Thoroughly Modern Montréal
With its cutting-edge culture and passion for living, Montréal redefines the urban experience. Places such as the Quartier international, a showcase of modern design, art and architecture at the heart of downtown, testify to Montréal’s avant-garde character. Hundreds more examples of our innovation and free-spiritedness flourish in fashion boutiques and interior and industrial design spaces all over the city.
One look at our compact downtown that hums 24/7, with wonderfully preserved Old Montréal at its feet and beautifully landscaped Mount Royal Park as a backdrop, provides a hint as to why Montréal is an internationally favored destination for business and leisure. Four seasons provide the typical northeastern changes in climate and scenery, and there are facilities for every summer and winter sport imaginable. A diverse cross-section of cultures and familiar influences of Europe and North America, make Montréal the perfect playground for all kinds of visitors.
Montréal is the most bilingual metropolis in North America and the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Located on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, it was colonized by the French and later the British. Today the population of Greater Montréal is approximately 3.6 million, with 53% of its inhabitants bilingual (French and English) and 20% using a third language. Montréal ranked first for university research in Canada – a small wonder for a city with two French-language and two English- language universities! Also renowned for its sensational and original restaurants and as a center for French-cuisine-par excellence, Montréal is part of a select group of 15 cities to join the prestigious World Good Food Cities Network in 2007. Over 80 different kinds of food are served in 6,000 restaurants, from 5-star to soul-comforting smoked-meat counters.
Montréal takes its fun very seriously, and its seriousness lightly. It’s a city that loves to party, especially with its visitors. And visitors love Montréal. They rave about the beautiful people, the crazy spontaneity, and that there’s always something new and unorthodox at every turn. They love being constantly surprised by fashion trends and wonderful art both woven through every fiber of the city’s life. The locals adore meeting out-of-towners and spending time with them. Between these warm welcomes, the gorgeous scenery, the vibrant urban landscape, fabulous food and a glamourous nightlife, we’re sure that Montréal will become one of your new favorite destinations for many trips to come! See for yourself and join us for EdMedia 2015, at Le Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel, June 22-25, 2015.
Top 10 Things to Do In Montréal
- Basilique Notre-Dame
Montréal’s famous religious landmark, Notre-Dame Basilica, is a visually stunning symphony of carved wood, paintings, gilded sculptures and stained-glass windows. Built in 1829, it also sports a famous Casavant organ and the Gros Bourdon, said to be the biggest bell in North America.
- Stroll along St-Paul Street
Old-Montreal has so many things to see and do, but if you find yourself short on time, a walk along Saint-Paul Street is a great option to cram in as much of the famous European atmosphere of Montreal. There are tons of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and art galleries along the way.
- Oratoire St-Joseph
The gigantic oratory honors St. Joseph, Canada’s patron saint. The largest shrine ever built in honor of Jesus’ father, this Renaissance-style building was completed in 1960 and commands fine views of the northern slope of Mont-Royal. The oratory dome is visible from anywhere in this part of town.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal
A must for art lovers, the Museum of Fine Arts has amassed several millennia worth of pieces from European heavyweights including Rembrandt, Picasso and Monet. It’s also home to many personal effects of Napoleon, including the famous chapeau he wore during the Russian campaign in 1812.
Housed in Buckminster Fuller’s striking geodesic, this nature center has its own geothermal energy system and exhibits on urban ecosystems and emerging ecotechnologies.
Montréal bagels are known to rival the world famous bagels of New York. Stop in at any one of Montréal’s famed bagel places – where people flood in here around the clock to scoop them up the minute they come out of the oven. Some of the best bagels can be found at St-Viateur Bagels or Fairmount Bagels.
- Smoked Meat at Schwartz’s Deli
A Montreal icon that started in 1928, Schwartz’s is widely considered to serve the best smoked meat in Montréal, whether it’s brisket, duck, chicken or turkey, all piled high on sourdough rye bread. Expect the usual long lines, but it’s worth it for a great, authentic Montreal experience!
- Poutine at La Banquise
A Montréal legend since 1968, La Banquise is probably the best place in town to sample poutine. More than two dozen varieties are available, including a veggie poutine and classic poutine with fries, cheese curds and gravy. There’s an outdoor terrace, a full breakfast menu and a selection of microbrews, plus the kitchen never closes.
- Parc Olympique Tower
Built at a 45-degree angle, the 574-foot Olympic Park inclined tower is the tallest in the world. You can ride a tram to the top for 360 degree views of Montreal.
- The market at Marché Jean-Talon
The pride of Little Italy, this huge covered market is Montréal’s most diverse. Packed with merchants selling fruit, vegetables and flowers as well as baked goods, the market is also flanked by great delis and cafe-restaurants.
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Photos: © istockphoto.com ©Tourisme Montréal