Which city is the MOST "French"?

Jan 30th, 2004, 06:48 AM
  #1  
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Which city is the MOST "French"?

I have the opportunity to attend a language school for college credit hours. I have a choice of schools in Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. I know absolutely zero about Canada. Which one of those cities is the most "French"? Where will I encounter the most French speakers?

Secondly, does anyone know a good source for finding reasonably priced furnished apartments for short term rental? Since I will be spending a couple of months over the summer, I would like to bring my two children with me.

Thanks for a kick start to my search. I am getting a rather late start in finalizing my plans.
crepes_a_go_go is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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There's no doubt about it, Québec city is by far the most French, and certainly the best place to learn French. Toronto has only a very small French speaking population, and Montréal is so bilingual that you would have a hard time avoiding English, which you will want to do if you really want to learn. As well Québec is a delightful place, full of history (some would say, too full of history).
laverendrye is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Quebec City is the most 'French' of the three. Much of Quebec City is a very quaint, European style walled city. Realize that it is much smaller than Montreal or Toronto, however. Monteal is a close second as far as 'Frenchness' but it is a large, very hip cosmopolitan city. Most of it's 3 million residents are bi-lingual. As a college city, Montreal would be hard to beat, it's a very vibrant city. In my opinion, Toronto would be a distant 3rd if you want to be immersed in the French language.
zootsi is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Definitely Quebec City. I've read that just over 50% of Toronto was born in another country - that could be a European country, a Caribbean island, somewhere in Asia. Toronto is very multi-cultural so there are many languages spoken in Toronto, but not all that many 'native' French speakers. In the touristy areas within Old Quebec, you'll find people who speak English, but that won't be their first choice. It would be a wonderful place to spend a couple of months.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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Of course, Québec is also a college city, with Université Laval, whose origins go back to 1663.
laverendrye is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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Go with Quebec City - no doubt about it!

Less than 2% of the people in Toronto speak French, so you would have a difficult time finding them!! In fact, after English, more people speak Cantonese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Polish and Philipino than speak French in Toronto!!! (I looked this up on the Stats Canada website).

Although Canada has two official languages, in actual fact, not many people are truly bilingual in both of them. The province of Quebec and large parts of New Brunswick are francophone, most of the rest of the country is unilingual English.

Welcome to Canada - I hope that you enjoy your stay here!!!!
Borealis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 05:35 PM
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Definitely Quebec City. Though, Montreal is the more cosmopolitan destinatinon, in my opinion, and you can always visit Quebec City while there.

djkbooks is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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Thank you, each and every one of you! Yours were some of the most positive posts I've ever read on Fodor's. I so desperately wanted to spend my summer improving my French in France, but the severe decline of the dollar against the euro has just made that so prohibitive. So my prof suggested I try one of the three schools in Canada that my university has a relationship with for credit transfer. I am having a hard time convincing myself to do the Canada route, but you have all changed my outlook. One of the reasons I had been discouraged was all the posts I've read that say more than three days in Québec is too many. If that's the case, how can I survive it for two months? Now I need to hear from some Québecois to suggest ways to fill the afternoons and weekends for that period of time! And I need some leads on finding a short term rental. I guess maybe I should start another thread! A colossal idea!

Thanks again!
crepes_a_go_go is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 08:48 PM
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The most French?
Try getting out from Quebec!
Towns like Chicoutimi or Tadoussec are almost anti English speaking.
And those isolated villages along the shores of the Gaspe Peninsula are French speaking as well.
I ran into several situation where the locals did not speak English to amount to anything, and did not want to.

There was even one story in the newspaper about a pet shop owner in Chicoutimi who had a parrot who only spoke English. Protests were raised about the bird because it did not speak French!
brookwood is offline  

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