarily in Niagara Falls, Ont. Canada
167 posts, read 638,730 times
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For an apartment, try Dorval. It's really part of the suburban and very English speaking "West Island" but is incredibly close to downtown Montreal by bus or train, and once closer to downtown, you also have the Metro. If you want to live in an English environment, try any of the west island (Dorval, Pierrefonds, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire, etc). Don't be fooled by some of the French names. There are express busses to metro stations. Or if you choose to stay closer to downtown, you could probably find work in an English call center (one that services all of Canada).

Although it will be a bit of a challenge finding work speaking only English in Montreal, you can find it (you'll have better luck on the West Island though, trust me, I lived and worked there for many years). And your budget isn't all that big, but if you're careful you should be able to make it. For a family of 3 I'd try to boost your income though, which I'm sure you want to. With a positive attitude, you can learn French for sure, but don't kid yourself, it will be challenging, frustrating and take a while. When I came to Montreal, I knew only basic French from Ontario high school, which was basically zero on Montreal standards. Over the course of 6 months I made a serious effort to learn French, volunteered in a place where nobody knew English so I had to speak French, took an intensive French course over those 6 months and eventually I got it. Over the next 2 years I worked on refining my French, improving my accent and even attended a French university then worked at a bilingual job. At one point, people couldn't tell if I was English or French, but sadly I've been out of the environment for a while now and I truly sound like anglophone with a reasonably good knowledge of French. Not as good as before, but I guess it never leaves you.

Montreal is a beautiful city. Embrace it. There's so much to do. It's a great place to live. I would still be there if it weren't for my parents and for the long, cold winters and short, hot summers. You are so lucky to go to Montreal. Your daughter will grow up bilingual and you'll be living in a world class city. Try not to focus on the challenges, look past the imperfections and make the best of it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:40 PM
 
22 posts, read 167,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemmied View Post
thanks for the awesome replies, really laid my worries to rest a bit. I'm not too worried about the money... we've lived on a lot less, lol, and it will only be short-term hopefully.

Could anyone tell me if it would be possible to rent an apartment for August 1st? Or will they all be snapped up by July 1st? Just trying to work out the moving on from the sublet... what is best to do? Move into a more permanent place July 1st, or August 1st?
Thanks again for all the advice!
It is not too hard to find a place to rent. There are many different website you can look into to find places remotely like:

craigslist: montreal classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events
Kijiji Montréal - Petites annonces classées gratuites en français - Montréal, Québec
Vacation rentals, private rooms, sublets by the night - Accommodations on Airbnb

both temporarily and permanently. To have a very detailed view I suggest your read articles about Rent a House in Montreal. Also, I live here for 10 years and my French is not as good as it should be because almost everybody speaks English anyway.

And finding a minimum wage job is easy but you would have to learn some French.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:20 AM
 
2 posts, read 21,992 times
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You can get by in Montreal without knowing a word of French. The city has a still large, vibrant and fairly prosperous English language minority (the Metropolitan area has well over a million people who prefer to communicate in English rather than French) that operates its own English-language "parallel society". Moreover, English is the international language of commerce, and many businesses in Montreal sell their products to the outside world, in particular the United States, therefore speaking English is in many cases essential. If you settle here however, be sure to settle in the West End of the island of Montreal, (in particular a part of it unsurprisingly known as the "West Island", where the vast majority of English-speakers live and where there is an especially vibrant English society, with plenty of English-speaking institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.). That said, knowing French will obviously open more vocational opportunities, in particular access to professions (law, accountancy, medicine, etc.)

Don't know about the dollar values. It all depends on what kind of accomodation you're looking for.

Montreal is a fantastic city with tons of cultural offerings, so I'm sure you'd love it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:39 PM
 
3 posts, read 32,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSomeGuy73 View Post
For an apartment, try Dorval. It's really part of the suburban and very English speaking "West Island" but is incredibly close to downtown Montreal by bus or train, and once closer to downtown, you also have the Metro. If you want to live in an English environment, try any of the west island (Dorval, Pierrefonds, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Kirkland, Pointe-Claire, etc). Don't be fooled by some of the French names. There are express busses to metro stations. Or if you choose to stay closer to downtown, you could probably find work in an English call center (one that services all of Canada).

Although it will be a bit of a challenge finding work speaking only English in Montreal, you can find it (you'll have better luck on the West Island though, trust me, I lived and worked there for many years). And your budget isn't all that big, but if you're careful you should be able to make it. For a family of 3 I'd try to boost your income though, which I'm sure you want to. With a positive attitude, you can learn French for sure, but don't kid yourself, it will be challenging, frustrating and take a while. When I came to Montreal, I knew only basic French from Ontario high school, which was basically zero on Montreal standards. Over the course of 6 months I made a serious effort to learn French, volunteered in a place where nobody knew English so I had to speak French, took an intensive French course over those 6 months and eventually I got it. Over the next 2 years I worked on refining my French, improving my accent and even attended a French university then worked at a bilingual job. At one point, people couldn't tell if I was English or French, but sadly I've been out of the environment for a while now and I truly sound like anglophone with a reasonably good knowledge of French. Not as good as before, but I guess it never leaves you.

Montreal is a beautiful city. Embrace it. There's so much to do. It's a great place to live. I would still be there if it weren't for my parents and for the long, cold winters and short, hot summers. You are so lucky to go to Montreal. Your daughter will grow up bilingual and you'll be living in a world class city. Try not to focus on the challenges, look past the imperfections and make the best of it.
hi, Jamiejamejames, it is very glad to view your post, I am a Hong Kong resident, I got a son he is 12 years old, i am interest to migrate to Montreal, but just wondering could i find the english school for him, cause me and my son can just understand english, we don't know any french, ( i 'm sure we would like to learn afterward if get the chance)and both of us like music very much, and table-tennis, is there is place suit for us? I know nothing about Montreal, please kindly to give me your opinion.

thanks very much!
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:21 PM
 
312 posts, read 844,372 times
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What I find interesting about Montreal is the rent can be so cheap there but the cost of houses are much more high and expensive. Like rent in Montreal is cheaper than most cities half it's size. You can get a one bedroom apartment for $800/month near the downtown. Yet the houses are much more expensive there to buy. I can't find any home under 100k in Montreal even well outside it's city proper. Then again, the prices are still very low considering it is the third largest city in Canada.
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