Surviving in Montreal

mr.flibble
#1
G'day,

In about a years time I'm going to be going for a several year trip to the Americas, starting in Canada, and then making my way down through the US, Central America and South America. Now I have Canadian + Australian citizenship so things will be easier for me, in Canada at least, in terms of visas and things.

Now while I'm planning to see all of Canada, I'd like to stay in Montreal for a while to learn French (I can read a bit of French but I don't know the grammar apart from simple-present tense sentences, so I can really only speak English). I'd like to not have to work more than 24-30 hours a week since I want to be seeing things, not simply going overseas to work ...

Given that, I'm thinking I'll rent a place + work 3-4 days a week. I'm working as a web developer but don't have any formal qualifications so I figure I'll have to take any job I can get. So my question is

-From what I've read about online, a minimum wage job would pay about $750-$950 *gross* for 24-30 hours a week. Is it easy enough to get a job that'd pay about that much, in Montreal if only speak English? Roughly speaking, how much would *net* pay be?

-Is it possible to rent a place + pay for food + electricity/gas/water per month for that amount? (I don't think I'll get a fixed line since I presume a prepaid mobile would be cheaper for phone ..)

-What's the public transportation like around Montreal? I think I'll eventually get a cheap car to drive around Canada but in Australia, unless you work in the CBD / main part of the city, you need a car.

-If anyone has any experience with this, how long does it take to get a decent understanding of French...I'm just thinking of the grammar since to me that seems to be the main part of learning a language -- the vocab seems mostly just a case of looking it up and memorising.

Basically I just want to be able to feed + shelter myself while I'm picking up French, without having to burn a hole through my savings, if that helps to figure out where I'm coming from. The rest of Canada I'll work out once I'm ready to do that.

Thanks in advance

PS: I think there's something like a 10 or 12 hour time difference so I might not reply right away.
 
s_lone
#2
Can't answer all your questions but can give you my take.

It is very easy to live in Montreal without learning French. If you really want to learn French you'll have to make an extra effort. Living in the east part of the city would help a lot.

I would suggest these neighborhoods : La Petite Patrie, Rosemont, Villeray... I live next to Metro Jarry... very nice neighborhood and mostly francophone (so you can learn). Of course, you can live on the Plateau and be in the heart of the action but expect to pay more. I suggest you look north of the plateau in the neighborhoods I mentioned.

Transportation is OK in Montreal. Not the best but OK. It is very nice to live close to a metro (subway), it makes things a lot quicker. Last year I needed to take a bus, the metro, plus another bus to go see my friends, took me a solid hour to get there. Now that I live next to a metro station transportation is pretty smooth.


I don't know what you've read online but you simply cannot make 750$-950$ gross a week with a minimum wage job!!! Unless you work somewhere with good tip... that is a different situation. The thing is, if you want to make some tip, knowing how to communicate in French will be important... But I'm sure you can manage that with the french basics you say you have.

I worked 48 hours this week and my salary is 9.50$/hour (which is more than minimum wage)... If you do the math I'll make approximately 365$ after income tax deductions. This is not a career job of course... It's just a job...

Hope this helps a bit... Good luck and let us know how things are going!
 
mr.flibble
#3
>I don't know what you've read online but you simply cannot make 750$-950$ gross a week with a >minimum wage job!!! Unless you work somewhere with good tip... that is a different situation. The >thing is, if you want to make some tip, knowing how to communicate in French will be important... >But I'm >sure you can manage that with the french basics you say you have.
Sorry I should have made it clearer. I meant working 24-30 hours per week, would it then be possible to make $700-950$ per month.

>I worked 48 hours this week and my salary is 9.50$/hour (which is more than minimum wage)... If >you do the math I'll make approximately 365$ after income tax deductions. This is not a career job >of course... It's just a job...
Okay, so if you worked 48 hours, then if I work 24 hours per week, then I'd then make about 180$ per week, which is about $720 per month (net). So then would that be a liveable wage? I've seen rent from http://www.rentmtl.com/search.do?type=RN00030001 from about $370 in Villeray, which includes all utilities. So it sounds doable ...

I hope that remains the case in about a year when I go. Now I just have to work out exactly when I go since I'm not sure if it's the best idea to go to Canada right in the middle of winter. Here in Australia, snow is something you drive 3-4 hours to the mountains for. =)

Thanks for the tips.
 

Similar Threads

0
Surviving in Ft. Mac?
by abmom | May 6th, 2007
0
Man surviving on 401 crash...
by lysyfacet | Apr 20th, 2007
10
Surviving Christmas
by Andem | Dec 5th, 2004