Montreal Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Montreal
How safe is Montreal?
Threat level: Medium
The overall travel advice for Montreal is for visitors to remain cautious and report any suspicious activity to the police.
Montreal is one of the most diverse cities in the world; located in Canada but part of French-speaking Quebec, Montreal combines its traditional buildings with modern skyline and culture.
There are lots of things to see and do in the city which boasts many free options such as art museums, ballroom dancing lessons and ice skating in the winter. Canadian citizens are extremely helpful and friendly, and providing the correct precautions are taken, trips to the city should be hassle free.
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Recent Security Risk Events
In 2006, a lone gunman began randomly shooting outside of a college in the city and forced his way into the school. The attack saw one other person dead and 19 people injured, with the gunman later turning the gun on himself. Attacks like this have proved to be extremely rare and infrequent in Montreal.
There have been some isolated incidents of petty theft including pick pocketing and car theft in and around the Montreal area. The best travel advice for Montreal is that incidents such as these are very rare and by remaining vigilant and taking basic security cautions travellers will significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such crimes.
The city is considered to be generally safe by both residents and tourists, however there is some gang activity in certain areas of Montreal and it is recommended that you do not visit them after dark. This includes Pointe St-Charles, Charlevoix metro, Montreal Nord and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. These areas do not have much for tourists to see anyway.
The weather in winter can reach extremely low temperatures so if your trip is during the winter months you should ensure that you have packed warm clothing and are adequately prepared. There can sometimes be snow and ice storms which you should not try and venture out into – stay inside when possible.
Travelling around Montreal
If you are planning to drive in Montreal, be aware that it may be different to what you are used to; there are a lot of one-way streets and many are not obviously indicated so ensure you are alert on the roads at all times.
It is generally recommended that visitors travel around the city via public transport or on foot, despite the size of the city many areas can be reached by walking. The metro and bus routes are good quality and generally efficient. Metro stations can be found anywhere with a blue and white sign – there are four lines which can take you to most destinations. Buses will cover the rest of the city.
Taxis are widely available in the city and can prove useful to get you to your exact destination. Drivers may not be able to communicate in English so it is advised that you write the full address on a piece of paper which you can give to the driver to avoid miscommunication.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
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Emergency Services in Montreal
Police, Fire, Ambulance emergency: 911 can be used to reach all emergency services.
Currency: Canadian dollar
Time now in Montreal:
Consular information for Montreal
U.S. Consulate General
315 Place d'Youville, Suite 500
Telephone: +1 514 398 9695
British Consulate-General Montreal
2000 McGill College Avenue
Telephone: +1 514 866 5863
French Consulate Montreal
1501 McGill College Avenue #1000
Telephone: +1 514 878 4385
For further embassy information and locations please see our live travel map below.
Healthcare in Montreal
The health care system in Canada and Montreal is excellent and quality treatment is common. There are often large costs associated with medical care however so your travel and health insurance should be comprehensive.
Be aware that if you require hospital treatment, the waiting time is often lengthy and slow, so only visit a hospital if absolutely necessary.
There is a free and confidential telephone service provided by the state of Quebec and can be reached by dialling 811. You should use this to speak to a nurse about a non-urgent health issue you may be experiencing. This 24 hour service can answer questions or offer advice which may be to direct you to further help.