Montreal is one of the largest Canadian cities and is full of culture, great food, breathtaking architecture, and exciting night-life.
But is Montreal safe?
I’ve lived in Montreal and the surrounding area for quite a while, and Montreal is safe for residents and tourists.
So, if you’re traveling to Montreal and want to be safe when you do it, keep reading as we breakdown all the information you need to know.
Is Montreal Safe For Tourists & Travelers?
Montreal has consistently ranked in the top 10 safest cities in Canada based on the crime index and homicide rates. In 2021, the city had one of the lowest homicide rates in the country.
In fact, you can see in the data from Stats Canada that Montreal is much safer than Toronto and has similar homicide rates to Vancouver.
Overall, Montreal is quite safe for travelers, which might be surprising because of the density of the population.
You should still take normal precautions, especially when in public places or roaming the streets at night, but the likelihood of encountering any crime or dangers is very low overall.
There is petty crime in Montreal just like any big city, but again, if you look after your belongings and stay in groups when out late at night you shouldn’t have any issues.
Overall, crime rates against tourists are low in Montreal, and the main crimes the city faces relate to vandalism and theft.
Now, let’s break down some of the different dangers and things you should do to stay safe if you decide to visit Montreal!
Dangers & Precautions In Montreal
We put together a list of some of the most common dangers and travel precautions you need to consider when travelling, so you can know the risk level in the city of Montreal.
1. Montreal Metro
La Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) has two trusted methods of transportation: the underground Metro and public buses.
Montreal’s underground transit system, the Metro, is both affordable and reliable.
The stations and trains themselves are clean and well maintained, especially the orange line which looks very cool and futuristic (personal opinion).
There’s a total of 4 Metro lines with 68 stops total. You can get just about anywhere using the Metro system, including Tourist attractions and local gems.
Just be aware that not all lines run 24/7, so be sure to check the schedule and have an alternate mode of transportation in mind if you plan on being out late.
2. Public Buses
Montreal public buses run 24/7 year round, with a total of 220 stops across the city.
The buses are also very affordable and safe to use at night, even more so now that the service introduced a program called “Between Stops,” primarily for women.
The idea is that riders can request to be dropped off as close to their destination as possible or in more populated areas, where it might be considered safer to be alone at night.
Overall, buses and public transportation in Montreal are quite safe, which is especially important if you’re coming home later after a night out.
Crime In Montreal
Homicide and serious violent crime isn’t very common in Montreal.
But, is Montreal safe for tourists and residents?
Well, the most common crime in Montreal is petty theft, but it’s still unlikely you’ll face this during your travels.
Pickpocketing does occur on occasion, but it’s mostly in cafes or restaurants when bags are left unattended at tables.
There also isn’t a high rate of scams occurring in the city, but stay vigilant as always when interacting with strangers, especially if they’re trying to sell you something.
Overall, you should take the same precautions you would travelling anywhere to stay safe in Montreal:
- Wear a cross body bag or purse
- Stay aware of your surroundings
- Keep valuables close to you at all times
- Avoid flashing cash
Montreal also has a relatively high homeless population, but this isn’t anything to worry about.
Speaking from experience, the homeless in Montreal are kind, harmless, and generally keep to themselves. There are even some local legends in the area that you’ll see locals chatting to on a regular basis.
The Best & Safest Areas Of Montreal
If you decide to travel to Montreal, it’s helpful to know some of the most popular areas where you can live.
Some of the best Montreal neighborhoods include:
- Old Port
- Mile End
- Little Italy
- Gay Village
Again, Montreal’s transportation makes it easy to get around, and any of these neighborhoods have plenty of things to do to keep you busy during your stay.
Tom also has a digital nomad vlog from his time in Montreal, and he lived around Plateau and loved his time there!
Dangerous Areas In Montreal
There aren’t many bad areas in Montreal and it’s relatively safe to walk around anywhere — day or night.
That being said, there are some bad areas of Montreal you might want to avoid at nighttime if you can.
Here are some of Montreal’s worst neighborhoods in terms of safety:
- Notre Dame Quest
- Montreal North
- The Red Light district (from St. Laurent Boulevard to the corner of St-Catherine Street)
Most locals will tell you they’ve walked almost everywhere late at night, but it’s never a bad idea to take a taxi or an uber should you feel ill-at-ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know more about what it’s like to visit Montreal as a tourist, let’s cover some of the common questions people have about this wonderful city.
Is The Tap Water In Montreal Safe To Drink?
The water in Montreal is well-maintained and safe to drink, the only concern is the pipes in older buildings that may have traces of lead that can leak into the water.
However, the city closely monitors this and runs frequent testing to ensure that it’s population is safe.
Is Montreal High In Crime?
Montreal is low in violent crime and most serious crimes and is a safe city overall for residents and tourists. Vandalism and theft are the main crimes in the city, but as a tourist, it’s unlikely you’ll be impacted, especially if you stick to good areas and use common sense.
Is Montreal A Good Place To Live?
Montreal is a culturally-rich city with plenty of museums, galleries, concerts, bars, and events that go on year-round. It also has beautiful buildings, amazing history, delicious food, and ample green spaces.
You can even lounge in one of Montreal’s many parks and enjoy wine in the open; talk about a great place to live!
Overall, Montreal is commonly viewed as a fun and exciting city with a diverse population, numerous universities, and exciting nightlife.
Is Montreal Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
Montreal is safe for solo female travelers. Crime rates are low, public transportation is safe, and you can stay safe if you use common sense just like any big city.
Is Montreal Safe To Walk Around At Night?
Like any big city, you should try your best to avoid walking alone at night. This isn’t unique for Montreal and is just a common safety practice.
Walking in groups is fairly safe, and you can always call an Uber or Taxi to get home as well. You still see people walking alone at night, so it’s fairly safe, but always best to be safe.
Overall, it’s clear that Montreal is very safe, especially for a metropolitan city.
Both women and solo travellers love the city as it’s affordable and safe to get around, so you can be sure to get all of the best attractions without concern.
The only real danger you’re guaranteed to encounter in Montreal is that you may never want to return home!
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