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Quebec's Highways

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Any Quebecois on the forum? I'm planning on driving through Quebec and Ontario next year and it would be interesting to learn more about the highways/autoroutes, specifically in the Montreal area. Are the driving generalizations true? Is signage along A-20 and A-40 (Metropolitan) as bad/non-existent as people say? What's the best route through Montreal?

Stephane Dumas:
I'm one Quebecois, hard to said which one is the best route trough Montreal A-20 still have traffic lights on Dorion and Perrot Island but there plans to remove them. A-40 (Metropolitain), the elevated part is very substandard and the structures are aged, especially the Turcot interchange )A-20/Decarie A-15/A-720). As for signage, yes it's as bad/non-existant or even very old.

SP Cook:
I am definitely not a Quebecois, but I have driven across Quebec several times.

The following are broad generalizations:

- This is not a bilingual place.  New Brunswick and the part of Ontario that is near Quebec is, but in Quebec the only bilingualism is in thing run by the federal government (post office, airports, etc).  Things run by the provence are French only.  You will need enough French to dope out road signs.  Cardinal directions and such.  Not hard, but it takes paying attention.  And it is all in metric, which is more irritating to me than the French.  Learning ones numbers, for value meal purposes, is good if you are going north of Quebec City.

- This is not France.  A lot of Americans are kind of the "ugly American" type assume that.  Actually this is still North America, and a lot less different from the USA and English Canada, but for the language, than you might think.  Great steaks and Italian food in Montreal.

- The people are very friendly, but, IMHO, are more friendly if they know you are an American (and thus not expected to know French) than an Ontarian.  They expect Ontarians to speak a little French.  The language really is not a barrier until you get north of Quebec City, or away from the A routes.

- Roads are as described in Montreal and Quebec City.  Kinda poor by US standards.    In the more rural areas, it is similar to a US Interstate, but slightly different standards.  Metric signage.  No mention of other destinations outside Quebec, other than those in the USA (political thing).  More of those euro-style pictograph signs for things like gasoline, hotel, etc.  "Hotel de ville" on exit signs, which you see a lot, means "City Hall", not a hotel.  I think they note that because its like saying "police station" in the USA.

- I try to avoid those "all *ians drive like whatever" generalizations.  I did not perceive much difference in Montreal or Quebec than any other place.  In the rural areas, the locals seemed to (rightly, IMHO) view the underposted SLs as jokes.

I'm from Newfoundland, and I know enough french to get around and have a basic conversation at least. Thanks for the info.

I'll be heading to Newfoundland this summer... stay tuned and it'd be neat to meet up.


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