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Urban Explorers and Culture Lovers Dig Multifaceted Montreal

Montral is a city in love with its dynamic present, historical past, and enticing future. Upon their arrival, tourists are likely to feel that they have been absorbed into the multicultural fabric of...


September 1, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Montral is a city in love with its dynamic present, historical past, and enticing future. Upon their arrival, tourists are likely to feel that they have been absorbed into the multicultural fabric of the city and embraced by a blessing from the residents. This wonderful city, often compared with great European cities for its charming winding streets, open plazas, outdoor cafs, historical section and open attitude, is so full of juxtapositions that residents often pause to admire what is before them. Montral is a very active city and tourists on their way to nearly any of the points of interest should allow time for diversions.

Street fairs, festivals, cafs, historical sites, interesting boutiques, quaint winding streets, fascinating neighbourhoods, markets, an entire underground city, and much more will divert the attention of the most focused explorer. Design is also a passion in Montreal and cab drivers, concirges, students, and scholars are all likely to refer to a modern building by the architect’s name. Annually, the Commerce Design Montral contest brings commercial design to the forefront of interest in the city as the people’s choice award is given to the most beautiful business from a juried selection of the most creative collaborations between merchants and design professionals. Tourists should also take note that at night the city alights with a captivating momentum that should not be missed — revisits to areas explored during the day will surprise and delight visitors.

Start your discovery of Montral in Old Montral, where history has been preserved. A visit to the city’s birthplace, the Old Seminary and the Notre-Dame Basilica located at Place d’Armes, brings to life over 350 years of history that has shaped the city. Remarkable architecture from the 1700s shares the winding streets with 19th century Victorian commercial buildings. This charming area includes a gracious public square lined with outdoor cafs, restaurants, art galleries, five historical museums and boutiques, and the nearby Old Port. At Montral’s two large outdoor markets, the Jean Talon Public Market (located in Little Italy) and the Atwater Market (located in the Ple Des Rapides), mouth-watering produce, artisan cheese, abundant flowers, and other regional specialities are presented in a most jovial atmosphere.

Antiques and eclectic artifacts can be found in the interesting shops that line Rue Notre Dame, also located near the Atwater Market. From the Jean Talon Public Market, you are at the gateway to so many interesting neighbourhoods that some advanced planning is in order. A visit to the nearby Plateau Mont-Royal will help you get a feel for the lay of the land from an elevated vantagepoint. Montral’s Olympic Stadium dramatically looms in the distance and is situated next to the Montreal Botanical Gardens, which is regarded as one of the largest and most beautiful gardens in the world — certainly not to be missed (even in the winter).

City lovers will find excellent shopping, museums, and diverse neighbourhoods along rue Sainte Catherine. This main shopping artery is the axis to many fascinating streets and neighbourhoods. At Place Des Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum of Montral displays the intriguing “modern” works of Canadian artists. Just off rue Sainte Catherine in the Museum’s Quarter is the impressive Montral Museum of Fine Art and some of Montreal’s most exclusive shopping. Rue Crescent is lined with smart boutiques and terraced restaurants. Hardly quiet by day, the street is vibrant and energized at night. A similar transformation takes place on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, where homes, fashion, and unique ethnic boutiques attract the curious by day and many of the area’s exciting bars and night spots, and finest restaurants, attract a lively crowd by night “on the Main.” The residents of Montral seem to savour the good life and visitors should too. Discover the city by walking, stopping at cafs, browsing in shops, and then lingering over a magnificent dinner. In this exceptionally comfortable and lively city, the pulse is intoxicating.

Source: Tourisme Montral