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What to do in Montréal
If you hanker for a bit of the country without leaving the city, visit the Atwater Market downtown, the Lachine Market in the Lachine borough, the Jean Talon Market north of downtown, or the Maisonneuve Market to the east. Each offers fresh fruits and vegetables, the smell of freshly baked bread, organic foods, and that cosmopolitan atmosphere that gives Montréal its charm.
Mount Royal Park
Laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who created Central Park in New York, Mount Royal Park was officially inaugurated in 1876 and remains the undisputed jewel in the crown of Montréal’s natural heritage. The Smith House, which gives visitors an overview of Mount Royal’s history, is the ideal place to begin a visit of “the Mountain.”
History comes alive in the cobbled streets of Montréal’s historic district, whether you’re on foot or enjoying a ride in a horse-drawn calèche. Located along the Saint Lawrence River, the neighbourhood offers all the magnificence of 19th-century architecture. There are also numerous art galleries and designer shops to visit, as well as a wide selection of restaurants where you can enjoy a fine meal.
This former working-class neighbourhood with maple-lined streets, multi-coloured houses and exterior wrought-iron staircases is quintessentially Montréal. Now the home of creative artists and young trend-setters, the Plateau is famous for its easy-going Bohemian lifestyle. This is the place to people-watch as you sip a coffee on one of the many terraces. It’s also a mecca for cyclists, who can explore parks and alleys that are so typical of Montréal.
The Underground City
Montréal’s winters last 6 months out of the year. So it’s no surprise that its 33-kilometre long network of tunnels under the downtown core is still so popular, even after 50 years. More than 2,000 shops, 200 restaurants, hotels, museums, concert halls, universities and an arena can all be reached by foot without stepping out into the cold.
Jean Drapeau Park
Just a few minutes away from downtown by metro is Jean Drapeau Park, the ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts all year round. Here you’ll find an amusement park, a bike path, a sandy beach, an aquatic park, vast gardens, and hiking trails, all in the shadow of the city.
For more suggestions, visit the Montréal Tourism site at www.tourisme-montreal.org