D Vautier


A night view of the Hotel de Ville (Vee) from Place Jacques Cartier.
Sometime earlier this year (2004) we decided to go to Montréal mostly because of it's charm.  The city lies in the heart of Québec province and is the second largest city in Canada.  Montréal is also one of Canada's leading commercial, industrial, and service centers.  It is especially known for its Canadian intellectual and social life and remains the major center of French culture in Canada. So if you speak French it can be a real thrill because most of the residents are of French descent and have French as their primary language; however, many also speak English, giving Montréal a strong bilingual character.

Founded by French trappers in 1642, Montréal is one of the oldest cities in North America . Its name comes from the old French form of the name of the mountain, Mount Royal , that dominates the city. Montréal has a northern climate which means it's cold as hell in winter and hot as blazes in summer.

In the heart of the central business district is Rue Sainte-Catherine (Saint Catherine Street), which is the center of Montréal’s nightlife thanks to its numerous cinemas, restaurants, and nightclubs. In fact, unlike many North American cities, downtown Montréal is not deserted after business hours but remains lively and robust, attracting crowds of people.

There are also the numerous tourest traps, like St. Paul Street, and Crescent Street.

Prominent among the city’s museums is the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, with collections of European and Canadian paintings and other specialized collections. We also visited the Musée d’Art Contemporain, (Museum of Contemporary Art) but it was pretty weird stuff.

We were also fortunate to see a few of the festivals.  Summertime is a festive season, with one major event after another. The French Follies was the biggest.  We also were able to take in some beer at the annual Bavarian Beer Fest on Crescent street.

Montréalers are a montage of the people:



Hotel Travelodge Montreal Center is located  just on the edge of Chinatown on Rene Levesque (levek) street,  It is one block from St. Catherine Street and about 8 blocks from St. Paul Street.

It's a 4 star hotel, which corresponds to a 3 star in the U. S.  The room we got was small but worked out just fine.  We were within easy walking distance of most of the neat stuff around town.

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We came into Dorval Airport, the main access to Montreal by air.

Another place to visit is Phillip Square where vendors even outnumber the pigeons 

Cyn went to Value Village (naturally), and found a good Greek restaurant.

We had excellent transportation on the Metro subway system.

I had the unique privilege of taking Val to ride on Le Vampire at the local amusement park.

You have to watch out for those pesky parking meters that are right in the middle of the sidewalk.

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The real heart and soul of Montréal is Saint Catherine Street (Rue Sainte-Catherine), which is loaded with cinemas fun things to do.

Crescent street had a beer fest.

Cyn got to see some  museums.

A big tourist trap and the main drag of the old city is St. Paul Street which runs parallel to the river.

We were able to see some of the annual French Follies which was just up a block on Catherine Street.


Me on Crescent Street and Val in Chinatown.