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Local Information for Montréal

FIG3 takes place at Concordia University, downtown campus (known as the Sir George Williams campus, or SGW for short). See how to get to Concordia by air, train, bus, or car.

1. Montréal Airport

Most likely, you will arrive at the Trudeau aiport (code: YUL) on the island of Montréal (formerly known as Dorval airport). Upon arrival, you will have to clear immigration (if you arrive from outside Canada), then pick up your bags and clear customs. To get downtown, the two most convenient options are:

Renting a car is not recommended. Public transportation (bus, metro, public bike system) is much faster, cheaper, and more convenient for attending FIG and visiting the surrounding areas (Old Montréal, Plateau, etc.). If you plan to visit places outside Montréal (like Mont-Tremblant or Québec City), a car is the better option.

2. Event Locations

The event takes places in two separate, but connected buildings:

You can find both buildings on the online Concordia Campus Map and the PDF map of the SGW Campus.

To get to the event by Metro:

  1. Take the Green Line to station Guy-Concordia (see the Metro map)
  2. The station has two exits; go the the one on Guy Street (Rue Guy)
  3. As soon as you exit the turnstiles (i.e., still underground, before going outside), turn to the right 180°. To the left you will see the entrance to the EV building.
  4. In the EV building, immediately go to the connecting tunnel on the right heading to the MB building
  5. When in the MB building, take the escalator on the right to the ground floor, and then take either the stairs or elevator to the third floor. The room MB 3.210 is straight ahead when coming up the stairs.

To get to the event by Bus:

  1. most bus lines connect with a Metro line, so one option is to switch to the Metro and follow the instructions above
  2. you can also try to plan your trip online.

To get to the event by Bixi (public bike system):

  1. Head to the bike path on Boulevard De Maisonneuve, also known as the Claire Morissette bike path (see the bike path map)
  2. The two closest Bixi stations are the one on Rue Mackay/Boulevard de Maisonneuve West and Rue Sainte Catherine West/Rue Guy (see the map with all Bixi stations)

To get to the event on foot:

  1. Head to the intersection Boulevard De Maisonneuve West/Rue Guy, there you'll find the main entrance to the MB building
  2. Here's the MB main entrance location on Google Maps (EV building is just across Guy street): http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=45.495603,-73.579336&num=1&sll=45.496015,-73.577693&sspn=0.010769,0.027745&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=45.495496,-73.579329&spn=0.002692,0.006936&z=18

Warning: Mind the strange Montréal habit of not using magnetic north when referring to "East/West" (for streets, bus routes, etc.). In Montréal, "East" is really north/north-east and "West" actually south/south-west. Confused? For a comprehensive explanation, see the Wikitravel page under "Orientation". So don't try using your compass. Also, for addresses on "East/West" streets, be aware that the numbering starts from 0 at Rue Saint-Laurent and then counts up both towards the east and west. So, "1515 St-Catherine Street West (Ouest)" (Concordia's EV building) is in a totally different location than "1515 St-Catherine Street East (Est)".

2.1. How to get to the Welcome Reception on Monday, August 30th, 18:30-20:30

The welcome reception is also in the EV building (see above), but in the East Tower. If you come from outside, use the entrance on Rue Mackay (close to Sainte Catherine Street West). Take the elevator on the right to the 11th floor. The reception is just outside the elevator banks. Here's the Mackay entrance on Google Street View: http://maps.google.ca/maps?num=1&sll=45.496015,-73.577693&sspn=0.010769,0.027745&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=45.49606,-73.577505&spn=0.002692,0.006936&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.496011,-73.577404&panoid=jPQBpqCZkDyTS76fxK2sew&cbp=12,207.84,,0,-1.82

If you come by Metro as described above, first use the escalator to go to the ground floor of the EV building. Go straight ahead towards the exit on Saint Catherine Street West, then in the lobby area, turn to the left in front of the security desk. Go towards the Mackay exit, and take the elevators near the exit on the left to the 11th floor.

Note: If you take the elevator banks in the West tower, you can still go the 11th floor and try to find the way to the reception, but it's probably easier to backtrack to the ground floor and follow the directions above.

2.2. How to get to the Social Event on Thursday, September 2nd, 20:00-22:00

For the social event, we will meet at the Brasserie L'Amère à boire in the Latin Quarter to sample some local food and drinks. The address is 2049 Saint-Denis, which is in the middle between Sherbrooke and Ontario streets, on the "east" side. Start is at 8pm; from the EV building it takes about 20min to get there. If you take the metro, go to the Berri-UQAM station. There are four exits; make sure to take the one heading to Rue Saint-Denis and then walk north. When you reached the brasserie, walk up the stairs to the restaurant on the 3rd floor.

3. Local Transportation Basics

Some tips on getting around in Montréal.

3.1. Bus and Metro

Check the STM website for maps and bus schedules. You can buy tickets at the vending machines at every Metro station (which you can switch from French to English by pressing a button) or the toll booth attendants (which you sometimes cannot switch from French to English, no matter what you press). Many depanneurs (convenience stores) and drug stores etc. also sell tickets. You can also pay cash on the bus, but the ticket machines there only accept coins and do not give change, so have $2.75 ready (you can use the ticket to transfer from bus to metro and vice versa, but you cannot transfer back to the metro if you started there). Always keep your ticket until the end of the trip -- there are random checks, just like in Paris!

If you plan to travel around a lot by public transport, the best option is to get an OPUS smart card and load it with fares at a ticket machine -- you can load individual tickets, a daypass, 3-day pass, or week pass (Monday-Sunday) onto the card and then touch-in at the bus or metro turnstiles (there is no "touching out" like in some other cities).

3.2. Bixi Public Bike System

Montréal has the largest public bike system in North America (which has meanwhile also been installed in London), Bixi (from "Bike Taxi"). You can use your credit card at every Bixi station to get a 24hr subscription. During that time, you can take as many trips as you want, taking a bike from any station and returning it to any other station, but only the first 30mins are free, so be sure to understand the fee structure. Essentially, Bixis are meant for quick point-to-point transport, not daytrips, and within the major Downtown/Plateau/Old Montreal areas you'll often arrive quicker than by waiting for a bus or metro! There are Bixi stations at every second block, you can check the online realtime map for available bikes / bike docks.

4. Accommodation

Montréal offers numerous hotels, B&B-style guesthouses, as well as short-term apartment rentals. We do not offer pre-booked accommodation for this event; hence, you should consult the usual web sites for finding accommodation in your preferred category (and price range...).

Montréal is quite big, so it is important that you book something that is conveniently located for this event, which takes place downtown (see the maps above). Suggested areas for booking are:

Note: try to verify to exact address with a tool like Google Maps -- some accommodation providers are, shall we say, somewhat lenient with labelling their location as being "Downtown" or on the "Plateau"...

5. Further Information

Some more links with information on Montréal:

Dead trees: