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montreal accessibility and safe place for families

montreal accessibility and safe place for families

Mar 28th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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montreal accessibility and safe place for families


I am planning to take my children to Montreal this summer. My daughter is in a wheelchair. Can someone tell me how accessible Montreal is? We usually take our own car everywhere because it is easier with the wheelchair. But it is sounding like parking is a real problem. Do you have suggestions for how we can make this work?

Then I am wondering where is a safe place for a family to stay. How does Monteal compare to other big cities. I mean in LA we would always stay in a subarb... New York too but it is sounding like traffic is a big problem. Where is the plateau and how do I find what hotels are there. We don't want to be near bars and such. We want to be some place quiet. But our family is large and we can't afford anything expensive.

My husband wants to stay in a subarb of Montreal but I am worried we will spend too much time in traffic and not get to see some of the sights. We only have 3 days. But like I said we may need to drive our own car anyway because of my daughter's wheelchair.

We want to see Old Montreal, botanical gardens, biodome, Mount Royal, etc...


sonnef is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Have you read lots of travel guides and gone online and read about Montreal?

Parking is a problem unless you always use parking lots. We leave our car in the hotel lot and walk everywhere, take cabs and the Metro. It is hilly and a city, plenty of traffic and crowded sidewalks. Nothing like LA and much smaller and more manageable than NYC. Maybe sort of like Philadelphia? but French That is hard to say, comparing is really impossible.

Then there is the matter of cobblestones..the Old part of town has cobblestone streets. Very narrow sidewalks.

It would be a little difficult to not be near a bar or such in most parts of the city, being a city, most streets have them.
The Plateau might be sort of comparable to Haight Ashbury of the past, old homes, restaurants, shops and lots of young people. It has it's share of bars also.
Personally, I see no point in going to Montreal and staying in a suburb. You would spend too much time, getting back and forth.

My recommendation ( my husband and I have been spending weeks in Montreal for about 6 years now, at least once, sometimes twice a year) is to stay in a housekeeping sort of place..a hotel with kitchen facilities. Or stay in a guest house with breakfast provided. These might handle a larger family better.
If it is not too expensive, a nice big downtown hotel would be best, putting you in the heart of the city, near transportation and all or most of the sights.
The trains are equipped for handicapped people, cabs are easy to get and very helpful and polite.
Downtown will have you near Mont Royal, staying in the Old POrt will be too expensive and hard to get around.
I suggest reading as much as you can on the city and these boards, get some ideas of what you can afford and will be good for you.
Good luck, I love Montreal and I know you will enjoy it.
This is a site that is useful to us.

Scarlett is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Thank you for your response.

Yes that is what I thought about staying in a subarb but now to convince my husband. He thinks we should stay in Brossard or Longueuil. Would that really be any better than staying near Mont Royal? I mean are the neighborhoods any better?

So are you saying that all the Metro busses have lifts for wheelchairs?

And you said the Old Port would be hard to get around? Why is this?

Thanks a bunch!
sonnef is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 11:05 AM
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Just to clear up some confusion you may have:

The Metro, which is the subway, is absolutely NOT accessible to someone in a wheelchair. Very few stations have elevators, if any at all.

Most bus lines nowadays ARE accessible; they have wheelchair lifts. But not all bus lines are.

For details, see this web page:


or specifically:



suranyi is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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I am sorry if I gave wrong information regarding handicapped accessability in the Metro..I remembered seeing someone in a wheelchair in the underground shopping area and thought that it was possible everywhere in the city.
This site is part of Montreals Metro system, Paratransit. They seem to have a door to door bus system..Read this and see if they might be of help to you.
Regarding your questions about where to stay..I can not say whether the suburbs are nicer or not, just that for 3 days, it would be such a waste of sightseeing time, traveling back and forth into the city..you should stay IN the city.
The Vieux Port has narrow sidewalks, cobblestone streets and can be very crowded with tourists..it can make it difficult to navigate with a wheelchair.
Good luck~

Scarlett is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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Have to agree that I would always stay in downtown Montreal rather than a suburb. You would just waste time getting in from the susurb. Montreal is not that large, physically and is a great city and relatively safe. I think there is a Residence Inn by marriott downtown, they often work well for large families.
skigirl is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 04:14 AM
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Definitely do not stay in Longueil or Brossard, Montreal is an island and you will be crossing the busiest bridge all the time !

I am sure you can find a central hotel to suit your needs; Montreal is one of the safest big cities you can find, specially in the summer, there are people milling about downtown at all hours. The Cantlie suites on Sherbrooke street would be a good location.

There is proper parking for biodome and other municipal, city managed attractions:
visiting old montreal, you could take a cab down and back, the rest of the family could take the subway or walk; old montreal is very popular and I admit parking closeby could be a problem.

Sherbrooke Street is not a bar area so a hotel close or on that street would be quiet, or on de Maisonneuve street.  
mitchdesj is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 08:09 PM
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Thanks everyone. I have book a hotel on Sherbrooke St. that I think will work well while we are in Montreal.
sonnef is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 04:49 AM
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That's great! Which hotel?
I stayed in the Omni in the past, the Cantile Suites are nearby, they seemed to be quite large.
I think you will love Montreal~
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 10:02 PM
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Not sure why my response did not post last time but here it is again. We are staying at L'Appartement Hotel.
It will accomodate our large family and is reasonably priced! Thanks for asking. I can't wait to see all these wonderful places I have been hearing about. Now I just have to get everything ready. I am still debating on passports. Since we have a large family it will get expensive.
sonnef is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:25 AM
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L'Appartement Hotel is in a perfect location, it is a safe, upscale area, and close to everything. The only drawback I can think of is that the Sherbrooke area is slightly uphill from the St. Catherine street shopping area, but it shouldn't be too bad. Driving in downtown Montreal is for the most part nowhere near as bad as New York or LA, and parking is not impossible, provided you are willing to park on a side street. Do try to get over to Prince Arthur Street some eveing to check out the sidewalk cafe & street entertainment scene there.
You will love the city!
zootsi is offline  
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