*The following information is provided on an unofficial basis for the sole purpose of assistance. The Conference cannot be held responsible for any change in the data. It is the responsibility of the participant to ultimately validate it from official sources, some of which are named below.
Canadian Currency and Banking Services
The Canadian monetary system is based on dollars and cents. Legal tender is the Canadian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents.
- On lodging: 3.5% city tax, 5% Goods & Services Tax plus 9.975% Québec Sales Tax.
- On purchases (supplies, food & beverages, catering services and rentals): 5 % Goods & Services Tax plus 9.975% Québec Sales Tax.
Though French is the official language in the Province of Québec, most Quebecers speak fluent English and are comfortable communicating in either language. Representing the rich mix of Montréal’s 80 different cultural communities, a number of other languages are spoken as well, including Italian, Greek, and Chinese.
Montréal is an eminently accessible city. Its subway system, called the Métro, is a network of 65 well-located stations covering most of the city and beyond… Eighteen miles (30 km) of underground pedestrian passageways—designed with Montréal’s winters in mind—link shopping centres and other institutions in the downtown core. Above ground, public buses run frequently—24 hours a day on some lines—and taxis are always available.
In case of accident or sudden illness, eight major hospitals are located in or near the downtown area, some of them affiliated with leading Montréal universities.
Seasons and Average Temperatures
Montréal has four distinct seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. Average monthly temperatures are as follows:
Located in the Eastern Time zone, we adopt Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the second Sunday in March and revert to Eastern Standard Time on the first Sunday in November.
As elsewhere in North America, the standard current is 110 volts (60 cycles).
Weights and Measures
Canada uses the metric system of weights and measures.
PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL TO MONTRÉAL
Getting to Montréal
Unlike any other city in the world, Montréal offers a unique and compelling blend of business advantages. With a metropolitan population of over 3.7 million, Montréal is Québec’s largest city and economic engine.Only one hour by plane from New York, Boston, and Toronto, Montréal offers easy air access to more than 100 destinations worldwide.
Just 45 miles from the U.S. border, over one hundred million North Americans are within a day’s drive. Montréal is also one of the busiest in-land ports on the globe and, with railway and highway networks leading to all parts of North America, Montréal is truly one of the world’s major metropolitan centers for transportation.
Montreal is also a crossroad between the Americas and Europe and enjoys direct flights from major world capitals.
Getting to Montréal From the Airport
All domestic, U.S., and international flights (cf. http://www.admtl.com/en/flights) land at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (airport code: YUL) located 14 miles (22 km) west of downtown Montréal. The city center can be accessed in approximately 20 minutes.
• Taxi: $40.00 CA
• Limousine: $49.50 CA – $54.50 CA
• 747 Express Bus: $ 9.00 CA per person, one way
Shuttle transportation can easily be provided. We can supply you with a selection of major companies offering shuttle services in Montréal.
747 Express Bus
To go to and from downtown to the Montréal-Trudeau airport, you can board the 747 Express Bus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This specially-adapted fleet of buses offers convenient service for a low fare, travelling along a route that covers most major hotels.
Pass valid for 24 hours on all STM Bus and Metro lines: $9.00CA.
Public transportation is a great way to see the city. Hop on the metro and it’s only about 10-15 minutes to a myriad of museums, attractions and restaurants and to Old Montréal.
A special transit pass, called the Carte touristique, has been designed specifically for individuals attending conventions in Montréal. It gives holders unlimited access to the city’s public transportation system for one or three days, depending on the pass purchased. This includes the use of four subway lines accessed by 60 metro stations, as well as more than 150 bus routes.
• $3.00 CA for a one-way ticket
• $9.00 CA for a one-day Carte touristique
• $18.00 CA for a three-day Carte touristique
All rates quoted above are subject to change.
For more information about public transportation in Montreal, please visit www.stm.info.
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.
Taxis from downtown hotels located at more than 0.5 miles from the Conference Venue would cost between $7.00 CA to $15.00 CA one-way, depending on traffic.
Travelling to Montréal by Train
VIA Rail Canada
VIA Rail Canada operates the national passenger rail service on behalf of the Government of Canada. An independent Crown Corporation, the company provides Canadians with safe, efficient and environmentally responsible public transportation. VIA consistently ranks as one of the most trusted transportation companies in Canada.
VIA operates up to 503 trains weekly and serves 450 communities across the country, from coast to coast and north to Hudson Bay. VIA carries more than 4 million passengers each year.
Delegates attending the conference may be entitled to a 10% off best available fare in all classes, system-wide, with the exception of Economy-special and Business-supersaver fares within the Québec City-Windsor corridor. Learn how to get an enticing discount by simply visiting the VIA Rail website at www.viarail.ca/en/fares/business-travel/conference-fares and filling out the registration form.
Amtrak has daily service to Montréal from New York that makes intermediate stops. The train, called the Adirondack, takes a scenic route along the eastern shore of the Hudson River.
