She was floated up on 26 February 1992 and provisionally accepted on 27 July 1993. After a series of trials, she was commissioned at Montreal on 21 July 1994, and designated a French Language Unit. On 4 January 1995, Montreal sailed from Halifax to join NATO's SNFL in the Adriatic Sea, blockading the former Yugoslavia. During this tour she twice acted as flagship and returned home on 19 July. During 1997, 12,500 anechoic tiles were applied to Montreal's hull in order to reduce noise. This experiment was not entirely successful, and no other CPFs were so fitted. On 10 August 1998, Montreal departed Halifax to join the NATO fleet off Florida, and with its Immediate Reaction Force paid an epoch-making visit to St. Petersburg, to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Russian navy. She was back in Halifax on 15 December. During the summer of 2000 Montreal represented Canada in the Millennium International Fleet Review in New York City, then escorted the Tall Ships to Halifax, where she acted as flagship for the Commander-in-Chief, Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, to review the Tall Ships sail past. The following week she was deployed to support Athabaskan in Operation Megaphone, the boarding and escorting of GTS Katie to Becancour, Quebec.