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Is Montreal the Best City Here Are 6 Reasons Why!

Is Montreal the Best City? Here Are 6 Reasons Why!

Montreal, the second most populous city in Canada, is a popular and lively place to go to. It’s one of the best cities in the world, not just in our hearts but in overall quality of life as well.

Living in Montreal means you will have a packed schedule of fun! Even my calendar has many notes of events to go to, not just work!

Furthermore, it has a multicultural community, rich history, great food, high-quality education, and many outdoor and eventful opportunities. So, in this article, we’ll talk about the reasons why Montreal is the best city because the title is so well-deserved.

Stick around and keep on reading!

1. Montreal is home to many renowned universities

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Canada is well-known for its high-quality education, with many of its universities earning global rankings. Montreal is home to some of the best, including McGill University and the University of Montreal.

McGill University is one of the most prestigious in the country, and it is very competitive! You need high grades!

It has even produced Nobel laureates and world leaders, including our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau! Impressive, huh?

Many international students even choose to go here, and many Canadians hope to get accepted to one of Montreal’s universities. See, that’s how famous the city is for its education!

Moreover, the Times Higher Education released their World University Rankings 2023. I’m not even surprised that three of them are in Montreal, and that’s out of 1,799 universities from 104 countries!

No worries if you already graduated and want to experience campus life again! McGill University offers continuing studies, so that’s something we both can look into.

UniversityWorld RankingCanada Ranking
McGill University463
University of Montreal1115
Concordia University601 – 800=20
Data from Time Higher Education

2. Montreal is a sustainable city

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Living in Montreal means having a sustainable lifestyle. The Climate Reality Project Canada ranked the most sustainable cities in the country and that includes Montreal, of course!

The stunning city won the Energy Mix and Public Transit categories. If you’ve ever visited Montreal, you wouldn’t be surprised!

For many residents, it’s no secret that we have one of the best public transportation systems. Not to brag, but living here means you don’t have to force yourself to purchase a vehicle because of the many available buses and trains.

That’s sustainable, alright! You get to participate in reducing your carbon footprint by using public transit instead of adding to an already high greenhouse emission.

Don’t forget the integrated buses and trains, which are really convenient. Even as a visitor or newcomer in the city, you won’t have to worry too much about how to get from one place to another.

Furthermore, you can also get to some off-island towns due to the good integration of the public transit system. Isn’t that convenient?

From Discover Montréal

It’s even more eco-friendly to bike around the city. Montreal has about 901 km of bike lanes that go through parks and along the river, so you can see the stunning views as you cycle along!

Honestly, Montreal’s bike paths are spacious. It feels safe, too, even with slow cyclists and kids who aren’t used to biking in a straight line.

Even in the winter, the bike paths are accessible because the city makes sure to clear the snow. Oh, the city government still has future plans to add and improve Montreal’s bike paths!

3. Montreal is a foodie heaven

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It’s no secret that Montreal is a North American gem for foodies. It’s famously known for its smoked meat sandwich, poutine, and bagels (sorry, New York!).

No matter where you go in Montreal, you will find some of Canada’s famous dishes, whether it’s in a high-end restaurant or a hole-in-the-wall. You definitely need to try them when you visit because if not, did you really go to Montreal?!

One of the locals’ favourites is the city’s famous smoked meat sandwich, which is a mix of rye bread, smoked meat full of spices, and mustard. It’s one of my recommendations for visitors!

Don’t forget to order a cherry cola to down the flavourful meat! Every Montrealer knows that you can’t eat a smoked meat sandwich without cherry cola.

Those foods are well-known, but let’s not forget that there are a tonne of other options in the city. Montreal is a diverse place where you’ll find many international cuisines.

Moreover, some of the best places Montrealers love are local restaurants. There, you can taste authentic cuisine, whether it’s Chinese, Portuguese, or French, of course!

Eating a delicious meal at a table outside during the summer is one of the best feelings. Try it! You can people-watch and just take in the beautiful city.

Also, the real ones know that the best restaurants are those with long lines! Seriously! Even with bagels!

Our Montreal Restaurant Recommendations
RestaurantBest DishContactLocation
Ma Poule MouilléePoutine
 (514) 522-5175
969 Rachel St East
Fairmount BagelSesame bagel
(514) 272-0667
74 Avenue
Fairmount Ouest
Schwartz’sSmoked meat sandwich
(514) 842-4813
3895 St-Laurent
L’ExpressCéleri rémoulade
(514) 845-5333
3927 Rue
DandyRicotta pancakes
(514) 289-9996
244 Rue

4. Montreal has beautiful architecture

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Montreal has many unique qualities (What are some fun facts about Montreal?), including a thriving cultural scene that’s a mix of French and English traditions. There are many museums and public events you can go to enrich your daily life.

Once you step foot in Montreal, you will see buildings and structures inspired by new and old architectural styles. It’s mostly due to the time when the French and the British colonized the city.

One of these is the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica, which has a Gothic Revival architectural style. It’s an important place to visit in Montreal, and believe me when I say it is STUNNING.

Every aspect of the cathedral feels like it came from a movie. The decor is comprised of intricate carvings, paintings, stained glass windows, and 7,000 individual organ pipes, among other breathtaking aspects!

Visitors of all faiths are welcome to the Notre-Dame Basilica, which can accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 people. You can even get married there, even if you live outside of Montreal!

Additionally, you can buy a ticket to see the spectacular L’expérience AURA, or The AURA Experience. It’s where light and sound effects are used to bring the basilica to life.

Let’s not forget the beautiful City Hall. Oui, the government building, is an architectural marvel in Montreal.

The City Hall’s structure will make you feel like you’re in France. Aside from the locals speaking the language, it definitely adds to the French experience!

