Arrival and Visitor Information – Montréal
Arriving by Plane
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is situated 21 km from the downtown core of Montreal. From the airport, you may take a bus, taxi or Über to downtown Montréal.
Bus – the least expensive way to get to the city centre.
The 747 bus line service runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, between Montréal-Trudeau airport and Lionel-Groulx metro station. Travel time varies with traffic and is around 30 min. At Lionel-Groulx switch over to the Metro and take the green line to station McGill for reaching the conference venue and most residences, or Place des Arts for residence La Citadelle.
The PDF metro map can be found here,
The bus tickets can be purchased from the fare vending machines in the airport arrivals area (blue color). Payment in cash, by debit card or with VISA or MasterCard credit cards accepted. There are only three types of tickets that are accepted in the 747 bus line. These tickets allow unlimited transfers on the STM network (all metro and bus) for the duration of the validity:
1-day pass (cost: $10)
3-day pass (cost: $18)
The weekly pass (cost: $25.5).
Other types of STM tickets (regular 1-trip tickets, 10-trip tickets) are not accepted in the 747 bus line.
Über - Pass customs and immigration and pick up you luggage before ordering your Über ride. The driver will pick you up at door 6 on the Departure level (one level up from the Arrivals)
TéoTaxi - App based taxi service leaving from door 6 at the Departure level. Before using, you need to download the App.
Regular Taxi (or Limousine) – Taxis can be found when exiting the Arrival area - towards the left from the international arrivals or towards the right when arriving on a domestic flight. The journey to the city centre will take you between 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic (please allow more time on the trip towards the airport upon your return). The trip should be around $40.
More details can be found here.
Most foreign travelers (including those from Europe and Asia) will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa to visit Canada. To find out whether you need or not an eTA or a visitor visa, please click here.
If an eTA is needed, you can apply for it through this link. Most applicants get their eTA approval (via an email) within the same day.
If a visitor visa is needed, Citizenship and Immigration Canada strongly encourages applications to be made eight (8) weeks prior to departure. Please note that processing times vary from mission to mission. You can check typical processing times (typical but not guaranteed) for the visa office responsible for handling your visa request. To process your visa application, the Canadian visa office will need your completed CIC VISA application form (see web links #1, #5, and #6), and all supporting documents, including a letter of invitation. VISA arrangements are the responsibility of the participants.
Letter of Invitation
If you need a letter of invitation, please contact the conference organizers as soon as possible. Invited speakers can request the letter at any time. Regular participants can request a letter once the conference registration fee payment is received.
Traveller’s checks are accepted. The rate of exchange is calculated on the daily rate of exchange shown on the newspapers.
ATMs and Debit Cards
Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows. ATMs can be found at all banks and in certain other establishments (shopping malls).
Banks in Montreal are open Monday through Friday (mainly from 9 am to 5 pm) and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday and on national holidays. Traveller checks can be exchanged for European currency at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
The monetary currency is the Canadian dollar which is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars; coins of 1, 2 dollars and of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents. To find the current exchange rate, please visit The Universal Currency Converter.
No vaccinations are required to enter Canada.
Healthcare and Medical Assistance
People requiring urgent medical care should go to the nearest hospital emergency room (First aid assistance is also offered at the airport and main train station). Those with serious illnesses or allergies should always carry a special note from their physicians certifying in detail the treatments in progress or that may be necessary. Pharmacies are generally open from 8 am to 8 pm daily, Monday to Saturday. Night-time service is provided on a shift basis. Business hours and night shifts are displayed outside of each pharmacy or medical center (they are also published in local papers). Before departure, it is advisable to procure a document certifying coverage by the national health-care service.
Tips are customary in Montreal for restaurants and some other services; base salaries of personnel in the restaurant industry are accordingly low. A typical tip for good service in taxis and restaurants would be some 15-18%. When using a credit card, in many restaurants you are automatically asked whether you wish to add a tip.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Police, Fire & Emergency: 911
Directory Assistance: 411
Stamps may be purchased at the Post Office (Post) and at convenience stores. Always check at the counter for the exact fare to the country of destination. Post Offices are usually open from 9 am – 5 pm daily, Monday to Friday.
The small appliance electrical outlets in Canada are 110-120Volt at 60Hz (AC, alternating current) - same as in the US. This implies that a transformer (with the appropriate plug adapter) may be needed to change the electricity supplied to what is needed by your small appliance. Outlets accept the North American NEMA 5-15 grounded type (a NEMA 1-15 will fit) plugs. A transformer and plug adapter can be obtained either before leaving your country or at an electrical appliance shop in Canada.
Laundry and Dry Cleaners
Most hotels have laundry and dry cleaning facilities. If the hotel does not provide these services, the desk clerk can direct you to the nearest laundry.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm (often 5 pm on Saturday). On Wednesday and Thursday nights, many shops are open longer. On Sundays, many shops are open, but only until 5 pm.
Please note that there are strict regulations on the import of produce such as meat and dairy. Find detailed information here.
There are no export restrictions on gifts purchased in Canada except for antiques and works of art. These require the authorization. For more information please have a look here.
In August daytime temperatures can range anywhere from 20 to 35C. Night-time temperatures can be relatively warm or drop to 15C. It is recommended to bring one jacket for chillier evenings.
Car Rental & Traffic Rules
If you plan to stay in Montreal you don't need a car; parking is expensive and public transport is very good. If you plan to drive out of town, renting a car may be a good idea, although getting to cities like Québec or Ottawa is easy by public transport (train or bus).
Most international car rental agencies have an office in Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. It may be worth comparing rates with downtown rental agencies. If you plan to drive to the US, make sure your rental contract allows this.
A few instructions if you are driving in Canada or North America for the first time:
- Turning right on a red light is allowed everywhere except for the Island of Montreal and New York City.
- A flashing green light means that you can turn left while the oncoming traffic has a red light.
- A flashing red light on a stopped yellow school bus means you must not pass the bus, regardless of the direction you are driving (following the bus or oncoming).
- At stop signs the rule 'first-come-first-go' applies for those that have to stop. At a four-way-stop intersection that applies to all. At an intersection where one direction does not need to stop, one has to wait until the road is safe to cross.
- Speed limits are posted in km/h in Canada, but in miles/h in the US.