Driving in town is not unlike any major city in the world. There’s traffic during rush hour in the morning and night, plenty of construction and worst of all pot holes that vary in size and plentiful on the inner streets and highways. So, if you love your car, sure drive up to Montreal but plan on leaving it in a parking lot and/or minimize trips on a need to basis.  If you’re like me and insist on driving then there are a few additional points worth noting.

Although a grid, Montreal streets can infuriate the calmest of drivers with all the one way streets. So be prepared with a GPS or take note of the one ways before heading into Montreal. Like New York City, you cannot turn right on red on the Island of Montreal. Beware of J walkers. Montrealers are notorious for J walking, so beware of that man or woman jetting out of nowhere onto your path, especially on Ste-Catherine street. If you plan to park downtown, consider parking lots after 5 or 6pm. With meters running to 9pm weekday, it may be worth your while to fork over 5-6$ in a lot vs 2$ for every hour at a meter. If you plan to park at a meter on the street, you can pay by cash or credit at the nearest parking meter pay station. If you need to renew your time, you should be able to so so at another meter if you’re only 2-3 blocks away. Otherwise you’ll have to back track your way until you find a meter that allows you to do so for your spot.


  • Metered parking runs Monday thru Friday until 9pm and  Saturdays thru Sundays until 6pm.
  • Watch out for cars chasing a yellow light.
  • Morning rush hour runs 7:30am thru 9:30am.
  • Afternoon rush hour runs 3:30pm thru 7pm.
  • During festivals lots tend to double in price and in use.  Be weary and consider keeping your car at the hotel and taking public transit, a taxi or your own two feet to get to your destination.

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