Overall, Montreal has quite a low crime rate. Violent crimes are occasional, but petty theft is a usual observation, espeically in the crowded downtown district, shopping areas, and street shows. Public transport like the metro also has a considerable number of pickpockets and mere oppurtunists lurking around for unsuspecting and unwatchful tourists. It is advisable to keep cash and valuables in a safe inner pocket or bag.Car doors should be carefully locked, and valuables left inside the car should not be visible from the outside, as window smashing is not very rare, especially for cars with a foreign registration plate. The numbers of car thefts and other property crimes are also quite high.
A rigorously practised childhood lesson comes to mind when crossing the roads of Montreal on foot: always look both ways before crossing. Motorists usually disregard pedestrian crossings, especially during the peak rush hours.
Generally, all areas of the city are considered safe, but large public parks and the area around Mount Royal should be avoided late night, especially when alone. Although violent crimes are unusual, any muggers you might, and probably will, meet are, let's say, less than generous about letting you walk away without giving them their share.
Place des Arts in rue St. Catherine's downtown area is one of the less safer parts of the city. It is frequented by beggars of all kinds; some are in genuine need, but most are habitual beggars. Some may even become unhappy if you give them less than they expect and may resort to violence. It is advisable to steer clear of the area unless you are on a generous philanthropic spree. The area becomes even more dangerous at about 3 in the morning when the local clubs start churning out bunches of carefree, intoxicated souls, who are an easy prey for the firgures lurking around in these dark alleys.