ooPSLA selected Montréal to host its 2007 conference both for its international character and the value it offers attendees. Montréal offers a diverse society rich in culture and innovation. This metropolitan city is also a center of technological excellence, ranking ninth in North America in the availability of information technology jobs.
You will find Montréal easily accessible from the US, Europe, and around the world. Flights to Montréal are plentiful and generally affordable, and currency exchange rates allow ooPSLA attendees to enjoy high-quality hotels and restaurants at reasonable prices. The convention center and the hotels lie at the heart of the city's shopping, entertainment, and historical districts. This location offers you an opportunity to experience this world-class destination to its fullest.
This page provides some basic information for getting to, staying in, moving about, and enjoying Montréal -- strictly the facts. For a more personal touch, check out conference chair Richard Gabriel's Montréal Impressions. He also offers the more general The Chair's Unofficial Guide for how to get around OOPSLA 2007.
Getting to Montréal
Arriving by Air. Montréal is connected to the world via major airlines across the globe. A flight to Montréal is only an hour and a half from New York City, two hours from Chicago, and six hours from London. Plentiful taxis and limousines ensure quick service to and from Montréal's downtown.
For air travelers in Canada and Europe looking to economize, Montréal is home to Canada's main discount airline, Air Transat [ French | English ]. Air Transat sells fares both in North America and in Europe. For example, it offers a separate website catering specifically to travelers from the UK.
l'Aérobus is the shuttle bus service that links Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to convenient connecting points in the city. In particular, you can ride to the Montréal Central Bus Station (505 De Maisonneuve Blvd.), from which you can catch a complimentary shuttle to major downtown hotels. l'Aérobus service runs every twenty minutes, 7 days a week. Tickets for the shuttle, which are $13.00 one-way and $22.75 round-trip, may be purchased at a kiosk at the airport's local transportation exit.
Arriving by Train. Montréal's Gare centrale (Central Station) is a major stop with rail connections from New York, Washington, and domestic trains from eastern or western Canada. This station is located downtown, with convenient connection to the Bonaventure underground méro station by a pedestrian passageway.
Arriving by Bus. Bus travelers arrive downtown at the Montréal Bus Central Station, which is connected to the méro at the Berri-UQAM station.
Arriving by Auto. Montréal is 47 km (29 miles) from the New York border. From New York, the New York State Thruway (I-87) becomes Route 15, and U.S. I-89 becomes two-lane Route 133, which joins Highway 10 on the way to Montréal. From Massachusetts, you can take I-91, which becomes Highway 55, which also joins Highway 10. From eastern or western Canada, you can use Highways 20 and 40.
The speed limit on Québec's highways are posted in kilometres (100 kph equals about 62 mph). Gasoline is sold in litres (3 3/4 litres equals 1 U.S. gallon).
Border Entry Requirements
Canada welcomes over 35 million visitors every year, and Montréal hosts more international conventions than any other city in Canada. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is committed to making your travel experience to ooPSLA 2007 pleasant. We are pleased to provide the following important information on border entry requirements. This information may change between now and the conference, so please verify requirements from your location well prior to travel. Where possible, we provide links to authoritative sources on-line.
Visitors from the U.S. -- U.S. Citizens
Effective January 23, 2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Canada are required to have a valid passport to re-enter the United States.
(On June 8, 2007, the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security announced that a U.S. citizen traveling to Canada who had applied for, but not yet received, a passport could re-enter the United States by air. This exception expired on September 30, 2007.)
If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, you should carry this certificate. If you are a dual U.S./Canadian citizen, you should always present yourself as a Canadian citizen when entering Canada and as a U.S. citizen (with U.S. passport) when entering or leaving the United States.
Be sure to read the latest information about traveling to Canada at:
Visitors from the U.S. -- non-U.S. Citizens
If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must present your "green card". If you are a temporary resident of the U.S. (anyone who carries a Temporary Resident Card, Form 1-688, or Employment Authorization Card, 1-688A or 1-688B), you must carry a passport and may also require a visa depending on their country of citizenship.
If you are a citizen of another country entering Canada through the U.S., you must also carry a valid passport and may require a visa, which you should obtain from a Canadian Embassy or Consulate outside of Canada. People in this category should check with an office of the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service before they enter Canada.
Visitors from Europe
If you hold a passport from a European nation, you do not require a visa to visit Canada. You need a valid passport, a return ticket, and sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Canada. European visitors to Canada who wish to visit the U.S. on their trip must possess valid passports to be admitted; residents of Portugal are further required to have a visa.
