Visas Make sure you carry a valid passport with you at all times and in some cases a Visa (not applicable to U.S. visitors). American citizens returning home should be aware that there are new customs requirements in effect. For more information, visit the following websites: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp) and the U.S. Department of State (http://www.state.gov/). For details on what you are allowed to bring in your baggage (gifts, merchandise, etc.), go to: Canada Border Services Agency.
Currency The currency in Montréal is the Canadian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills. One and two dollar bills have been replaced by coins (often referred to as “loonies” and “toonies”).
Money You can visit any of the following locations if you need to exchange money during your stay in Montréal:
- American Express (514 284-3300; 800 668-2639; 1141 boul de Maisonneuve, 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri; Peel)
- Thomas Cook (514 284-7388; Centre Eaton, 705 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest)
- Transchange International (514 694-6906; 43 rue de Baude)
- Credit cards
- American Express 800 528-4800
- Diner’s Club 800 234-6377
- Discover 800 347-2683
- MasterCard 800 307-7309
- Visa 800 336-8472
Tipping Service is not included in restaurants, so it is customary to add a 15 percent tip to the total before taxes (if you’re with a group, 15 percent for service may be automatically added to your bill). Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also usually tipped 15 percent. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc. generally receive at least $1 per suitcase or per service rendered.
WHERE TO EAT Montréal is a culinary Mecca with more than 5,000 restaurants in the metro island area. You can find every type of cuisine here, from low-cost Lebanese, Indian and Ethiopian to classical French and French Canadian haute cuisine. Many restaurants let you bring your own wine, which you can pick up at one of the many SAQ locations (the provincial government liquor store) or convenience stores (dépanneurs) in the city.
No visit to Montréal is complete without sampling poutine, a local favourite made with French fries, gravy and curds of chewy white cheddar. For a full list of Montréal restaurants, go to tourisme-Montréal.org