Монреаль, город на юго-западе провинции Квебек, гордо высится на острове Монреаль, а также занимает несколько более мелких островов, таких как Льиль Бизар. Город – просто пиршество для глаз; смелые современные линии контрастируют с элегантной архитектурой в стиле Османа, базиликами и брусчатыми улицами Старого Монреаля.

Этот преимущественно франкоязычный город называют «культурной столицей Канады». Это центр канадского телевидения, радио, театра, кино, мультимедийных и печатных средств информации. Как второй по уровню экономического развития город Канады и крупнейший город провинции, Монреаль является и важным деловым, финансовым, промышленным и технологическим центром с местонахождением в нем Монреальской биржи.

Артистическая натура города породила яркое и преимущественно франкоязычное театральное искусство. Необходимо подчеркнуть, что если вы планируете остаться здесь на достаточно длительный срок, рекомендуется пройти ускоренный курс французского языка - более 60% населения является франкоязычным, а английский является родным для менее 20%.

Процветающий рынок города является свидетельством его крепких французских корней; фермерские рынки работают круглый год, в будни и выходные дни, торгуя всем от домашней колбасы и меда местного урожая до экзотических цветов и специй.

Что бы вы ни пожелали: суши, бифштекс или колбасу, вы не будете разочарованы; ресторанная кухня Монреаля изыскана и недавно была приравнена журналом «Гурман» к кухне Парижа, Нью-Йорка и Лондона.

Рыночное изобилие города, зеленые массивы, сезонное разнообразие и плотный календарь культурных событий делают Монреаль оживленным и духовно обогащающим местом проживания.

What is special or unique about your city?

Montreal is unique in North America, in that it blends new world urbanity with European-style romantic charm. A certain joie de vivre (joy of living) is evident in the city's many pavement cafés and its dynamic night life. Although its downtown skyscrapers are the city's testament to the economic clout of Canada's second largest, visitors are more likely to be drawn by the promise of a horse-drawn caliche ride along the cobbled streets of Old Montreal.

Montreal is known as the city of festivals. All year, every year, Montreal hosts over 40 festivals ranging from the traditional to the wildly avant-garde. Jazz, laughter, food and snow are just four of the many reasons Montrealers take to the streets, theatres and clubs and party for weeks on end.

What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?

Montreal is one of the most popular destinations in Canada. One of the few Francophone destinations where you can speak English during your entire visit; Montreal is familiar enough to feel welcoming, and foreign enough to feel exotic. Its people are warm and friendly, and it boasts one of the lowest crime rates in North America.

Are these impressions likely to change?

It is possible that they will intensify, particularly with regards to the city's European feel. Recently, more emphasis has been placed on the local European influence in the area.

What is the local language?

French is the main language spoken, but English is widely spoken and understood as well.

How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?

You should be able to easily get through daily activities without a command of the French language. French is the official language in Montreal, but throughout Canada, both French and English are recognized as official languages and there are 53 other native tongues used by visitors and residents in Montreal.

The government of Canada provides free local information in both French and English, and sometimes in other languages--one of which might coincidentally be your own.

In Montreal, a little understanding goes a long way. If you make any effort to communicate in French, whether you are successful or not, your efforts will be appreciated and you'll be offered assistance.

What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?

The best way to avoid offending residents of Montreal is to abide by the Canadian Human Rights Code and Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. These are the national and provincial laws that provide everyone with equal rights and opportunities in specific areas such as jobs, housing and services. And, of course, just keep your eyes open -- you can learn most of what you need to know about local etiquette just by watching it in action.

Some other tips to avoid offending residents of Montreal are:

  • Canadians usually hope that visitors will recognize how different their country is from the United States.

  • Canadians quickly move to a first-name basis, but you should wait until you have been invited to do so.The order for Canadian names is first name, middle name and last name.

  • A firm handshake makes a very good first impression.

  • Keep a distance of several feet when talking to another person.

  • It is okay to use the "O.K." sign and the "thumbs up" sign.

  • Holding doors open for the person behind you is appreciated and often expected.

  • Being punctual should be a priority especially for business -related meetings. However, being

  • 15 minutes late for an evening social engagement is acceptable.

  • Some professions allow for casual dress, but if you are not sure then dress on the formal side.

  • It is considered rude to speak in a foreign language in the presence of others who do not understand what is being said.

  • If you see someone you know at a distance, a wave is an appropriate acknowledgement.

  • People using the ATM machines expect the next person waiting in line to stand a few feet behind them.

  • Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, restaurants and bars. You should always ask permission from your host to smoke.

How might the local weather affect my daily life?

Most of Canada has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Canada measures temperature using the Celsius thermometer expressed as degrees Celsius (C).

Spring (March 21 through June 21) is cold and sunny. Maximum temperatures in April and May average roughly 10.7 C (51.2 F) and 18.5 C, respectively.

In summer (June 21 to September 21), the temperature often soars above 30 C (86 F) during July heat waves, though the average temperature is 26.4 C (79.5 F). Summer in Montreal is the ideal time to engage in a wide array of outdoor activities.

Autumn (September 21 to December 21) is arguably Montreal's loveliest season. It is very colorful, with an average temperature of 13 C (55.4 F) in October.

Montreal is reputed for its cold, snowy winters (December 21 through March 21). Annual snowfall averages 200 cm (78.7 inches). Winter is the perfect time to engage in outdoor sports, such as skating, skiing, snowshoeing and hockey. In January, the mercury hovers around -10 C (14 F) or even lower! But don't worry -- Montreal has a vast network of underground pedestrian passages so that you don't have to be out in it too much if you are sensitive to cold!

Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?

Montreal has a distinctly European flair and a great deal of "joie de vivre." It is also wild about hockey, the most popular local sport.