Allo Montreal! Ep. 2: First things, first.


The simpler, the better. Well...


# A place to stay
It had been 5 years since I’d been looking for a place to stay in Montréal. Wasn’t it a little bit dramatic when I had no idea when/IF I was going to leave ? Well MAYBE but that’s the story of my dreamer life !

Eventually, after reading a lot of stuff about moving to Montréal and the first steps to follow before leaving, we knew it was pointless to start looking for a place without being actually there. Why ? Because landowners do like to meet their potential future tenants or sub-tenants before renting their apartments. A better way to get to know our motives, their reactivity and above all to visit the apartment before renting it because we all know too well pictures can be misleading.

So few months before the big day and in order to visit the neighborhood first, we booked an apartment via Airbnb for our first two months in Montreal.


Rosemont La Petite Patrie, a strategic district to stay. First because the Old Rosemont area seemed quiet, safe and very charming, especially its main Masson street which looks like a Storybrooke kinda street ;) Closed to everything: groceries, post office, gym, bakery, etc… except maybe a subway station but we do not want to be too demanding. Plus, it was close to the Baptist church of Rosemont, which we chose from our pre-selection as our potential future church.











The perfect first place to stay for January and February 2019. Julien, our Airbnb landowner, is a precious bean: very reactive, available and trustworthy. We won’t hesitate to recommend him to the Airbnb community !




# Some cash to spend

After comparing many banking offers, Jo chose to open his own account at the BNC (the National bank of Canada). I insist on the “his own account” as I am only a tourist here. Therefore, I cannot open my own account without a work / study permit.

The bank adviser gave us a debit card (which is different from a credit card*) and explained to us how we can get our three first years free of charges. Simple: by using at least twice a month an online service like paying our bills.  

If like us, you have zero idea how long it takes to open and validate a bank account in Canada, make sure to bring some cash with you for your first few days there. Some European banks have signed partnerships with local ones, avoiding their customers to be extra charged with withdrawal fees or anything else. That was not the case with our regional bank, so we took around $500 CAN with us.




# Some groupchats

Apart from the choice of our church, we stopped pretending we wanted to do things in order xD So it is only after validating Jo’s bank account that we decided it was time to be reachable. We went to FIDO store to subscribe two kinds of plans. A $25 pay per use data regular plan for Jo and a $25 prepaid one for me, as my tourist status won’t allow me to have a regular one.  

Note to future migrants: save some time and money ($35) by subscribing to your regular plan online.


Once our Canadian mobile phone numbers activated, I suspended my French one and Jo resigned from his. 


# Money, money, money
Once the bank account was opened, we had to transfer our savings from our French bank account to Jo’s new Canadian account. So he subscribed to an online solution of money payment, thanks to his discount offered by PVTistes (-50% on transfer fees, compared to regular banks’ transfer fees).


It was crucial to do so as Canadian banks do not have any IBAN or as we call it in France “Bank account details / RIB key”. So money transfers take way too much time !


But even so it was supposed to be quicker than a regular money transfer, it took us at least 3 days to understand properly how the website worked. We had to call twice the support team because how dumb we are xD



This is the equivalent of the Social Insurance Number. It is mandatory to have one when you are in Canada as a temporary worker. You just have to follow the instructions from the Canadian government to have your own :)

However, “obviously” we did that last thing at the end of first two weeks here. Because we are 100% not organised ;)

That’s it for this episode, longer than usual but I has too many things to tell y’all !
I am so glad to be there for Jo and support him during those first steps in here. He is soon going to look for a job and I can’t wait for his journey to begin !

See you on the next post about our new apartment in Montréal !





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