Visitor from Other Countries
You may require a visa to enter or travel through Canada. To see whether you require a visa, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada for more information on visa requirements.
The Association for Computing Machinery does not issue formal invitation letters for visas. We can, however, issue a visa support letter. For visa support letters, please send all requests to Ashley Cozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information.
- name and mailing address as it appears on your passport
- the name of the conference you wish to attend
- registration confirmation number
- if you are the author of any papers accepted for the conference, please provide the title
- fax number
Visa support letters are not issued via email.
Consulates and Embassies
Montréal is home to nearly one hundred consulates. We list phone numbers for four of the most commonly needed. If you need information on other diplomatic representatives, consulates, and missions, visit Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
- Consulate General of the United States of America
(800) 529-4410 tool-free for American citizen services
- Consulate General of France
- Consulate General of Great Britain (514) 866-5863
- Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany (514) 931-2277
The Hyatt Regency Montréal is the conference hotel of ooPSLA 2007. You will find the Hyatt to be a wonderful place to stay for the conference. It offers first-class amenities and easy access to shopping and restaurants. From the Hyatt Regency, you can take a short, pleasant walk to the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the conference center. You can walk outdoors, or stay indoors by following a clean, safe underground walkway that connects the building in the hotel/convention center area.
Conference Hotel Discount. ooPSLA attendees who stay at the Hyatt Regency receive a $150 discount on their conference registration. Be sure to use the ooPSLA registration code G-CM18 in the Group/Corporate # box when you book your hotel accommodations at Hyatt.com. You should be able to get our special rate (which includes free internet) from October 17 until October 28. If you don't through the website, call them up.
Free Internet. ooPSLA attendees who stay at the Hyatt Regency Montréal receive complimentary high-speed Internet access.
Not Convinced? Check out the explanation of the hotel situation at the Unofficial Guide.
Visitor Information. Tourisme Québec's Infotouriste Centre offers free tourist information about Montréal as well as the the rest of the Province of Québec. Indeed, it offers a wider range of services than just about any tourist center in North America. At the Infotouriste Centre, you can find out about hotel reservations, guided tours, currency exchange, cruises, travel agencies and car rentals.
Visit the Infotouriste Centre in person at 1255 rue Peel, at the corner of Peel and Sainte-Catherine streets in downtown Montréal. The metro stops nearby at its Peel station. You can call the centre toll-free in Canada and the U.S. at 1 877 BONJOUR (1 877 266-5687).
Public Transportation. Montréal is served by convenient and inexpensive public transportation. Throughout the city you will see big blue signs with the white arrows, which indicate access to the the city's underground métro system. You'll find the métro to be clean, safe, and fast. It links all of downtown with major tourist destinations and connects to the city's bus and train service.
You can purchase individual tickets, or convenient one- or three-day passes for unlimited travel on bus and métro. For trips that require both métro and bus, you can pick up a transfer from the bus driver or in the métro station at the tall silver boxes once you're inside the turnstiles. Transfers are valid for 90 minutes; the time printed on the transfer indicates when the it expires.
Canada Travel Basics
The content in this section was originally written by SIGCHI for its CHI 2006 conference. We reuse the information with SIGCHI's permission.
- Accessibility for people with disabilities
- Canadian Currency
- Emergency and Medical Services
- GST Rebates
- Liquor Laws
- Time Zones
- Weights and Measures
- Driver's License
Accessibility for people with disabilities
Accessibility for people with restricted physical ability
Establishments have been assessed accessible according to criteria set by Kéroul and approved by Tourisme Québec. For people with restricted physical ability, Kéroul provides information on tourism and culture.
General Manager: André Leclerc
Total Access: The handicapped person can enter and move around the establishment without assistance.
Partial Access: The handicapped person requires assistance to enter and move around the establishment.
The Canadian currency is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. There are 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 1000-dollar bills. One- and two-dollar bills have been replaced by coins, sometimes referred to as "Loonies" (the bird on the $1 is a loon) and "Twonies" ($2). Smaller coins are 1-, 5-, 10-, and 25-cent pieces.
It is easy to exchange foreign currency in Montréal. You can cash traveller's checks at banks and exchange offices (Bureau de change in French) which are common in the areas you'll be visiting. Banking and credit cards are also welcome almost everywhere so you can withdraw with your bank card, use major credit cards, or even pay directly at stores, restaurants, etc., with "Interact" service -- just look for the yellow sign. Many businesses will also accept US dollars and traveller's checks, but it's always a good idea to carry some Canadian money with you.
