City Feature: Montreal
By Cristiana Dias
If places could have children together, then Montréal would be Europe and North America’s child. This city is like no other; whimsical, culturally impressive, and so dynamic with its old age charm, and modern innovation. There is so much to do and so much to see in Montréal, and we’re going to tell you all about it.
Because of its location, Montréal can be a trip within itself, an add-on to a Canada exploration vacation, a pit stop on a ski adventure, or a detour from a Niagara Falls discovery. Montréal suffers extremely cold winters, however its moderate summers can give you a break from the hot tropics!
Similar to New York’s Central Park is Montréal’s Mont Royal that stands over 200 meters above the city. From the summit of this green park, you get a spectacular view of the entire city and can even see the Adirondacks on a clear day! Just below the hill is the Oratoire Saint-Joseph, a mecca for pilgrims because of Brother Andre, a healer in the early 1900s who was canonized in 1982. Its Renaissance-style domed basilica won’t disappoint!
To have some fun in Montréal, you can visit another park, Parc Jean Drapeau, where you will find La Ronde Amusement Park and the Biosphere, which is a remnant of the 1967 World’s Fair, but now a museum dedicated to ecological issues.
Take a stroll down Rue Sherbrooke for some museum visits, like the McCord Museum of Canadian History, and the Musée des Beaux Arts. Nearby, you can even venture over to the McGill University campus!
Old Montréal is where the European charm of the city kicks in, thanks to its buildings dating back from the 17th to 19th centuries. Some compare this area to Paris for its historic sites, its Notre-Dame Basilica, Old Port, and the Place Jacques-Cartier. Make sure you take your time exploring Old Montréal by foot! Similar to Paris again is in one of Montreal’s residential areas. Here you’ll find Square Saint-Louis, debatably one of the city’s prettiest old squares. The Victorian houses of the neighborhood really emphasize the charm of its little streets.
Be sure to see Lac Saint-Louis, and in it, Lachine, found on the southeast bank of Montréal Island. The Lachine Canal was dug in 1825 to find a route to China, which is how the canal got its name (“La Chine” in French means China).
Montréal is a lively adventure that may just trick you into thinking you aren’t in North America anymore!