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By OXO Innovation
February 21, 2024

Unlocking Opportunities: The Advantages of Entering the Montréal Market

Expanding a business into new places is a thrilling prospect, offering the promise of growth and increased revenue streams. For many companies eyeing the Canadian market, Montréal stands out as a beacon of opportunity. Boasting a vibrant economy, diverse population, and rich cultural tapestry, Montréal presents a fertile ground for businesses looking to establish a foothold in Canada. However, to truly thrive in this dynamic city, understanding the importance of French language and compliance with regulations such as Quebec’s Bill 96 is paramount.

1. Montréal: A Bustling Economic Hub

Montréal, the second-largest city in Canada, is renowned for its robust economy, characterized by a diverse range of industries including aerospace, technology, finance, and entertainment. Montréal accounts for roughly 10% of Canada’s GDP, and its government is set to inject $365 million until 2025 to boost economic growth post-pandemic.

With a highly skilled workforce, counting with four universities within its borders, Montréal serves as a gateway to both North American and international markets. This bustling metropolis offers businesses access to a large consumer base and opportunities for collaboration and innovation—one of the reasons why many entrepreneurs choose the city to pursue their ambitions over any other in Canada.

Being regarded as the top city in the world for students, the innovative side of the city is not likely to change any time soon.

2. The French Factor: Embracing Language and Culture

One of the unique aspects of Montréal is its status as a predominantly French-speaking city. While English is widely spoken, embracing the French language and culture is instrumental in building strong relationships with local customers and stakeholders. French is the mother tongue of 59.9% of the Greater Montréal population (2021), and the main language spoken at work by 70% of workers.

Any person or business coming to Montréal and Quebec learns soon enough about the critical role the French language plays in the province as a whole. Furthermore, proficiency in French is not only advantageous from a marketing and hiring standpoint, but also essential for navigating legal requirements.

3. A Unique Legislative Environment

The French language is of central importance in Quebec history. Over the second half of the 20th century, a growing movement sought to strengthen and promote the use of French in the province, and their efforts culminated in the enactment of the Charter of the French Language in 1977. Also known as Bill 101, this legislation aimed to affirm French as the official language of Quebec and promote its use in various spheres of public life.

Fast forward to 2022, citing a decline in the percentage of French speakers across the province, the Government of Quebec introduced a new law, Bill 96, which brought significant changes to the Charter of the French Language. It imposed various new requirements on businesses operating in Quebec, including the use of French in communications, signage, and employee interactions.

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant penalties and reputational damage. Therefore, businesses seeking to enter the Montréal market must prioritize linguistic and cultural adaptation to ensure compliance with local laws. 

However, partnering with a localization company with many years of proven expertise in the area like OXO Innovation can make the entrance in the Montréal and Quebec markets seamless for any business willing to take the leap!

4. Localization: A Strategic Investment

Investing in effective localization goes beyond mere compliance; it is a strategic investment that can yield substantial returns. Approximately half of consumers around the world prefer to buy and to browse websites in their language1. How much more so would it not be in Quebec, where its people are known for their pride in the French language? Overlooking localization would be a risky decision even without the tight regulations. 

Tailoring products, services, and marketing efforts to resonate with local audiences demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and cultural sensitivity. Moreover, localized content enhances brand perception, fosters customer loyalty, and has high potential to drive revenue growth when considered in the early stages of strategic decision-making.

In the competitive landscape of Montréal, where consumers value authenticity and inclusivity, effective localization can be a key differentiator for businesses seeking to gain a competitive edge.


Entering the Montréal market presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses seeking to expand their reach and capitalize on a dynamic and diverse consumer base. However, success in this vibrant Canadian metropolis requires a deep understanding of its culture and language.

By embracing the French language at the early stages of strategic planning, following regulations such as Bill 96, and investing in quality localization efforts, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and unlock the full potential of the Montréal market. In doing so, they demonstrate respect for local customs and lay the foundation for meaningful connections and sustainable growth. 

1 Source: “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy – B2C,” CSA Research, June 2020

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