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Old Montreal

↓1: Places to visit   ↓2: Places to stay   ↓3: Places to eat   ↓4: Transit   ↓5: Articles

Old Montreal is the historic center of the city. This is where the French pilgrims docked when they first arrived to the city (the exact location is now a museum). Although not much remains of the original French colonial architecture (most buildings that stand today were built by the British in the 19th century), Old Montreal still encapsulates the spirit of a distinctly European settlement.

1. Places to Visit

Rue St-Jacques (formerly Saint-James Street) was Canada's financial center for over a century. You can still admire old bank headquarters on the stretch of the street between blvd St-Urbain and rue McGill.

Built over several decades from 1824 on, Notre-Dame de Montréal was Montreal's answer to the revered Paris cathedral. Curiously, this quintessentially catholic church it was built by a protestant anglophone architect, James O’Donnell (he eventually converted to Catholicism and was buried in the same church).

Located across the Lachine Canal from Old Montreal proper, Habitat 67 is a very unusual (at the time of its contruction, it could even be considered revolutionary) housing complex. It can be easily seen from rue de la Commune.

If you're a movie fan and liked The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), you should walk down Rue St-Pierre, especially the part closer to the river. The entire "Parisian" café sequence, as well as some of the old "Russia" in that movie were shot there over a few days.

» Our list of selected Old Montreal Places to Visit (4)

2. Places to Stay

In terms of style, design and atmosphere, Old Montreal is without a doubt the best neighborhood to stay in Montreal. Most hotels are here high-end.

If you'd like to be close to the area, but don't think you can afford it, consider staying in Quartier International (10 min walk away) or Downtown Montreal (anywhere from 15-30 min walk away).

» Our list of selected Old Montreal Hotels (5)

3. Places to Eat, etc

While Le Plateau is Montreal's dining capital, Old Montreal probably comes in second - at least, in terms of upscale restaurants (in fact, casual dining options here are rather limited). As a tourist destination, it benefits from a steady stream of international visitors.

Unfortunately, because of the tourist-oriented schedule of this historic neighborhood, very little in the way of good cafés is open after 7pm. Better get your coffee during the day.

» Our list of selected Old Montreal Cafés and Restaurants (8)

4. Transit

Old Montreal proper is served by two metro stations: Place d'Armes, in the western part of the neighborhood and Champs de Mars, in the eastern part. You can also walk from the Square Victoria metro station, although it is technically located in neighboring Quartier International.

There are several bus routes as well, notably the newly launched 515 linking Old Montreal with Downtown Montreal as well as with Quartier Latin.

5. Articles

BIXI: Bike, Taxi, Montreal
Posted by Slavito in Montreal on 22/Sep/2008
bixi (teaser)The voting process for the name of Montreal's citywide bike rental program is over and the winner is chosen. The system is going to be called "BIXI".

Over the next month, demo bikes will be wheeled around the city and public demonstrations will be held. According to the city's mayor, Gérald Tremblay, by next spring Montreal will count 2,400 bikes at more than 300 solar-powered stations...

Read the rest of: "BIXI: Bike, Taxi, Montreal
STM BusMany tourists (not to mention the residents) find the lack of direct transport links between Downtown and Old Montreal inconvenient. Sure, the métro is there, but because of the U-shaped configuration of its lines, a traveler who wants to go from centrally located Peel Street to no less central Old Montreal would have to travel a few stops west (or east) on the green line, switch to the orange line, then essentially come back to the geographic center of the city albeit 10-15 blocks south. Annoying.

Fortunately, the city is aware of that - in fact, many recent proposals for building a tramway line cited this very inconvenience as the major reason for building it. Well, the tramway, if it's ever built, is still years away, but something much more feasible is already coming, the Gazette reported: Old Montreal and Downtown Montreal are to be linked by a new bus route...

Read the rest of: "Downtown, Old Port To Be Linked By New Bus Route
The Habitat
Posted by Slavito in Montreal + Places on 09/Nov/2007
HabitatA visiting Parisian recently made me laugh. Stretched on the grass next to the esplanade in the Old Port, she suddenly noticed Habitat 67's retro-futuristic assemblage across the Lachine Canal.

"Et ça" - she said, peering confusedly at the distant building - "Ce sont des logements sociaux?" ("And that... that's a housing project?"). I laughed because although nothing could be further from the truth (the internationally acclaimed building houses well-to-do Montrealers - one could even say, the city's elite) many people somehow make a similar mistake. They are put off by the building's stern look, uninviting color and absurd shape, and so they wrongly assume something of the sort can only be used to house the underclass. I am here to clear up the confusion and defend the merits of Habitat 67...

Read the rest of: "The Habitat

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