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
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
(10 min walk away) or
(anywhere from 15-30 min walk away).
» Our list of selected Old Montreal Hotels
3. Places to Eat, etc
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
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.
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,
, by next spring Montreal will count 2,400 bikes at more than 300 solar-powered stations...
Read the rest of: "BIXI: Bike, Taxi, Montreal
Many tourists (not to mention the residents) find the lack of direct
transport links between Downtown
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
are to be
linked by a new bus route...
Read the rest of: "Downtown, Old Port To Be Linked By New Bus Route
A visiting Parisian recently made me laugh. Stretched on the grass next to the esplanade in the
she suddenly noticed Habitat 67
's retro-futuristic assemblage across the Lachine Canal.
" - 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