Montreal is Canada's second largest metropolis (4 million people, including suburbs), it’s unofficial cultural and entertainment capital. With a low cost of living, as well as the thriving IT sector, moving to the capital of Quebec can be an excellent choice for IT professionals wishing to immerse themselves in the French-speaking environment with the ability to communicate in English.
Montreal is located in the south-west of Quebec, only seventy kilometers from the Canadian-American border. The name comes from the mountain (in French "Mont Royal"), on which the northwestern part of downtown is built. The city is surrounded from all sides by the waters of the rivers St. Lawrence and Ottawa, which are connected with this place. Thus, the townspeople live on a peculiar island, and to leave the city line, one must move through at least one bridge. Montreal is the world's largest city after Paris, where population mostly speaks French.
The townspeople are very proud of the hill which is 233 meters in height, nicknamed Royal Mountain. Three peaks are visible when approaching the city. Few big cities can boast an oasis of wildlife in the middle of the city. In the winter, Mont Royal becomes a favorite place of leisure for the townspeople. Here you can ski, skate or play snowballs, and during other three seasons just enjoy the park area on the shores of an artificial lake, or stroll along the paths, competing for space with runners and cyclists. There is an observation platform on the hill, which offers a beautiful view of the center, and on days when the sky is clear, you can see the US states of New York and Vermont.
Real estate rental prices are lower than in English-speaking Canada. Utilities are inexpensive, but the cost of food is kept at an average level. In general, the cost of living in Montreal is affordable, but this is compensated with relatively small salaries and high Quebec taxes. Montreal is also interesting by its "underground", officially known as RESO, and commonly called la ville souterraine. It is a huge underground labyrinth with a length of 32 kilometers with 120 entry points, connecting subway stations, bus stops, shopping centers, offices, apartments, banks, universities (McGill and Montreal), bus station and Bell Center arena.
The uniqueness of Quebec can be noticed right away, first of all, in its architecture. Nowhere in North America will you find so many buildings decorated with picturesque patterns, statues, marble, arches and columns, as it was accustomed in Europe. Despite the tendency towards modernity, very often, especially in rural areas of the province, you can see buildings that have preserved all the charm of past centuries. At the same time, the harsh winters made their corrections to the architecture: the buildings were warmed and became similar to the houses of the English with small windows, traditional fireplaces. The cities, such as Quebec and Montreal, absorbed both cultures: The North American skyscrapers coexist with elegant buildings of European style.