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Living in Canada

Discussion in 'General' started by ajack, 19 May 2007.

  1. ajack

    ajack rox

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    I'm going to be doing my final year of uni at McGill in Montreal next year (starting this September). Moving there from the UK, I'm after any advice any of you Canadians have to offer - such things as bank accounts, cell phone carriers, health services, etc etc. I've never been to Canada before so I'm not sure if it's going to be majorly different than here or what. Any sort of advice about being an international student wouldn't go amiss either :)
     
  2. Jaxx

    Jaxx New Member

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    Hmm...For banks we have:

    The Royal Bank of Canada
    TD (Toronto Dominion?)
    CIBC (?)
    Scotia..

    and a bunch of little ones, but those are the major carriers

    Health Care? Pretty much free.
    Dental? depends on your insurance/company/what your willing to pay.

    Cell phones...hmm...Telus, Bell, Shaw/Rogers...your going to get raped 10 ways to friday on any of them. You can get a plan for $20 a month, then they add a ton of 'extras' which makes it $32 a month.

    I"m from Vancouver but I hear Montreal is a really nice city to live in. Go see a Montreal Canadians Game if you get the chance, and go visit 'the forum'. It's the hockey center of Canada :thumb:
     
  3. thefriscokid

    thefriscokid why s**t so crazy?

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    Just remember we say Eh quite alot.
     
  4. lcdguy

    lcdguy Active Member

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    well let's see.

    1. You must eat POUTINE atleast once while your there if you've never had it before
    2. Cellphones, what was said is pretty much true.
    3. Mcgill is nice, i was there for a workshop once
    4. Montreal is real close to the national capital (3 hrs by car)

    Other than that i think you'll manage. You'll probably want to go to a canadians (habs) game. Also if they come back in november TSO might come back.

    If you have any other question about canada let me know since i have lived there my entire life (in ottawa)

    If you want to travel to ottawa, and don't feel up to driving i would suggest booking a lifght on porter air, relatively cheap. The other thing you will notice is we have 2 sales taxes.

    Anyway i should get back to work, ciao.
     
  5. MaximumShow

    MaximumShow Member

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    Montreal is beautiful!

    1. I agree with the Poutine advice. While in Montreal check out a place called "Frite Alour!" (spelling?). They have excellent Poutine. I ordered a large and figured it couldn't be that big... I was way off.

    2. St. Catherines and St. Laurent, are the two drinking/shopping streets. Tons to do there. They intersect each other right in the heart of downtown. Also, all addresses in Montreal are given based on them being east or west (est ou ouest) of St. Laurent street. Ex there can be two 600 St. Catherines addys, but one will be 600 St. Catherines O and the other 600 St. Catherine E. Kind of confusing.

    3. Old Montreal is beautiful. You can spend several days just walking around, despite it being rather small. I have never been to the UK, but I know you have similar places to this, so it may not excite you greatly. Old Montreal predates almost all of the major American cities. There is a street there, (forget the name) where many founders of the major US cities lived before said cities were founded.

    4. Mount Royal is awesome, although I didn't get a chance to examine the whole place while I lived there. Beautiful park, for which the city was named. Huge cemetary there, where you can find THIS very well known tombstone.

    5. It's the Montreal CanadiEns. An NHL game could be fun for you, however do not expect them win.

    6. The Bank of Montreal is also one of the largest bank chains in Canada. Ironically I didn't see many of them IN Montreal though :confused:

    7. If you like bagels, go to Fairmount Bagels, or St. Viateur bagels, they are within several blocks of each other. This is where many celebrities and "powerful" people in the "biz" either go to, or order from. My friend worked at both of them and said that shipments were shipped to New York and LA all the time, for people on set. Jerry Seinfeld came in while he was working there, hehe.

    I'll think of many more things in Montreal to do or see. It's a great city.
     
  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    If you want simplicity in your bank account, and easy to use Internet service to pay bills and credit card, go with TD bank.
    If you want the most debit machines go with Banque de Montreal, or Desjardin.
    I don't know about the other banks, I think RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) has more choices.

    Be prepared to payed over 1k per month for an 2 and half and up apartment downtown. Electricity is really cheap. As for Internet, do yourself a favor, go with Videotron (Cable). Bell Sympatical (DSL) is pretty cheap and (not sure at 100%) has no bandwidth limit and cheaper. But be prepared to be in hell while to try and get it installed and running. And I'm not sure they have their software for Vista yet...
    When I got them, I immediately canceled the service, it was sooo bad (same for technical support. I mean when they tell you "open the Blue E", because they don't know that's Internet Explorer, we have a problem. With Videotron your always connected, no software or configuration required, and they are moving to faster internet (upgrading their 4Mbps to 7Mbps for High Speed Internet Users). Also you can get your internet cheaper if you get cable TV with them. You can check out more details and pricing on their website. If you do get a service with a bandwidth limit, I made a small application for myself, that connects to Videotron databases and get your total bandwidth consumption since your month started (usually the day you register) So you are sure (unless you download/upload like crazy in one day) to not pass your limit. Contact me if you are interested (this applies to anyone here that has Videotron HighSpeed Internet)

    Tap water is free in Montreal.
    The water from the tap is not the best in the world but descent, and is Fluoride FREE :).

    If you buy a cell phone in North America they are locked to a service provider. You have to go somewhere and get it unlocked to be able to have any service provider.

    Bring a electric plug tester with you, to test the wall connection to see if it's grounded. Montreal is old, and they are MANY old houses or building that have faulty wires or no ground (even thus you see the ground hole in the plug).

