Bram
 
Reply Tue 4 Jan, 2005 06:35 pm
I wonder if people who have visited Montreal (Quebec, Canada) have found it different since the French language is the official language there, back in the 70's, and how different?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 4,243 • Replies: 40
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 09:47 am
I visit Montréal from time to time. I have a very good friend who teaches
at McGill.

Montréal is very easy to get around in even if you don't speak French.
Once you get out of the city and into the surrounding areas of Québec
however, it becomes more difficult. Still, I have always managed to get
by with the combination of my very scanty supply of high-school French
and my listeners' varying degrees of English.

We once had a wonderful dinner in a suburb of Québec City conversing
with our waiter in one-third French, one-third English and one-third
panotmime.

People have told me that they encounter rudeness from Francophones,
but I've found that if I make an effort to use a little French, there is no
problem.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 02:41 pm
My understanding is that Anglophone canadians get more rudeness than non-Canadian Anglophones - certainly, when we said we were from Australia, people were much nicer.

Getting around the city is, indeed, dead easy - almost everyone speaks English - and signs are in both languages.
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Bram
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 05:03 pm
It is interesting what you said about the English speaking people from other countries as opposed to Canadians. Laughing

I think Montrealers are more comfortable about their culture and language to speak English to tourists now. And indeed, it has become a very nice city, with all the new tourist attractions!

I am glad that both of you have had a nice experience in Quebec. Smile
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 10:40 am
I used to have Sunday brunch at the Boneventure and shop the underground during the winter. During warmer months I'd visit the botanical gardens (actually we went there in the winter too to get a flower fix), the Cathedral, Place Jacques Cartier and eat at 'The Magic Pan'.

I was living in Burlington, VT at the time and a day trip or weekend in Montreal was a regular event. I love Montreal. Haven't been there since moving to the midwest but there was a transition during the 70s and into the 80s. We went to an Emerson, Lake and Palmer concert at the Big O and got some rude stares when we spoke English but things settled down a lot by the mid 80s.

Now I'm homesick for Vt and Montreal. Shoulda stayed away from this forum I think.....
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Bram
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 11:07 am
Montreal is a special city, and I once read somebody said it is the city he likes the most in North America. It is a cosmopolitan city, with a French flavor, and has a thing that is called "la joie de vivre" (the joy of living). It is "old" and modern. There is nothing like St-Catherine street downtown, you can walk around up to the early hours of the morning, there is always plenty of people around.

I hope you do get a chance to visit it back, J_B. Smile
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 11:12 am
I like Toronto too. There's something about large Canandian cities that makes you feel welcome and safe.

Funny you should mention St-Catherine street in the wee hours. That's how we discovered The Magic Pan. It was after midnight and we heard the sound of dishes clattering and people talking from the street. It was on the second story and still serving after midnight. It became a regular stop for us. I ate at the one in Toronto too.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 11:16 am
I haven't thought of The Magic Pan in a long time.
Thanks for bringing back that memory, J_B.
I grew up halfway between Montreal and Toronto - visited both as a kid, and live in Tranna (Toronto) now. Montreal's still got some special meaning. I'd like to visit again - though it would only be as a stop on my way to the Gaspe.
0 Replies
 
Bram
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 11:44 am
For those of you who knew Toronto 10 or 20 years, ago, I find that it has completely changed. While it used to be like Planet Mars after 6 PM dwntown, now it has become so lively, and Yonge St. comes certainly close to St-Catherine St. It also has become a sprawling city, and very cosmopolitan too.

Maybe the fact that we have a good social security system helps in making the Canadian cities look welcoming and safe, in general. With the very tough weather that we live in, there can hardly be any people without a shelter in the streets. The people are also very much apolitic and laid back. They take it easy, and there is a great sense of communities helping each other, in case of need, like during a big snow or ice storm, flooding or forest fire, for example.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2005 08:19 am
Bram: George's advice is dead-on: I went there last year and in 2002, and I found that Montreal natives are extremely friendly, and practically every Francophone that I encountered was comfortable speaking English. Going out into the hinterlands, however, might be a different story.

By the way, you might want to check out this thread for some ideas of what to do and, particularly, what to eat when you get there.
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Bram
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2005 04:43 pm
You are right, Joe and George. Outside of Montreal, you may have trouble finding people speaking English, however how much more hospitable they may be also! Try the region of Gaspe in the East, very nice place! Smile
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 08:15 am
Are you from there, Bram?
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 12:49 pm
What I loved about Montreal and Quebec is that although French is the first language once you indicated that you are from the US they break right into perfect english.

Very thoughtful I thought.
0 Replies
 
Bram
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 04:36 pm
From Gaspe? No, George, but I have visited it, it has very nice scenery.

Historic Halifax (Nova Scotia) is also a very charming old city. You can take a bus that is about 30 mns from the ocean, and the port is kind of quaint. People there are terrific. Smile
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George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 04:44 pm
Bram wrote:
From Gaspe? No, George, but I have visited it, it has very nice scenery.
Historic Halifax (Nova Scotia) is also a very charming old city. You can take a bus that is about 30 mns from the ocean, and the port is kind of quaint. People there are terrific. Smile

I visited there by ship, and yes, they certainly are!
0 Replies
 
Bram
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 04:53 pm
Did you visit Vancouver yet? It is rated the best city to live in, in Canada. If not, maybe you can try in 2010, for the Winter Olympics. Smile

I have not been there, but it is absolutely fabulous, everyone tells me.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2005 05:49 pm
The Gaspe is by far my favourite area in Quebec. I lived there for a summer in my teens - total immersion French program - and we vacationed there frequently.

Beautiful beautiful area and wonderful people.

Forillon National Park is a must-see for anyone in the region.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Jan, 2005 08:12 am
Bram wrote:
Did you visit Vancouver yet? It is rated the best city to live in, in Canada. If not, maybe you can try in 2010, for the Winter Olympics. Smile
I have not been there, but it is absolutely fabulous, everyone tells me.

We were there for a couple of days. I loved Stanley Park and Granville
Island. I'd like to get out that way again and see more of Victoria, BC.
0 Replies
 
Bram
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jan, 2005 02:44 pm
EhBeth, so you must have no problem with French then! I like the Rocher Perce area a lot too. Smile

George, er, is there anywhere in Canada you have not visited yet? Shocked
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jan, 2005 02:50 pm
Bram, my French is still good enough to listen to the CBC and eavesdrop on people speaking joual, but my spoken French is rusty. I'd need a few days in Quebec to be able to do more than order tea and toast and confirm what time it is Confused But, I love the language, and the province, and will travel there again. Perce is magnificent, isn't it. and Bonaventure Island.

Really a grand place to visit - and the source of some really great music.
0 Replies
 
 

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