Montreal, Quebec, incorporated as a city in 1832, population 1,704,694 (2016 c), 1,649,519 (2011 c). Montreal is Canada’s second largest city and is home to nearly half of the province of Quebec’s population. It is the metropolis of the province and was the most populous city in Canada for a century and a half. It is located in southwestern Quebec on Île de Montreal at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. Montreal is a major industrial centre, commercial and financial metropolis, railway and maritime bridgehead, and one of the centres of francophone culture in North America. It is one of the world’s great cities and enjoys international acclaim.
Top 10 Things to do in Montreal:
- Visit Mont-Royal It is an ideal site for admiring a wide variety of plants and birds or for enjoying outdoor activities. There are several great lookouts along the way to the top offering beautiful views of the city. Les amis de la montagne offer a variety of services and activities, including the new permanent exhibition at the Maison Smith and interactive terminals and map.
- The Centre d’histoire de Montréal – 335 place D’Youville The idea behind the Centre d’histoire de Montréal was born in the early 1980s out of a need to find ways to help the city interpret its history and diverse heritage. The museum takes an interest in both the city’s tangible and intangible heritage, as well as that of its citizens, and often works in partnership with groups that wish to retrace and share their history. Located in a former fire station, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal works to promote the cultural diversity of the city and encourage intercultural understanding among its people. Notre-Dame Basilica – 110 Notre-Dame St W. Montreal’s oldest Catholic church, built in 1656, situated in the historic district of Old Montreal. It is known for its intricately designed interior, which includes stained glass chronicling the history of the city.
- Jean-Talon Market – 7075 Casgrain Ave Located in the Little Italy district, the market was opened to the public in 1933. It’s open year-round, even during Montreal’s severe winters, and during the peak summer period, between May and October, its open-air arcades are occupied by around 300 vendors.
- Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts) – 1380 Sherbrooke St W. Founded in 1860, the Musee des Beaux-Arts museum was created by a group of Montreal art collectors and patrons with the purposed of encouraging an appreciation of the fine arts among the city’s inhabitants. Its collection currently holds over 41,000 works spanning from Antiquity to the present day including paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs and decorative art objects which are displayed in four pavilions.
- Old Port of Montreal The Old Port of Montreal is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, attracting about six million visitors every year. The historic port stretches over two kilometres along the St-Lawrence River and was used as early as 1611, when French fur traders used it as a trading post. Today, it hosts many attractions, including the Montreal Science Centre.
- Lachine Canal National Historic Site – 105 Rue McGill This 14.5-kilometre urban route runs between the Old Port and Lake Saint-Louis and is lined both with green urban park and the vestiges of the industrial era when the canal boomed. The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling offers a walking audio tour “that takes listeners from the Atwater Market to the Saint Gabriel Lock (2.5km). Over the course of the walk, memories of residents and workers from the area guide the listener through history.”
- The Botanical Gardens – 4101 Sherbrooke St. E. The Botanical Garden is part of the Montréal Space for Life, Canada’s largest natural museum science complex and offers a variety of programs, exhibitions and activities all year long. The Garden hosts a collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, Frederic Back Tree House, an Insectarium, and more than 20 thematic gardens spread out over 75 hectares.
- Try the Mile End Montreal Food Tour The Mile End is vibrant neighbourhood with a thriving foodie and artistic scenes. The food tour takes about 3 hours and includes 6 stops, a visit to a historic theatre, and a stop at the classic St. Viateur Bagel shop. Prices start at $57.00.
- McCord Museum – 690 Sherbrooke St W. The McCord Museum was originally founded in 1921 by David Ross McCord and was based in his personal collection, primarily reflecting his interest in First Peoples and Canadian history. The museum’s holdings have expanded considerably, with artifacts ranging from textiles, photographs, art, indigenous creations, and more, and the museum has since shifted its focus towards the local history of Montreal.