General information about Montreal
Montreal is a large, cosmopolitan, affordable, cultural, bilingual (French/English) city. It is easily accessible from the US and Europe with direct flights to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (YUL) from all major cities. For detailed information on how to get to Montreal, check the "Get In" section of Wikitravel.
Terrace on Place Jacques-Cartier. © Tourisme Montréal, Stéphan Poulin
For more information on Montreal, refer to:
Please visit our registration page for information about accommodations and lodging, including preferential rates at hotels near McGill campus.
How to get from Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (YUL) to downtown
Montreal has good public transit operated by the STM, serving most of urban Montreal well. Unfortunately, it is not easy to use public transport to get from the airport to downtown Montreal. We recommend using a taxi or the L'Aérobus, if you want to save money.
- Taxi: The taxi rate between the airport and the downtown area, including the Trottier building and New Residence Hall, is fixed to C$38, not including tip.
- L'Aérobus is a direct bus service between the airport and the Station Centrale d'Autobus (see below). Tickets are C$16 one-way and C$26 return, and are sold just outside the arrivals concourse near the taxi stand.
The STM is the most complicated and cheapest, by far. The 204 bus runs from somewhere in the West Island to the airport to the Dorval bus station. The bus stop is near the taxi stand, but on a walkway in the middle of the road in front of the arrivals concourse. Make sure you get on a 204 that's going east (the sign will say "204 Cardinal" regardless!). The fare is C$2.75. STM buses don't accept paper money, and drivers can't make change.
The 204 usually takes just a few minutes. Depending on time of day, it will arrive at a useless train station or at the Dorval bus station. If it's at the useless train station, there will be a tunnel that goes to the Dorval bus station. Once at the Dorval bus station, find the stop for the eastbound 211 bus (look for "Lionel-Groulx" on the bus stop sign; again, the sign on the bus won't help you).
Mercifully, the 211 doesn't stop between the airport and the Lionel-Groulx metro station. Take the Green Line, direction Honoré-Beaugrand. If you're headed to Trottier, get off at McGill. For New Residence Hall, get off at Place-des-Arts—if you have time left on your ticket, you can take the 80 or 535 bus, up avenue du Parc, a couple of stops to Prince-Arthur.
- Renting a car is not recommended. But if you do, inquire about road construction and closures before you start driving. There is a lot of construction at the airport. Also, note some quirks of Montreal traffic signals: you cannot make a right turn at a red light, and a flashing green light means you can turn left.
How to get from the Central Train Station (Gare Centrale) to McGill
VIA Rail Canada trains and the Amtrak Adirondack from New York City arrive at Gare Centrale (Central Station). It's a 15- to 20-minute walk to the conference site or a short (but possibly slow) taxi ride. Gare Centrale is connected to the Bonaventure Orange Line station, but you'd have to change to the Green Line at Berri-UQÀM, so it's probably faster to walk.
How to get from the Central Bus Station (Station Centrale d'Autobus) to McGill
The bus station is connected to the Berri-UQAM metro station. For C$2.75, the Green Line (direction Angrignon) will take you to Place-des-Arts station, from which you can take the 80 or 535 bus a couple of stops to New Residence Hall. If you're going straight to the Trottier building, get off at McGill and walk up University.
McGill University is an English language university located in downtown Montreal. The presentations will take place in the Trottier Building, which offers smaller rooms for workshops, a large auditorium, computer labs, as well as several break-out rooms and open seating areas. Our systems staff will set up wireless network access for participants and provide systems support for the CASC competition.
The Trottier building (left) in Tomlinson Square research hub. © Claudio Calligaris
Map of McGill and downtown MontrealIf you want to get an idea where everything is, check out the following map of downtown Montreal, McGill, McCord Museum (Reception), and Pointe-a-Calliere (Banquet).
In general there are four preferred ways to get around Montreal.
- Walking: It is pleasant and safe to walk around in Montreal and since McGill is in downtown next to Mont Royal park, it is one of the most fun ways to get a taste of the city. We highly recommend a walk in Parc Mont Royal (20min walk from McGill) which is north of McGill. You have a nice view of downtown and McGill from their up there. St. Denis and St. Laurent street are east of McGill, where you will find a lot of bars and restaurants, are a 15-20min walk from McGill. If you stroll 15 min west from McGill, you can check out the bars and restaurants on Crescent Street. You may also want to stroll to Place des Festivals (southeast of McGill) where the Francofolie Festival is happening between 30 July and 9 August. A major free outdoor event takes place every night on the Place des Festivals.
- By metro or bus: Montreal has an excellent public transit system which is safe and affordable. Tickets will be available at our registration desk for people who need them. For more information on getting see the STM website and their excellent online planner Tous Azimuts.
- By bike: Montreal has North America's only public bicycle rental service, called Bixi. A day's subscription costs $5 and covers the first half hour of each trip, with subsequent time costing up to $12 an hour.
- By taxi: This is an easy, convenient, and affordable option, especially if you are a group of 2 or 3. There are plenty of cabs in Montreal, and you can simply flag one on the street.
The average daytime temperature for late July/early August is about 25°C. High humidity is common in the summer, which makes the perceived temperature higher than the actual temperature. [more details from Wikipedia]