Handbooks for LIC programs
 
Coming to Montreal

Coming to Montreal

What to Bring

Montreal's weather changes from a high of 35ºC in summer to a low of -25º in winter! It rains a lot in spring and summer, and snows a lot in winter. Our buildings are heated in winter and air conditioned in summer.  Your clothes will change a lot, depending on the season.

Things to Bring

Here is a checklist of things to bring:

Documents

  • passport (also make a photocopy of your passport and keep it separately)
  • if you bring a credit card, make a photocopy of the front and back and keep it separately

Medical

  • copies of prescriptions (for glasses or contact lenses, or medication you may need to buy)
  • if you have contact lenses, bring an extra pair, and your glasses
  • if you have prescription medication, bring enough for your trip, but also bring the prescription (note from the doctor), in case you need to get more
  • headache/fever medicine like Tylenol, Advil or Aspririn. These are available in Canada, but you may wish to bring a brand you know

Toiletries/Grooming

  • toiletries: toothpaste, shampoo, etc. (you can also buy these things here in Canada, at a drugstore or supermarket)
  • hair dryer –  If you are in a homestay, you may be able to borrow one from your host family, but it may be better to bring one

Electronics

  • a laptop computer or tablet (for homework and classwork)
  • smartphone and charging cables – and extra battery may be useful
  • there is wifi in residences, most homestay and in McGill buildings – you can bring any wireless devices you wish

For Summer

  • sun hat and sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • shorts
  • T-shirts
  • swimsuit
  • waterproof jacket
  • a light sweater or a hoodie – some classrooms are cold because of air conditioning (AC)
  • long pants
  • good walking shoes – many activities require a lot of walking

For Winter

You can buy winter clothes in Canada. Here is a list of things you will need:

  • a warm winter coat
  • winter boots
  • long underwear
  • a winter hat
  • a scarf
  • gloves or mittens
  • sweaters

Electricity

Electricity in Canada is the same as in the United States: 110 volts, 60 Hertz. Most plugs from Japan, China and Mexico work in Canada, but most Canadian electrical outlets are polarized and have a third prong for ground (Type B).

Image of outlet courtesy Kevin Stanley, McGill University

An eTA is an Electronic Travel Authorization. It is not a visa, but it is is a Canadian government requirement with your passport. Everyone who flies to Canada needs one on their passport.

If you are from a visa-exempt country or you are studying at our school with a visitor visa, you need to get one before you fly to Canada.

It only costs $7 CAD, and you get it online. You just need a valid passport and a credit card to apply. If is very important that you enter the correct passport number for your eTA.

The eTA lasts for 5 years, or until you get a new passport. When you get a new passport, you must get a new eTA.

If you are studying in Canada with a C.A.Q. and a study permit, you normally get an eTA automatically when you get the study permit.

To get more information or to apply for an eTA go to this website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html

To get information about getting a C.A.Q. from the government of Quebec, please check here: https://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle/students/index.html

To get information about getting a study permit, please check here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada.html

Montreal’s airport (YUL) is Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. It is about 30-45 minutes from downtown.

If you arrive on an international flight, you have to clear immigration with your passport first, then pick up your bag and go through customs. Then you can leave the airport.

If you connect through another Canadian city, such as Toronto or Vancouver, you just pick up your bag and you can leave the airport.

Airport Pickup Services with Homestay

Homestay companies usually offer airport pickup service for an extra fee. They will meet you at the airport and take you to your host family.

Taxi or Uber

There is a taxi stand at the airport. It costs about $40 (plus tip) to go downtown in a taxi, so it is a good option if you have a lot of bags.

The Uber stand is in a different place, – look for signs. 

Bus

There is a good bus service from the STM (Montreal’s public transit system). The airport bus number is 747, and it goes directly to Lionel-Groulx metro station (about 25 minutes) and then continues with several downtown stops till Berri-UQAM station.

Map of STM 747 bus in downtown
Map of STM 747 bus in downtown

To take it, you can buy a ticket in machines near the international arrivals. In the machine, you can buy a 1-day pass for $10, and that lets you take the 747 bus and then take metro and bus anywhere that day. You can also buy a 3-day pass for $20, and it will work the same way. You can use a credit card in the machine.

If you just want to pay on the bus, you need to pay $10 in coins only (no bills), and you can only go one trip.

To get more details:  http://www.stm.info/en/info/networks/bus/shuttle/747-yul-montreal-trudeau-airport-downtown-shuttle