CROSSING THE BORDER
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.
General Information About Canadien Coustoms
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 $25.00 CA 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 $25.00 CA.
Staff members do not require work permits.
Guest speakers do not require work permits to address delegates but should be provided with a letter of introduction from their 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.
Canada Customs and the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA)
The Canadian government, in an effort to encourage groups to hold their meetings in Canada, has made provisions to ensure trouble-free events.
A Convention Services Program was designed by the CBSA with the help of other government agencies in order to facilitate planning events in Canada.
- The CBSA offers a variety of event coordination services including:
Liaison with CBSA authorities, both nationally or regionally and functionally or operationally on any admissibility requirements.
- Provision of support and guidance in communication with, and collaboration between, other Canadian government agencies.
- Assistance in the determination of eligibility for remission of duties and taxes.
- Integration into Canada’s International Events and Convention Services Program and customs broker services.
- Determination of entitlements to the national courtesy and expedited clearance program.
- Help ensure CBSA ports of entry (POE) personnel are able to achieve a level of operational readiness for your event’s entrance into Canada in order to handle the arrivals in a timely and effective manner.
- Continuous functional guidance based on extensive experience and precedence.
MORE INFORMATION ON CBSA: www.cbsa.gc.ca.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON QUÉBEC
History and beauty have forged a partnership in the Province of Québec, the birthplace of modern-day Canada and the cradle of French North America. The Province of Québec is urbane and sophisticated in its large cities, European in its style and atmosphere yet North American in its get-up-and-go approach to business, to pleasure–to life.
While Montréal drives the province’s economic motor, Québec City—the province’s capital and namesake—wields the political power. Québec City’s lower town, much like Old Montréal, has narrow cobbled streets where ancient grey stone houses huddle next to venerable churches and historic monuments.
Claimed for France by Jacques Cartier in 1534, Québec carries vestiges of its British and French past in diverse and charming architecture, a vast number of religious buildings and delectable cuisine.
The province of Québec is where rural communities remain untouched in pastoral settings; artists seek refuge in picture- perfect villages of Charlevoix; ancient manors and historic Québécois homes extend a friendly bonjour.
Bird sanctuaries and whale-watching expeditions dot the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The focus of the Gaspé Peninsula, a treasure-trove of cliffs and unspoiled fishing villages, is Percé Rock, named for its soaring 60-foot natural arch. The Montmorency Falls astonish with their breathtaking 274-foot cataract.
The Province of Québec’s technological prowess is world-renowned. In its rugged northern reaches near James Bay, thundering waterways are harnessed into massive hydroelectric projects, providing the province’s long-term energy needs.
The mountains of the lower Laurentians and Eastern Townships are a winter playground for skiers and in summer, are transformed into lush cottage country. In autumn, maple trees explode into reds and yellows; in spring, sugar cabins turn the trees’ sweet sap into maple syrup delights.
Seek the solitude of exceptional fish and game reserves, where campers hear only the lonely loon cry. Or, join the swirling crowd in a bustling metropolis where a visual feast awaits.
Québec’s beauty has endured the test of time. Its history is part of its present and its future.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON CANADA
The diverse and natural beauty of Canada, the second largest country in the world, challenged its pioneers, dominated its development and has captivated its inhabitants.
Travel more than 3,500 miles from east to west: from the rugged Maritime coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, through the St. Lawrence River valley, across the prairies of the interior and the Rocky Mountain chain to the Pacific Ocean.
The pioneering spirit is strong among Canada’s 30 million-plus inhabitants, who embody a multitude of cultures and customs. United by a single red maple leaf on its national flag, Canada’s breadth encompasses the barren northern Arctic and fertile southern valleys of Ontario and Québec laden with fruit and vegetables.
The heart of the bilingual―French and English―federation of 10 provinces and three territories is its capital, Ottawa, where regal stone Parliament buildings dominate a parkland city on the banks of the Rideau Canal.
Canada is a land of lakes, holding one half of the world’s fresh water. The Great Lakes are the center of commerce; their ports bulge with Canada’s abundant natural resources. But away from the busy shores, canoe or fish in primeval surroundings, or watch a vibrant sunset from a rustic cottage.
The country’s rugged outdoors and seasonal climate has spawned a nation of sports-minded individuals. Ski an exhilarating mountain slope at Banff or Jasper, Alberta. Watch the exciting national sport of hockey. Or learn the technique of sweeping a curling broom.
Canada is cosmopolitan and internationally competitive and infused with the charm of the Old World. In Montréal and Québec City, the birthplace of Canada, charming grey stone houses blend harmoniously with contemporary designs. Rural areas—fields of shimmering wheat in Saskatchewan and coastal fishing villages in the Maritimes—hark back to a simpler time.
Canada, a country of contrasts. Vast in its space but warm in its welcome.