Montreal travel information
Canada's most romantic city is Montréal. It is also Québec province's largest city located on an island bearing the same name: Île de Montréal meaning the Island of Montréal.
It is a city where music, culture and elegance rule, a place known for its festivals and vivid atmosphere. The surroundings are also beautiful and the countryside is never far away. For the picture to be complete, there’s Mont-Royal a mountain that gave its name to the island and the city. The setting is complete with waterside, mountains, countryside and a beautiful metropolis in the middle.
No wonder the once small community soon developed into a major port and financial centre and people rushed to settle here its population reaching 3.3 million people. This is how it became a mix of French, British and Americans as each had their role in the formation of the city. The French were the ones that founded the place, the British conquered it and the Americans were the ones that occupied it. Even so the official language spoken is French and the city is the only French-speaking metropolis in North America. Of course English and other languages are also spoken as a sign of tolerance in the city where the blending occurs in particularly intense fashion.
What is most appealing for the visitor is that there is a blend of totally different cultures, the people are so diverse and still live together as a community. It is true though that they live in separate neighbourhoods. The Anglo neighbourhoods are to the west and north of downtown and the Francophone ones are to the east and north. The universities are also divided into two English and two French. There were moments when peace was shattered by those who wanted to ban all other languages but French on public signs and even aspire to be independent from Canada. It was a rough period for the city that has known a moment of economic decline.
Peace was restored when the nationalist Liberals came to the power. The thing is that there conflicts have not made Montréal fade away and it is still graceful, visitor friendly and one of the safest cities in North America with a very low crime rate.The city’s economy has revived too favoured in part by good currency exchange. A building boom followed and many old buildings as the old hockey arena were restored and unprofitable businesses were saved from bankruptcy. New dining and entertainment centres rose attracting the visitors that find Montréal a modern metropolis with its skyline full of skyscrapers, antiques shops, and art galleries, restaurants, acres of parkland and more.
To see it all head for the lookout at the Chalet du Mont-Royal in the Parc du Mont-Royal and you will also see the stone houses of Vieux-Montréal along the bank of the river. What you won’t be able to see is the city underground with all the venues (shops, restaurants, movie theatres) you can spend your time during the winter. Winter can also be avoided when you travel by taking the subway which is very modern.
During the warm seasons of the entertainment choices we can mention: the Casino de Montréal, the La Ronde amusement park and the Lac de l'Île Notre-Dame public beach. A good meal at one of the restaurants is also a good option to spend your time and you are sure to walk away happy, and full. When the night comes the options are numerous in the city where fun-seeking tourists set the tone. The hot spots are Mile End and Plateau Mont-Royal districts. You can go dancing; listen to live music especially to rock as there are plenty of local bands to light up your every night not just during the weekend. Among the attractions are the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal, several museums and the glass office tower of La Maison des Coopérants.
The great Montréal restaurants, shopping, tours, and nightlife will put the icing on your vacation cake!