Access To And Within
Montréal is close to the heavily populated American east coast and is a gateway city for international travellers from Europe. Just 20 minutes from the city centre, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport makes getting to Montréal a breeze with over 200 flights arriving daily.
Once in Montréal, attendees will mostly use the subway (metro) lines as well as the main bus routes that service the Montréal metropolitan area. In addition to these traditional modes of transportation, Montréal offers a public sharing bike system called BIXI (a contraction of the words BIcycle and taXI).
It is important to keep in mind that Montréal is a human-scale walkable city. Its city center is compact and all is within walking distance.
Why Will You Love it
Montréal is exciting, cosmopolitan and safe. In fact, as far as attendee-boosting destinations go, Montréal is quite frankly one of the most appealing. Our recent accolades include being named North America’s Food Capital (Town & Country), the Best City in the World for Students (QS Best Student Cities ranking) and one of the safest cities on the planet (The Economist).
Offering a signature blend of North American and European culture, Montréal is just two hours from many major American cities and an international hub for 150 global destinations. In addition, Montréal’s Old Port and downtown areas are easy to explore on foot, with a combination of shops and restaurants, cobblestone alleys and brightly lit landmarks.
Visitors to Montréal enjoy a warm welcome in each of the vibrant neighbourhoods that make up our international metropolis. The city’s population of over 4 million comprises 120 different cultural groups who speak French, English and 80 other languages. Find out why we’re known for our big-city style and small-town hospitality. But most importantly, what truly sets Montréal apart from other cities is its people. With a reputation for having a warm and welcoming attitude, Montréalers are gracious hosts to visitors from all four corners of the world and all walks of life.
Summer takes off at top speed with the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. Then, it’s the kick-off of Montréal’s summer festival season. Circus arts, music, fashion and design, theatre, games and fireworks are some of the hot happenings that burst onto the scene, and make the city and our hearts bright. Ignite your summer in the city that has the most festival days in the world!
Festival International de Jazz
Ranked as the world’s largest jazz festival by Guiness World Records / According to The New York Times, “The King of Montréal’s assorted summer cultural festivals” / 1,000 concerts and activities—two-thirds of them free—in 15 concert halls and on 8 outdoor stages.
For Montrealers, food is a way of life. And a multicultural population combined with epicurean innovation has translated into close to 6,000 restaurants city-wide, including 80 different types of regional and international cuisines. In restaurants across town, Montréal’s master chefs have been creatively crafting the city’s platinum reputation for culinary excellence to rival that of major world destinations. Whether they are pushing boundaries with innovative dishes, refining the grand classics or putting a gastronomic spin on traditional fare, the masters understand that a great meal should not just be eaten, it should be lovingly shared and savoured.
Montréal is a major international hub and a gateway to North America. 600 flights transit through the Montréal-Trudeau airport daily. But that’s not all. Whether by air, train, bus, car or boat, travelling to Montréal is a piece of cake.
Some 33 passenger carriers connect Montréal to many airports, worldwide. In 2018, 19,4 million passengers passed through Montréal-Trudeau Airport, located 20 minutes from downtown. Equipped with the most up-to-date airport technology, the terminal is secure, comfortable and convenient on top of offering travellers a memorable airport experience with a Montréal flavour in more than 90 shops, restaurants and services.
Via Rail operates Canada’s national passenger rail service and provides a safe, cost-effective and environmentally responsible service from coast to coast. The VIA Rail network extends 12,500 km, serving over 400 communities across Canada with over 500 trains weekly. AMTRAK also serves Montréal with a daily service to and from New York City.
The centrally-located Montréal Coach Terminal, Gare d’autocars de Montréal, is the departure and arrival point of most inter-city buses as well as the airport shuttle. It is conveniently connected to the subway system at the Berri-UQAM station and linked to the 32 km of Underground City where visitors enjoy quick and easy access to hotels, restaurants, stores, tourist attractions and more.
American visitors or international visitors transiting through the United States will love driving North to Montréal via Interstates 87 and 89. Located just 60 km (29 miles) from the U.S. border, Montréal is easily accessible by highway with many roads and expressways leading to the city.
Public transport is a great and sustainable way to see the city. Our public transportation service has received many awards for its initiatives in sustainable development. Hop on the métro or on a bus and in minutes, you’re at a museum, a restaurant or in Old Montréal. To top it all, it’s affordable and reliable.
- 4 métro lines
- 68 stations
- Accessed via the city’s underground pedestrian network
Operating Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Monday to Friday and Sunday), and 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m (Saturday).
- 220 bus lines of which 23 are dedicated to all-night service
- All vehicles are wheelchair accessible, with the exception of minibuses operated on Navette Or shuttles and the 212 – Sainte-Anne line
- One trip $3.25 CAD
- 1-day pass $10 CAD
- 3-day pass $19 CAD
- Weekly pass $26.25 CAD
From the Airport To Downtown in 20 Minutes, the Réseau Électrique Métropolitain (REM) is a fully automated, 100% electric light rail transit (LRT) project to serve the major metropolitan areas in Montréal.
It will provide fast and direct service between Montréal-Trudeau Airport and downtown Montréal. From Central Station, the trip should take 20 minutes and the service will run all day, every 10 minutes at peak-time. Commissioning is planned for 2023.
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. All taxis accept electronic payment and most taxi company have apps for easy reservation.
BIXI, recipient of the Edison Award for Energy & Sustainability, allows everyone to easily explore Montreal’s 846 (525 miles) kilometres of bike paths.
A $5 access fee is all it takes to borrow a bike at one of the 540 stations across the city, for a trip on the fly. The first 30 minutes of a ride – no matter how many trips are made in a day – are always free but an additional fee will be added to each subsequent 30-minute period.
