It's disorienting to be in a place where the signs are in a language you don't speak and there are no English translations. I wandered around Montreal today like a drunken sailor clueless of his bearings. On the plus side, the city has an excellent subway system that's clean, cheap and goes everywhere. Names of Metro stations are unpronounceable but a simple graphic diagram helps you find your destination.
Residents speak French and greet you with "Bon jour!" As soon as you say "hello," they switch seamlessly to English. I never detected any negative attitude toward English-speakers (which I heard reports about in Paris).
Montreal is as close to a European travel-experience as you're going to get in North America. And that exotic-ness is its appeal. A part of the city called "Old Montreal" is impressive with classic architecture and cobblestone streets. Fortunately the city is awash with chic cafes, scores of art galleries and even a Fluevog store so I'm having endless fun exploring. I just hope my obliviousness isn't too obvious. :-)