Montreal - Do internet cafes still exist?
June 9, 2016 2:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm temporarily in Montreal and need to do some work online for my job back home. My laptop is on the fritz and I need access to a computer for several hours per day. Can anyone confirm whether there is an open internet cafe downtown? The closer to Berri station the better.
posted by oceanview to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (10 answers total)
Try a public library. Most of them have computers with internet connections for public use.
posted by WizKid at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, right at Berri. It's a public library, and they have computers.

And it's an architectural design marvel too, with a fun VR show about other libraries in the basement, put together by Robert Lepage. Don't miss that while in Montreal. Worth the hour and the modest price of admission.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you go to a library, you may need a guest pass to get online. This is the English version of the library link from above. It has language that suggests there is a daily time limit to internet usage per user. It may be 2 hours, but some pages are only available in French and I have failed to find the specific info I am seeking.

This may be a partial solution to your problem, but may not give you the several hours per day of access you need.
posted by Michele in California at 3:27 PM on June 9, 2016

List of Internet Cafes in Montreal. But at 10 cents per minute, that is $6/hour x several hours per day for some number of days, it might make more sense to get a cheap tablet or laptop (used?) and free Wi-Fi at the library. Although many libraries have limits on how much time you can be logged in on their public computers, Wi-Fi is typically not limited.

Disclaimer: My experience is with American libraries, not Canadian, but what I was reading on their website looked similar to American standard library practices.
posted by Michele in California at 4:01 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I made the list Michele links and am afraid a lot of those businesses have closed in the last couple of years. I should take the page down or do something else.


– the Bibliothèque is good. The online documentation's mostly French but most of the staff will be all right about helping you in English in person
– inquire on reddit's /r/montreal where although a few folks are snarky (someone is going to recommend La Banquise, and you can ignore that) you may get some help. Friday there's always an open thread where all kinds of queries are welcome.
– google for coworking spaces
– drop by the Maison Notman, where somebody may be able to help you.
posted by zadcat at 6:40 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've blown away that internet café page. Internet cafés are no longer a thing.

And while we're at it, you can't use a Grande Bibliothèque terminal either unless you've got a library card. I can't make out from the cryptic website of the city's own network of libraries whether they allow visitors to use terminals, but there's no city library downtown anyway.

For the last few years the catchphrase has been "co-working" but that's not usually done on a walk-in basis. Notman House may be your best bet, although I can't guarantee they can help you.
posted by zadcat at 8:50 PM on June 9, 2016

Try L2 in Chinatown, I remember them having a bunch of computers around.
posted by vasi at 10:13 AM on June 10, 2016

On reddit, I've been recommended Anticafé, but I see no evidence on the site that they provide any computers themselves.

Maybe L2 will work out for you. I'm finding, on the one hand, places you can bring your own laptop to do some work on it; on the other, coworking spaces that seem to require a minimum month-long contract, and probably don't provide any workstations either.

Please let us know what solutions you find.
posted by zadcat at 11:51 AM on June 10, 2016

Are there any gaming bars/cafes around? The kind with high-speed access intended for playing online games? They might let you camp out and use a computer.
posted by thewestinggame at 6:20 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Please don't work in an Internet cafe if you want to keep your passwords and other confidential information secure. They are wretched hives of scum and villainy. There is literally no way to stop a bad guy from stealing all your info if you use a computer in an Internet cafe to log into your work stuff.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 6:57 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

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