Restaurants and bars have re-opened, with some restrictions.
Other types of businesses are permitted to be open but must limit the number of customers inside and masks are mandatory.
Some attractions are open, with protocols in place – check before arriving.
Old Montreal is not only a destination for sightseeing, dining and fun – it is a community of residents and workers. If you are visiting, please respect the people who live and work in the neighbourhood by not making excessive noise, littering, riding bikes or scooters on sidewalks, or being generally disruptive.
Old Montreal is also an historic district with buildings that date back 100 years of more. Do not desecrate these buildings with graffiti or stickers.
OLD MONTREAL VS. OLD PORT
Many people refer to “Old Montreal” and the “Old Port” interchangeably – but they are different!
Old Montreal is the historic district between rue Saint-Antoine to rue de la Commune and from rue Saint-Hubert to rue Longueil and rue Des Soeurs-Grises. The Old Port, which is federal land, consists of the area between rue de la Commune and the shore of the St. Lawrence River.
BEFORE YOU GO
Old Montreal has many cobblestone streets, narrow sidewalks, and steep hills – and in the summer months it is typically crowded with people. Pedestrians should wear sensible footwear and persons with limited mobility should use caution.
Many areas of Old Montreal – and many shops and restaurants – are not wheelchair accessible.
The street signs in Old Montreal are red. “Rue” is French for “Street” and “O” and “Ouest” indicate “West.”
Old Montreal is generally a safe area to visit, but crime does occur so be vigilant and exercise caution. Vehicle break-ins and other forms of theft are most common but there have also been a number of assaults as well as shootings (mostly outside certain late-night clubs).
Smoking is not permitted on restaurant/bar patios (known locally as terrasses). Fines range from $250 to $1,500 for individuals and $500 to $25,000 for business owners.
During the busy season, parking can be difficult to find in Old Montreal.
If you are lucky, you will find metered street parking throughout Old Montreal – but read the signs carefully! Take note of the letter and number on the black pole where you parked and proceed to a nearby “Pay and Go” meter or use the convenient app. (If you are parked in front of one of the machines, your spot number is displayed on the side of it.) For more information, click here. (Summer 2021: Some on-street parking is free on weekends.)
There are also a number of parking lots and garages in Old Montreal.
Warning! Vehicle break-ins are common in Old Montreal. Do not leave valuable items in plain view in your vehicle.
You will find Communauto throughout Old Montreal and in the Old Port.
When driving in Old Montreal, be aware that many streets run in one direction and several are routinely closed to vehicle traffic during summer months and for special events. You are never permitted to turn right on a red light and you can only turn left when the light is a solid green (not on a green arrow pointing ahead).
STM | Old Montreal is steps away from the following metro stations: Square-Victoria-OAC (western edge of Old Montreal); Place D’Armes (middle of Old Montreal); and Champs-De-Mars (eastern edge of Old Montreal).
Old Montreal is also served by bus routes 14, 55, 129, 361, 363 and 715.
You will find a public washroom on rue de la Commune E. at the foot of rue Saint Jean Baptiste. There are also public washrooms in the Old Port.
These bikes are intended for trips of less than 30 minutes at a time and you will be billed for going over 30 minutes. Purchasing a 24-hour pass does not entitle you to keep the bike all day – it must be returned to a station at least every 30 minutes (wait approx. 5 mins. and take it, or another bike) or your credit card will be billed additional fees.
WHERE ARE THE HORSES?
Horse-drawn carriages (also known as calèches) have not been permitted in Montreal since Jan. 1, 2020.
A husband and wife posed as a monk and a nun and wandered the streets of Old Montreal soliciting donations from tourists. Real monks and nuns will not ask you for cash on the street.
Montreal is one of the poorest major cities in Canada so you will see panhandlers as well as evidence of homelessness while driving or walking around Old Montreal.
FILM & TV LOCATIONS
Dozens of films and TV shows have shot scenes in Old Montreal. Here’s a look at a few of the productions that have put the historic district on screen.
The City of Montreal offers free (though not reliable) WiFi service in Old Montreal. Click here for more information. Log on and go to OldMontrealGuide.com!
OLD MONTREAL / OLD PORT INFORMATION
Old Montreal | City of Montreal official site
Old Montreal | Tourism Montreal official site
Vieux-Montreal | Business Development Corporation official site
Montreal en Histoires | Historical information
Old Port Montreal | Old Port official site