    Don't cross a street on red lights, specially downtown. Police can arrest you. (fine of 35$).

    Downtown supermarkets are more expensive then anywhere else. Which is normal, as rent is higher.

    I think that's pretty much it.
    Have fun exploring Montreal, there is A LOT to see. If you come now, there is the Jazz Festival, which is pretty neat.
     
  7. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    3 HOURS?!?! I can make it in 1 hour in a half (not during rush hours nor by going at 200Km/h).
     
  8. saeghwin

    saeghwin New Member

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    I don't have any advice, but I was just in Montreal this past weekend. I passed by McGill several times in fact. Montreal is a very nice city, and I was impressed because it was really my first trip to Canada for more than a day. Great nightlife.

    Hope you have fun. Do you speak French?
     
  9. lcdguy

    lcdguy Active Member

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    i think i as thinking round trip :D i would just fly using porter air, really cheap.

    You don't really need to be able to speak french in montreal, it helps but there are entire english sections of montreal not like quebec city :)
     
  10. MaximumShow

    MaximumShow Member

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    Oh and NO right hand turns on a red either. Well I guess for you that would be the same as NO left hand turns on red.

    Also, if you have a vehicle that you have to park on the street, make sure to familarize yourself with where you can park on what days. In many areas the streets are cleaned DAILY. For a certain 15-30 min time each day one side of the street is cleaned. The next day the other side is cleaned. If you are parked there when the cleaner comes by, then you will be ticketed heavily. My friend got nearly a dozen $80 tickets in a month, as we are from BC and have never encountered such things. :lol:

    Whether or not you pay those tickets is completely up to you.
     
  11. lcdguy

    lcdguy Active Member

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    Don't forget that it only applies in quebec, in ontario and other provinces i believe you can turn right on a red unless otherwise stated.
     
  12. saeghwin

    saeghwin New Member

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    Yeah, that's true. Most of the people seem to speak English pretty well anyway.
     
  13. ajack

    ajack rox

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    Thanks for all the comments.

    I won't be getting a car so driving's not really an issue. I assume it'll be 21 to hire a car (as it is over here) so I won't even be doing that. I don't know any French atm, I'll probably learn some over the summer but, from what I've heard here and elsewhere, getting by with English is fine (although it's always good to know some of the language of the place you're going I guess).

    I'll most probably just rent a room in an apartment/house so stuff like internet/electricity/etc should already be covered. From what I've seen, rent is relatively cheap - compared to what I'm paying over here (which is about £330/month (excluding any utilities) for a room in a house in an (albeit rather expensive) suburb.)

    Poutine looks suspicious, I hope it tastes better than it sounds ;)
     
  14. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Nope, you need to be 18 to be allow you to drive. Same applies for alcohol. And you are not watch by 500 cameras (god how you people do it, I still wonder :) )

    Usually heating and A/C (make sure the apt has Air conditioning) are paid by the building. The rest is at your own expense (internet, TV, phone, etc..)

    Since Montreal passed into a period of lack of apartment a couple of year back. The renting cost has rocketed pretty hight. Like I said you can easily pay 1 000$ for your apartment (or ~600$ for 1 and a half downtown or near it). The only 800$ (3 in a half or 4 and half) apartment I saw, has no ground in the plugs (you don't even HAVE the third hole in the plug... so you can't even plug your computer), and the building was made in wood (so you hear EVERYTHING, including whispering on the other floor) and you have lead pipes (hmmm tasty water). No elevator, and if you are lucky an intercom system at the door. It's so bad the buildings begs for apocalypse on them.
    Again, BRING electric plug tester (it's small, 10$ Can, you can find it EVERYWHERE). Before renting make your plugs are FINE. (you can see I HAD the bad experience.... Yep I lost 1 comp (everything died, even my optical drive) and a TV because of that)

    It's only this little thing. I got mine at Canadian Tire for 14$ Can.
    [​IMG]

    AVOID poutine at restaurants like in McDonald, try local restaurants like "Frite Alors!"
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2007
  15. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Try also Maple Syrup. You can identify it by reading "Maple Syrup" and NOT "Table Syrup" on the bottle or can and see it's higher price (yet not expensive). It taste great, healthy, and goes great with bacon, eggs, pan cakes... ham... waffles. Maple Syrup is the real deal, it's 100% Maple Syrup, from the Maple tree. Hmmmm....(drolling).

    It's sugary like Table Syrup, but it actually taste good.

    Avoid light maple Syrup, it just taste sugar.
     
  16. lcdguy

    lcdguy Active Member

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    It's actually quite good, for those who don't know what it is take

    French Fries, or chips is what i think you call them Douse and cover them in the most arty clogging thick gravy you can find that put fresh cheese curds or shredded cheese very yummy. There is actually a place in ottawa that makes different kinds of poutine :)
     
  17. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    It looks pretty good, but we have the same thing in the UK - it's called chips, gravy and cheese. (Available at all good Chippy's.)
     
  18. lcdguy

    lcdguy Active Member

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    but can you get it with

    Shave Steak or Chili or 4 cheese or fired onions or etc
     
  19. MaximumShow

    MaximumShow Member

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    Our apartment was $500 a month for a 3 and a half (large bedroom, main room, kitchen, bathroom) in NDG. This was on Sherbrooke, about 3 miles from downtown.

    Montreal also has a good "subway" system, although they call it the metro (not to be confused with the line of grocery stores). Our place was one block away from a metro station so getting around was quite easy.
     
  20. quack

    quack New Member

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    You know... we can buy maple syrup here too. :p

    And poutine is yummy. I'll be having some next month when I'm in London, Ont. for 2 weeks.
     

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