If I could recommend you see one Canadian city this summer, I would say, visit Montreal.
On an island located east of Toronto in the province of Quebec, I’ve always kind of considered Montreal the sexy, slightly European girl next door. She speaks French, is creative and fashionably dressed, and she’s famous for her poutine – what’s not to love?
This summer I was lucky enough to visit a friend in Montreal, and this was the first time I had been to the city during the summer months. My friend lives in the desirable Plateau neighbourhood and honestly, I want to live there too now. Parks, shops, people out walking, biking, kids and dogs, it just seemed like a family-friendly, safe, and nice place to be. I even saw it ranked on a blog as the coolest neighbourhood in Montreal to live, and I agree!
We spent the first day walking for hours, exploring so much of the city, it was awesome. The Gay Village area was having an open art show along a pedestrian walkway that went on for several blocks and we walked through, admiring some of the art along the way. This city is mad creative.
Old Montreal was packed with people walking, sitting on patio’s and watching soccer (or football) in bars and pubs or gathering in groups on the street outside restaurants for the final minutes of a game. There seemed to be this feeling of festivity in the air wherever we went that was really great.
We spent the early evening taking in the views of Old Montreal from the rooftop patio at Terrasse sur l’Auberge, which is where the first photo in this post was taken. The other side of the patio provided an alternate view – the waterfront.
A tourist attraction that just opened this summer is the new observatory on the the 46th floor of the iconic Place Ville Marie building, located smack dab in the middle of the financial district. Au Sommet Place Ville Marie is floor to ceiling glass windows offering 360* panoramic views of the city. What a great idea – Montreal, I am so impressed! On the 45th floor, visitors are treated to an interactive exhibition on everything Montreal, such as food, history, neighbourhoods, hockey or a host of other subjects of interest. I thought it was awesome.
On the first night I was there, the waterfront was buzzing with activity. There was some kind of rib cook-off with groups competing for trophies, hologram art installations projected onto buildings (which looked really cool in the darkness of night), Cirque du Soleil, and evening fireworks. Whew!
If you are unable to make it to Montreal this summer, plan for next. In 2017 they will be celebrating 375 years and rumour has it, this birthday bash will be like no other. Montreal is gong to be the place to be. I can’t wait!