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How safe is Montreal Here’s everything you need to know!

How safe is Montreal? Here’s everything you need to know!

Montreal is a beautiful place to visit, although you might be wondering if it’s safe. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like the feeling of safety and security when visiting a place that you know nothing about and it’s okay to be a little concerned about your safety.

Montreal is considered safe since its crime rate is remarkably low. In fact, according to a poll conducted by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Montreal has an overall score of 73.7, placing it third among the safest cities in the world.  

And despite the fact that there have been some recorded incidents, Montreal still offers an excellent quality of life and an abundance of opportunities to those who visit and live here.

So put away your worries and read on as we’ll have a walkthrough of how low Montreal’s crime rate is!

Montreal’s Remarkably Low Crime Rate: An Overview

Montreal’s Remarkably Low Crime Rate An Overview
Dusk in a city, Montreal, Canada. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons
Crime Rate in Montreal
Level of crime29.58 (Low)
Worries about being robbed27.97 (Low)
Worries of being attacked24.34 (Low)
Worries about being insulted26.92 (Low)
Worries of car stolen26.00 (Low)
Users and dealers of drugs46.19 (Moderate)
Data sourced from: Numbeo

You don’t need to be a detective in order to find out how safe Montreal is – all it takes is a few clicks and a quick look. But here’s the not-so-surprising thing: Montreal is remarkably safe!

Yes, that’s right – Montreal is safer than most Canadian cities. With its crime rate steadily decreasing over the last decade, there’s no need to be worried about stepping out late at night. 

In fact, you’re probably more likely to get hit by a Montreal-style poutine than getting mugged in the city (and that’s saying something!). It goes without saying that visitors should still use their common sense and stay vigilant during their stay. 

Safety Rate in Montreal
Safety walking alone during daylight87.20 (Very High)
Safety walking alone during night67.16 (High)
Data sourced from: Numbeo

With its bustling streets, Montreal isn’t an exception for pickpockets, so make sure to secure your belongings at all times. But overall, you don’t have anything to fear about walking around this busy city—it’s generally very safe for travellers.

Crimes involving locals and tourists are decreasing

Crimes involving locals and tourists are decreasing

In recent years, Montreal has seen a decrease in crime rate involving locals and tourists. Property crime, assault and theft have all dropped by at least 10%. 

And when it comes to the stuff that really matters – like your savings – things look even rosier. Violent crimes against visitors have gone down 20%!

The city also provides a number of resources to keep you safe while out and about. From security cameras to dedicated police patrols around popular tourist attractions, they’re doing their best to keep you from becoming a statistic. 

So fear not – with a little knowledge and common sense, you’ll be able to enjoy all of Montreal has to offer safely.

Montreal is a safe place for female solo travellers 

According to the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index, Canada is the 8th safest destination for solo female travellers. More than that, Montreal has been named as the “safest city in the world for women travelling alone” by Holidu’s study.

The factors that affected Montreal’s rankings were its secure nature and high nocturnal luminosity. Based on the responses in the study, women even feel safe walking alone even after dark – so, no need to wait for your BFF since you can travel alone here!

A caveat? Some recent crimes are against LGBTQA and people of colour

A caveat Some recent crimes are against LGBTQA and people of colour

There are many reasons why I love Montreal. One of them is that it has long been known as a safe haven for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and other marginalised groups. 

But this reputation has come under renewed scrutiny in the past years amid two major incidents that have shaken the city’s LGBTQ community and black people.

In 2020, a group of protesters rallied in Montreal about anti-racism. They voiced out how the government attempted to downplay problems about racism and the racial profiling they experienced with Quebec’s police department.

In 2023, one of Canada’s largest public universities, McGill University in Montreal conducted a gender talk and was basically shut down after a group of protesters (transgender-rights advocates) said that the topic was being transphobic.

These incidents highlight an ongoing problem with racism and hate crimes in Montreal — especially against LGBTQ people — that needs more attention than it gets.

5 Essential Tips for Keeping Safe in Montreal

Essential Tips for Keeping Safe in Montreal

Even with Montreal’s low crime rates, it’s important to take certain precautions when visiting the city to ensure your safety. 

Follow the simple guidelines below and it won’t take long before you feel safe and secure while you’re in Montreal!

1. Avoid Montreal neighbourhoods that are known to be unsavoury 

Avoid Montreal neighbourhoods that are known to be unsavoury's Homepage

Before you do anything else, get familiar with your neighbourhood. Knowing which areas are safe for exploration and which ones should be avoided is essential for any tourist or new Montrealer.

With the recent influx of tourists, Montreal is quickly becoming one of the most visited cities in Canada. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or are looking for a new place to live, it’s important to know where you should avoid. 

Fortunately, the list is pretty short!

Avoid Montreal neighbourhoods that are known to be unsavoury
Unsafe Places in Montreal
Saint-MichelThis area is located in the Southwest part of Montreal, and it’s known for its high crime rate. In fact, violent crime is 26% higher than the national average according to Area Vibes.
Pointe-Saint-CharlesThis area is one of the most dangerous parts of Montreal. It’s located on the south side of downtown and is home to many immigrants, especially from Haiti and Africa. 
The  total crime rate here is 19%, with drugs being sold almost openly on the streets and robberies happening regularly. 
If you do happen to be visiting this part of town, keep your eyes open and don’t go out alone at night.
Montreal NordThis area is also known as “the north” or “the suburbs” because it’s north of downtown and has more space than other parts of the city. 
While it does have some nice areas such as Parc La Fontaine, there are also some less desirable places like Jean Talon Market that are known for their high crime rates (especially after dark). 
If you live here or plan on staying overnight in this part of town, make sure you lock your doors at all times and avoid walking alone at night

At night, these neighbourhoods may seem sketchier than in the daytime, but they’re typically safe with a common sense approach.

