Tuesday, 13 December 2011

City driving

I am spending most of the week in Montreal ... a couple days of meetings capped by our company's Christmas party (I work for a Quebec-based company).

Since our head office is downtown, I stay at a hotel that is nearby. I always get a cab to and from the airport ... I have never rented a car. It is easier this way as I never need to drive once I get here.

As I'm walking around downtown, I think driving around Montreal would be maddening since it seems to be a maze of one way streets. You would think that would deter people from driving around and encourage them to walk or use public transit but it doesn't seem to. They are definitely keeping car companies like Nissan Canada in business.

When I moved into my condo just over ten years ago, I didn't own a car. I live just out of the downtown core so didn't really need one. For the first year I was there, I would rent a car when I needed one for work (and the company I worked for would reimburse me for the cost). Every couple of months I would rent a car for a weekend and run errands ... stocking up on heavy bulk stuff like detergent, kitty litter, etc. at the grocery store and/or if there was anything big I had to buy like bookshelves, etc. Because I lived downtown, I either walked or transitted everywhere (I live between two major streetcar lines). Taking a taxi from downtown was only about $10.

When I met Gord, he was living north of the city and had an older car. When he moved in with me, I questionned whether he really needed to keep the car (it was an extra expense with insurance, repairs, etc.). He was used to having a car so it was a non-issue for him.

Alas, when his car needed to be replaced in the spring of 2004, I had gotten so used to having a car handy that there was no thought of not getting a car. Yes, I had gotten spoiled. Even heading to the nearby grocery store I drive. I can see this grocery store from our parking lot and it is quite close but a pain to get to since there are train tracks dividing us.

In our defence, though, Gord and I still walk a lot ... it's a great way to discover the city.

Do you have a car and do you use it more than you should?


Darlene said...

I've lived without a car since I moved downtown about 8 years ago. I don't feel I need it, but when I need to buy big stuff (or go to Ikea), it's a bit of a pain. But I usually just rent a u-haul half-ton truck for a few hours. It's pretty cheap.

Teresa said...

I live in Suburbia therefore I can not do with out a car. But I do walk alot. Driving in Montreal is a blast! I'm wondering when they will stop with the road work for the winter, to date I see no end insight. Enjoy your visit.

Sarah said...

I live in the suburbs with two kids- it's a necessity for us. We actually had three cars (only two of us drive) for a while which was overkill for sure! If I lived right in Toronto, I would go down to one car in a heartbeat!

Brittny Aliza said...

I am agree with you that in Toronto rental taxi service is easier to find out. Toronto Airport Limo is so much famous for rental service.

Justin leon said...

Taxis have become significant for all the visitors who are new and don't have any idea about the routes.
Toronto Airport Taxi