Electrical outlets in Canada provide the same current as in the United States: 110 volts (60 cycles). If you are traveling from Europe or elsewhere, you will need an adapter to use your small appliances, if they are designed for a different standard.
Emergency and Medical Services
In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 to reach operators connected to the fire station, police station, and ambulances. If an accident or sudden illness should occur, there are eight major hospitals in or near the Montréal downtown area, some of them affiliated with leading Montréal universities. For less serious illness, you can see a doctor at a community health centre called a CLSC. These are smaller clinics, with one located in each neighbourhood. It is always wise to buy or have medical travel insurance in advance.
In case of emergency: 9-1-1
Québec Poison Control Centre: 1 800 463-5060
Canada offers one of the world's most generous tax rebate programs for non-resident visitors. A general sales tax, called the Goods and Services Tax (GST), applies to most purchases. However, it is refundable (along with the provincial sales tax in some provinces) on almost all convention-related expenses, including a 50% rebate on food and beverage charges. Your delegates can also recoup taxes paid on their purchases.
See the Canada Customs web site for details.
French is the official language of Québec. English is spoken everywhere in Montréal, but many residents will appreciate your efforts to learn a few words and phrases in French. You will also find it easier to move about if you can understand common signs written in French.
The legal drinking age in Québec is 18 years old. Bars and restaurants serve alcohol from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., with the exception of beer halls (brasseries), which serve liquor from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. You can pick up beer and wine at convenience stores (dépanneurs) and grocery stores until 11 p.m., but for hard liquor and a greater selection of wine, stop by a Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ). These stores, with a square burgundy logo, are open weekdays and Saturdays, with some outlets open on Sundays. Most SAQs are closed on holidays.
Montréal will be on Eastern Daylight Time (its summer time zone) during the time of ooPSLA, through Sunday, November 4, 2007, at 1:59:59 AM. During Eastern Daylight Time, the time difference between Montréal time and Greenwich Mean Time is 4 hours.
Service is not included in restaurants, so it is customary to add a 15% tip to the total bill. (A quick way to calculate the appropriate tip is to sum the two taxes that appear at the bottom of your bill. This works out to roughly 15%). If you are dining in a group, 15% or 18% for service may be automatically added to your bill. Just ask when you're not sure if tip has been included.
Taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc., are also normally tipped 15%. Bellhops, porters, doormen, etc., generally receive at least $1 per suitcase or per service rendered. Coffee and food counters often have a tip cup next to the cash register; spare change is always appreciated.
Like much of the North American northeast, the weather in Montréal varies greatly with the four seasons, so visitors are encouraged to check the forecast before packing. During the latter part of October, Montréalers usually find themselves in the midst of autumn, with an average daytime high temperatures in the range 50-53°s F./10-12° C. and average nighttime lows in the range 35-37°s F./2-3° C. As you plan your visit, you can get basic weather information at:
The Meteorological Service of Canada
Telephone: (514) 283-3010
Telephone: 1 900 565-4000 ($0.95/minute)
Weights and Measures
Although years ago, Canada used the imperial system of weights and measures, it now uses the metric system. Temperatures are given in degrees Celsius, gasoline is sold by the litre, beverages are sold by litres or millilitres, and other grocery items are marked in grams and kilograms. Short distances are given in centimetres or metres and, while on the road, you'll see longer distances and speeds in terms of kilometres. Some simple conversion equivalents include:
Metric to imperial
» 0ºC 32ºF
» 25ºC 77ºF
» 1 metre 3.3 feet
» 1 km 0.62 mile
» 100 km/h 62 mph
» 1 kg 2.2 lb
» 1 litre 0.22 Cdn. gal
Imperial to Metric
» 1 foot 0.30 metre
» 1 mile 1.61 km
» 50 mph 80 km/h
» 1 lb 0.454 kg
» 1 Cdn. gal. 4.55 litres
As a visitor to Québec, you may drive a car for a maximum of six consecutive months without having a Québec driver's license. Nevertheless, you must possess a valid driver's license in the class corresponding to the category of vehicle you are driving in Québec, issued by a government which accords the same right to Québec drivers. You should respect the conditions on which that license was granted (for example, exceptions may apply to students, work-related driving, diplomats, etc.). When driving a vehicle licensed in Québec, if you have an accident in Québec, you are covered for liability to the same extent that Québec drivers are.
Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
(Québec auto insurance)
Telephone: (514) 873-7620
Telephone: 1 800 361-7620 (toll-free in North America