A day in Montreal

Discussion in 'Other North America/non U.S.' started by kwai, Apr 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I have an upcoming TPAC exYUL in the late afternoon while my flight into YUL is quite early in the morning.

    So with about 5 hours of time to wander what is recommended to see/do?

    I'm assuming, with the exception of the whims of Canada customs and border blah blah blah, that there shouldn't be any impediments to this undertaking.
     
  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I lived in Montreal four years. I recommend Old Montreal.

    Here is an excerpt from Fodor Montreal:

    Old Montréal

    A walk through the cobbled streets of Old Montréal is a lot more than a privileged stroll through history; it's also an encounter with a very lively present—especially in summer, when the restaurants and bistros spill out onto the sidewalks; jugglers, musicians, and magicians jockey for performance space on the public squares and along the riverfront, and things get turned up a notch at the Old Port, which has become one of the city's hottest spots for nightlife.
    Old Montréal, which was once enclosed by thick stone walls, is the oldest part of the city. It runs roughly from the waterfront in the south to ruelle des-Fortifications in the north and from rue McGill in the west to rue Berri in the east. The churches and chapels here stand as testament to the religious fervor that inspired the French settlers who landed here in 1642 to build a "Christian commonwealth" under the leadership of Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, and the indomitable Jeanne Mance. Stone warehouses and residences are reminders of how quickly the fur trade commercialized that lofty ideal and made the city one of the most prosperous in 18th-century Nouvelle France. And finally, the financial houses along rue St-Jacques, bristling with Victorian ornamentation, recall the days when Montrealers controlled virtually all the wealth of the young Dominion of Canada.
    History and good looks aside, however, Old Montréal still works for a living. Stockbrokers and shipping companies continue to operate out of the old financial district. The city's largest newspaper, La Presse, has its offices here. Lawyers in black gowns hurry through the streets to plead cases at the Palais de Justice or the Cour d'Appel, the City Council meets in the Second Empire City Hall on rue Notre-Dame, and local shoppers hunt for deals in the bargain clothing stores just off rue McGill.
     
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  3. airoli
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    airoli Silver Member

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    Buy a $8 daypass for the public transit system when you arrive. It will be good for the 747 bus running downtown and back to the airport (every 10-20min), and include the subway and other buses.

    Old Montréal is nice, but touristy. You could consider the Plateau area instead for lots of shops, restaurants and cafés (Mont-Royal and Laurier Avenues between St-Laurent and St-Hubert, approximately), the classy French area of Outremont (Avenue Bernard to St-Viateur around St-Denis) or even the parks of Ile Ste-Hélène / Parc Jean-Drapeau.

    Google Maps is your friend.
     
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  4. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    Montreal has some great gastromic delights.

    If you want Montreal style Smoked meat, have to give a full two thumbs up to Scwartz's Deli.
    Poutine is done right in Montreal. I love La Banquise, however if you have high colesteral, avoid the place.
    If you like Bagels, smoked loxs and cream cheese, Siegel's is as good as its reputation.
    If you want some high end food - the Pig's Foot, is fantastic. His buffallo drumstick is so huge you feel like Fred Flinstone.

    My wife and I went to Montreal for the primary purpose to try differnt foods. We were not disappointed.
     
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  5. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Thanks for the info. Old Montreal was my initial go to. In early May will the Botanic Gardens be nice?

    I'll be transiting after hanging with family/friends in NY. Somehow eating bagels/lox elsewhere just doesn't seem kosher. :D

    Smoked meats for a lunch would right up my alley. Thanks for the suggestions all.
     
  6. airoli
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    airoli Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, we had a colder-than-usual April so far and nature is still very much in hibernation. There is a good chance that by early May, not much will be in bloom yet in the (otherwise lovely) outside areas of the Botanical Garden. That would leave you with a few greenhouses only. It may still be nice but don't get your expectations too high - nature is slow up here.
     
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  7. Flews
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    Flews Silver Member

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    Old Montreal for the sort of short stop-over you describe.

    Cheers,
     
  8. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Agree. I have not changed my mind for a short stay there. Historical buildings. Notre Dame cathedral. Walk on the waterfront. Some good restaurants.
     
  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Sorry NYC bagel fans, Montreal's Bagels are far superior IMO. I urge anyone going to Montreal to try St Viateur
    www.stviateurbagel.com or Fairmount www.fairmountbagel.com

    We did a taste test between the Fairmount and St Viateur, St Viateur won out but I don't think you can go wrong with either bagel as both bakeries have wood fired bagel ovens.

    Thumbs up for Schwartz's smoked meat: www.schwartzsdeli.com
    -
     
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  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    If warm out, try the the jet boat ride through the Saute-Moutons at Lachine Rapids on the St Lawrence River, jet boats leave out of Old Port, this was a total blast !!! (we sat in the very front of the boat):D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf3lTyMzR7w

    If cold & snow out, go for a sleigh ride on Mount Royal Park, another terrific time.

    All this is making me realize that I'm missing Montreal, been too long since I've been back.
    -
     
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  11. tcorbs

    tcorbs Active Member

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    You may want to pay a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, or spend some time at Mount Royal Park.
     
  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    ok, with good airfares & a great exchange rate, I'm heading back to Montreal at the end of this month.

    I heard that Lester's Deli www.lestersdeli.com/ may serve a better smoked meat sandwich than Schwartz's http://schwartzsdeli.com/ca/en/ Can anyone confirm or mention another place?

    I also plan to hit St Viateur Bagel http://stviateurbagel.com/ which serves the best bagel in Montreal (IMO).

    Any recent visit ideas or not to miss items?
     
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