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I came across the following by accident. Although written a couple of years ago, there is nothing dated about it.

 

Elizabeth Patterson: Our Montreal Voyageur

Van Osdol and Magruder News July 7, 2016

This past month I traveled to Montreal. It was my first time there, and while you are only a few hours away from the U.S. border, you feel like you have travelled across the ocean to Europe. Bold, brazen and beautiful, Montreal is a tantalizing tale of two worlds: New-world energy and excitement meets old-world glamour and grace. 

The 17th century Montreal is still very apparent in Old Montreal today. It has retained much of its charm with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and original architecture. Montreal is a modern, diverse city with amazing shopping and fantastic food.

Montreal is Canada’s most cultural juggernaut, with 250 theaters and dance companies, and more than 90 festivals. It’s also blessed with one of the most exciting food scenes in North America. You’ll find irresistible patisseries, English pubs, 87-year-old Jewish delis and magnificent food markets reminiscent of Paris. 

Culture buffs seeking Canadian and Québécois art have two solid choices: Traditional and classic pieces at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, or cutting-edge modern masterpieces at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. There is also McGill University, almost 200 years old with turreted Victorian buildings. My favorite day was hiking up Parc du Mont-Royal. Once you finally make it up to the top, you get a stunning view of the entire city. Be sure to visit the Gothic Revival Basilique Notre-Dame, the city’s most famous landmark, built in 1829. It is full of gorgeous carved wood, painted gilded sculptures and stained glass windows. Then head down to the Quartier des spectacles, the arts and entertainment district located in downtown Montreal, for some live music and shows.

The writer Regis St. Louis said it best: “I’m always struck by the unbridled creativity of this city. You see it in the magnificent inventions being stirred up in restaurant kitchens, in the barroom and on stage, and you even see it walking down the street with incredible urban art lurking in unexpected places. The dual French-English mix adds dynamism to the city as does its unique mash-up of European and North American culture. Most captivating of all are the people themselves

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The Mont Royal Belvedere really is quite spectacular. I've been there so many times that I take it for granted, but we are quite lucky to have it. Huge park on a hill in the middle of the city with a breathtaking view. Not many cities have that. 

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