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The lady and I are likely heading to Montreal in September (her for a conference, me because I need a vacation sooner or later). We'll be staying near the near the city center. I have a few questions and wanted some advice for things to check out.
First, I remember several years ago there was a significant rift between French-Canadians and Canadians, and my GF remembers traveling to the area when she was younger and having French-Canadians often deliberately not speak English to her and her family. Should we work on French or was that a indication of the time period and less of a problem today?
Second, I'm looking for solo things to do during the day that don't involve me sitting in a pub. These would be little things I could do while she was at the Conference, not bigger things we would do together in the days around the Conference.
Third, I see there is a metro and some public transportation. In general, how good is transit in Montreal and how accessible are things from the old city center?
Finally, I want some suggestions of can't miss things there that we can do together (at night, a few days before or after the Conference). She suggested the biodome and a few other things, but I'd like to get some ideas from folks that live there/have traveled there.