If you’re lost or unsure about an area, look for the nearest police station or community centre and ask for directions or reassurance. Respectfully approach locals and don’t go alone late at night or wander off to unfamiliar places. 

Though the police are generally helpful in Montreal, it’s wise to take basic safety precautions wherever you go in the city.

2. Utilise public transportation

Utilise public transportation

If you need to get somewhere in Montreal, it’s better to use public transportation like Le metro and public bus or taxi rather than walking, especially if you’re passing through the areas mentioned above.

A huge city, Montreal has an extensive public transport network that is all properly connected. Everything’s quite easy to navigate, too, so going from Downtown Montreal to Old Port is easy.

I must mention, though, that there are some homeless people who lounge in the subway at night to keep warm. You may feel daunted to pass by them but they are harmless and will only ask for money, in most cases.

1. Le Metro

The metro system is composed of four lines with 68 stations throughout the city. It was inaugurated in 1966 with two lines (Green, Blue, Yellow and Orange) connecting downtown Montreal with its southern suburbs. 

The Metro is the most popular mode of transportation in Montreal as it offers quick and easy access to all areas of the city.

Local Tip: Keep your valuables close while using the tunnels and keep your distance from other people, especially at night.

2. Montreal Buses

There are also buses that operate throughout the city with many stops along their routes as well. The buses run on a 24 hour schedule during the weekdays with limited service on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to the metro, buses and streetcars, you can use taxis, Uber and bike sharing services.

3. Consider the weather when planning a trip to Montreal

Consider the weather when planning a trip to Montreal

If you plan to visit Montreal while winter is approaching, it’s important to keep safety in mind.  If you are renting a car, always drive carefully no matter where you are as the roads can be tricky and icy. 

To avoid accidents and injury, make sure you slow down when driving on snowy streets and always be aware of your surroundings so you know when someone is coming up behind you. 

If the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius, dress warmly in layers so that you can take off what isn’t needed at any given moment.  It may seem like common sense but many people forget this simple rule when visiting colder climates like Montreal! 

It’s also important to wear warm boots that fit well because if your feet get cold, then so will your whole body!

If you’re travelling to Montreal any other time, note that some neighbourhoods are impacted by flooding. At times, these can cause traffic delays due to road closures.

Local Tip: When there’s a blizzard or intense rainfall, avoid going out.

4. Be street smart tourist

Be street smart tourist

Pickpocketing and muggings are the most common types of crimes that tourists encounter. However, while these can happen, they’re not very common in Montreal.

Although, it’s always a great idea to be proactive! Most pickpocketing incidents happen in cafes and tourists. Investing in a secure personal bag and leaving larger bags with Bounce, a secure luggage storage service. 

As previously mentioned, mugging is not common in Montreal. Avoid the unsafe neighbourhoods mentioned above and you’re generally in for a safe and secure time touring the city. 

If you want an even more secure vacation in Montreal, we’re listing below its safest neighbourhoods. Thankfully, these encompasses some of the best tourist spots in the city, such as Old Montreal and the underground city.

Montreal’s Safest Areas
Notre-Dame-de-GraceThis is a residential area with little to none crime rates. 
Tourists can spend the day wandering the streets and exploring some of the best food in Montreal, such as the NDG’s rotisserie chicken.
South ShoreSouth Shore tops the list for those who are looking for safe and quiet accommodations. 
Best of all, attractions like Gault Nature Reserve and Quartier Dix30 are only a stone’s throw away from here.
Le Plateau Mont RoyalFrom its wide range of shopping options to being home to some of the best dining spots, it’s no doubt why Le Plateau Mont Royal is one of the most popular areas in Montreal.
Even if you fancy a walk at night, Parc La Fontaine and Jeanne-Mance Park are great options.

But if you feel in doubt of the area you’re planning to explore, take some measures to protect yourself. Don’t wear flashy clothing and accessories as well as carry large amounts of cash with you, especially when going out at night.

As Montreal’s currency is the Canadian dollar, you’ll need an ATM to get some cash. Choose machines in a bank or a mall where it’s safer. 

Finally, make copies of your passport and IDs and keep it in a safe place. As it’s recommended to carry your passport with you while you’re out and about, having extra copies is a great idea in case something unfortunate happens.

5. Know which hotline to contact for emergencies and reporting crimes

Know which hotline to contact for emergencies and reporting crimes

If you’re ever concerned about your safety in Montreal, take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of resources to report crimes and emergencies. A little knowledge goes a long way—check out the options below and remember, knowledge is power!

Purpose24-Hour Hotline
Police, Fire, and Ambulance(For emergencies)911
Citizen’s Crime Report
(For victims of mischief, theft, vandalism or graffiti)
Via the SPVM website
Montreal Police Department(For non-emergencies)+1 514-280-0126
+1 514-280-2000
Info Sante(For health concerns)811
Quebec Security+1 514-310-4141

Overall, with high safety ratings and all these systems in order, Montreal is a safe place for living in or for vacation!

FAQs about Safety in Montreal

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