A public airport shuttle, the 747, runs from the airport to the downtown area and back. Tickets ($10) can be purchased at the airport with a credit card at any 747 ticket machine, or with coins only at the bus.
If taking the 747 to the conference area, it is suggested to get off the bus at the Lionel-Groulx Metro (subway) station and take the green Metro line toward Honoré-Beaugrand. Exit the Metro at the McGill station which is a 2 minute walk from the conference location (550 Sherbrooke Street West).
Getting Around Montreal:
Public transport is a great way to see the city. Affordable and reliable, the metro also accesses the city's Underground Pedestrian Network. Two of the four main lines connect downtown to major tourist sites as well as numerous bus stops and train stations. Weekly passes are available. Métro operating hours are Monday to Friday and Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. The average wait time between trains is eight minutes and three minutes during rush hour. Please note that you should hold on to your Metro ticket for the entire duration of the ride.
If you prefer getting around by taxi, it's easy to flag one down on the street. You'll also find them at one of the city's many taxi stands or in front of most major hotels. Some taxis will also transport bicycles. Renting a Bixi bike, with pick-up and drop-off stations all around town, is another great and inexpensive alternative.
Cars can be rented in Montréal from local or international companies. Average cost per day for a medium-sized car is CN$85. All cars are left-hand drive.
Climate & Clothing:
July in Montreal can be very hot and humid but is generally pleasant with daytime temperatures ranging between 22 (71.6ºF) and 30ºC (86ºF).
The Canadian dollar is the national currency. Automatic teller machines and exchange offices are readily available. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops accept major credit cards.
Electrical outlets in Canada are the same as in the United States, (110 volts, 60 cycles). If you are traveling from Europe or elsewhere, you will need an adapter to use small appliances designed for a different standard (220/240 V).
Health Insurance & Hospitals:
Canadian hospitals and medical services are excellent. Hospital care for non-residents of Canada is charged at a daily rate, and ranges from CN$1,000 to CN$2,000 per day. It is therefore important to obtain travel health insurance before arriving if your regular health insurance does not include coverage outside your country of residence.
A federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is charged on most goods and services in Canada. A Québec provincial tax (TVQ) of 9.5% is added to all goods and services purchased in the province of Québec. These taxes are not included in prices advertised on in-store merchandise.
Most shops are open Monday to Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bars and restaurants serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Some restaurants have a BYOW policy, which allows you to bring the wine or beer of your choice. Beer and wine can be purchased at convenience stores (dépanneurs) and grocery stores between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Spirits and a greater selection of wine can be found at the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ). The legal drinking age in Québec is 18.
Service is not included in restaurant bills. It is customary to add a 15% tip to the total. (A quick way to calculate the appropriate tip amount is to add the two taxes that appear at the bottom of your bill). If you are with a group, 15% service may be automatically added to your bill. Inquire if it is unclear if the tip has been included. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc. are also normally tipped 15%. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc. generally receive at least CN$1 per suitcase or per service rendered. Coffee and food counters often have a tip cup next to the cash register; spare change is always appreciated.
Montreal is a cosmopolitan city. Outdoor signs are in French, but services are available in English as well as in French. French is heard throughout the city but in many neighbourhoods other languages will also be heard. Roughly half of Montreal's residents speak French at home.