One of the biggest cities in Canada, Montreal is part of the French-speaking area of the country and, as such, is heavily influenced by French culture. As the capital of the Quebec province, Montreal is a little different from other major Canadian metropolises like Toronto and Vancouver in that it seems a little more laidback and, in some respects, cultured. In winter, Montreal is usually covered in snow, usually resembling a winter wonderland, but it also looks great during summer. It’s a cultural, economic and historical hub for the region and attracts visitors from all over the world, whether it’s for a city break or as a base for taking a trip into the cold, crisp Canadian countryside.
Montreal isn’t laid out like many other North American cities, meaning a larger car would be ideal. Something more powerful would be handy in winter too, especially away from the highways.
Driving in Montreal Dorval
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
On the island of Montreal, you cannot take a right turn when the traffic lights are on red, unlike in other parts of Canada.
As a result of the extensive use of salt grit on the roads during winter, some routes in Montreal do have a few potholes which you need to watch out for.
Snow is often a problem at winter, but you need to watch out for snow ploughs constantly clearing the roads in the event of heavy snowfall.
Highlights & Hotspots
Old Montreal is where many of the city’s museums and art galleries are situated. In between visits, you might be wowed by some of the examples of architecture here dating back as far as the 17th century. This part of town is also one of the most peaceful - ideal if you want some quiet time.
Parc Jean-Drapeau was initially the site of the 1967 World’s Fair. Although the famous biosphere still stands, today, it is home to the Gilles Villeneuve racing circuit which hosts a Formula One race, Montreal Casino and an artificial beach.
The Rialto Theatre is one of Montreal’s most iconic buildings. Ever since renovation, the building has been restored to its former glory and also serves as a hub for the performing and creative arts in the city. French and English-language plays are performed here.
If going with the family, the La Ronde theme park is a great place to visit. Other places worth a look include some of the open-air ice rinks which operate in winter and the Jardin Botanique, a great place to observe the local plant life.
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, formerly known as Montreal-Dorval, is 12 miles west of the city centre. It has two passenger terminals for domestic and international flights and serves North America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe.
The airport is accessible from the Cote de Liesse Expressway, which is just north of the Boulevard Montreal-Toronto. Going onto the boulevard, you can drive eastwards towards the city centre.