The Port of Montreal

To understand the importance of M2S and Mariners' House and their impact on the lives of seafarers, you need to know a few things about the port of Montreal.

Most people think of the port of Montreal as a typical "harbour" where ships are moored in relatively close proximity, and where the surrounding city is just a short walk away, making it easy for seafarers to get around and manage on their own. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

The reality is that the "port" of Montreal is a long, narrow strip of riverside quays that runs from the heart of Montreal eastward along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River for close to 20 kilometers! Many of the 100+ docks and mooring points are far outside the downtown city core, some even beyond the limits of public transportation. For seafarers visiting our port, especially first-time visitors, this creates many truly daunting challenges that M2S and Mariners' House have combined to help overcome.

Transportation Challenges

The only options for seafarers who have no access to public transit are walking or taxi. For the average seafarer, a 30-40km round-trip taxi ride into the city is a huge expense. Walking is not worth the effort, because there are often no services or amenities in the vicinity of many of the more isolated mooring points.

Even for those docked within reach of public transit, it is no small task to have to figure out how and where to navigate on your own, especially if you speak neither English or French. The only safe, reliable and affordable alternative for seafarers is the free shuttle service we offer.

Communication Challenges

While on ship at sea, most seafarers do not have access to the internet and therefore cannot contact their families regularly. Combined with long contracts of six to nine months, time spent interacting with loved ones is precious.

Without regular ship visits by our chaplains during which they can purchase phone cards or without the opportunity to use the free Wi-fi connection at Mariners' House, there is sometimes no other option for them but prolonged isolation on-board ship.

Health and Safety Challenges

If a ship's crew are experiencing unsafe or unjust conditions on board, these are less likely to be noticed at isolated docking points unless regular ship visits are made. M2S chaplains are sensitive to these types of situations, and are prepared to intervene with the help of the appropriate authorities.

For any urgent health-related needs, or medical emergencies, M2S has access to a medical doctor who volunteers his time and expertise for seafarers.

Main Docking Areas

Km 2
Cruise Ship Terminal and M2S
Km 8
Grain Docks
Km 9-10
Racine Container Terminal
Km 11-12
CAST Container Terminal
Km 15-18
Gas/Oil Docks
The Port of Montreal contributes to the well-being of its clients and partners and to the economic development of Greater Montreal, Quebec and Canada.