Montreal is a fascinating blend of influences; thanks to the French and English the city oozes European charm, yet retains a distinctly North American feel. The food is superb (as you’d expect with the French influence), the culture is electrifying and the music scene is hot right now. Montreal is also a stop on the Formula 1 circuit, so whatever your reason for visiting why not include some of these locations on your must-see list;
Montréal is well known for having a large number of festivals throughout the year. The large majority of these events are held through the summer and fall. Popular festivals include the Shakespeare in the Park Festival held by the Repercussion Theatre. The Shakespeare plays are held outside in various parks throughout the city. Another well-known festival is the Montréal International Jazz Festival. As the world’s leading jazz festival, the event is a significant international function that appeals to well-known artists. Movie lovers will enjoy the Film Festival held at the end of August to early September. Each year, films from more than seventy nations are selected to be viewed at the event.
There are also several water activities to take part in during the summer. River surfing and kayaking are two of the most popular sports in the area. Adventure enthusiasts will love the large waves, fast water, and also the thrill of the Lachine Rapids. For those seeking less of an adrenaline rush, there is the Bunny Wave upstream near the bike path of Park Rene Lévesque.
Created in 1931, Montréal’s Jardin Botanique has grown to become one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. The garden is over 170 acres and contains thousands of species in 30 uniquely themed gardens. The rose beds are especially enjoyable during the summer months. Additional attractions are the climate controlled greenhouses that house cacti, bananas trees and 700 types of orchids. Bird watchers will also delight in the various species of birds available to view with their binoculars. A well-known draw is the Japanese Garden with traditional pavilions, tearoom and the bonsai forest.
Canadian Railway Museum
Situated within the southern suburb of St. Constant is the Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. The museum is located a short distance from downtown Montréal and is a fascinating display of the history of the railroad industry. There are more than a hundred and fifty locomotives, cars, and railway automobiles. History lovers and families will enjoy the interactive exhibits throughout the museum.
Vieux-Montréal (Old Montréal) is a spectacular and well-maintained vibrant area of the city. The area is an excellent location to pass a relaxing moment and enjoy sightseeing, shopping and dining. Visitors are also able to explore galleries and museums. Visiting Vieux Montréal is also an excellent opportunity to enjoy the French restaurants located throughout the neighbourhood. Vieux-Montréal also contains Centaur Theater, an English speaking theatre, where guests are able to view English plays throughout the year.
The 1976 Olympic stadium was a concept of French architect Roger Taillibert. This impressive concrete structure is a landmark in Montréal and is known for its unique design. The leaning tower along with the non-retracting roll top roof is clearly visible along Montréal’s skyline. Guests are able to explore the structure with a guided tour and discover the history of the location and view the Olympic swimming pool and grounds.
Whale Watching trips near Montréal
One of the most exciting adventures to explore while in Montréal is whale watching. A whale watching cruise is a thrilling event to discover whales, seals and other marine animals. Visitors are able to enjoy the rugged coast, islands and traditional lighthouses during the tour.
By Julie Bowman