Montréal Culture: Books, Movies, and More!

If you’re planning on studying abroad in Montréal, you are likely interested in learning all about Montréal’s culture, but you may not know where to start. One effective (and fun!) way to begin learning about a culture you have yet to visit is by consuming media content centered around that culture. Here, we are going to be sharing multiple lists of good books, movies, podcasts, music, and more that you might want to consider checking out if you’re hoping to learn more about Montréal’s culture.


First, let’s start with some movies. Watching movies is a fun and easy way to being learning about a culture.

  1. “Bon Cop, Bad Cop” – A bilingual comedy-thriller that follows two police officers, one from Montreal and one from Toronto, as they investigate a murder.
  2. “Incendies” – A powerful drama that explores family secrets and the legacy of war, set partially in Montreal.
  3. “C.R.A.Z.Y.” – This coming-of-age film follows a young man growing up in Montreal in the 1970s, grappling with his identity and family dynamics.

TV Shows

Next, we have a few Montréal based TV shows to mention, so if you’re looking for a new show to start, maybe consider some of these.

  1. “19-2” – A gritty police drama set in Montreal, exploring the challenges faced by officers working in the city.
  2. “Les Invincibles” – Follow the lives of four friends navigating love, friendship, and adulthood in Montreal.
  3. “District 31” – A popular Quebecois crime drama set in Montreal, focusing on the daily operations of a police precinct.


Now, let’s talk about books. We have a lot of books to recommend, so we’ve split them into categories. Let’s start with fiction books. If you love a good novel, consider picking up one of these for your next read.

  1. “Barney’s Version” by Mordecai Richler: A humorous and poignant novel that captures the essence of Montreal’s Jewish community.
  2. “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” by Mordecai Richler: Follow the ambitious and sometimes controversial journey of a young Jewish man striving for success in Montreal.
  3. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill: A dazzling first novel of extraordinary prescience and power, a subtly understated yet searingly effective story of a young life on the streets of Montreal—and the strength, wits, and luck necessary for survival.
  4. “Fall on Your Knees” by Ann-Marie MacDonald: This epic family saga spans several generations and is set in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Montreal. While much of the story takes place outside of Montreal, the city serves as a backdrop for the lives of the Piper family and their secrets, passions, and tragedies.
  5. “Jonny Appleseed” by Joshua Whitehead: This novel follows a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man named Jonny who travels from the reserve to the big city of Winnipeg, encountering various challenges and adventures along the way. While not exclusively set in Montreal, parts of the story take place there, offering glimpses into urban Indigenous life.
  6. “Medicine Walk” by Richard Wagamese: Although primarily set in British Columbia, this novel features a journey to Montreal as part of its narrative. It tells the story of a troubled young man, Franklin Starlight, who accompanies his estranged father on a final journey into the wilderness, where they confront their past and attempt to find redemption.
  7. “The Bicycle Runner” by Gila Green: This novel follows the story of 16-year-old Renia as she navigates life in Montreal during the 1980s. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Renia grapples with identity, family, and love.
  8. “Breakfast at the Liberty Diner” by Michael Panckridge: This young adult novel follows the adventures of three Australian teens who find themselves in Montreal during a school trip. Through their experiences exploring the city and interacting with locals, they learn about friendship, courage, and cultural differences.
  9. “Annabel” by Kathleen Winter: While not specifically aimed at young adults, this novel tells the story of a hermaphrodite child named Wayne born in a remote Labrador town. The family eventually moves to Montreal, where Wayne explores their identity and navigates adolescence.
  10. “The Longest Year” by Daniel Grenier: This coming-of-age novel follows the lives of three friends growing up in Montreal over the course of a year. Through their experiences with love, loss, and friendship, they navigate the complexities of adolescence in a vibrant and multicultural city.
  11. “Shtum: A Funny and Feel-Good Story about Family and Love” by Jem Lester: While primarily set in London, England, this novel features a family who moves from Montreal to London to seek better educational opportunities for their autistic son. The story explores themes of family dynamics, communication, and acceptance.


We even have a poetry recommendation!

  • Leonard Cohen’s poetry – Explore the works of Montreal-born poet and musician Leonard Cohen, known for his introspective and evocative verse.


Next, we have a few podcasts to check out. You can access them through the links.

  1. Montreal Sauce” – A podcast featuring interviews with creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and artists from Montreal, offering insights into the city’s vibrant creative scene.
  2. The Montreal Urban Legends Podcast” – Explore the myths, mysteries, and urban legends of Montreal through this captivating podcast.
  3. The CBC Podcast Website offers all types of great podcasts.


Lastly, we have a couple blogs you can follow if you want to keep updated on Montréal culture and activity.

  1. Montreal Gazette – Stay updated on news, events, and culture in Montreal through the city’s leading newspaper’s online platform.
  2. Cult MTL – A blog covering arts, music, food, and events in Montreal, offering recommendations for things to see and do in the city.

There is our complete list of Montréal culture content recommendations. We know there is a lot to see here, so maybe pick a handful that sound the most interesting to you. We hope you enjoy your experience with Montréal’s culture!

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