March 9, 2010
Living in Montréal…
City of festivals to discover and explore, Montréal is also a great place to live! The thousand and one faces of the city enchant and fascinate tourists year in, year out. Like a diamond, you will delight in discovering and appreciating the multiple facets of our city. Montréal is romantic, exciting, historic, cultural and culinary… with something for everyone. And Montréalers themselves can never get enough of the city's singular blend of charismatic attributes.
Twenty-five years ago, I chose to settle in Montréal and raise a family. In the time since, I have never tired of exploring the different neighbourhoods and familiarizing myself with the defining characteristics of each. Incredibly, there are always new things to do and discover: exhibitions, restaurants and designer shops dazzling with creativity. In Montréal, one enjoys the luxury of being able to plan one’s outings based on impulses of the moment! In the span of a single morning, one can easily get the impression of having visited several countries and partaken of a variety of different cultures.
Favorite spotsThen it’s up to you! As the light of day dawns on the city, there is nothing like reconnecting with nature while making an honest effort to keep in shape. Head up to Mount Royal, our mountain in the city, and discover the myriad mountainside trails. Whether by foot or pedal power, you are guaranteed a healthy dose of fresh air and unparalleled vistas of the city centre from the famed scenic outlook adjacent to Chalet du Mont-Royal. Next, I would then suggest working your way down the mountain, through the central business district and into Old Montréal for a well deserved breakfast. Seated comfortably at Café Olive & Gourmando, you may need or moment two to decide which of the many breads and pastries is likely to best accompany your cappuccino. Relax and enjoy! Continuing on, you will want to check out several of the many art galleries which dot the streets of the old city. You will quickly discover how lucky Montréalers are to be surrounded by such a wealth of artistic talent. And what a great way to get a sense of the countless cultural influences from near and far. Painters, sculptors, ceramic artists, glass blowers… the list goes on, and gallery access is absolutely free.
Next on your discovery tour, I would suggest Outremont (on the other side of the mountain as the name indicates in French) and Rue Laurier for a peak into a few upscale boutiques. If you like to cook, you will not want to pass up Les Touilleurs kitchen shop, a must for amateur chefs one and all. Whether you are seeking the ultimate pepper mill or culinary gadget of the hour, you will have come to the right place. The area is ideal for window shopping and boasts a discriminating selection of bookstores, home decorating shops, fashion boutiques, tea and coffee shops, and others featuring a wide range of unique products. Come lunch time, sample the fare of a neighbourhood restaurant, café or bistro. If you prefer to keep your midday meal on the light side, treat yourself to a delicious bagel? Montréal is famous for its bagels! For an upmarket bistro dining experience, take your pick from among the likes of Leméac or Chez Lévesque.
If your morning itinerary has inspired you to continue on the culinary theme, visit one of Montréal’s public markets. At either Jean Talon Market located in the heart of Little Italy or Atwater Market adjacent to the Lachine Canal, you will delight in the succession of stands bursting with fresh produce and local specialties.
Late afternoon, take time out to re-energize and then begin to think about what you would like to eat for dinner. You will find dining in Montréal to be a many splendoured experience with culinary offerings from around the globe… French influence, Italian refinement, Asian degustation, Indian fragrances and, of course, local Québec gourmet fare.
Night owls will appreciate the Montréal bar scene, the excitement of the entertainment district and the impressive calendar of festival events.
Whether for a quick visit, multi-day stay or place to call home, Montréal promises a unique experience for individuals one and all. Take a glance through the pages of the Tourisme Montréal website and begin planning your next visit to Montréal today.