Went to Quebec this past week.  Things I noticed:


No pirate pay phones. All the pay phones were Bell, like Ontario used to be. Later, in one district of old Montreal, they were all TELUS payphones.


No hot dog street vendors. Not one, anywhere I could see, and we visited tourist and non tourist areas.

IMAG01402-169x300McDonald’s tastes different, is cheaper and has different packaging. Not just French, but different.

Street signs often hard to spot. Now this happens in many areas, as every district seems to have their own style, but even in tourist areas, I often had to really look to find the street names on the signs.

Traffic lights lower than usual. I could almost touch some of them. This was neat because I got to see how huge traffic lights are. You don’t usually notice.

No turn on red. Had to ask to know for sure, and oddly they all se happy about it, instead OD frustrated as I expected. The quote; “no way… We’d kill people if we had that” was the common theme, like they are aware, and partially proud of being horrible drivers.

People drive through reds like stop signs frequently, and pedestrians and bikers don’t care about red lights at all.

I saw less scooters than expected, and very few electric bikes compared to Toronto. Lots of regular and rental bikes.

Excellent symbols on their other street signs. Expressive and well designed signs for warnings and other non English or French picture signs.


IMAG01432-169x300The subway (Metro) was way more complex, and deeper underground. Frequently we had to take 3 or more escalate rides to get there. Apart from the different style of train/track that uses rubber tires, the stations were very similar. All dirty and in stages of disrepair seems to be like public transit everywhere. I did find it interesting the cars had far less advertising than our Subway cars do.

Very little English. Less than I remembered. I know this is Quebec, and English is practically illegal, but I remember it being more bilingual in Montreal.

Overheard almost all French conversations. Very few people spoke English except US.

Less gang graffiti but more art graffiti

IMAG01392-300x169Two way bikes lanes were awesome. I guess this is possible in a city where mist roads are one way. More room. They also park on both sides of the one way streets.

Better parking meters

I noticed three major differences in their casino too. First, it had windows, which is unheard of usually. It also helped you find your way to the exits easily with floor markings. Lastly, the casino floor was almost quiet. All the ring ring shout noises were very muted. Weird.

All on all, had a great 2 day discovery and re-discovery of Canada’s cool foreign city.