Another exquisite and popular building is St. Joseph’s Oratory, famous for its iconic dome. It’s a smaller basilica but is Canada’s largest church.

Most importantly, it’s also a National Historic Site of Canada. Not surprising, really, because aside from its history, it has a gorgeous Renaissance Revival facade and Art Deco interior. 

Visiting Saint Joseph’s Oratory means visiting Saint André Bessette because his tomb is in the main chapel. But his heart is separate from his body in a reliquary in the oratory.

The tomb of Saint André Bessette brings a lot of comfort to people suffering from illnesses. So, many Canadians and foreigners visit his tomb to pray because he reportedly cured more than 10,000 people during his time.

Just imagine biking or walking around the city and seeing all these architectural marvels. It will definitely lift your spirits; it did mine!

5. Montreal hosts many lively events

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Montreal is well-known for many things (What is Montreal is known for?), including hosting many events! It doesn;t matter what it’s for, whether for sports, music, or comedy!

Living here means having a full calendar because you have to keep note of all the events to go to, or you might miss it!

One of these events that our team here loves is the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. It’s exactly what its name is, and let’s just say it is chock-full of fun and laughter!

It always has a star-studded guest list, including big names in the comedy genre. If you plan on going, make sure to buy your tickets and get access to indoor shows.

Another great event is the circus festival called Montréal Complètement Cirque or the Montreal Cirque Festival. Montreal is home to Cirque du Soleil, after all.


You can even go spontaneously since it’s a multi-day event with outdoor and indoor performances. It’s one of the things I love about the city, and you will find many things to do because there are a tonne of events!

The performances are spectacular and will definitely keep you on your toes! It’s one of the best ways to spend a day in the city if you happen to visit when they’re performing.

6. Montreal is a safe city

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It’s pretty well-known that Canada is a safe country. It doesn’t hurt that Montreal is one of the safest places to live in.

In fact, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection reported that Montreal is the 3rd safest city in the world! It dropped two places, though, because it ranked 1st the previous year.

That piece of information definitely helps the residents and visitors of Montreal. It makes sightseeing feel more peaceful, right?

Moreover, it’s a good place to travel to because there are low risks of terrorism, scams, and mugging. But just like any other place, keeping your belongings safe is a good idea since there will still be bad seeds out there.

It’s a welcoming city as well. It’s a very diverse place, and you will find many Montrealers to be friendly and kind.

Honestly, it’s the people that I love about Montreal. They are kind and helpful, even if it’s obvious you’re not from here!

From MTLVille

FAQs about Why Montreal is the Best Canadian City

Why is Montreal a great city?

Montreal is a great city because it provides high-quality education, has many outdoor events and parks, and is a walkable and bike-friendly city. It’s a good place for families because it offers a slower pace of life.

What makes Montreal a good place to live in?

Montreal is a quiet city despite being a dense urban place. It’s good for families because many schools and universities offer high-quality education, and it is generally more affordable than in other Canadian cities.

How different is Montreal compared to Toronto?

How different is Montreal compared to Toronto
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It’s time to face an age-old question. Which is better to visit or live in: Montreal or Toronto?

The main difference between Montreal and Toronto is that the former is a predominantly French-speaking city. Everywhere you go, you will encounter people talking in French, and many will even say you can’t live in Montreal without speaking it.

That’s natural, though, considering 71% of the city’s population speak French as their first language. If you gain some friends in Montreal, you’ll probably find their families speak French most of the time.

Meanwhile, the rest of Canada (except Quebec, of course!) speaks predominantly English. Despite the diverse culture in the country, many speak English as their first language.

Montreal vs Toronto: Which city is the best?

Montreal vs Toronto Which city is the best
Left image of Montreal by sebastien cordat on Unsplash. Right image of Toronto by Ilya Cher on Unsplash

Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s largest cities. They are the most populous ones as well, with 2.8 million and 2 million residents, respectively.

One of the main distinctions between Toronto and Montreal is the feel and ambience of the two cities. The former feels a bit more North American instead of Canadian.

Montreal has a very distinct feel due to its people, architecture, and culture. Toronto, as I’ve said before, has a more North American feel and is even sometimes called the New York of Canada.

Not to sound biased, but Montreal has an old European style and feels like a movie, and many residents are patriotic to the city. Many will probably agree due to it being a French-speaking place.

Another difference is that Toronto has many people from all walks of life and is busier because it’s a popular financial and business hub. It is a loud place due to it being a dense urban area.

In addition, many Torontonians seem busier than Montrealers because it has a fast lifestyle, is full of energy, and provides many opportunities.

In contrast, Montreal offers a slower pace in life. Despite being a big city, it somehow feels smaller (even though it’s not!) because it’s quieter and more peaceful.

Let’s not forget the traffic in Toronto. It takes an hour to get to another town if you drive; even the subway is always packed!

Don’t get me wrong, Montreal also gets traffic, but it’s not as bad as Toronto. Probably because of the wide gap in population!

In the end, moving to these two cities will depend on your lifestyle. Let’s say you want to have a quieter life, then Montreal is probably for you.

But if you prefer to have a fast lifestyle and build a network of connections, Toronto is possibly the city for you. Many Canadians, especially the young generation, move to Toronto for the same reason.

What’s a unique aspect of Montreal?

A unique aspect of Montreal is that most residents speak French. Many buildings and structures also have a European style, adding to the city’s identity.

Some popular things in Montreal are its food, like bagels and smoked meat sandwiches, and the many attractions in the city. The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and St. Joseph’s Oratory are famous places to visit for tourists.

What are some popular things in Montreal
Image by Michael Muraz | CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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