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Old 07-15-2008, 10:24 AM
911 posts, read 2,155,984 times
Reputation: 378


hello, me and my husband would like to move to Quebec. we have 5 kids, soon to be 6 kids and were wondering what some not huge/not dinky cities in Quebec are, where it's nice and safe and stimulating for our family.

We are not French experts (yet) but we have a French teacher in the family, and we know some French people who can help us with that.

We were considering maybe Quebec City, for the sailing and the history and the smaller European town feel. Are there things to do there though? Is it a nice place for a large family?

What about Trois Riviers? anywhere close to Maine or NY?

Are there any nice and affordable suburbs of Montreal?

Here's the main things we are looking for:

somewhat local sailing and fishing

nice atmosphere (good farmer's markets, scenic, safe, clean air, not super noisy all the time, etc)


a children's theater (it's a big deal for my son)

rural areas to go horseback riding, camping, etc.

a zoo (our favorite place to go, ever)

a soccer team (never want to live without a somewhat local soccer team again lol)

high speed internet

IT companies

we are moving in the summer of 2010, so we have time to kinda scout around and do our homework (incl learn french)

how long does it take to immigrate? like, months or years?

I know it's a lot of questions!

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:00 PM
Location: Gatineau, Québec
26,882 posts, read 38,032,223 times
Reputation: 11650
Regarding Quebec, I would recommend you read my response which is the second post in the “european family move to Canada” thread below. I noted that you have several children: keep in mind that as Americans (ie non-Canadians) you will be required to send your children to school in French all day. (Don’t know if this is a problem for you…) Unless you send them to a private English school…

Generally speaking, keep in mind that a move to Quebec (pretty much anywhere outside of a few neighbourhoods in western Montreal) is moving to a foreign place with a different language, culture, etc. Quebec is not French like Louisiana is French, it is for all intents and purposes French like Mexico is Spanish (though much, much richer than Mexico). Between 60 and 70% of French-speaking Quebecers speak only French.

Overall, Quebec City, which you asked about specifically, is a beautiful city (perhaps the most beautiful on this continent), and with a population of about 750,000 (98% French-speaking) in its urban area, has most of the amenities you are looking for (except perhaps a competitive soccer team - only Montreal has that in the province of Quebec, and it is much larger than Quebec City).

Winters in Quebec City are long and cold (no sailing from October to April at least!), and any fishing would be ice fishing for at least part of the year. Winters are cold everywhere in Quebec, though summers can be very warm (even hot) and sunny.

Montreal, the largest city in Quebec by far, has a metro area of more than 3.5 million people. It is an interesting mix of North America and Europe, and this would be an English-only speaker’s best chance for landing a good job (although even in Montreal your long-term job prospects would likely be hindered by a lack of French eventually).

Montreal is about one hour on a good day (think traffic) from the US border, but you have to drive quite a while to reach any American cities of substantial size.

Sherbrooke, about 100 km east of Montreal, is also fairly close to the New England states. It’s a city of about 150,000. It is a university city with the larger one being French and a very small teaching in English. Don’t let the place names fool you here: the Sherbrooke area is a predominantly French-speaking region, with a historic but small English minority that is about 6% of the population.

Trois-Rivières is about 100% French-speaking, and about the same size as Sherbrooke. Historically it was more industrial, is older and has a flatter landscape than Sherbrooke, and as such is considered a little less attractive a city.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:25 PM
Location: Calgary, AB
315 posts, read 1,624,870 times
Reputation: 138
Originally Posted by famlife View Post
how long does it take to immigrate? like, months or years?
Read up on your immigration options here...
Immigrating to Canada

There are a few different paths to Permanent Residency. Permanent Residency could be approved in as little as a year (PNP from inside Canada with employer sponsor) or as long as 2-4 years (outside Canada with no arranged employment).

Don't hesitate to call Citizenship and Immigration Canada (link above) with any questions.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:04 PM
911 posts, read 2,155,984 times
Reputation: 378
thanks for all the info.. we are going to start talking to an immigration lawyer and learning french asap, and hopefully the rest will fall into place

we can probably vacation there a couple times before moving, so that'll help get a feel for some different cities and what to expect.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:39 PM
40 posts, read 209,247 times
Reputation: 29
I am from a small village of the eastern townships,there is a lake in the middle of town,and hour from montreal,close to the vermont border...bilingual little place ...ski hills close by,close to magog and Sherbrooke..check it out on the net it is called North Hatley...Granby Zoo is close by...great place to grow up in...
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