The smell of a fresh baguette wafts through the air, settling softly upon the stone window sills of the surrounding buildings.
Down the street, a café bustles with the sounds of trendy twenty-somethings sipping espresso and planning out their evening affairs. There is a certain 'je ne sais quoi' in the atmosphere that just screams old world France. But, there is something else - a modern twist, a feeling of freedom and opportunity.
Montreal, the capital of Quebec, Canada has quickly become a number one destination for French immigrants looking for something new and exciting. In fact, over 100,000 French immigrants have moved to Canada since 2008, and Montreal is their number one choice.
TransferWise asked some of these Canadians how they are making the most of their new home.
A land of beauty, Canada pulls people across the Atlantic with promises of hikes through pristine mountains and encounters with majestic wildlife.
The only drawback: your eyes will freeze shut and your face will freeze stiff, making it impossible to see the majesty or express your awe.
Ah, the Québécois speak a version of French that is just so...bizarre.
It’s as if you've gone back 400 years, to a world where peasants have replaced the bourgeoisie and for some reason, have decided to speak through their noses. What's more, when speaking they can interchange French and English in the blink of an eye.
Celine Dion, Roch Voisine, Marcel Béliveau...the essence of the Québécois spirit.
After arriving in Québec over 15 years ago, Quentin observes:
“Here in Quebec, they are less rigid in their thinking [than in France]. They may speak French, but they definitely don't think French. The culture is more relaxed, they don't adhere to the hierarchy and traditions of our society in France. They do things and say things without the pretentiousness of back home. It’s a great place to be young."
This straightforward mindset coupled with a healthy job market means endless opportunities for the adventurous Francophone who wants to start a successful new life while still maintaining that je ne sais quoi of being French.
The people here at TransferWise want to help you make the most of your new home in Canada by helping you keep your bank account topped up. No hidden fees, no doctored exchange rates and a straightforward, easy to use app means you can get your money to and from France with ease, for the lowest price possible.
I can have a beer, get a job, send money home and speak my mind?
Banks and brokers charge a lot to send money internationally - and they use a really bad exchange rate. Try TransferWise - it's far cheaper, and it's faster too.
TransferWise charges just 1% or 0.7% on amounts over $9,500 - and you avoid the terrible exchange rates banks and brokers use.
Click here to set up your free account and start saving. Or see what you could save in the calculator below.