November 2-5, 2008
ADASS XVIII Home > Local Information > Travel & Transportation

Travel & Transportation

Weather

The term “weather extremes” might have been invented in Québec, where residents and visitors alike comment on variations from hour to hour. Temperatures range from 40º C (105º F) in summer to -40º C (-40º F) during winter ice storms. Packing rain gear is de rigueur and wearing layers of clothes that can be taken on or off is the most sensible option at any time of year.

Passports and Visas

American citizens need only photo ID to enter Canada, but all other visitors must have a valid passport that extends beyond the length of the trip. You may stay in the country for up to six months, providing your passport covers this period. US and EU citizens need no visa to enter Canada, but other nationalities should check at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in their home country for up-to-date regulations. Please consult this document for more information.

Airlines

More than 50 airlines serve Montréal and Québec City, but the scheduled airline with the most international flights is Air Canada. There are direct flight from Toronto, Boston and New York City. Specificaly for participants coming from the IVOA meeting in Baltimore, the regular route is via BWI, Toronto and then Québec city.

By Air to Montréal

Visitors arriving by air will land at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, where transportation to central Montréal can be arranged. From here you can also make connecting flights to other Canadian and foreign cities, as well as other regions of Québec Province. Montréal has a second airport called Mirabel used for vacation charters and cargo flights.

By Air to Québec City

Jean Lesage International Airport is located about 15 minutes from Québec City and is serviced by several major US airlines, a Cuban carrier, Air Canada and Air Transat and Corsair Fly, charter companies with direct flights to Paris. Some US airlines, via code sharing are also deserving Québec city through some US cities like Detroit, Chicago, New York and Cleveland.

Customs

 You are forbidden to bring certain food products, such as fruit, into Canada from abroad and sniffer dogs may operate at airports to check your luggage. Visitors over the age of 18 may import 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, one liter of spirits and 1.5 liters of wine.

Time Zones

Québec is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)- the same time zone as New York City. When it is midday in Montréal, it will be17h00 in London, 09h00 in Los Angeles and 03h00 in Sydney.

By Road

To reach Montréal by car use either Hwy 401 from southern Ontario, whic becomes Hwy 20 at the Québec border, and cross the Pont Galipeau bridge, or take Hwy 40 from Ottawa which crosses the Pont Ile aux Tourtres. The Cantons de l'est auto-route (Hwy 10) is fed by US freeways 91 and 93, with other US East Coast travelers using Hwy 15 both of these lead to Pont Champlain. Québec City visitors can choose either Hwy 20 or Hwy 40, both from Montréal, or Hwy 138 if traveling to Québec City from the east. One little about the road system. Even road number are parallel to the Saint-Lawrence river and are running in the est-west direction. Rever for odd road numbers. Numbers are also increasing from south to north and from west to est. So highway 10 is south of highway 20. Highway 15 is west of highway 55. Exist numbers are in number of kilometers since the beginning of the road.

Currency

 Quebecers use the Canadian dollar ($) which is made up of 100 cents (¢). A 5 cent piece is called a nickel, a 10 cent piece a dime, and a 25 cent piece a quarter. The $1 coin has a loon (a type of waterfowl) on it so is known as a loonie; the $2 coin is known as a toonie. French Canadians refer to sous meaning penny or piastres for dollar. Paper money comes in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1,000-dollar denominations.

Credit and Debit Cards

Quebecers recognize all major credit cards issued by legitimate financial entities throughout the world, but prefer cash, as there are charges associated with plastic. Bank debit cards are common at convenience stores, markets, bistros, cafés and restaurants. Check before you leave home that your debit card uses the Interac, Plus or Cirrus systems.

Emergency and Police

All municipal police stations in Québec are connected via the 911 emergency system.

Types of Dishes and Restaurants

 Montréal and Québec City offer travelers a dynamic range of eating choices - diners may choose from a vast selection including delicacies from Afghanistan, Tibet, Algeria, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Poland, San Salvador, Cuba and many other countries. Local favorites include bagels, Montréal smoked meat, and poutine (French fries smothered in gravy with cheese).

Tax

The provincial and federal governments impose hefty taxes on top of goods and services in Québec, amounting to 15 per cent. A few merchants include these taxes in their price tags but most do not, so always bear in mind that you will pay more at the cash register. For visitors, however, federal tax (GST) is refundable on most purchases. You can pick up refund forms at airports, train stations and bus terminals.

Tipping

In Québec service personnel earn only minimum rates and depend on tip for the larger part of their wages. This does not excuse poor service but is a consideration at gratuity time. Customary tipping in Québec is between 15-20 per cent of the pre-tax total of the bill.

Smoking Laws

Laws of Québec prohibit smoking in public places, including bars, restaurants and the workplace, unless there is a separately ventilated space. Most establishments designate a separate section for smokers.

Alcohol

Bars and restaurants serve alcohol during hours of operation, usually until 3am. For private consumption, alcohol must be purchased at supermarkets, dépanneurs (convenience stores) or, for a wider selection, at Societé des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) outlets, which are found in both cities.