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Useful Information
Customs and immigration

To enter Canada, tourists from the United States must carry proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, as well as a piece of photo ID. A passport is still the ideal document, but it isn't mandatory. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must bring your Permanent Resident Card (i.e., green card) with you. Visitors from all other countries must be carrying a valid passport. Visas are also required for visitors from certain countries. For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site or contact the Canadian embassy or consulate in your country.


Restaurants

Some of Canada's best restaurants are located in Montreal. Discover some of them through the following link : www.restaurant-montreal.ca/en/index.php. The conference organizers will happily guide you to some of the best spots in the city.


Climate

Montreal is located in Canada's humid continental climate zone and therefore benefits from a moderate climate. At the end of May, normal temperatures are a maximum of 20ºC (68ºF) and a minimum of 8ºC (47ºF).


Currency

The legal tender is the Canadian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Bank notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars, and coins in denominations of 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 and 2 dollars. The leading credit cards are accepted everywhere, namely Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Travellers's cheques are generally accepted in large hotels, some restaurants and major stores. Otherwise, they must be cashed at an exchange office or bank. There are numerous exchange offices in Montreal, especially in large hotels. Some businesses accept American money, but they offer a less competitive rate than the exchange offices. You can withdraw cash from most automatic teller machines (linked to the Cirrus, PLUS System or Interac networks) at any time, seven days a week and pay in most stores or restaurants with your debit card (once again, provided it is linked to the Cirrus, PLUS System or Interac networks).


Goods and Services Taxes (GST & QST)

Two taxes, the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the Quebec sales tax (QST), are added to the selling price of most goods and services (be careful, marked prices do not include taxes - add approximately 15 %). Several tourist regions charge a specific tax on accommodations. The amount is $2 or $3 a night or 3% of the price of the room per night, before the GST and QST are added.


Time Zone

Montreal is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-5).


Business Hours

Stores, shopping centres and businesses are generally open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Some establishments open earlier and close later in the evenings, such as pharmacies and grocery stores. A few shopping centres are open every weeknight until 9:00 p.m. Business hours for banks are much more restricted (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).


Electric Current

The electric current is 110-115 volts/60 cycles, as it is throughout North America. Because the outlets cannot accommodate European, South American nor East Asian plugs, it would be best to bring or buy an adaptor.


Health

Foreign travellers must cover their own medical expenses. Consequently, it is important that you take out an insurance policy prior to your departure. In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911 from any telephone.


Tipping

You must leave a tip on service provided in restaurants and bars and by taxi drivers and hairdressers. The amount, which is not included in the bill, generally represents 15% of the total bill (before taxes, but including beverages). In Quebec, for a restaurant bill, people usually add the amounts of the two taxes (GST and QST) together, the sum of which equals approximately 13,5%. Tipping bellhops or porters is at your discretion (generally, CDN $1 per bag carried).