Advice and resources for newcomers

Last updated December 8, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

Have you been in Montréal for less than a year? Do you need advice, support or guidance to get settled? Find out what you need to know.

Finding a home

Human contact

Community organizations in Montréal’s neighbourhoods offer free support to help you get oriented and look for a place to live. You can meet with someone who will answer your questions and listen to your needs. These organizations can help you:

  • Find a place to live
  • Look for a job
  • Register your kids in school or daycare 
  • Get food assistance
  • Get emergency financial help 
  • Undertake administrative immigration and integration procedures
  • Learn French

Affordable housing

Getting affordable housing depends on a number of criteria. See if you are eligible and have someone help you evaluate your chances of being selected.

Choose a neighbourhood

Explore different neighbourhoods to find the one where you want to live.

Find an apartment

There are different ways to find a place to live. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Take a walk and look for “For Rent” signs.
  • Word of mouth: Let people know what you’re looking for. 
  • Use this search tool that shows available rental units on the most popular platforms by number of rooms and amount of rent.

Recreation for everyone

No matter your immigration status, you can enjoy a number of educational, cultural and sports activities that the city has to offer. Most of them are free of charge.

To register, you just need a card for yourself or your children. The city issues an identity and proof of residence card for people who do not have or are awaiting immigration status. The process is confidential.

Sports and recreation

Loisirs Montréal is a directory of sports and recreational activities. You can also reserve a playing field to enjoy your favourite sport in a group. 

You can also register your child for a day camp. Day camps offer activities during school holidays in summer and in winter. Facilitators supervise the children.

Arts and culture

With a membership at Montréal’s libraries, you can borrow books, comic books, and films. You can also view items on site, and use computers with Internet access. The libraries also offer activities.

The city’s arts centres offer shows, concerts and exhibitions for all ages, most of which are free of charge. There are arts centres in all of Montréal’s boroughs. 

Free Internet Access

The MTLWiFi service offers free Internet access at a growing number of public locations.


There are some 1,200 neighbourhood parks that are open year-round. Some 20 large parks and nature parks offer an immersion in nature without leaving the city and free or inexpensive guided tours.

Accès Montréal Card

This must-have card gives you many exclusive discounts and benefits.

What to do in an emergency

These phone numbers are essential if you should be in an emergency or need essential services:

  • Emergencies (Police, ambulance and firefighters): 911
  • Anti-poison centre: 1-800-463-5060
  • Provincial healthcare hotline: 811

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