Stereotypes about Montreal that are simply not true

Aug 17 2021, 12:18 pm

When you’re new somewhere or have never visited at all, it’s easy to make tons of generalities about the place and its people.

Montreal, of course, is no stranger to these misconceptions and stereotypes. But every once in a while you hear one that’s so absurd that you can’t help but laugh.

Here are some of the wildest ones we’ve stumbled upon.

“Everybody smokes.”

While you’re bound to see some cigarette smoke dancing around in the streets of Montreal, it is not nearly as prevalent as people say it is. In fact, a 2017 study conducted by the University of Waterloo concluded that smoking rates in provinces like Newfoundland, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan are actually higher than in Quebec.

See data table below with 95% confidence intervals.

University of Waterloo

“It’s always cold!”

This stereotype is often applied to Canada as a whole. And while Montreal winters are not for the faint of heart, we do in fact have seasons. It is normal for summer days to surpass 30° celsius here. Temperatures also increase dramatically during heatwaves which this city is no stranger to.

“Nobody speaks English”

Quebec is a French province within a bilingual country that speaks English. Confused? You’re not the only one.

The truth is that while all of Montreal’s road signs and billboards are in Quebec’s official language, the people are not. According to Statistics Canada, more than half (53%) of Montreal’s citizens speak both English and French.

“People are bad drivers”

Montreal has a national reputation for being home to countless bad drivers. While our potholes and slippery winter roads are no picnic by car, according to Montreal does not even crack the top 15 Canadian cities with the highest collision rates!

In case you were curious, here they are:

Collision Claims Frequency Rate

North York Ontario 7.1%, Scarborough Ontario 7.1%, Brampton Ontario 7.1%, Gloucester Ontario 7.0%, Maple Ontario 7.0%, Ajax Ontario 6.9%, Halifax Nova Scotia 6.9%, Thornhill Ontario 6.8%, Milton Ontario 6.7%, Ottawa Ontario 6.6%, Pickering Ontario 6.6%, Toronto Ontario 6.6%, Richmond Hill Ontario 6.6%, Whitby Ontario 6.6%, Edmonton Alberta 6.5%.

“They have a rich history, great food, and the best festivals”

Our research was unable to disprove this claim. Therefore, we have determined that it is factual.

Al SciolaAl Sciola

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