Summer, seasonal and short term jobs in Montreal


Job Hunting in Canada

Before to start any search, you need to make sure that you will have a work permit. Strict regulations mean that checks are often made on employees, often in places that attract a lot of international workers.

Canada's seasonal and short-term work is centered around the tourism and service industries. Summer months offer work on resorts and in restaurants, cafes, and bars while winter work can include working at ski/snowboard lodges as an instructor, hotel staff, or restaurant staff. Hiring usually begins in October. Check with sites directly, like Banff National Park in the Rockies or Jasper National Park. Another option is with the many campsites, caravan and holiday parks in the positions of wardens, sales, and reception staff. Some jobs offer accommodations and meals.


Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

The Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program matches workers from Mexico and the Caribbean countries with Canadian farmers who need temporary support during planting and harvesting seasons, when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are not available.

    Applicants must:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be nationals of one of the participating countries
  • Satisfy the immigration laws of Canada and the worker's home country
  • Accept and sign an employment contract.


This program recruits workers between 18 and 30 for placements throughout the world, including in Canada. They take care of all the practical aspects of the trip, from tickets, work permits and insurance. Workers are paid for their labour and are provided with accommodation and food.

Working Holiday Canada

Offers programs throughout Canada to work in ski resorts. Arranges positions and provides advice.

Forums & Job Listings

Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Find out about other people's experiences and ask questions on the forum. Also go to our expat job listings in Canada.

Language Teacher

Teaching is a common "starter" or temporary job. Since Montréal is bilingual, this could be in English, French, or even another language you are fluent in. Teachers usually work for a language school where they are given a schedule of classes. While this is rarely full-time or offering benefits, it may be enough to live on. The best candidates are college-educated, have earned a teaching certificate (such as a TEFL), and have experience teaching or coaching.

To find work, most people contact language schools directly. This is most effectively done in person where on the spot interviews are frequently held. Always bring a resume and be prepared to interview. You may also contact schools from overseas. Some schools are wary to hire until a candidate is in country.

It is also an option to work for yourself. Private Lessons are usually more profitable per hour, but mean a lot of hard work to find your own customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's job listings.

For more information on work teaching, read "Tips & Stories from Teaching Abroad".


Most teachers arrive in Canada by arranging their own transport, accommodation, and visas. There are some programs that will arrange these practical details, but most hire a teacher once they have arrived. However, if you have not secured a visa but have gained a teaching position, most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a appropriate visa. For more details refer to the guide's section on "Passport, Visa & Permits".

Student Employment Contract

An employment contract is standard for any working environment and in the case of student or short-term work, a student employment contract may be used. This usually imposes a time-limit between a student and an employer, with the student getting a salary for his/her work. Making a formal student work contract is not mandatory (it is possible to sign a standard employee contract instead), but may have additional benefits for a student position.

Discount Cards

ISE Card(International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts in over 80 countries, it is valid for one year from date of issue. Students of ANY age are eligible, as well as faculty members and children to young adults from 12-26. The price is $25 and you can purchase it online at

ISIC (International Student Identity Card) - Card for full-time students 12 years and older. Offers discounts on travel rates, accommodations, shopping, entertainment, basic sickness and travel insurance, and inexpensive international phone calls. A passport sized photo is required and the card costs about $20 and is good through December 31st of each year. It can be purchased at

Work Visa

Many foreigners can enter and reside in Canada as tourists for up to six months (full listing under the section "Passport, Visa & Permits"). However, in almost all cases you must have a valid work permit to work in Canada.

Working Holiday Visa (WHV)

This is also called Working Holiday Program (WHP), but best known in Canada as the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative, this program provides work permits to young people aged 18-35 who are from one of the countries that have a bilateral reciprocal youth mobility arrangement or agreement with Canada. The 4 categories include: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, Internship related to studies, and Summer jobs.

    Participating Countries:
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

This program also allows for people to find independent / freelance work. You still must prepare invoices and report this activity on a Canadian tax return (however, you don't have a right to Social Security).

The downside is that this program fills up very quickly. The program for 2012 filled up within 12 days! Generally, quotas open in the fall and there is no waiting list.

Working holiday programs often featuring a welcome service and orientation, as well as arranging visas, accommodations, and transport.

For more information on visa, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".

You will find information on voluntary jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page.

Update 21/05/2013


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