In 2017, Copenhagenize ranked Montréal as North America’s (and the world’s 20th) most bicycle-friendly city based on the company’s 2017 Bicycle Friendly Cities index.
Your cellular phone will work in Canada, if using North-American bands. However, to avoid potentially expensive roaming charges, it is strongly recommended that you turn off your data before landing on Canadian soil. Montreal has hundreds of free Wi-Fi connections in the city, not to mention hotels, the convention centre, along with restaurants and cafés, so there is no reason for visitors to incur additional charges with their cell phone carrier.
Currency & Taxes
Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. There are numerous currency exchange offices for visitors to exchange money into Canadian currency. Most exchange offices are open during regular business hours (9am-6pm) and Saturday from 10am-5pm. Credit cards are also widely accepted in restaurants, stores, taxis, etc. Taxes in Montréal are calculated as follows: a 5% Federal Goods & Services tax and a 9.975% Provincial Goods & Services tax. Only basic groceries (breads, dairy, fruits, vegetables, etc.) are not taxed. Taxes paid by visitors are not reimbursable.excitement about the destination.
The electric current is 110V and the plugs are the same as what is found in the US. If you come from a country that uses 220V electricity, you will need an adaptor (for computers, cell phones, tablets / iPads, cameras etc.) or a converter (to transform voltage- for your hairdryer, electric shavers etc.).
Montreal downtown is classified as a hot-summer humid continental climate. Summers are warm to hot and humid with a daily maximum average of 26 to 27 °C (79 to 81 °F) in July; temperatures in excess of 30 °C (86 °F) are common. Conversely, cold fronts can bring crisp, drier and windy weather in the early and later parts of summer. Winter brings cold, snowy, windy, and, at times, icy weather, with a daily average ranging from −10.5 to −9 °C (13.1 to 15.8 °F) in January. However, some winter days rise above freezing, allowing for rain on an average of 4 days in January and February each.
Montréal switches to Eastern Daylight Time (summer time zone) on the second Sunday of March and returns to Eastern Standard Time (winter time zone) on the first Sunday of November. The time difference between Montréal time and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is 5 hours less than in the winter.
French is Québec’s official language but English is widely spoken in Montréal. The city has more than 120 cultural groups and over 20% of population speaks three languages. It is common that you will be addressed in French, but people will quickly speak English when asked.
Passports & Visas
All visitors require a valid passport to enter Canada. The least expensive USA passport cards (for land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry from the USA only) are also accepted. Citizens of certain countries and territories need a visa to visit or transit through Canada. The list of entry requirements by country is available at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp. Guidelines for applying for a visa are available at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
Please note that a letter of invitation signed by the event organization will be required when applying for a visa. Make sure that your letter follows the specified guidelines at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/letter.asp
Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or U.S citizens travelling with a valid Canadian passport or a permanent resident card or a U.S passport can use Automated Border Clearance (ABC) self-serve kiosks when they arrive at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to avoid long lines. Visit www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/abc-cfa-eng.html for more information.
New Entry Requirement
Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation becomes mandatory March 15, 2016. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa.
The eTA is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires. Applying for an eTA is a simple and inexpensive ($7 CAD) online process that will take just a few minutes. Most eTA-eligible applicants will get their authorization within minutes of submitting the online form.
For more information or to see if you need to obtain an eTA, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html
Travel Restrictions Policy
The Signal Processing Society values diversity. Authors who anticipate inability to travel to a conference because of a government-imposed travel restriction are still encouraged to submit papers. Such papers will be reviewed and accepted on their own merit for publication without any knowledge of the author’s travel restriction. Within one week of paper acceptance notification, travel-restricted authors must notify the Technical Program Chair of the conference with proof of their restriction. Substitute presenters may be possible or, depending on conference resources, other accommodations may be available, such as a remote presentation or pre-recorded video.
The Canada Border Services Agency has developed streamlined border procedures and services to assist meeting planners and convention organizers in holding their meeting in Canada. With over $2 billion in trade passing through the Canada-U.S. Border every day, Montréal is a destination fully capable of handling large shipments of material from the U.S. and around the world.
Canada Customs makes it possible for your material to clear customs following its arrival in Montréal. The on-site customs facility clears convention goods at the show rather than at the border, ensuring that your goods are not delayed when they arrive in Canada.
As well, the Palais des congrès, Montréal’s convention centre, is considered “in bond” by Canada Customs and acts as a customs clearance point. You can obtain official recognition status for your event and avoid paying duties and taxes.
Foreign organizations are permitted to import certain goods into Canada for use at meetings without paying customs duty and tax (subject to a security deposit typically handled by your customs broker). In order to qualify for the Foreign Organization Remission Order, a foreign organization must have its head offices outside of Canada. Furthermore, the meeting must not be open to the general public, and Canadian attendance should not exceed 25%.
Exemption from custom duty and taxes is then granted on the following: convention material imported for free distribution to persons attending the meeting or conference, advertising material and souvenirs (valued at no more than $25 CAD each) imported for free distribution to attendees and audio-visual equipment and office machines that are imported for use at the meeting or convention (on condition that this equipment is exported at the conclusion of the meeting).
“Official paraphernalia” (goods bearing the official logo of the Association) may be sold by the Association to attendees provided the event is not open to the public and the goods are valued at no more than $25 CAD. Your staff members do not require work permits.
Guest speakers do not require work permits to address your delegates but should be provided with a letter of introduction from your association.
Personal computers, tape recorders and the like may be brought into Canada by delegates and speakers alike, provided it is for their personal use.